Earlier this year, Republican leaders in Congress blocked $2 billion in emergency funding for veterans' health care from the $82 billion supplemental funding bill. They felt that the money would be better spent in Iraq and Afghanistan, where we're producing more and more injured soldiers for whom we cannot afford adequate medical care.
Then the Bush administration requested a mere 2.7 percent increase in Veterans Affairs (VA) spending, even though the VA's Under Secretary testified last year that the VA health care system needs a 13 to 14 percent increase annually to maintain their current level of services.
Thousands of veterans of the first Gulf War are suffering the effects of exposure to depleted uranium (DU), or have died from that exposure, yet the U.S. government denies the effects and continues to ship DU munitions for use in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Some wounded U.S. soldiers have returned home from the current war in Iraq only to learn that they are being referred to credit agencies for "failure to pay" for lost equipment, and for charges for military housing.
And about one-fourth of all homeless Americans are veterans. According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, nearly 200,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. Two percent of them are female. Most of these cases are attributed to lingering effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and substance abuse, compounded by a lack of family and social support networks.
This is how our government treats those who have so bravely fought for their country.
Veterans Lash Out at Loss of Voice on Capitol Hill
Chairman Buyer recently announced that veterans service organizations will no longer have the opportunity to present testimony before a joint hearing of the House and Senate Veterans' Affairs Committees.
"The tradition of legislative presentations by veterans service organizations dates back to at least the 1950s. And the timing of this announcement -- just before Veterans Day -- could not have been worse," said DAV National Commander Paul W. Jackson.
War on Veterans
On Veterans Day, as our nation remains at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the President and Members of Congress will call on America to support our troops and talk about how much we owe our men and women in uniform. But instead of honoring its commitment to those whose service and sacrifice have kept us free and safe, our government has launched a devastating assault on benefits for America's veterans.
Federal funding for veterans programs over the years has not even kept pace with inflation, let alone the increased demands on the Department of Veterans Affairs for health care and other earned benefits. The administration claims to have provided record increases for veterans, yet thousands of them have been denied access to VA health care. Because of budget shortfalls, VA facilities in every region of the country have exhausted reserve funds to meet critical needs. Many have stopped hiring doctors and nurses, while still others have cut back or even eliminated medical services. It is a clear indication that the men and women who have served and sacrificed for our country are not a national priority.
But inadequate funding for medical care isn't the only thing veterans are concerned about...
Bush Honors Veterans By Slashing Veterans Affairs Budget by $1 Billion
In return for Veterans' lost lives, the sacrifices, the suffering, the dislocation, the burdens, the family disruptions and related family crises the President proposes a $1 billion cut in a $28.7 billion VA budget.
2006 Won’t Be First Year Bush Cuts Support for Veterans
Too many examples to list.
The point is, the Bush administration couldn't care less about soldiers or veterans. Happy fucking veterans day.
By the way, don't forget to reserve as much derision as possible for the chickenhawks.