Proposed VA Budget Cuts

Discussion in 'Veteran's Forum' started by WIG19, Feb 8, 2005.

  1. WIG19

    WIG19 Light left on

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    Oct 27, 2003
    Renegade State
    My simple 'editorial' to my Congressman and both Senators. I'll say up front that I'm not a Democrat; but Teddy Roosevelt said it was my responsibility to call BS when I see it.
    Dear Sir:

    I'm writing to solicit your support in blocking the proposed cuts & changes to Veteran's programs that seem to be in the President's latest budget submission.

    Let me make it clear that I fully support the Global War on Terror, our Commander in Chief and, as a Vietnam vet myself, fully support our troops. I have multiple immediate family members and a nephew who have already served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. With a VA hospital right in my town I maintain a connection to many of the vets I see pass through its halls. So this is not about foreign policy.

    What it IS about is that, at a time when retention is alarmingly low and we ask more & more (indefinite extensions, "stop loss") of our finest, cherished resources in uniform, the President is attempting to give the shaft to those he would have stand up and take a bullet, or experience the constant daily anxiety of what's waiting for their vehicle around the next corner.

    I see them come & go. I see the latest crop of Post-Traumatic Stress patients; I see those who have turned to substance abuse as well as those who suffer the myriad physical injuries or loss of quality of life that may never be restored. Such losses will remind the Soldier what he or she sacrificed. Unfortunately, the increasing co-pay fees and proposed "annual fees" serve as a further reminder that their country didn't care enough to take care of them after the fact. This breaks an implicit bond that has existed for decades and was put in place for the right reasons. Our Soldiers don't ask for much, nor do they voice the question everytime before they "saddle up" and head out on a mission, whether it be to hunt terrorists in the Paki mountains or to make a speedy but dangerous convoy run through Baghdad's suburbs.

    I must say that, in addition to the contemplated doubling of prescription co-pays, the idea that someone should also pay an annual fee simply to use VA services says the following:

    "If you're really grievously wounded, service-connected, and destitute; we'll take care of you. However, if you're not homeless and have managed to make something better with your life after leaving the military, we're going to charge you for using the services we promised you (especially if you've managed to secure health-insurance that we can bill) and then, when you're back to being broke, we won't charge you any more."

    That's the WRONG message. Frankly, I find that theory perplexing, since Republicans traditionally want to protect those better-off, figuring they shouldn't be "taxed" just because they worked hard to earn it in the first place.

    I urge you to PLEASE exert your strongest influence in making sure that the Administration's efforts to avoid keeping their word don't bear fruit. This is, after all, about keeping one's word. It was a promise given to someone who's going to stand on a wall and say "nothing's going to bother you tonight" and is not a promise that can be abbrogated by a single elected official.