Need changes in Congress for veterans’ sake


Attention all veterans, young and old. You should be paying attention to some of the things Congress is suggesting and actually doing. Recently, the Republican-controlled government has taken steps to reduce your care and benefits. They have rejected a $24 billion VA health care bill. They said it would increase the deficit. The deficit is actually going down now. One must ask what are the current wars and current moves to increase our costs and efforts in the wars we are fighting at this time doing for that deficit?

They are also making noises of disbanding the VA health system and making it private. They would give the veterans a voucher card that would allow them to get their care anywhere – anywhere that would accept that voucher and as long as it did not exceed any one-time or lifetime limits. One major problem with this is that some of the care veterans need is not available anywhere but within the VA system.

Over half of our doctors and nurses get all or part of their training in the VA system. Where would they go to be trained? Right now, the military is all volunteer but 1 percent or less of the population is actually signing up to join. The Vietnam War generation faced the draft and than had to do one tour to satisfy their requirement. The current all-volunteer military does many tours in some cases and, for many, in several different conflicts. The way the world is going and considering the upheaval that is going on each and every day, it will be more likely than not we will be involved in the present wars and other wars somewhere in the world for years to come.

The government is already making noises about requiring young woman to sign up for the draft the same as young men do. It seems to me that only reason this is being talked about is the total lack of care the government is giving the returning veterans. They are cutting the pensions and care for those who are serving now and those who have served. Why would anyone join the military if the promise the government gives them about taking care of them if they are hurt is now being cut or being privatized?

You have a chance to change the tides if you actually pay attention to the way the Republicans are voting on veterans funding and comments that Republicans are making about privatizing the Veterans Administration. This November, we have a chance to support our current military and our veterans, who have earned their benefits, by creating a Congress that is veteran-friendly. Vote out those senators or Congressional representatives that do not support veterans. This is not only for yourself, it is for the future of the military. And the future or your children.

When our military is no longer all volunteer, we will have to return to the draft. Are you ready to watch your sons and your daughters be conscripted and sent off to war? Maybe it is time to stop listening and believing those voices on so-called conservative talk radio and start considering what it will take to preserve our freedom and our excellent current military. And maybe you should be watching what our current leaders are doing right now to those who are serving and who have served. Does that vet in your family really deserve to be cut off now, after the fact? The fact of preserving America’s freedom.

Melissa Lison

Florence, Wis.