Privitizing VA not a good idea


Some months ago I heard my senator, Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) speaking about privatizing the Veterans Administration. I did not give it too much thought, as it sounded so strange, especially in light of Senator Johnson’s call, just weeks later for 50,000 U.S. troops in Syria. If you don’t like veterans, it seems you would not want to create more of them.

Within the last month I have had messages from the American Legion about this topic, privatizing the VA. I am a member of the American Legion and of the Disabled American Veterans, as I am a 100-percent disabled Vietnam veteran.

I went to the Disabled American Veterans web site, something anyone can do. You do not need to be a member or even a veteran to access their site. They cover in detail what that would mean for the American veterans, disabled or otherwise. It is not a good picture.

My tendency is to say this cannot happen. I have heard other veterans also making that statement. It cannot happen. But if that were true, if there was no worry in this idea, why would both the American Legion and the Disabled American Veterans be warning their members and making them aware that this possibility exists? They are in Washington and their job is to watch out for the rights of the American veteran.

I urge you to go to their sites and read this for yourself. If you are a veteran, it does concern you. Privatization means a private enterprise will be overseeing veterans benefits, veterans care and virtually every other aspect of being a U.S. military veteran.

Perhaps a better thought would be for Congress to fully fund the Veterans Adminstration for the first time ever. Maybe they could fully staff the Veterans Adminstration for the first time ever. And maybe they could include all veterans that have needs stemming from their military service for the first time ever.

One of the presidential candidates is promising to take care of our veterans. His party is the one suggesting the privatization of the VA. I see his idea of taking care of the veterans may not connote something positive.

Be careful what you wish for when you vote. Meanwhile, call your senators and your representative in Washington and ask them for the plan, in writing. When I did that with Sen. Johnson’s office, I was told nothing is in writing. What? The DAV site surely has something in writing and I am sure they did not print it out for their amusement.

Thank you, veterans for your service and thank you everyone for reading this and acting upon it.

Donald A. Lison

Florence, Wis.