On 12 November 07 Senator Barack Obama stated, “I'll be a President who ensures that America serves our men and women in uniform as well as they've served us, and that's why I'm proud to have the support of these veterans advising me on the issues facing our troops and veterans. After seven years of an Administration that has stretched our military to the breaking point, ignored deplorable conditions at some VA hospitals, and neglected the planning and preparation necessary to care for our returning heroes, America's veterans deserve a President who will fight for them not just when it's easy or convenient, but every hour of every day for the next four years.” (1) President Obama has had 8 years to make good on his campaign promise. This campaign promise helped him get elected, but it was an empty promise.
We currently have another candidate that promises to take care of Veterans. I have a feeling that we are getting the same promise and we are going to wind up with the same results. Sharon Helman covered up wait times and reaped huge bonuses. Shinseki resigned, but the VA is still having problems. Robert McDonald compared the VA wait times to waiting in line at a Disney park. I use the VA myself, I would not compare wait times to Disney. Waiting to ride Thunder Mountain has never caused me anguish.
The military has been stretched to its breaking point under Mr. Obama. The VA has not shown much improvement. I do not see Trump or Clinton improving the VA much. I can tell you how the VA can be improved, but I’m not sure if it can be completely fixed. I don’t want to see the VA totally dismantled. The VA needs to be accountable to veterans. The VA needs to place the needs of veterans over job security for VA employees. If a VA employee does not care about the individual veteran; he/she can be shuffled to a different organization. Someone like Sharon Helman does not belong at the VA. The bonuses need to go away. VA employees that truly care about vets do not need bonuses. It should be easy to fire a bad VA employee.
I see veterans in Congress like Tom Cotton and Joni Ernst as being the leaders to help fix the VA. I have seen toxic leadership in the Army. I look for patterns and predictability. I don’t see a pattern of helping veterans with Trump. Hillary wasn’t concerned about the security of our Nation’s secrets or the security of her people in Benghazi.
Mr. Obama has stretched the military to its breaking point. This administration likes playing numbers games. We are currently involved in Operation Inherent Resolve; the answer to Obama’s pulling the military out of Iraq too early. We have service members in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.
I am not looking forward to the Presidential election. I just hope that more seats in Congress are being filled by OIF/OEF vets.
(1) Barack Obama: "Press Release - Obama Campaign Announces National Veterans Advisory Committee," November 12, 2007. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=91891.
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