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Saturday, June 07, 2014

Veterans promises broken: giving their youth but loosing access to healthcare

Among the dozens of solicitation letters received in our mail box every day, we opened a sad appeal from the Secretary of the Navy, asking for donations to help pay for veterans' health care and to support the Navy-Relief Society.

Since when did veterans' healthcare and relief services become a charity?

This is a demeaning request, in spite of the letter's high ranking signatures, ie., Ray Mabur, Marine General Amos and Admiral Greenert. This solicitation is especially sad considering how the men and women who are entitled to receive Veterans' healthcare gave up their youth to serve in our nation's military. Now, as these veterans age, they need the care promised to them. Instead, they are now included in a charity, which has to provide for the administrative cost of the administration of the appeal. The system created to provide veterans with quality healthcare is clearly underfunded and unable to guarantee them access to the care they  need.

Ironically, in the letter's opening sentence, the argument is validated about why the entire appeal is demeaning.  "Thank you for your service to our country," leads the narrative for the solicitation. This opening sentence undermines the entire purpose of the letter. Veterans are not charities. They are among those who are included in the "thank you" opening sentence.

Veterans positively deserve fully funded healthcare, period.

Veterans were there, during their youth, to protect our nation and defend our national security. America must, likewise, be there, to fulfill the promises made to them, as they age. Rather than become marginalized by the veterans health care programs, their access to health care should, instead, be expanded.

US Congress and Senators are often seen marching in veterans parades, but they must deliver on the promises expected by those who are recognized in these annual ceremonies.

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