Friday, June 6, 2014

D-Day for veterans

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
June 6, 2014

This should be Veterans D-Day in more ways that one. Veterans are the reason Americans live free. So why is it that politicians expect them to just settle for what they get no matter how bad it is?

Some people are shocked with what has been going on at the VA but truthfully veterans and families are not that shocked since we live with it everyday. We follow the news all the time. We know that this isn't about Democrats or Republicans being in control over our destiny.

We saw it, lived it and paid for politicians telling us that veterans and their families mattered for too many generations.

Just since troops were sent into Afghanistan and Iraq we saw it get worse as more money was being spent because no politician planned for the return of disabled veterans.

Anthony Principi became Secretary of Veterans Affairs in 2001. Replaced by Jim Nicholson who walked into $1 billion mess of underfunding.
"Within months of taking office at the VA, Nicholson had to deal with a $1 billion shortfall at the agency, requiring the administration to appeal to Congress for emergency spending.

James Peake replaced Nicholson in 2007.
The VA's backlog is between 400,000 and 600,000 claims, with delays of 177 days.

Nicholson in May pledged to cut that time to 145 days, but he has made little headway with thousands of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan returning home.

Veterans were dying waiting for their claims to be approved all those years and the years that followed but no one seemed interested in actually fixing anything. We knew it wasn't about one party over another. The last two years of the Bush Administration, Democrats had control of the House and the Senate. We saw what the Bush Administration left the Obama Administration, just as we saw what the Clinton Adminstration left Bush.

Let the rest of the population play politics. Veterans are still a debt owed no matter who is in control. Stop leaning left or right and start standing up for yourself. Vote as if your life depends on it knowing the lives of those who come after you depend on it too.

When you hear a politician say that veterans matter on days like today remember they have yet to prove it.
D-Day Draw: Why Normandy Still Lures Americans, 70 Years Later
June 6, 2014

Americans still arrive by the score on the sands of Normandy more than 70 years after Allied forces stormed the shore there -– drawn by a desire to connect with the audacious landing that happened, for many, well before they were born.

Normandy’s beaches, cliffs, gun bunkers and cemeteries -– site of the June 6, 1944 Allied landings that turned the tide of World War II –- mark a place where Americans truly stood together, according to sightseers and guides.

“We won there, but we won at tremendous sacrifice,” said Thom Cartledge, who visited Normandy in 2011 to honor his uncle, Thomas J. Sullivan –- an Army private killed in action during the operation.

“To make all of that possible, folks back in America had produced airplanes and ships at record speed. They worked overtime. They didn’t demand extra wages. Everybody pulled together. That’s not a sentiment we see a lot today,” Cartledge added. “Some people come because, for them, that’s also what Normandy represents –- it dawns on them that America really is a pretty cool country."

Or, as Edward Piegza, founder of Classic Journeys travel firm, describes Normandy: “It’s a unifying place for our country, an uplifting place where there is a common feeling of right over wrong.”

Each year, about 1 million people stroll the Normandy American Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach, according to the American Battlefield Monuments Commission. That makes the memorial, the final resting place for 9,387 troops, the most visited graveyard among the 25 cemeteries tended by that federal agency.

“There are so few battlefields that Americans can name. But everybody knows the Normandy beaches,” said Mark Sullivan, France editor for Fodor’s Travel Guides.

Some of that historic resonance flows from the miles of film shot on D-Day, the largest seaborne invasion in history. That morning in 1944, some 60,000 Americans, Brits, Canadians and other Allies stormed a 50-mile swath of the Nazi-fortified coastline from more than 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircraft.
read more here
Veterans have been suffering for decades.

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