Monday, November 10, 2008

Ex-servicemen hope president-elect focuses on military issues

This young boy, turned into the man I married. He came home in 1971 from Vietnam. I've been doing outreach work with veterans who have PTSD ever since the day we met 26 years ago.

While all veterans have my heart, the Vietnam Veterans have tugged at my soul. Understand that this is coming from someone who has dedicated her life to our veterans. I take all of this very seriously, spend countless hours researching history as well as what the politicians do and fail to do. The following defense of President Elect Obama does not come without facts that can be found by anyone willing to look for them. Most of the links are on this blog.

There is a comment in this article claiming that Obama has not done anything for veterans since he entered into the senate. This is a false claim and spun by the GOP. I've heard it all too often. The fact is when Obama had many options of choosing which committees to serve on, he wanted to serve on the Veterans Affairs Committee. Aside from his grandfather and uncle being veterans, his heart was with our veterans. Obama was advised that the Veteran's Affairs Committee was not a high profile committee but it was where he felt he was called to.

Up until the Democrats took control, albeit limited in the Senate, mountains have been moved for the sake of our veterans. From the largest budget increase in history for the VA, to programs gearing up to help veterans with PTSD and TBI, to all the advances in research, Veteran's Centers opening up and the GI Bill, Obama has been a big part of all of that. He did not do anything with the glare of the media focused on him but did so quietly believing it is the obligation of this nation to take care of our veterans. I have watched this man since the day he was elected to the senate and have read his speeches as well as interviews he's given. He is the real deal when it comes to our veterans and our nation as a whole. He has not paid lip service to our veterans in the past and will not in the future.

Most of the claims against him have come from people who also believed that McCain, as a veteran, had the interests of veterans in his own heart, yet he has only provided lip service to them. From the POW's returning from Iraq after the Gulf War, going to court to sue the Iraqi government, McCain was not fighting for them when Bush killed the law suit. McCain's voting record against veterans and what they need has been deplorable no matter what he or anyone in the GOP claim. The facts speak for themselves. There is a grand delusion that has been harming our veterans for too many years. Don't believe me. Instead look up their voting records for yourself and find out who has been providing lip service and nothing more from those who have done the work on behalf of veterans. If you have not been keeping informed of what the reality is, you will be astonished at how wrong you've been.

Vets hope Obama fulfills promises
Ex-servicemen hope president-elect focuses on military issues
Staff writer

Like many in the region, local veterans are hoping last week's election of Barack Obama as president will bring change for the country -- specifically, for the country's veterans and military men and women.

In the days between the presidential election and the Veterans Day holiday, area vets expressed their hopes for the new administration.

Bernard Williamson, of the Veterans of Foreign Wars McEvoy-Dempsey Post 10585 in Derby, said he hopes Obama will work on a few issues that Bush's administration hurt instead of helped.

"Bush's administration closed Veterans' Affairs hospitals, decreased veterans' benefits, and didn't help veterans wage-wise," said Williamson.

Williamson is also concerned about troops overseas, saying he hopes Obama will "do something for men and women in service right now."

Tim Kelly, 61, of the Connecticut branch of Disabled American Veterans, also is interested in seeing how the Obama administration handles decisions about veterans and the military. Like Williamson, Kelly hopes Obama doesn't cut funding for veterans.

And, as a Vietnam veteran, he is worried about how Obama will handle the war in Iraq. "I hope they don't just go in there and withdraw troops and waste 4,000 lives," said Kelly, referring to the men and women who have already died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

World War II combat veteran Joseph Minto, 87, has one simple hope for the Obama administration. "I hope he fulfills his promises,"

Minto said. "He promised everyone something, so I don't know if he will come through."

Some, like Kelly, said they can't predict what Obama will actually do for veterans. He said he doesn't know what to expect from Obama because he hasn't done anything to be judged on.

"We really don't know because he didn't do anything for us while in the Senate," Kelly said, adding, "there's a lot of lip service with the Democrats but they never do anything."

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