Let's take a quick look at how each political party views issues surrounding veterans issues:
Republicans: "We haven't met a veteran that we won't screw over" - Jon Stewart
Democrats: "We haven't met a veteran that we won't screw over" - Jon Stewart
My View: The government saves a lot of money by worshipping our veterans instead of caring for them.
Republicans on Veterans Issues
While Republicans, cycle after political cycle, consistently make promises not to cut veterans’ benefits as they seek to manage the federal budget, their proposed legislation and budget projections indicate otherwise. For instance, their Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023 aimed to address the debt ceiling while implementing “common-sense spending reforms.” However, the goal to reduce federal spending to what it was in 2022 required cutting 8% to 9% from discretionary spending (excluding entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare). One of their proposed actions became a $2 billion cut to the Department of Veterans Affairs by rescinding unspent COVID-19 relief funding. So, while their promise was to spare veterans and defense spending, achieving that promise without significantly affecting veterans’ programs proved extremely challenging and does not appear to have been all that successful.
"You know how that rabbit feels going under your spinning wheels. Bright images flashing by like windshields towards a fly."
Democrats on Veterans Issues
Democrats recognize the sacrifice made by our veterans and are committed to ensuring they receive the best quality of life upon returning home. They advocate for protecting and expanding benefits and services for veterans. They aim to honor the service of those who risked their lives for the U.S. overseas. While they support funding for veterans’ services, they have also raised objections to certain provisions in funding bills. For instance, in a recent vote (May 2023), House Democrats did not fully fund the VA (Veterans Affairs) leading to discussion about partisan interference in fulfilling obligations to our veterans.
"To live between the wars in our time, living in real time, holding the good times, holding on to yesterdays."
My Views on Veterans Issues
Every year, millions of Americans swear an oath "to protect the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic" fully knowing that they might be sent overseas to fight, to kill, and possibly to die to protect the interests of the United States. Then, when they return home, they are subjected to (arguably) the worst health care in this country, and they are - more often than not - treated worse than second-class citizens. As a veteran myself, I have experienced going from being honored by our society as a hero for my acts of service to feeling like a burden on that society because I was "no longer useful". I was lucky because I had help. Some of my fellow veterans have not been so fortunate.
"We can go from boom to bus, from dreams to a bowl of dust. We can go from rocket's red glare down to 'Brother can you spare…' another war, another wasteland, and another lost generation."
Aside from social organization outposts like the V.F.W. and American Legion, there are very few veterans services within District 57. The only Veterans Administration clinic in the area, the Denton VA Clinic, is only open during business hours on weekdays, so any veteran within our district could potentially need to travel a significant distance (into Plano, Dallas, or Arlington) simply to receive the health care that they have earned, inadequate as it may be. That is unconscionable, and I want to help change that if I can.
Disclaimer: It's important to remember that views on veterans vary wildly, even within the three political parties, and while these situations are nuanced, these are, in my opinion, subjects to which the political parties provide sincerity merely in word but not in deed.