It’s Veterans Again!

Closing Thought–18Jul18

I have said and witnessed just how little our politicians care about our veterans……basically they, veterans, are nothing more than a political prop…the true concern evaporates when the cameras fall silent.

Our Dear Leader has just signed a veterans bill……

Trump’s habit of exploiting our military and veterans is exceeded only by his talent for letting them down, as his recent actions regarding the so-called “VA Mission Act” demonstrate.

Last Wednesday, Trump signed the bill into law during an elaborately staged ceremony in the Rose Garden at the White House. But hours after the cameras were shut off and the cast of grateful vets and politicians had dispersed, Trump began working against the law he had just signed.

The night of the bill signing, Trump quietly released a statement objecting to three oversight provisions of the law, saying he would not treat them as mandatory. Several veterans’ groups expressed concern about the statement.

Trump’s White House also circulated a memo to Congress objecting to a Senate plan to pay for the Mission Act, arguing the law ought to be funded by spending cuts to other programs.

“It’s just like Donald Trump to sign a deal, and then not pay for it,” said Will Fischer, Iraq war veteran and director of government relations for VoteVets, in a statement to Shareblue Media. “So, as he’s done many times in his life, Donald Trump has made a big production, but when it comes to paying, he’s going to leave us high and dry.”

Trump’s concern for veterans runs about as deep as last Wednesday’s photo op. When the cameras are off, Trump shows the true colors of a leader who has consistently disrespected our bravest and lets them down at every turn.

(shareblue.com)

The Trump administration demanded that lawmakers fund a popular veterans’ health-care program — which allows former troops to spend public funds on private doctors and hospitals — with cuts to other parts of the budget. Democrats, and some top Senate Republicans, prefer to raise the current caps on discretionary spending instead.

I have called for a new “Bonus Army”……the vets need to come together and show the nation that they deserve all the benefits that have been promised for years that always seem to fall flat in application.

To not fund these programs is a disrespect of the men and women that have done their duty toward their country while the rest of us have done little to nothing.

As a veteran I have watched painfully as veterans get the shaft with every administration and every president that prays on the veterans like a predator……again….time for another Bonus Army (look it up, do something for yourself)

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The Big Lie

That is a good one.  Just about everything coming out of a politician’s mouth is a big lie….but there are some that are bigger than others…..and one of the biggest is the support for Veterans.

Pick an election….any election and the candidate is always going on about how he supports the troops and especially those brave souls that have served with honor, our veterans.

The House of Representatives have just proved how little they care about veterans…in this case the widows of fallen service people…….

Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky) discovered that today and is voicing his anger because Republicans voted against his plan to eliminate the “military widow’s tax.”

Yarmuth was one of the sponsors of a bill to fix what he calls “an egregious penalty that prevents approximately 64,000 surviving military spouses from receiving full death benefits.”

This is wonky, but here is what this was about.

Under the current law, family of fallen military members lose part or all of their Defense Department Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) when they also receive Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

As one constituent wrote to Yarmuth, it reduces the surviving spouse’s benefits by an average of $1,250 a month or about $15,000 annually.

The Republicans may love vets but they probably didn’t like Yarmuth’s plan to “offset” the cost, which is political speak for how to pay for it.

He wanted to reduce the tax break Trump passed last December, which helps only the wealthiest Americans. Yarmuth’s plan would have taken one percent back from the corporations that benefited from the overhaul. 

Unsurprisingly, Republicans sided with corporations over veterans. “The fact that they could not bring themselves to set aside less than 1 percent of the trillions of dollars in tax cuts they just gave to millionaires and big corporations to protect survivors of military service members is a disgrace,” Yarmuth wrote on Thursday.

(Washington Press)

Why would the MSM ignore this travesty?  When will the morons learn that these toads care nothing for our veterans…..they are only useful at election time as a political prop….like the Constitution.

The veterans need to come together and give these spineless pigs in Washington something to fear….another “Bonus Army”.  (Use Google I am too weary to explain the thing)

Plus the so-called Republicans are to blame for allowing the vets to be used as a prop and for lying to them to get an endorsement and then for the abandonment….and it will only get worse (sorry I have to bring that news to my fellow veteran)

Memorial Day–2018

Closing Thought–28May18

Today is the day set aside to remember our dead from the many wars we have fought…..I take this opportunity to tell my readers a little something of myself and my service.

I served 2 and half years in Southeast Asia…..most of that time I was a LRRP…..a recon patrol for the 9th Infantry Division Mekong Delta, Republic of South Vietnam……the US Army in their infinite wisdom decided that the LRRPs were so successful that they would incorporate them into the 75th Regt the Rangers so from that point on the LRRPs are wrapped up with the history of the Rangers…but this idea was a bad one (my opinion)…..LRRPs worked in 4, 5 or 6 man teams and when the Rangers took over they wanted 8 man teams…got a lot of LRRPs killed because the team dynamic is different from 6 and 8 members……I will die a LRRP I did not want to be a Ranger in 1968 and that has not changed today….I do not care about the “coolness” of the Rangers…I [prefer to die a LRRP.

For those people that are not sure about LRRPs there is a documentary made on us…it tells our story well…..

Below is the photo of the gun I carried in Vietnam…..a .45 cal “Burp Gun”….since I carried a .45 pistol and the Burp was .45 I had to carry only one ammo….saved time and space on long missions.

Everyone please take a moment to remember our fallen countrymen in our many wars…..

This will be my only post today for I have a family I will spend time with……

Peace Out!

A Viet Vet–About Time

Closing Thought–26Apr18

A Viet vet has finally been awarded the medal that he richly deserves……

With a Marine down and several dozen heavily-armed enemy fighters approaching his location, 1st Lt. Philip H. Sauer grabbed his .45-cal pistol and ordered his other three men off the hill outside Khe Sanh.

Just a few hours earlier, the five-man artillery observer team had organized and set out to recon Hill 861 and potentially set up an observation post. But enemy bunkers and trenches teeming with North Vietnamese troops dotted the key, high terrain northwest of the Khe Sanh combat base.

When his point man was cut down by enemy fire, Sauer, used his own .45 pistol to provide covering fire as the Marines dove for cover and scrambled out of the kill zone.

Only one Marine survived that April 24, 1967, ambush, the first major fight with NVA in the area. It would mark the start of what became known as the “Hill Fights” during the siege of Khe Sanh the following year.

https://news.usni.org/2018/04/24/51-years-later-fallen-vietnam-marine-honored-silver-star

About time!

VA Makes The Headlines Again

As usual the VA is making the news….this time it is because Trump has Twitted the replacement of the head of the VA……many think it was because Shulkin got a couple of freebies….but in reality it is because of his objection to the privatization of the VA…..

In hindsight, the only thing surprising about last week’s ouster of Department of Veterans Affairs chief David Shulkin was that President Trump fired him via Twitter. The agency’s size (360,000 employees, $186 billion annual budget) is second only to that of the Pentagon. Its internal turf wars may be just as epic. Consequently, Shulkin’s downfall had less to do with a European travel junket than with a bureaucratic brawl regarding the scope and pacing of VA reform.

Shulkin’s replacement—Trump’s official physician, Rear Admiral Ronny L. Jackson—has his work cut out for him. “As a job, [VA chief] may very well be several orders of magnitude more difficult than dealing with President Trump,” writes Independent Institute Research Fellow Craig Eyermann, creator of the Government Cost Calculator at MyGovCost.org.

Since the VA became a cabinet-level agency almost 30 years ago, seven of its nine chiefs have left office before their term expired. The agency’s culture of corruption goes back decades further, as the late historian and Independent Institute Research Fellow Ronald Hamowy has explained. Making the VA an effective and efficient servant of the nation’s veterans must therefore go hand in hand with ridding the agency of its toxic culture. “And so it must go,” Eyermann writes, “whether the VA wants it to be, or not.” For a sound approach to reforming the VA and many other government agencies, see Better Than Government: A New Way of Managing Life’s Risks, by Independent Institute Senior Fellow John C. Goodman.

Reform Coming to the VA, Whether It Wants This or Not, by Craig Eyermann (MyGovCost News & Blog, 4/2/18)

Failure to Provide: Healthcare at the Veterans Administration, by Ronald Hamowy (3/18/10)

Better Than Government: A New Way of Managing Life’s Risks, by John C. Goodman (10/6/16)

It is sad that the vets are nothing more than a tool to be used during a campaign and then thrown aside once the election is won.

Our veterans have been asked to do a lot and have never been given the respect they deserve….we owe the vets more than we could ever pay and yet they are lied to daily and they hope for the best….and they NEVER get it.

New Front For Gun Reform

Closing Thought–12Mar18

After the last mass killings at Parkland School in Florida the country is having that darn pesky conversation on gun reform….it is not the same as before……this time the students have taken the lead in the call for gun reform.  And as usual the NRA is pulling out all stops to squash the conversation but it is not working as before…..you see the NRA does not hold the students over a barrel like they do the cowards in ghe Congress and White House.

This time a new player has entered into the call for gun reform….for reasonable background checks….for reasonable mental health issues……for reasonable thoughts on assault weapons, extended magazines and those damn bump stocks…..in essence a little common sense…..the new players are our veterans!

Dave Baril has served in the US Marine Corps for over 18 years, deployed twice to Iraq, and is a gun owner.

But after a teenager killed 17 people in Florida last month — the deadliest school shooting to hit the country over five years — he took his personal AR-15 rifle to a local police station and turned it in for destruction.

Baril is one of a group of U.S. military veterans calling for tighter firearms regulations in an effort to reduce gun violence in America, bringing their knowledge of weapons and war — and accompanying credibility — to the contentious debate.

Shootings at a Las Vegas concert last year and at the Parkland, Florida high school “really woke me up the most,” he said.

https://www.military.com/off-duty/2018/03/08/us-veterans-join-forces-gun-reform.html

Veterans!  Maybe now we have another group that the NRA cannot buy.  Maybe now someone will pay attention…..and maybe now there can be a real conversation that is not controlled by the NRA.

Good to see the vets wading into this mess….a swamp created by the NRA.  If anyone can get in the face of the NRA it is the vets.

Man’s Best Friend

Hopefully you remembered to Spring forward…..`the most worthless governmental program….daylight savings time.

Sunday and I am sitting in the garden with my best friend Jazzy, she and I became friends just after Hurricane Katrina and since she had nowhere to go she came home with me and we have been thick as thieves ever since.

I have always been a dog person…..cats are cool but to me nothing beats a dog…..so when I read some news about mistreatment of dogs I usually go ballistic…..so I read some disturbing news and the mistreatment is from the US military……

A report finds that the Army failed to do right by some of the more than 200 bomb-sniffing dogs that served with US soldiers in Afghanistan, detecting roadside bombs and saving lives, the AP reports. The Defense Department’s inspector general has determined that, after the program ended in 2014, some soldiers struggled or were unable to adopt the dogs they had handled. This included two dogs among 13 that were given to a private company to be used as service dogs for veterans but then abandoned at a Virginia kennel. The report says Congress amended the law in 2015 to give handlers top priority in adopting their dogs. The inspector general also faults the military for not properly screening those adopting the dogs, including law enforcement agencies and private individuals.

More on this situation…….

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-defense-dogs/canine-war-heroes-mistreated-by-u-s-army-pentagon-report-idUKKCN1GE30O

Despicable treatment of a soldier that saved lives and served honorably….if they do this then how badly are they treating the two legged veterans?

This story made me sick!

As long as we are focused on the VA here….

To say things are strained at the VA would be a massive understatement. That’s the thrust of a report from the Washington Post, which interviewed 16 Trump administration officials and others. Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin has lost trust in his senior staff and may be facing a mutiny. He’s attempted to fire at least six members of his senior management, and some officials are pushing the White House to remove him. It’s gotten so bad Shulkin has posted an armed guard outside his office, banned staffers he thinks are against him from his executive suite, stopped meeting with political appointees of President Trump, and hasn’t spoken to his public-affairs chief in weeks. “Things have come to a grinding halt,” a senior manager says. “It’s killing the agency. Nobody trusts each other.”

There are a number of issues at play outside of personality differences. For one, Shulkin is the only Obama administration official to get a post in Trump’s Cabinet. There’s also the report stating that taxpayers were misled into paying for Shulkin’s wife to join him on a 10-day European vacation. But most recently Shulkin has upset some in the White House by pushing for a compromise on the Trump-supported plan to allow veterans to choose private doctors that will still be paid for by the VA. There’s fear among veterans groups and unions that the plan will lead to downsizing at the agency. However, some see Shulkin’s unwillingness to buy in fully with that plan as reluctance to “drain the swamp.” Read the full story here for why the national director of veterans affairs for the country’s biggest veterans group says what’s happening is “salacious conspiracy and … treason.”

There seems to be NO department that is not involved in some sort of drama….a dining set at HUD, a $100,000 door for Zinke, and now the VA……and you thought the Teapot Dome was a drama…..the Trump White House beat them all hands down.

I am gonna try and enjoy the rest of my Sunday and let Jazzy know how important she is to me…..thank you for your visits…..chuq