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Author: TriSec    Date: 06/11/2024 12:21:11

Good Morning!

Well - I left my old job, and now this is the second week in a row that I've had Tuesday off completely for my meeting. As I have opined to many of my former co-workers..."Every single job I have ever worked at has tried to make me choose between Scouting and wage-slavery. Every single company I have worked for - LOST." Just another one on the list, but I digress. Let's dive in, shall we?

I really hate to start with fascism, but this story has been near the top of the "Opinion" column on Military Daily News for over a week now. Shall we dare to look at the mindset of raging MAGAt veterans? Remember how conservative, misogynist, and racist, the military is as you try to choke this all down.

I had the pleasure of serving in the United States Navy for 26 years, eventually retiring as a Navy SEAL senior chief with multiple combat deployments. Now, as a member of the United States House of Representatives, I am proud to serve as chairman of the House Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, where I oversee the transition from active-duty service member to veteran.

Serving my fellow veterans, and most importantly ending the scourge of veteran suicide, is my top priority in Congress. Tragically, President Joe Biden has failed our men and women in uniform, starting with the needless deaths of 13 service members and leaving behind as many as 9,000 Americans to live under Taliban rule during his disgraceful abandonment of Afghanistan.

President Donald Trump's record of support for our veterans and military families stands in stark contrast to Biden's failures. That is why I am proud to be a leading voice in supporting President Trump and his "Veterans for Trump" coalition.

Between 1.9 and 3 million U.S. service members have served in post-9/11 war operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. In August 2021, Biden failed all of us when he orchestrated a chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan that killed U.S. military men and women.. During the dignified transfer of those 13 heroes, Biden repeatedly checked his watch and, even today, Biden has never said their names out loud in public. That is reprehensible.

Biden has run the Department of Veterans Affairs with an equal amount of disrespect.

Recently, reports uncovered that Biden's VA paid nearly $11 million in bonuses to executives who were not eligible to receive them. Using funds intended to meet the needs of our veterans to instead line the pockets of career bureaucrats is a disgrace. It is also just one example of Biden's mismanagement of your tax dollars that has ultimately led to inflation for all American families.

Our veteran population was undoubtedly better off four years ago under Trump, who fought day in and day out to make sure his administration served those who defended our great nation.

Trump kept the VA's priorities straight and made sure that our government served veterans, not bureaucrats. He developed the Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection to hold bad VA employees accountable and created a White House VA Hotline to help veterans, which was primarily staffed by veterans and their direct family members. The hotline answered more than 250,000 calls; 94% of cases from these calls were resolved.

Trump also fought to give our veterans the health care they deserve by signing the VA Mission Act, which expanded health care options for our veterans, including access to walk-in community clinics. He also offered greater access to telehealth services for my fellow veterans in rural communities through the VA's "Anywhere to Anywhere" program.

Most importantly, Trump ordered the formation of the PREVENTS Initiative to deliver help and mental health care to our struggling veterans and signed an executive order to ensure veterans receive mental health care for at least one year after their discharge from service.

The Trump presidency saw not just talk, but action, on behalf of our men and women in uniform.

Brainwashing is a terrible thing, don't you think? Or maybe it's brain damage? In any case, let's move on. Mind-sanitizer and Eye Bleach are available at the exit.
I'd actually like the DC branch to chime in on this next story, especially if you have more information about these actions than another "opinion" column on a military website.

Virginia made my family and thousands of others a promise, that if a Virginia service member dies while serving their country or is seriously disabled, their kids and spouse will still be able to afford an education.

Now, in the largest rollback of veterans benefits in the history of the commonwealth, it has broken that promise. With no planning and no warning, Virginia has gone from being one of the best states in the nation for Gold Star and disabled veteran families to one of the worst.

The Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program (VMSDEP) was a program that provided eight semesters of education to spouses and dependents in Gold Star families, as well as those of 90% to 100% totally and permanently disabled veterans, as determined by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. It was, by design, a fantastic benefit specifically created to lure veteran families like mine and our spending power to put roots down in the state.

Just six months ago in its annual report, the Virginia Department of Veterans Services highlighted the program as aiding the agency in its biggest goal of increasing the number of veterans who choose to permanently reside in Virginia. In that report, the department wrote it hoped to increase the number of participants in VMSDEP from the current 6,120 students to 9,000 by the end of Gov. Glenn Youngkin's term in 2025.

Why? Well, likely because of some sense of patriotic duty, but also because Virginia is absolutely dependent on Defense Department spending and veterans' pensions have a $9.5 billion economic impact statewide.

That's also why the state, in an effort to be "the most military-friendly state in the nation" started the VMSDEP program in 1996, and then expanded and affirmed it in 2006, 2019 and 2021. In fact, VMSDEP is older than most of the people using it. We weren't naïve to assume the state was good for it.

But then, just three weeks ago, the Virginia General Assembly abruptly declared VMSDEP to be too expensive and gutted it, with Youngkin signing the decision into law.

For those of us who accepted the state's offer of free college tuition for our children and uprooted our families, bought homes, changed jobs and started our lives over here in the Old Dominion, it feels like a bait and switch.

Not knowing the politics of another fellow Commonwealth, I wonder what is going on down there. The governor is a Republican - maybe he's been reading the opinion I posted above, and is acting in accord with Trump's treatment of those same veterans?

Speaking of which, this past week was the 80th anniversary of Operation Neptune, the amphibious portion of Operation Overlord. Many world leaders were present at the commemoration, as well as some aged veterans of that day long ago. It was billed as the "Last gathering of participants" upon that hallowed ground. President Biden was around two years old when it actually happened, to put that into perspective. In any case - he did something in France that then-President Trump did not.

BELLEAU, France — President Joe Biden closed out his trip to France by paying his respects at an American military cemetery that Donald Trump notably skipped when he was president, hoping his final stop Sunday helped draw the stakes of the November election in stark relief.

Before returning to the United States, Biden honored America’s war dead at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery about an hour outside Paris. He placed a wreath at the cemetery chapel before an expanse of white headstones marking the final resting place of more than 2,200 U.S. soldiers who fought in World War I.

It was a solemn end to five days in which Trump was an unspoken yet unavoidable presence. On the surface, the trip marked the 80th anniversary of D-Day and celebrated the alliance between the United States and France. But during an election year when Trump has called into question fundamental understandings about America's global role, Biden has embraced his Republican predecessor — and would-be successor — as a latent foil.

During a 2018 trip to France, Trump skipped plans to go to the cemetery, a decision that the White House blamed on weather at the time. However, subsequent reports said that Trump told aides he didn’t want to go because he viewed the dead soldiers as “suckers” and “losers.” Trump has denied the comments, although they were later corroborated by his chief of staff at the time, John Kelly.

Trump’s purported insults have become a regular feature of Biden’s campaign speeches, including during an April rally in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

“These soldiers were heroes, just as every American who has served this nation,” Biden said. “Believing otherwise, that alone is disqualifying for someone to seek this office."

You may remember that I had something to say about that at the time as well.

6 comments (Latest Comment: 06/11/2024 22:22:16 by Will_in_Ca)
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