Public Watchdog.org

Veterans Day 2018

11.11.18

As Americans – and as regularly demonstrated here in Park Ridge – we seem to have a hard time distinguishing between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. The former is for remembering those who died while serving in our country’s armed forces. The latter is for those who served and survived.

In other words: Today and tomorrow – and not Memorial Day – is the time to thank living veterans for their service. But we owe veterans more than just our thanks one day a year.

The Thousand Oaks, CA shooting last week is just one illustration of that point. The shooter, a 28 year-old former Marine who saw 7 months of combat in Afghanistan, reportedly had difficulty re-adapting to civilian life, as do many veterans.

Whether manifesting itself as PTSD, unemployment, homelessness, addiction and even suicide, the problems of too many veterans have not been treated with the dignity, the respect and the effectiveness they deserve. The services provided by the Veterans Administration (the “VA”) too often have been inconsistent and too variable among the VA’s 1,243 facilities.

Lengthy wait times for treatment have become the rule rather than the exception at many facilities. A 2014 audit found that more than 57,000 veterans had been waiting more than 90 days just for an appointment, while an additional 64,000 who requested medical care but were not added to a VA waiting list.

Although President Trump signed the largest budget ever for the Department of Veterans Affairs, that still does not appear to be money enough to address the high costs of their devastating injuries and related health issues. But those veterans who have fought for our freedom and our democracy deserve the best care we can offer.

So besides thanking our veterans for their service, let’s contact our senators and congressmen to demand the kind of care they deserve.

That’s a debt of honor all of us owe them.

To read or post comments, click on title.

9 comments so far

PD:

Thanks for the post. I could not agree more! Unfortunately this has been a neglected area given lip service on both sides of the aisle. It goes beyond the pure dollars and into the implementation.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/veterans-haven-t-receive-gi-bill-benefits-months-due-ongoing-n934696

Thank you, Bob. Totally agree.

Hey, here’s an idea. How about at a minimum we start with the highest elected official in the land taking a few minutes to pay the respects of the country at the tomb of the unknown soldier. Apparently it is OK to not even do that any more. It’s about 15 minutes from the White House and he does not have to even stop for the lights. Maybe it was raining.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Hey, here’s an idea: How about at a minimum you start with learning the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day? Hint: The unknown soldier in that tomb is…wait for it…dead, hence the tomb. And he’s been dead since World War I, or around 55 years longer than Generalissimo Francisco Franco.

And you can learn that difference merely by reading the first paragraph of this post, without having to stop for lights or carry an umbrella.

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/11/11/563502433/vice-president-pence-speaks-at-arlington-on-64th-observance-of-veterans-day

Last year. https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/11/11/563502433/vice-president-pence-speaks-at-arlington-on-64th-observance-of-veterans-day

2016 https://www.c-span.org/video/?195347-1/veterans-day-ceremony

2006. Notice it says annual wreath-laying ceremony.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Yes, there IS an “annual wreath laying ceremony” and this year the Secretary of Veterans Affairs did the honors. Pence did it last year, Biden did it in 2014. Traditionally the POTUS does every Memorial Day, while he “or his designee” does it on Veterans Day and on “other special occasion[s].”

The point is that it doesn’t have to be POTUS,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKmhAYKqe0A

“The most solemn of these occur on state occasions where the president or his designee lays a wreath to mark the national observance of Memorial Day, Veterans Day or some other special occasion. As a general rule, these take place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, attended by ceremonial units from the uniformed services”.

https://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/Visit/Events-and-Ceremonies/Ceremonies-and-Traditions/Wreath-Layings

EDITOR’S NOTE: The operative words are POTUS “or his designee” – which was VP Dick Cheney in 2005 and 2008, VP Joe Biden in 2010 and 2014, VP Mike Pence last year, and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs this year. But if you’re so hung up on this stuff, POTUS Reagan was only 4 for 8 on Memorial Day, while POTUS Bush ’41 was 0 for 4, POTUS Obama missed 2010, and POTUS Trump is 2 for 2.

Of course it does not have to be. He does not have to show up for anything if he does not want to. The point it should be! If we are ever going to live up to what you have asked for in your post the President should lead the way and being at a ceremony like this is a very simple way to lead.

My god are you actually going to defend the idea that the president could not take an hour or his day to lead a ceremony for our veterans. By the way, there are also sources that say the vice president can do memorial day so he can blow that off if he would like.

EDITOR’S NOTE: See previous Editor’s Note re the various presidents MIA on Veterans Day AND Memorial Day.

We care less about where the POTUS spends Veterans Day than what he does for veterans. The VA was scandal-plagued during all 8 years of Obama’s presidency, all 8 years of Bush 43’s presidency, all 8 years of Clinton’s presidency, etc. https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-va-continues-a-centuries-long-history-of-scandal-1530052942

As best as we can tell, the Current Occupant isn’t doing any worse, and may be doing better – irrespective of where he spends Veterans Day.

Just to be clear, and you don’t need to reply. The President was by all accounts 15 minutes away from this ceremony at the time it was taking place and did not think it was important enough to be there and you are perfectly fine with that.

EDITOR’S NOTE: By all accounts we’ve seen or read, Trump was either still in Europe or flying back – not “15 minutes away” – when the Veterans Day wreath laying occurred at Arlington on Veterans Day, Sunday, Nov. 11.

“I should have done that, I was extremely busy on calls for the country, we did a lot of calling as you know,” Trump replied. “I could have done that, as you know I just left the day before the American Cemetery and I probably think, and that was one where it was raining as hard as you can imagine and I made a speech at the American Cemetery the day before and I probably, you know, in retrospect I should have and I did last year and I will virtually every year.
“But we had come in very late at night and I had just left, literally, the American Cemetery in Paris and I really probably assumed that was fine and I was extremely busy because of affairs of state — doing other things.”
He came in very later at night…..busy on calls for the country…..had visited cemetery in Paris….assumed that was fine…..affairs of state.

I hope you stretch before you continue to try and justify or pass this off. You may pull a muscle!

EDITOR’S NOTE: The ceremony at Arlington was held on November 11, while Trump was still in France and well before he arrived back in the States – which explains the darkness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6KoQH2qqVE

“Though he’s not the first president to get the same treatment (President Barack Obama, back in 2010, came under fire for not attending Arlington’s Memorial Day celebration that year)….” https://www.elitedaily.com/p/donald-trump-didnt-go-to-arlington-cemetery-for-veterans-day-people-arent-happy-13129262:

POTUS has since stated that he probably should have gone to Arlington on Nov. 12. If he had asked this editor, I would have told him to go. But he’s still got two more years to prove, or not, that he’s ready, willing and able to do more for living veterans – re the VA, medical, jobs, etc. – than the crap-ass (legal term), scandal-plagued jobs done by his last two (or more) predecessors.



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