During campaign season political hopefuls offer big promises to help out veterans, but they often fall short when it comes to following through.
Wile most politicians are quick to say that they support our troops, the veteran community still battles with unemployment, a high suicide rate, and insufficient health care from the VA. The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America has released a list of concerns, but vets are still waiting on elected officials to take action.
Linkin Park — the Agoura Hills, California, band known for its edgy blend of rap, rock and metal, and dynamic collaborations with artists from Jay-Z to Steve Aoki — recently teamed with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America to draw attention to the problem of suicide among troops and veterans.
Any sensible candidates on the campaign trail this fall will say they support veterans. Officials at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America want voters to doublecheck that pledge.
On Monday, the advocacy group released its 2014 voters guide, offering a checklist of six issues for veterans and military supporters for use in quizzing their congressional hopefuls: suicide prevention, the veterans claims backlog, female veterans support, burn-pit illnesses, veterans education benefits and post-military employment opportunities.
Aiming to make veterans issues campaign issues, the largest advocacy group for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans has released a voter guide for the upcoming midterm elections.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America is not endorsing candidates but is encouraging members to ask candidates where they stand on six key issues, with suicide prevention the group’s top legislative priority.
Here are the issues on IAVA’s veteran voter checklist:
Combating veteran suicide, including support for the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act.
Gov. Cuomo came away from his surprise trip to Afghanistan with a bold statement about terrorism:
“You want to say New York is one of the top targets? Then I’m telling you that we’re going to be the most prepared,” Cuomo declared in a conference call with reporters.
“We are going to design the most sophisticated homeland security system ever designed,” he said. “If we’re saying the terrorists are becoming more sophisticated, well, we’ll become more sophisticated and we’ll stay one step ahead.”
US military veterans watched in dread this summer as insurgents swept across Iraq and as the country the United States fought to liberate descended into chaos. They recoiled at the beheadings of hostages and mass killings at the hand of the Islamic State.
But as the United States extended its airstrikes against the radical group into Syria this week, a new phase of what military leaders said would be a lengthy campaign, many military personnel who fought in Iraq said they feel deeply conflicted over the latest intervention.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is changing the way veterans file disability claims, in the hopes of speeding up the process.
The new system, which introduces standardized electronic forms for veterans to fill out, is aimed at streamlining a chaotic process that had led to delays in handling claims and appeals. In the past veterans could file claims and appeals on any piece of paper, which often caused delays because of missing information, according to a VA news release.
President Obama’s social media team has touched off a cascade of criticism among service members and civilians alike over a video posted to the White House’s Instagram account that showed him saluting a pair of Marines with a cup in his hand. For veterans of a military that prides itself on discipline and strict adherence to protocol, it was careless at best and disrespectful at worst.
Coming at a time of trouble in veterans care and the start of new military operations in the Middle East, the video handed fuel to critics.