Crossposted at DailyKos
After reading a very touching diary by Vetwife
, I asked, what little have I done for our veterans? And the answer was in short not very much, sadly but there is something I have done that I am proud of and that is voting for a President that have made supporting veterans his key priority by giving them the kind of respect they deserve. In his 2009 speech, he said:
We also owe our veterans the care they were promised and the benefits that they have earned. We have a sacred trust with those who wear the uniform of the United States of America. It's a commitment that begins at enlistment, and it must never end. But we know that for too long, we've fallen short of meeting that commitment. Too many wounded warriors go without the care that they need. Too many veterans don't receive the support that they've earned. Too many who once wore our nation's uniform now sleep in our nation's streets.
So what has my President really done for our veterans to date?
1) A $112.8 billion VA budget
, an increase of 15.5 percent over 2009, the largest percentage increase for VA requested by a president in more than 30 years.
VA’s budget request contains four major categories of activities. These activities include: creating a reliable management infrastructure, delivering ongoing services, making progress on Departmental priorities, and instituting new initiatives critical to meeting the needs of Veterans now and in the future.
Nearly two-thirds of the increase ($9.6 billion) would go to mandatory programs (up 20 percent); the remaining third ($5.6 billion) would be discretionary funding (up 11 percent). The total budget would be almost evenly split between mandatory funding ($56.9 billion) and discretionary funding ($55.9 billion).
VA's new budget request provides for an estimated 122,000 more patients to be treated over the current year. Many of these patients will have multiple visits in the course of the year. VA expects to end fiscal year 2010 with nearly 6.1 million individual patients having received care, including 419,000 Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan war zones who separated from service.
2) Implemented a strategic plan
to increase the hiring of Veterans and Military spouses
throughout the Federal civil service.
3) Provided for the expenses of families
of to be at Dover AFB when fallen soldiers arrive.
4) Passed the Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2009
increasing the rates of compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for the survivors of certain disabled veterans.
5) Declared the end of the war in Iraqi bringing back nearly 100,000 U.S. troops home to their families
6) Donated 250K of Nobel prize money to Fisher House
, a group that helps provide housing for families of patients receiving medical care at military and Veterans Affairs medical centers
7) Ended media blackout on war casualties
; giving access to the return home of a dead US soldier for the first time since an 18-year ban on coverage was lifted.
8) Create a 'Green Vet Initiative
' to promote environmental jobs for veterans
9) Signed into law the 2009 Military Spouses Residency Relief Act
, that will allow military spouses to claim residency in the same state as their sponsor and retain that residency as long as the service member is in the military, in the process avoiding the states where they currently reside from taxing their earned income.
10) Signed the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010
• The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act added another $1.4 billion to the VA budget, to be used toward improving services, including grant money to states to build extended care facilities for vets, and the hiring of 1,500 new claims processors to speed up delivery of benefits.
• The Joint Virtual Lifetime Electronic Initiative mandates that the DOD and VA work together to build a coordinated computer system that will provide accessible patient information from the day an individual enters military service throughout the rest of his/her life. This will remedy one of veterans' main complaints about the VA.
• In a related issue, the Obama administration is pushing for a measure that would let Congress approve VA money a year in advance, thus avoiding the delays for budget reasons that have plagued the agency.
• Just two weeks ago, the VA and DOD held a joint Mental Health Summit in Washington, designed to "harness the programs, resources and expertise of both departments to deal with the aftermath of the battlefield." The initiative will include removing the stigma many soldiers feel about admitting to PTSD symptoms, and, finally, treating PTSD and traumatic brain injuries more fully, rather than how it's been dealt with in the past, as something to be merely contained enough to keep it from causing major social (or political) problems.
• With more than 100,000 veterans going homeless on any given night, Obama proposes pilot programs with non-profits to specifically target vets' homelessness and its related problems. A more concrete plan is expected within a few months.
Sourced from here
Thank you President Obama for keeping your promises to making veterans life's better and continue on following through on the promises you have made to veterans.
The above accomplishments are great but we still have many veterans who are disabled, struggling, in desperate need of help to get their ends met and many are in the streets, homeless
, or in shelters every single day.
So, what can you do today to show your appreciation to our veteran?
ACTION **** ACTION **** ACTION **** ACTION **** ACTION
I encourage you to support our heroes today by joining the National Veterans Foundation (NVF) and making a commitment to contribute a monthly donation of what you can afford.
We need to support our troops not only when they are in the battle field but also when they return home. I have made a commitment to contribute a $10 monthly recurring contribution to NVF. What can you do?