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Veterans deserve more than lip service

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Dear Editor:

Truly responsible individuals (most actually consider themselves as such) who incur obligations should be not only willing, but should feel themselves obligated to face up to them. That is true of everything, even that which they incurred to those who served in the military. And, in doing so, they should not be deceived into believing that in doing so that they are in any way "charitable" or engaging in charity work.

Today we see campaigns to help veterans in need, especially the wounded and/or disabled. Two of those are the Wounded Warrior Project and the other for Disabled American Veterans. While those operating those organizations, as well as those who donate to them with "only $19 a month or 63 cents a day," while well intended, they are allowing others to shift their own obligations and responsibilities onto the backs of others. That these veterans are in need of assistance (in particular the disabled ones) is not in question. However, that is everyone's responsibility, and not just those who can or want to donate. Neither is doing so at all charitable.

Some of us like to compare issues and, in this case, we look at members of the House of Representatives, now under a so-called "Freedom Caucus." Their calendar is set up such that they will be "in session" slightly over 100 days. (Being in session, by the way, does not mean that they even have to show up -- which many don't). Some of us would ask the following: "What are they doing during the remaining 265 days?" Should they not be present, and actually working at their job and meeting their obligations and responsibilities to the people, many of those veterans. Oh, those politicians will show up at every event which presents them with an opportunity to "thank" veterans; i.e. "How patriotic and wonderful you were and thank you, thank you!" Those are just words and their own actions belie their words. They will go back to Washington and do everything they possibly can to cut the Veterans Administration's budget, or condemn the entire organization for its failings, then use that to cut the budget even further.

One of the complaints we frequently hear from veterans (among others) is that others don't listen. In that conclusion I concur. There is also no problem with "helping others out," in this case veterans. However, those truly concerned about veterans (and veterans themselves) should not restrict themselves to raising funds to "help out" but get in the face of those politicians who, while they give lip service to veterans and their service, will do everything they can to avoid doing what needs doing -- most of it by them. If there is an example of "empty words," what these so-called "conservatives" preach, then looking at what they actually do, this is one of them.

Robert I Laitres

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