Our troops have paid a terrific price in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition to those killed and wounded, many face post traumatic stress syndrome, traumatic brain injury and suicide. Veterans endure more than 10 percent unemployment. Politicians always talk about supporting the troops. But just before the Senate adjourned, Republicans, on a nearly straight party-line vote, defeated a veterans’ jobs bill. Sen. Tom Coburn’s comment that cutting the national debt is the best way to help veterans in the long term is an affront to common sense: “We ought to do nothing now that makes the problem worse for our kids and grandkids.”
Worrying about the future is important, but our veterans need to be taken care of now. If they aren’t, many may never have children. The jobs bill to provide work for veterans with the National Park Service, America Corps and other agencies benefits America and costs much less than the money we waste in Afghanistan and at the Pentagon every month. The Senate vote is disgraceful and an insult to veterans.
Gene Jones, president, Florida Veterans for Common Sense, Sarasota