What are Presidential Candidate's Veterans Platforms (Part Two)

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What are Presidential Candidate’s Veterans Platforms (Part Two) 

"Ask not what you can do for your candidate, ask what your canidate will do to EARN YOUR VOTE."

By Robert L. Hanafin    

In order to suppress my own personal bias and favored candidate (yes I do have one), my series of articles on each Presidential candidate comes from National Platform.com and the candidate’s campaign statements.   Major Robert L. Hanafin, U.S. Air Force-Retired

What Information is Provided:  NationalPlatforms.com was created to help Voters. We want you to have a reliable source of official information concerning the presidential candidates running in 2008. Their platforms, positions, and issues are show herein with consistent questions asked to each campaign.

How is the Information Reliable? Since NationalPlatforms.com receive all posted information directly from each listed campaign/candidate, you can trust what you read. It is not their (or my) goal to push or endorse any candidate or party. We solely want to be a trustworthy about where you can get all the political information you want for the 2008 Presidential Election.

Why Do Ads for Candidates Appear on the Pages? This is Part Two in my series on  Where Do The Presidential Candidates Stand on Veterans Issues?     

Veterans For (Fill in the Blanks) Part Two

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The Kucinich Veterans’ Platform 

 Kucinich on the IssuesVeterans for Dennis Kucinich

Kucinich Veterans’ Platform

 “The men and women who serve the United States of America in the Armed Forces deserve unyielding support and appreciation from our country. On the battlefield, they pledge to leave no soldier behind; it is our duty to uphold this pledge to them at home. Our society must again show its respect for those who work for us and protect us.

Treating our Servicemen/women, and Veterans with anything other than honor is not appropriate and must not be tolerated by any U.S. Administration. The families of those in service must no longer be ignored, their needs no longer neglected. The fact that the families of many American soldiers need food stamps to survive should shame us all. The rights and welfare of the retired and disabled must no longer be an unwanted expense, but instead a responsibility of gratitude that will be honorably satisfied.

As an Ohio Congressman, I have proven my commitment to the wellbeing of Veterans throughout my career. In the 106th Congress [1999-2001], I helped to pass the Veterans’ Millennium Health Care Act, H.R. 2116, which allowed for the expansion of Veterans’ benefits and long term health care benefits. It also eliminated the establishment of a framework for VA hospital closures that make it easier for the government to close important and necessary Veterans’ health facilities.

I support legislation that provides the necessary services to our nation’s veterans. I was a co-sponsor of H.R. 179, the "Keep Our Promise to America’s Military Retirees Act," to restore health care benefits to military retirees with more than 20 years of service. More recently, I was also a co-sponsor of legislation, H.R. 303, Concurrent Receipt to permit retired members of the Armed Forces with over 20 years of service and who have service-connected disabilities to receive compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs. [Referred to also as Repealing the Disabled Veterans Tax, too many have been left behind by previous legislation].

Something is inherently wrong with the way the current Administration is treating our Veterans. They have sent troops into battle one day, and slashed their benefits the next. The Administration has made a mockery of the treatment of our Veterans; ignoring their needs and slashing the Department of Veteran Affairs budget by 27%.

While thousands of men and women stood risking their lives in the Middle East, the Bush administration cut their combat pay by one-third. Although this reduction is built into the $87.5 billion President Bush has just received, Halliburton and Bechtel have not been asked to reduce any of their enormous profits. The members of the Guard and Reserve units in Iraq are finding out that the separation pay they have received for their families is also being reduced. This is a shameful dishonor and it must be stopped. It is time for soldiers and all Americans to receive not a minimum wage but a true living wage!

It was wrong to send our troops to Iraq and it is wrong to keep there them there. But, it is unacceptable to be slashing their benefits! Every day more of our men and women are killed and wounded, and the Administration [and supporters still] have no exit plan. For more than a year now, I have laid out [Link>>] my exit plan to this occupation,  which has turned into a quagmire. My plan to get the UN into Iraq and the U.S. out will bring our troops home quickly and increase American security.

We must spend no more money on war profiteering while Veterans lose their benefits, families live without health care, and people all over the country lose their jobs. The White House has turned its back on the very people who serve this country, investing instead in an $87 billion package that will only lead to more false promises, more money wasted, and more of our sons’ and daughters’ lives lost.

It is time for this government to show some respect for these people by providing them with the support and benefits they deserve. It is time to support our troops by bringing them home now!

While I have strongly opposed this war and call for an end to the occupation in Iraq, I am committed to treating its Veterans with the utmost respect and dignity, providing all of the benefits and support that they need to live comfortable, successful lives. Citizens who have risked their lives to serve their country deserve nothing less.

Join Veterans for Dennis Kucinich


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Romney for President National Veterans Coalition 

The Romney Surge 

     On 11/12/07, the day after Veterans Day, Governor Mitt Romney announced the Romney for President National Veterans Coalition made up of retired service members from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

     "Every American is grateful for the very extraordinary acts our veterans have
performed so that we may continue to enjoy freedom at home. I am proud that so many of these men and women have joined our effort to change Washington by organizing grassroots support for our campaign across the country," said Governor Romney.

     In Massachusetts, Governor Romney worked with members of both political parties to expand benefits for veterans and members of the National Guard. In Washington, he will do the same. Party identification does not matter when it comes to helping and supporting our nation’s veterans."  Mitt Romney

Romney for President Veterans Coalition at the Romney campaign.

Join the Surge of Support for our Troops!surgebs

The LINK above about says it all for Mitt Romney’s Veterans and Military Families Campaign Platform.

 “When I was recently in Colorado Springs, I spoke with a man whose son is serving in Iraq. He said the criticism at home of the war effort was demoralizing. He made the point that as our fighting men and women are defending our liberties overseas, we as Americans need to stand by them. Afterwards, my nephew suggested there should be a "surge of support" to go along with the troop surge. I told him that I couldn’t agree more.

"Join the Surge of Support for our troops. Visit one or more these organizations and send your support to our military men and women who are making such tremendous sacrifices for the safety of all Americans.” Mitt Romney

– The Fisher House (< program is a unique private-public partnership that supports America’s military in their time of need. The program recognizes the special sacrifices of our men and women in uniform and the hardships of military service by meeting a humanitarian need beyond that normally provided by the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. [Rated 4-Stars and A+]

– Freedom Alliance (<  Mission is to advance the American heritage of freedom by honoring and encouraging military service, defending the sovereignty of the United States and promoting a strong national defense. [Rated 4-stars, Certified by the Independent Charities of America.]                                                                        

– USO Care Packages (< The United Service Organizations, Inc. (USO) is enlisting support of individuals around the world to support the troops through Operation USO Care Package. These packages are being delivered to members of the U.S. Armed Forces deployed around the world to show them they have not been forgotten and to provide a "touch of home." [Rated 3 stars and A]

– Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund (< The IMSFF is committed to the good stewardship of the monies entrusted to us by the American people to provide supplemental assistance to our Marines, Sailors, and their families as they face their road to recovery. We have consistently maintained our Program expenses at 90%, or above, all expenses. The needs continue to be great; all donations large and small help us continue to move this noble mission forward. [Certified by Independent Charities of America]

Related charities that have not been rated or evaluated by any Watchdog Organization nor yet received screening certification from Independent Charities of America

– America Supports You                                                                                           – Operation Shoebox
– Operation Thank You/So Help Me God Project
– Packages from Home: 
– A Soldier’s Wish List (ASWL) 
– Homefront America
     
[Notes: The Support Our Troop Fund Raising Organizations listed on the Romney Website IS NOT an endorsement of any candidate. The tax-exempt, non-profit status of these organizations does not allow them to endorse political candidates. The star and alphabetical fund raising management efficiency ratings’ are from Fund Raising Watchdog organizations: Charity Navigator (0 to 4 stars), the American Institute of Philanthropy Charity Watch (A-F ratings), and charity screener Independent Charities of America. Each Watchdog/Screening organizaton uses diverse criteria/methodology. Emphasis added by this article writer, Major R. Hanafin, USAF-Ret., NOT the Romney Campaign.)


veteransbtn2_winceHillary Clinton has a long history of fighting for our Veterans and will work to ensure our country fulfills its obligations to those who have served and sacrificed for the nation.

As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Hillary has championed legislation to improve the lives of our veterans and their families. She worked to provide access to TRICARE for National Guard and Reserve members. She authored the Heroes at Home Act that will begin to help service members struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. She worked with others
in the Senate to pass legislation to increase the military survivor benefit from $12,000 to $100,000.

As president, she will honor three fundamental commitments: First, every member of our armed forces will receive a fair shot at the American dream when their service is over. Second, every veteran in America will have health care. Third, every veteran will receive the benefits they have earned and the assistance they need – right from the start.

Hillary’s Veterans Platform 

     – Enact a GI Bill of Rights for the Twenty-First Century.
     – Provide Affordable and Quality Health Care for All Veterans.
     – Ensure All Veterans Receive the Benefits They Have Earned and the Assistance
       They Need — Right from the Start.
     – Extend Hiring Preferences to Veterans-friendly Contractors.
     – Expand the Helmets to Hardhats Program. This program links veterans with local 
       job opportunities in the construction and trade industries by offering apprenticeship 
       programs that teach veterans through on-the-job training supplement by 
classroom
        instruction.
     – Give Veterans Additional Opportunities to Serve with vouchers worth up to $10,000 
       available to returning veterans who want to serve in AmeriCorps and select not-for-profit organizations…that provide at least $5,000 to supplement the voucher. Hillary will make this subsidy available to as many as 20,000 veterans a year.
     – Reduce Homelessness among Veterans.
     – Expand Veterans Homeownership.

HILLARY’S VETERANS AND MILITARY FAMILIES: Speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Initiatives and Fact Sheets Supporting Veterans and Families.


Vets for Fred Thompson

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VetsforFred [in helping Fred become the next President of the United States. Sign up to become a Friend of Fred. If you’ve already done so tell your friends to sign up, host a house party, contact local newspapers and talk radio stations, make a contribution, or leave comments to weblog posts you see here.

Fred Thompson campaign on VETERANS

Note: Despite a caveat at the bottom of their website that says, “NOT AUTHORIZED OR PAID FOR BY ANY CANDIDATE, COMMITTEE OR CAMPAIGN,” Vets For Fred is endorsed, recognized, and linked to the Thompson campaign.  Regardless,  Vets4Fred 2008 ‘is’ part of the Fred Thompson for President official campaign. Criteria I use in posting impartial info on Veteran and Military Family groups or organizations rallying around a candidate are that group must be recognized officially by that candidate’s campaign. A Vet and Mil. Family group supporting a candidate must have a recognizable Veterans and Military Families Issue Platform that specifies what the candidate will do for Veterans and Military Families NOT how a support group loves their candidate. That is not an issue platform but cheer leading section. Send me a comprehensive Veteran and Military Families Platform and I will post it. Major Robert L. Hanafin, U.S. Air Force-Retired


About the Author:  Robert (Bobby) L. Hanafin, Major, U.S. Air Force-Retired, is a member of Veterans for America (VFA), Veterans for Common Sense (VCS), Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), Military Families Speak Out (MFSO), Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), and writes for Our Troops Ladder.  You can email Bob at [email protected]

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Readers are more than welcome to use the articles I've posted on Veterans Today, I've had to take a break from VT as Veterans Issues and Peace Activism Editor and staff writer due to personal medical reasons in our military family that take away too much time needed to properly express future stories or respond to readers in a timely manner. My association with VT since its founding in 2004 has been a very rewarding experience for me. Retired from both the Air Force and Civil Service. Went in the regular Army at 17 during Vietnam (1968), stayed in the Army Reserve to complete my eight year commitment in 1976. Served in Air Defense Artillery, and a Mechanized Infantry Division (4MID) at Fort Carson, Co. Used the GI Bill to go to college, worked full time at the VA, and non-scholarship Air Force 2-Year ROTC program for prior service military. Commissioned in the Air Force in 1977. Served as a Military Intelligence Officer from 1977 to 1994. Upon retirement I entered retail drugstore management training with Safeway Drugs Stores in California. Retail Sales Management was not my cup of tea, so I applied my former U.S. Civil Service status with the VA to get my foot in the door at the Justice Department, and later Department of the Navy retiring with disability from the Civil Service in 2000. I've been with Veterans Today since the site originated. I'm now on the Editorial Board. I was also on the Editorial Board of Our Troops News Ladder another progressive leaning Veterans and Military Family news clearing house. I remain married for over 45 years. I am both a Vietnam Era and Gulf War Veteran. I served on Okinawa and Fort Carson, Colorado during Vietnam and in the Office of the Air Force Inspector General at Norton AFB, CA during Desert Storm. I retired from the Air Force in 1994 having worked on the Air Staff and Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon.