McCain Snubs Fellow Veterans in RNC Acceptance Speech
by Jere Beery
If you are a disabled veteran and were expecting Senator John McCain to address issues of importance to you and your family in his acceptance speech, you were probably very disappointed. Senator John McCain managed to deliver his 55 minute speech without using the word ‘veteran’. In fact, the word ‘veteran’ was not uttered by any Republican during the entire 5 day Republican National Convention.
You might think someone with the extensive military background that Senator McCain has would take the primetime opportunity to reaffirm his commitment to insure his fellow veterans receive quality and accessible healthcare. Evidently, the Senator is not concerned with the problems facing this country’s disabled veterans. At no time did Senator McCain assure our retired military families that he would do everything he could to keep TriCare co-payment and deductible increases low. Senator McCain never referred to the backlog of 600,000 VA disability claims, or how he would rectify that situation. Although Senator McCain chose a woman as his running mate, he never assured our female veterans that he was aware of their special healthcare needs. He never referenced the Walter Reed scandal; much less assure that a similar situation would never happen again if he were elected. Senator McCain’s acceptance speech was short on substance and long on self-serving political rhetoric.
For those of us that have followed Senator McCain’s career over the years this is nothing new. McCain has a dismal voting record on veteran’s affairs and most recently he voted against the new GI Bill. McCain claimed the legislation was too generous.
Apparently, the Republican Party doesn’t think 120 veterans a week committing suicide is a problem worthy of mentioning. They obviously don’t think the growing number of homeless veterans is something to be concerned about either.
If you were one of the many VSO representatives who attended the convention (apparent by the number of VSO caps), you were probably insulted by McCain’s avoidance of veteran’s issues. Senator McCain made no reference to the breach of the VA which resulted in 26.5 million personal medical records being lost. There was no assurance given that this would not happen again.
During the entire RNC speaker after speaker made reference to John McCain the war hero. If one didn’t know better you would think John McCain was the only hero to come out of the military. McCain made comments about how ‘the surge’ was working and how he voted for sending more troops to Iraq, but he never made mention of the future healthcare needs of those very same troops.
It is very naive for anyone to think because Senator John McCain is a disabled veteran himself he would be sensitive to issues of importance to our former military personnel and their families. His words and voting record prove otherwise. Senator McCain does not use the VA for his healthcare needs. Nor does he use TriCare. His healthcare insurance is provided to him because he is a member of the Senate. John McCain enjoys better healthcare coverage than any veteran enrolled in the VA.
In short, Senator John McCain’s acceptance speech was very self-centered and disappointing. It is very apparent that Senator McCain is out of touch with the needs of his fellow veterans. In sharp contrast, fully funding veteran’s healthcare was mentioned several times during the Democratic National Convention.
Operation Firing For Effect is a non-profit bi-partisan Veterans’ Advocacy Group devoted to the protection and improvement of benefits and services earned by our men and women in uniform. OFFE is also the leader in the nationwide grassroots movement for full mandatory funding of veteran’s healthcare and services. Four years ago, OFFE authored a resolution calling for full mandatory funding of the VA. To date, several Presidential candidates have signed the OFFE resolution to include; Bill Richardson, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards. However, Senator John McCain has refused to sign the OFFE resolution or even discuss the issue.
To view a list of supporters of full mandatory funding of veteran’s healthcare, visit; http://www.offe2008.org/public_html/resolution.htm
Aoubt Author: Jere Berry is teh Director of Public Relations for Operation Firing for Effect (OFFE). OFFE does not endorse political candidates running for office. OFFE does report on issues of importance to our former military personnel and their families and that includes ‘News’ from both sides of the aisle. OFFE will grant equal time to any candidate (regardless of political affiliation) who wishes to share and explain their position(s) on ‘Veterans’ Affairs’. OFFE reserves the right to scrutinize any/all political candidates and/or their voting record.