Veterans Response to John McCain’s Speaking for Veterans during the 1st Presidential Debate
Open Letter to Senator John McCain
by Jere Beery
Senator McCain, I watched the 1st Presidential debate with great interest. One particular comment made by you caught my attention. You stated “the veterans know you will take care of them’ if you are elected President. I’m one of the veterans you were apparently speaking of/for, and I take issue with your assumption. Your voting record in the Senate on veteran’s issues has been nothing less than deplorable. Most recently, you opposed the new GI Bill on the basis it was too generous. Your record speaks for itself. Why should the veterans believe you now?
As I said, I am one of the veterans you were addressing. I am the recipient of 1 Bronze Star and 3 Purple Hearts for service in Vietnam. I have been a veteran’s advocate for over 25 years now and I am more than qualified to criticize you and your comment. I have personally been fighting for increased funding for veterans’ healthcare for three decades. I am currently involved in the nationwide movement for full mandatory funding of the VA healthcare system.
To date, our resolution for full funding has been adopted by several Presidential candidates, to include; Senator Barack Obama, Senator Hilary Clinton, Senator John Edwards, and Governor Bill Richardson. You have been approached on several occasions by members of our organization for your endorsement of the full funding concept, just to be snubbed. You have been quoted to say that you do not support fully funding veteran’s healthcare, so much for the idea that you will take care of our veterans.
Senator McCain, the simple truth is; I don’t believe you, and I’m certain that many of our veterans don’t believe you either. Pandering to the veteran community at this late date is only going to backfire on you. The veterans aren’t as dumb as you apparently think they are.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jere Beery is the Public Relations Director of Operation Firing For Effect, a veterans group. He can be reached by email at [email protected]. Operation Fire for Effect Web Site is at www.offe2008.org