VETERANS IGNORED IN THE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES
WHAT CAN WE DO TO GET THE VETERANS ON THE DEBATE AGENDA
by Jere Beery
ALL STATIONS! Many of you have contacted me asking what you could do to help. Well, there is something you can do right now that will help. Call, email, or Fax Mr. Bob Schieffer and ask him to include a question or two on full mandatory funding of veterans healthcare. YOU MUST DO THIS TODAY! DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE! I have enclosed a copy of a OFFE letter for you to sign and send to Mr. Schieffer. Please send it in immediately!
BOB SCHIEFFER – CBS NEWS
Dear Bob Schieffer — CBS News,
Who I am really doesn’t matter, as I’m not writing to you on my behalf. I am writing to you on behalf of our men and women in uniform, and the 26 million veterans currently enrolled in the VA healthcare system. I am writing to you on behalf of the 1.3 million Illinois voters that voted ‘YES’ for full mandatory funding of VA healthcare and services on their February 5th Primary election ballot. I am writing to you on behalf of every young American that joins our all volunteer military in the future. And I’m writing this letter to you on behalf of the countless mothers and fathers of these brave young Americans.
Our organization has been at the forefront of the nationwide movement for full mandatory funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare system for the past 5 years. Country music legend Willie Nelson is our national spokesperson, and fellow Grammy winner Charlie Daniels has recently joined our efforts. I invite you to visit our web site at WWW.OFFE2008.ORG for details.
Five years ago we authored a Resolution for full mandatory funding of veteran’s healthcare and services. To date, a number of prominent politicians and union leaders have signed this Resolution and endorsed our organization’s efforts, to include; Senator Barack Obama, Senator Hilary Clinton, Senator Charles Schumer, Senator John Edwards, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, and the entire New York State Senate, just to name a few. Also to date, not one question has been asked during the Presidential and Vice Presidential Debates about the future healthcare needs of our veterans. http://www.offe2008.org/public_html/resolution.htm
If we expect our young men and women to willing join our all volunteer military we must include issues of interest to them in our discussions and debates about the future of this country. A simple question or two during the upcoming debate would go a long ways towards improving the overall morale of our military personnel and their families. I am urging you to please consider one or more of the questions listed below.
Many members of Congress support full mandatory funding of the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare system. What is your position on this issue?
In 2005 the VA had a 1 Billion dollar shortfall. What guarantees can you provide that this will never happen again?
What will your administration do to insure TriCare co-payments and deductibles are kept low for our retired military personnel and their families?
According to some reports, as many as 600,000 pending disability claims are unresolved. How will your administration deal with this situation?
Suicide, divorce, and homelessness are at an all time high among our former military personnel. What is your plan to remedy these situations?
During the Bush administration the Department of Veterans Affairs lost personal information on 26.5 million veterans enrolled in the VA healthcare system. What assurances can you give the American people and our veterans that their personal information is secure and such a breach of security will never happen again?
Many disabled veterans have to travel long distances and wait months for their earned healthcare. How would you correct this shortcoming?
PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury cases are up sharply. How will your administration deal with this epidemic?
All of the major Congressionally Chartered Veterans Service Organizations state the VA healthcare system is under-funded and under-staffed. Do you plan to increase funding and staffing? If so, how?
Mr. Schieffer, these are merely suggestions. However, they all are valid and worthy of a Presidential debate. Please consider our veterans on Wednesday night when the Presidential candidates are eye to eye with each other. The veterans only have one more chance to be included in these debates and it is up to you to insure they are not ignored.
Thank you for your time,