Letter: Veterans should not be campaign tools

Posted

To the Editor:

It really hits home for me when politicians use and manipulate veterans. Though I was never in the military because of progressive sight loss, my father was a combat veteran in Europe 75 years ago. He came home with a Bronze Star, but as many of you know from personal experience, the man who came home from war wasn't the same man who went to war. So disrespecting our veterans really ticks me off. It should tick you off, too!

Two examples of disrespect were recently in the news. An AP fact check article titled "Trump Takes Credit for Obama's Gains for Vets," reports that Trump is taking full credit for health care improvements that were underway before he took office. Trump said he passed the Veterans Choice program after failed attempts by past presidents for the last "45 years." That's not true! That program, which allows veterans to see doctors outside the government-run VA system at taxpayer expense, was first passed in 2014 under President Barack Obama. All politicians stretch the truth to some degree, but President Trump's claim goes beyond that. It is totally and blatantly contrary to provable facts.

Then I saw this in a Scott Davis article in the Washington Examiner: "Trump administration breaks campaign promise, purges 200,000 VA healthcare applications." In his campaign, Trump said that he would clean things up because over 300,000 veterans had died waiting for their applications to be processed. Simply deleting 200,000 applications sure didn't help, especially since the evidence indicates that any defects in the applications were the fault of the VA, not the applicants. I guess the president could claim he shortened or eliminated waiting lists if he doesn't care at all about vets or honesty.

When he blatantly lies about helping vets, and even takes actions that hurt them, is he pandering for votes? Add in his own avoidance of military service on grounds that are, shall we say, dubious, and I just don't understand how vets, current members of the military, or anyone who truly supports them, can support him.

Charlie Murphy,

Bennington

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