I got a phone call last night from a friend who was concerned over a story she had read in the West Central Tribune. The story talked about how Representative Steve Buyer, R-IND and chair of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, was looking at a complete overhaul of the VA rating system and distribution of benefits.
Congressman Buyer stated in an interview, "While some veterans' organizations like to create a theme, that 'A veteran is a veteran [and] there is no difference,' I disagree."
So Congressman Buyer wants to create a hierarchy for Veterans. Many Veterans already go wihtout. The Congressman wants to take more of these benefits away, and it is disgusting.
One of the ways they serve to do this is by changing the definition of "service connected injury" and once again, changing the percentages which a Veteran is considered diabled. They also suggest paying a lump sum payment upon completion of service, if a Veteran will excuse the VA of any future claims.
Buyer also argues that a service related injury should have to be combat related!
For many diabled Veterans, a lump sum payment is very attractive, but with the high cost of health care, it could leave them in a precarious position.
What have we come to as a nation? We ask these families to give up many freedoms and liberties. We ask them to serve for long periods of time in foregin nations, getting shot at, exposed to dangerous conditions, and cut their benefits while they deploy?
In 1789 President George Washington stated, "The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional as to how they perceive veterans of earlier wars and how they were treated and appreciated by this country."
It's a travesty that Veterans benefits are even on the table for discussion. I have already sent emails to all my elected officials...