Thursday, November 10, 2005

Veterans' Day Cold Shoulder

Why am I not surprised? (via ThinkProgress)

On Tuesday -- three days before Veterans Day -- House Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Steve Buyer (R-IN) announced that for the first time in at least 55 years, "veterans service organizations will no longer have the opportunity to present testimony before a joint hearing of the House and Senate Veterans' Affairs Committees."

As you can imagine, there is extreme outrage being raised from the various groups of veterans. Here is a snippet from the press release of the Disabled American Veterans group.

For several decades now, these joint hearings have been held each year to allow the elected leaders of veterans groups to discuss their organization's legislative agenda and foremost concerns with the lawmakers who have jurisdiction over federal veterans programs. Senators and Representatives who serve on those committees also get the rare opportunity to address the hundreds of constituent members from these organizations' who make the annual pilgrimage to Capitol Hill.

"The right to fully participate in the democratic process is a cornerstone of our nation," said Commander Jackson. "Eliminating these joint hearings is an insult to the men and women who have fought, sacrificed and died to protect our Constitutional rights, including the right to petition the government."

This important dialog between veterans and their elected representatives is crucial to the democratic process and a unique opportunity for the men and women who've put their lives on the line for America. Many of the veterans who take part in the hearings view it as their patriotic duty, as well as a fundamental right.

Can someone explain to me how the Republicans are the party that supports the troops? (beyond their role as cannon fodder)

This is a slap in the face to anyone who has worn a military uniform. I spoke to one of my best friends who enlisted in the Army last year and he was outraged. He's preparing for his second tour in Iraq and is disgusted at the level of disconnect between the civilian leadership and the "boots on the ground".

Here is the contact information for Rep. Steve Buyer (R-IN) who is the Chairmen of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee:

Washington, DC
2230 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-5037

Monticello, IN
100 S. Main Street
Monticello, IN 47960
(574) 583-9819

Plainfield, IN
148 N. Perry Road
Plainfield, IN 46168
(317) 838-0404

Bedford, IN
1801 "I" Street
Bedford, IN 47421
(812) 277-9590

I hope you join me in expressing displeasure at the middle-finger treatment given to our veterans. They deserve the opportunity to raise concerns before their elected officials. Regardless of how fucked up Iraq has become, the politicians on Capitol Hill need to remove their ear filters and hear the truth of the damage their policies are inflicting on our military.

Crossposted at Booman Tribune

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