Some feel that those who did not support the invasion and occupation of Iraq do not support the troops. It is my conviction that supporting the troops is more than just supporting a war.
There are millions of Americans who do not support this or that war, but certainly respect, honor, love, and, yes, support the troops—not just through bumper stickers or yellow ribbons, but through concrete acts of charity, volunteerism and support for legislation beneficial to our troops and veterans.
Some may still disagree, which is fine. However, what I find totally unacceptable is how some politicians, Democrats and Republicans alike, who claim to support the troops, use the troops, or legislation benefitting the troops, as a political football to achieve their political objectives or to make a political statement.
The most recent example is the obstruction by Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma of urgently needed legislation intended to help wounded veterans and their families.
The legislation that “consolidates more than a dozen improvements in veterans’ health care — most notably a new assistance program for family members who wind up providing lifelong home nursing to severely disabled veterans” and which also “expands benefits for women veterans who suffered sexual trauma on duty, extends veterans’ care in rural areas, tightens quality control at V.A. hospitals, and ensures that catastrophically disabled veterans will not be charged for emergency services in community hospitals,” is now stalled on the floor of the Senate thanks to Senator Coburn.
According to the New York Times:
The omnibus legislation drew unanimous committee approval. But Senator Coburn objected to quick floor passage, demanding that the five-year, $3.7 billion cost be offset with immediate budget cuts. The senator’s argument rings hollow in the face of veterans’ suffering and the world of deficit budgeting brought on by his party’s tax cuts and zealous war investments.
Now he is demanding balanced books for wounded vets? Sheer embarrassment should drive the senator into retreat as he trifles with veterans’ needs and burnishes his petty role as Dr. No.
Some may say that the end justifies the means, that such “procedural tactics” to balance the budget, to neuter “misguided spending” are justified.
However, when our troops are used as the “means,” I strongly disagree.
Some will say that such deplorable tactics have been used by Democrats, too. Probably so. However, that doesn’t make it right and, yes, those Democrats are shameless, too.
The author is a retired U.S. Air Force officer and a writer.