Why is it so hard to focus on the real issues that this state faces? Kevin Rennie writes a good story about how Linda McMahon waylaid Rob Simmons on her path to the Republican nomination and then just can’t help himself by going back to the Blumenthal story:
Everyone thought they knew the ubiquitous Blumenthal, but they discovered last week that they did not. That, too, happened with a push from McMahon. Her research team found evidence of Blumenthal’s serial embellishments of his military record and kindly tipped off The New York Times that he had claimed at times to have served in Vietnam. He did not. He was in the Marine Corps Reserves, stationed inWashington, D.C., and New Haven.
Really who can show that Blumenthal embellished his service record? Apparently, after a week, no one. The Daily Howler digs into the main stream media’s inability to deliver facts instead of the New York Times version of Chris Shay’s recollections of what Blumenthal has said. The Stamford Advocate turns up another speech in which Blumenthal was speaking about returning vets, again in 2008, and said, “I wore the uniform in Vietnam and many came back to all kinds of disrespect. Whatever we think of war, we owe the men and women of the armed forces our unconditional support.”
Let’s just keep ignoring the subject of all these speeches. Blumenthal has been talking about supporting veterans. He cites may instances when we, as in the government and we, as in the people, have failed to treat the people who serve in the military well. It’s not just a vietnam era thing, look at how we treat disabled vets now.
The Joints Chief of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen:
In his April 26th address to The Council on Foundations, Adm. Mullen said veterans returning home today need help with education, training, medical care, substance abuse and mental health, saying community non-profits groups are the answer to meeting veterans needs. ”I am not arguing in any way, shape or form that this should be the purview of our government because what I would like to see happen is community outreach to [servicemembers] and the government just be out of it,” Mullen said.
Disabled American Veterans disagree:
“It is the exclusive responsibility of the federal government because it creates disabled veterans,” said DAV Washington Headquarters Executive Director David W. Gorman. ”It is the government’s solemn duty to care for and treat all veterans who are wounded and disabled in America’s wars. It is unfathomable that Adm. Mullen would suggest such a plan, asking charities to provide the care now given so compassionately by the VA.”
“The VA has been providing care for disabled veterans for more than 80 years and today offers the finest medical care in our nation,” Gorman said. ”The VA doesn’t dismiss veterans who need care. It cares for veterans the rest of their lives. It makes one wonder if Adm. Mullen believes it is best to return to the days when disabled veterans sold pencils on street corners and relied on the support of charitable organizations.”
“Ignoring the professional care of the VA and the responsibility of the federal government to honor the promise to care for disabled veterans shows a great lack of understanding about the needs of our newest generation of veterans,” Gorman said. ”Our veterans have a place to turn, and that’s the VA. Veterans service organizations like the DAV lend its support to veterans, but no philanthropic organization, nor all of them united, could undertake the health care services of the VA, which are budgeted at almost $50 billion in fiscal year 2010.”
But why talk about the real veteran’s issues here when we can blithely prater on about what politicians have to say about their opponents.
From the DOD.
Community non-profit groups are the answer to meeting veterans’ needs after they’ve left the federal system, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told The Council on Foundations, a membership organization that supports the management of grant makers, during a visit to troops on Buckley Air Force Base in Colorado.
Reminders of the need to do more for veterans, Mullen said, are visible from his home here.
“Outside my window at night, I can look out on the streets of Washington and see my peers from Vietnam who are homeless and who are sleeping on the streets at night,” Mullen said. “We did not do a good job of addressing the problems of those veterans from Vietnam.”
Community organizations are in the best position to identify veterans in need and to use agility and innovation to help them, Mullen said.
Mullen said he is happy that the American public supports today’s war veterans in ways they didn’t during Vietnam.
Calling today’s veterans “an American treasure,” the admiral said they go off to war without questioning the decision, yet “come back as changed people.” And, their families, he said, also are “changed in ways they could not have imagined.” Military leaders are just beginning to understand today’s veterans’ common-signature injuries, such as post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injuries, and amputations, he said.
“Yet to these families, their dreams haven’t changed one bit,” Mullen said. “They want to raise their families, they want to go to school; they want to own a piece of the rock.”
More than a million veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have returned to communities across America, and they need help with education, training, medical care, substance abuse and mental health, the admiral said.