In Washington’s current state of gridlock, one strong point of agreement, regardless of party, is that our nation’s military veterans have earned the best care we can provide.
Pete Hegseth | All Articles
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Pete Hegseth is the CEO of Concerned Veterans for America, and the former executive director of Vets for Freedom. Pete is an infantry officer in the Army National Guard, and has served tours in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Guantanamo Bay.
It’s a story we’ve seen with numbing regularity: military veterans seeking care at a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health facility are met with bureaucratic malfeasance, substandard care, and delayed treatments. As a result, they face worsening health conditions … and even death.
By now, the slow-motion train wreck that is Obamacare has been well documented, as new revelations about the law become known to the public. From antiquated technology to cost uncertainty to not keeping your doctor, the reality of government-mandated health care is smacking Americans in the face.
There is a great deal of outrage going on these days; it seems that everyone has a reason to be “mad as hell” about the government shutdown. Most of this political noise is really just posturing from political hacks trying to score cheap points. Faux outrage is a serious pet peeve of mine; as it muddles legitimate debates, raises our collective cynicism, and dulls our senses against real outrages around us. When everything is an outrage, nothing is an outrage. But sometimes something comes along that is truly worthy of our outrage, and the actions this week of this administration toward veterans and military families certainly qualifies.
Here’s a pop quiz: If (or when) the federal government shuts down over Washington’s inability to agree on spending, who will deserve the greater share of the blame? Congressional Republicans? Congressional Democrats? President Obama? What effect would a shutdown have on the 2014 midterms, or the 2016 presidential election?
“I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia,” Winston Churchill said in a 1939 radio broadcast, attempting to predict how the inscrutable Communist goliath might respond to German provocations in Eastern Europe. “It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”
It’s not hard to predict the notes President Obama will hit when he delivers his fifth State of the Union address on Tuesday. The president will call for more “investment” in pet priorities like alternative energy; he’ll insist on some form of “nation-building at home”; he’ll demand higher taxes from Americans; and so forth. You know the drill.
In October 1954, President Eisenhower issued a proclamation declaring November 11 as Veterans Day in honor of all those who had served the nation in uniform. “On that day let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom,” Eisenhower wrote in declaring the observance.
Just one week ago, North Africa and the Middle East were on fire — the U.S. Embassy in Cairo was overwhelmed and the al-Qaida flag was hoisted. In Libya, much more tragically, the U.S. ambassador was murdered in cold blood. Symbols of America everywhere, even in London, were being challenged.
What do American military veterans believe is the greatest threat to our nation’s security? If you think the answer is China, the Iranian nuclear threat, or foreign terrorist groups, guess again: Nearly three-quarters of veterans we surveyed last month cite economic weakness (42 percent) and the national debt (30 percent) as the top threats to national security.