Guns and Gear

Guns & Politics: Hillary Clinton’s Record With Military Veterans

Susan Smith Columnist
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While Hillary Clinton is seen agonizing over the fate of Syrian refugees, illegal aliens from Central America, misunderstood transgenders, victims of sexual assault, well, some of them, anyway, and Black Lives Matters’ advocates, among others, (although the case must be made at this point that the only thing that really makes Hillary Clinton agonize is the thought of losing power), a group of the utmost significance seems to be missing here.

And that is American veterans, those who have fought, been wounded and then left behind in the service of the United States of America, the nation that Hillary purports to lead.

It is difficult to pinpoint Hillary on policy positions vis-a-vis veterans’ policy, or any others, actually, because, well, she doesn’t really have any.  She does have a bit of a record though, and in terms of the veterans of the United States of America, take a look at what the woman fighting to be President has demonstrated  thus far in her view of America’s veterans:

*in March, 2003, she voted against a budget resolution calling for “$13 billion for veterans to receive concurrent disability and retirement benefits;”

*in May, 2006, she voted against an amendment that would have added $20 million for veterans’ health care facilities, which was “ meant to offset additional spending by striking $20 million in the underlying bill for Americorps;”

*then in 2007, she was one of 14 senators out of 100 who voted against a 2007 supplemental appropriations bill that contained $1.8 billion for veterans’ health care; this funding would have assisted with mental health, benefit claims, and the backlog maintaining VA facilities, and included an additional $2 billion for military health care at Walter Reed and other hospitals, including Traumatic Stress Disorder/Counseling and the Traumatic Brain Injury care and research;

*then in 2016, she downplayed a VA scandal that involved 30% of veterans dying as they waited for health care.

There was a subsequent report entitled by the current Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida, entitled “Commission on Care,” which provided a detailed outline on how veterans are currently ill served by their government and what can be done to correct this.

Rep. Miller has said about this report and its potential future caretakers: “If Trump wins, I think you could see the Commission on Care report as a road map for VA reform.  I think if Hillary Clinton is elected president, it’s going to sit on the shelf and gather dust.”

At one point, even turncoat veteran and Republican Senator John McCain said that Socialist Bernie Sanders had a “better track record when it comes to caring for veterans than does Hillary Clinton.”

He said: “To my knowledge, I know of no activity, legislative or otherwise, that Hillary Clinton was engaged in during her time as a United States Senator.”

The most prevalent group representing the approximately 21.3 million veterans in America (nearly 70% of whom voted in the last Presidential election), the VFW came out recently with a  list of  the seven topics mattering the most to American veterans; topics to which the next President must pay the requisite attention, and they include: the budget for veterans in the government; health care for veterans; the importance of family in veterans’ lives; employment for veterans; and something the VFW referred to as “empowerment and legacy.”  What were Hillary Clinton’s positions on these issues?

Easy – more taxpayer money to assist veterans on each and every one of these issues.

That’s laudable, the only question here is, would she actually do it?  And where would she get the promised billions?  The answers are unequivocally no to the first, and were she even to try (which, after taking a look at her record vis a vis veterans, she will most certainly not), re: the second, the answer would be that it would come from overtaxing middle income Americans, where one would find most American veterans!

Thus far in her blighted career, she has not only lied about all she’s done for veterans, as she often says she worked with others as a senator to “do good deeds for veterans,” but she actually never sponsored or been responsible for the passage of any veteran-friendly legislation.

But according to many American veterans, not only has Clinton done nothing to help vets, she’s “done more to get them killed than anything else.”

Does the name Benghazi ring a bell?  Benghazi, where, on her watch, four Americans died in an attempt to save U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, whom Clinton (and President Obama) also left to die after ignoring his pleas for more embassy security in the wake of rising tensions in the region.

Six hundred pleas for better security, in fact.

Two of the dead vets were former Navy SEALs – Glen Doherty and Ty Woods; a third, Sean Smith, an information management officer with the U.S. Foreign Service, served a six-year stint in the U.S. Air Force.

The three o’clock phone call went unanswered by this protector of America’s military and its veterans. She had more important things to do.

By a gargantuan percentage of 70%, American veterans favor Hillary Clinton’s opponent as president to her.  And as with most Americans, they don’t believe her despite of her constant protestations of her devotion to veterans of the U.S. military.

One can say that following the myriad scandals of the past near decade with the government agency responsible for keeping the nation’s promises to its veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the complete lack of effort on the part of the current Administration to take care of this phenomenal disgrace, that America’s veterans should be a bit cynical.

But with Hillary Clinton, in more ways than can be counted, and most especially with our nations’ precious veterans, that cynicism, and more, is completely justified.

Susan Smith brings an international perspective to her writing by having lived primarily in western Europe, mainly in Paris, France, and the U.S., primarily in Washington, D.C. She authored a weekly column for Human Events on politics with historical aspects.. She also served as the Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Children, Family, Drugs and Alcoholism, and Special Assistant to the first Ambassador of Afghanistan following the initial fall of the Taliban. Ms. Smith is a graduate of Wheeling Jesuit University and Georgetown University, as well as the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris, France, where she obtained her French language certification. Ms. Smith now makes her home in McLean, Va.