America Can Do Better by Its Veterans

Telegraph - Herald (Dubuque), November 10, 2017 | Go to article overview

America Can Do Better by Its Veterans


where we stand The United States can -- and must -- do better for its military veterans.

The United States officially observes Veterans Day today. Actually, it should be observed tomorrow, Nov. 11, to coincide with the date of the armistice ending the Great War 99 years ago. But America has come to believe that it's not a genuine holiday unless it features a day off on a

weekday

. (Next year, the federal government's observance, one of the 10 paid holidays granted its employees, falls on the Monday after the actual date.)

Anyway, whenever you observe it, Veterans Day presents an opportunity to thank our veterans, living and deceased. To honor the departed, there are visits to cemeteries and memorials, heads bowed in prayer and 21-gun salutes. For the living, besides the ceremonies and messages of thanks, veterans are eligible for retailer discounts and free meals.

More important than a breakfast or car wash on the house, however, Veterans Day is also an occasion to take time to take stock and ask ourselves how this grateful nation treats the men and women who served in uniform.

The answer: Not nearly well enough.

Even after the cover was blown over the fraud and misrepresentation concerning wait times for health care at Veterans Administration facilities a few years ago, backlogs are actually growing.

The demand for health care, including mental health treatment for veterans of combat, is expected to keep growing. (Still being at war for going on two decades is the reason. …

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