Thanking a veteran is easy. Tackling problems that face veterans is hard.
At no time is that political reality more apparent than on the 11th day of the 11th month.
The usual expressions of respect and gratitude can be found in the latest batch of Veterans Day tweets by Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst and Representatives Rod Blum (R, IA-01), Dave Loebsack (D, IA-02), David Young (R, IA-03), and Steve King (R, IA-04).
After the jump I’ve posted some concrete ways members of Congress could show they care about veterans. This is an open thread: all topics welcome.
DO: Insist on adequate funding for Medicaid, through which an estimated 1.75 million veterans nationwide receive their health care (many don’t qualify for or can’t access services through the Veterans Affairs Department).
DO: Support more funding for substance abuse treatment programs. As Barbara Goldberg reported this week for Reuters, “Opioid drug abuse has killed more Americans than the Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam wars combined.”
As a veteran I dont care about "thank you's"
I care about Vets who are struggling with substance abuse.
I care about Vets stuggling with mental health issues.
I care about Vets living on the streets.
Stop saying thank you, and help solve the problems.
— Darren Pfeifer (@Darren__Pfeifer) November 11, 2017
DO: Spread the word about resources that can help veterans with PTSD and/or suicidal thoughts. It’s a national disgrace that an estimated 20 veterans take their own lives every day.
Veterans in crisis/having thoughts of suicide or those who know a Veteran in crisis, can call the Veterans Crisis Line for confidential support 24h/day, 7 days/week, 365/year. Call 800-273-8255 and press 1, chat online at https://t.co/apXXpy2YAU, or text to 838255. #VeteransDay
— Amir (@AmirAminiMD) November 10, 2017
DO: Support adequate funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as food stamps). According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “Almost 1.5 million veterans live in households that participate in SNAP.”
— Center on Budget (@CenterOnBudget) November 11, 2017
DON’T: Pass a tax plan that ends the Work Opportunity Tax Credit or eliminates the break for out-of-pocket medical expenses or reduces other deductions and credits used by many veterans.
The GOP's tax plan will cut deductions these veterans rely on pic.twitter.com/RKwomNTD8B
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) November 11, 2017
DON’T: Prevent transgender Americans like Iowan Jack Schuler (a Marine Corps veteran who serves in the U.S. Army Reserve) from serving their country or accessing essential health care.
As we observe Veterans Day, we want to spotlight the brave transgender Iowans who serve our country. https://t.co/ILVK1ybVck
— One Iowa (@OneIowa) November 10, 2017
DON’T: Support policies that allow veterans to be deported for minor offenses.
— Gabe Ortíz (@TUSK81) November 10, 2017
DON’T: Use veterans to lobby for changing a law designed to help 9/11 families and survivors, especially without telling them the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is footing the bill.
NEW: Flyer filed at DOJ included required disclosure of Saudi role–version presented to veterans didn't https://t.co/nlBnaX2IzB
— 28Pages.org (@28Pages) September 26, 2017
Under-reported aspect of Schmett controversy: USAF vet accuses Connie of tricking him into working for Saudis: https://t.co/TF0u0r7cbh
— 28Pages.org (@28Pages) November 7, 2017
DON’T: Pretend to support veterans by mischaracterizing acts of political protest against institutional racism.
Iowa Gov. Reynolds: NFL protests 'so disrespectful' to veterans; “I was raised to pay respect to the flag" she said https://t.co/IiOvqhljWP
— Des Moines Register (@DMRegister) September 25, 2017