Veterans plan bloc vote to raise issues

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 3, 2003

Senators Shelby, Sessions and Congressman Terry Everett - all Republicans. Are you listening, because I speak for many, many military retirees and veterans in the State of Alabama. I came home from the Vietnam War in 1964 and became a member of the Republican Party because I was disgusted with President Lyndon B. Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara - both Democrats. I remained a member of the Republican Party until this year, but no longer. Nor am I a Democrat. Now my only party affiliation is with the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, Vietnam Veterans of America, United Services Disabled Retirees and the 145th Combat Aviation (Vietnam) Battalion Association.

Veterans across America will vote as a bloc in the next election for candidates who support veterans' worthy causes with action, not words. We veterans have been double crossed by the leadership of both parties for far too long. You politicians have made your bed, and now you will have to sleep in it.

We will not tolerate any Commander In Chief sending young men and women off to war and then abandoning them. Vietnam War veterans made a pledge after politicians cut and ran and left Americans in Vietnam circa 1972. "Never again will one generation of Americans abandon another." We veterans will not leave returning warriors from Iraq, Afghanistan to the mercy of politicians, the Pentagon or the shameful Department of Veterans Affairs. Nor will we allow politicians to remain in office whether city, town or hamlet who fail to honor fallen warriors.

Currently, members of Congress are stepping all over themselves after being scorched by scores of veterans on the issue of Restoration of Retired Pay which will not go away until military retirees are allowed to receive both their retirement pay and their disability benefits. We are on the offensive on two fronts - informing other veterans about this and other pertinent issues plus communicating directly with active duty military personnel about how they can expect to be dumped on by their government once they return home and are discharged due to a service connected disability.

So, as the media talking heads say: "It will be interesting." You can bet the farm that Hillary Clinton will run for President in the next election with General Wesley Clark as her running mate.

Now that the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives and The White House have let veterans and military retirees down, well, as they say: "It will be interesting."