Monday, November 06, 2006

A Uniter

Here's one issue that, just possibly, the various contributors and commenters here -- the American ones, at any rate -- can agree on.

As Veterans Day approaches, I am reminded of the extreme sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform. These brave people have answered the call to duty to protect our nation and to defend our way of life. Over 1 million troops have served in the current "war on terror" and more than 20,000 of them have been injured in the line of duty.

Their sacrifice should be rewarded with the care, respect, and honor they have earned. Yet, Congress recently tried to slash the budget for the VA's traumatic brain injury care and research centers which many of our wounded troops are counting on. Worse yet, the Department of Veterans Affairs which handles healthcare and benefits for our returned soldiers currently has a backlog of more than 800,000 claims and cases pending with no plan to reduce it. Those 800,000 cases represent real people -- veterans who've served our country and their families -- who need our help and are not getting it.

I call on you to honor the extreme sacrifices of our veterans by fully funding veterans' healthcare and benefits. It is the least we can do to thank them for everything they do for us and for our country.