I find it quite troubling that our current military budget is well over $800 Billion, more than 8 times larger than the budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs for 2018. Our veterans inarguably deserve so much better than this. They have more than earned that. This Veterans Day, I salute the brave men and women who have fought for our country, and are likely fighting serious battles of their own, and I apologize, on behalf of our country, for failing far too many of them in their times of desperate need. Far too often, our leadership in Washington drops the ball when it comes to ensuring our veterans and active military personnel have real access to healthcare, including much needed mental health and addiction rehabilitation services. In fact, our current Republican-controlled Congress is moving forward with a budget that includes drastic cuts to VA programs, which will impact elderly and disabled veterans the most. This doesn’t even begin to take into account the tens of thousands of homeless veterans our leaders continue to leave out in the cold, year after year. We need representatives who will take the needs of our veterans to heart, and do something to help, instead of blocking these efforts in the name of fiscal responsibility. We need empathetic progressive voices in leadership to push for real changes that will positively impact everyone, including those heroic men and women who sacrifice so much for our comparably comfortable lives here at home. Our veterans should always be able to expect and rely on the real help and support they deserve, and together our society should work harder to make that happen. Happy Veterans Day to our veterans and their loved ones, and thank you all for your service.
– Charles Metcalf Jr