Veterans Groups Ask Supercommittee to Respect Military

Friday, 14 Oct 2011 02:25 PM

By Greg McDonald

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Lawmakers on the supercommittee are being asked by veterans groups to show some respect for those who serve in the military by protecting and strengthening veterans programs as they make more cuts to the federal budget.
In a report released Thursday outlining their concerns, four veterans groups offer what they describe as “a guide for policymakers” to help them put together budgets over the next two years that will improve the overall healthcare and benefit services for former military personnel.
“The Independent Budget — Critical Issues Report from AMVETS, Disabled Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America, and Veterans of Foreign Wars” addresses critical areas the groups fear could be compromised as the supercommittee considers what additional government programs to trim or eliminate.
Specifically, the report recommends that current Veterans Administration (VA) programs be maintained and reformed in some areas to provide better delivery of services. The report also calls for better employment training for vets making the transition back into civilian life.
“As the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction begins deliberations about federal spending and debt, it is imperative that VA healthcare and benefits obligations be respected,” the report says.
“Our sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, and grandchildren who serve on the frontier of freedom need to know that they will come home to a nation that respects and honors them for their service, provides the best medical care to restore them, orchestrates the best vocational rehabilitation to help them overcome employment barriers created by injury, and furnishes a supportive claims-processing system that delivers education, compensation, and survivors’ benefits with efficiency to those who sustained harm in their service to our nation,” it says.

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