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Trump Acknowledges Veterans In Acceptance Speech

November 8th saw a momentous election in America’s history. Donald J. Trump in his acceptance speech last night after winning the presidential election over Hillary Clinton acknowledged many people. Notably, the American Veterans.

“The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.” he said.

“We will finally take care of our great veterans who have been so loyal, and I’ve gotten to know so many over this 18-month journey. The time I’ve spent with them during this campaign has been among my greatest honors. Our veterans are incredible people.”

With the Veterans Affairs Department under scrutiny in recent times, the hope is that real aid and assistance will be provided to the men and women of our armed forces and that true reform will be brought to the department so that our veterans can be cared for in a way that honors their service to our country and makes sure they get their benefits without any unnecessary delays.

The full speech can be seen here.

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Trump on Veterans Programs

His recent speech In Virginia was Donald Trump on veterans programs.  It was the latest in a series of prepared remarks aimed at articulating his policy agenda and convincing still-reticent Republicans that he has the discipline and control to mount a credible general election bid against Hillary Clinton.

Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee, was in Virginia Beach, Virginia, not far from the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, where he first unveiled his plan to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs last October, promising to modernize the system, while minimizing wait times for patients and improving care. “The current state of the Department of Veterans Affairs is absolutely unacceptable,” read the plan that Trump unveiled last fall. “The guiding principle of the Trump plan is ensuring veterans have convenient access to the best quality care.”

Under the plan he unveiled then, eligible veterans would be able to bring their veterans’ identification cards to any private doctor or facility that accepts Medicare and be able to receive immediate treatment. The change, he argued, would help improve wait times and services by adding competition.

“The plan will ensure our veterans get the care they need whenever and wherever they need it,” he said then.

The proposal sounded similar to the Veterans Choice program, a centerpiece of the 2014 VA overhaul, which provides veterans access to federally-paid medical care from local, non-VA doctors — but only if they’ve waited at least 30 days for a VA appointment or live at least 40 miles away from a VA medical center.

A congressional commission report released last week recommended replacing the program with a new, nationwide community care network that would be open to all veterans, regardless of how long they have waited for care or where they live.

Trump had broken with some Republicans who’d called for privatizing the VA in the wake of the 2014 scandal over long wait times for veterans seeking medical care and falsified records by VA employees to cover up the delays.

“Some candidates want to get rid of it, but our veterans need the VA to be there for them and their families,” Trump said at the time.

The VA still has “profound deficiencies” in delivering health care to veterans, according to the Commission on Care report. It concluded the VA delivers high-quality health care, but that it is inconsistent from one site to the next and that problems with access and long wait times remain.

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Presidential Candidates Using Veterans

 

Politicians always have an agenda, that’s not news.

Using American veterans to get press coverage for their own Presidential bid, or to trash their opponents, is just despicable.  May is Military Appreciation Month, so this kind of tactic seems even worse as we move close to Memorial Day.

Back in January Donald Trump held a televised fundraiser for American Veterans and at the end of the night claimed they had reached a total of more than $6 million.  Apparently the actual amount was close to $4.5 million. The Trump campaign’s admission to the Washington Post that is was less than the $6 million initially reported came after months of silence to reporter questions on where the money had gone, since millions seemed to be unaccounted for.

The issue here is not that he raised funds for vets – that’s quite laudable.  It’s that his campaign said it was $6 million when it wasn’t, used that to garner support and then dodged media questions about the lie for months.

It should come as no surprise then that a group is disgruntled vets protested outside Trump Towers. But what looked like a grassroots Veterans against Trump protest by over a dozen former service members was actually a coordinated effort, led in part by the Hillary Clinton campaign, to embarrass her Republican rival over the fundraiser numbers.   So she too is stepping on our vets to further her own ends.

Instead of using our veterans as props in their race to the Oval Office they should be doing everything they can to support American veterans and show appreciation for their service and their sacrifice.

#MilitaryAppreciationMonth

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