Our legislators in Washington, D.C., must stop playing politics with our veterans, and this is especially true of Vietnam War veterans. Will the game-playing carry over to our veterans of present-day wars? Will they, too, become pawns? Veterans have few friends in Washington. Just like the Vietnam veterans, today’s veterans will face what we are up against: little to no support.
When our men and women in uniform come home from conflicts abroad they are met by the news media, hand shakes by politicians and photo opportunities. Parades are organized by veterans groups. Most of these veterans groups are composed of Vietnam vets — they make up for the welcome home they did not receive. The Vietnam War gave them only shame and they are forgotten.
“A nation that forgot its fighters and defenders will itself be forgotten,” President Calvin Coolidge said.
Many veterans suffer with cancer, brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder. Normally these diseases are not noticed and in some cases go untreated until they become severe. Our Congress needs to wake up and provide equitable VA benefits.
The American people are urged to write, call their members of Congress and Senate and demand they take positive action providing VA benefits to those in need.
John J. Bury
U.S. Navy, retired, Vietnam veteran