Jul 20, 2009

Veterans and Obama

One anniversary perhaps more pressing to note is tomorrow's six-month mark of President Obama's administration

Veterans, the activist kind of veterans who fight the war at home for veterans obtaining minimal benefits and medical service, present an anthology of President Obama's meeting the wide array of deep problems.

Veterans are an anthology in that the pressing concerns and life-or-death consequences in the success of reversing how the U.S. Dept of Veterans of Affairs (DVA) conducts its business is about equal to the performance of the Obama administration as a whole.

We are not yet six months into the new administration and most of us reading this column want change now, a reasonable expectation of Obama who campaigned precisely on this promise.

The Obama administration's website on veterans offers hope and but certainly unfulfilled obligations and unmet wishes of veterans and their advocates who actually had to file a federal lawsuit to make the DVA function approximately like it is supposed to be.

Reads the White House veterans' issue site:

A 21st Century VA
The President’s message to those who serve is this: when you come home to America, America will be there for you. This Administration will ensure that DoD and VA coordinate to provide a seamless transition from active duty to civilian life and help fix the benefit bureaucracy. This Administration will work towards modernizing the way health care is delivered and benefits are administered for our nation's veterans.

This broadly is surely what is needed. But lacking is an acknowledgement of what the DVA has become after eight years of a comprehensively corrupt Bush administration--an outlaw agency actually attacking the very segment of society it was intended to serve, America's some 23-million veterans.

But the rough consensus among activist veterans with whom I have worked is that there is a political will to change the course of the DVA, but how effectively this objective is achieved is yet to be seen.

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