Friday, May 16, 2008

Guess Who Does NOT Support the Troops

Guess who does NOT support the troops? That's right, it's Frank Wolf, who voted yesterday against Jim Webb's post-9/11 GI Bill. That's right, Frank Wolf joined Virgil Goode, Eric Cantor, and the rest of the Virginia GOP super-patriots (except for John Warner, who is standing with Jim Webb and the troops) in opposing "a historic provision to provide post-9/11 veterans with comprehensive educational benefits, introduced by Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) seventeen months ago on his first day in office." Wolf apparently also opposes "provid[ing] service members who have served since September 11, 2001 with improved educational benefits similar to those provided to World War II-era veterans."

The question is, why does Frank Wolf TALK about supporting the troops when he really does NOT support the troops? Let's face it, what Frank Wolf supports is the WAR, not the troops. Just like George W. Bush and Wolf's fellow House Republicans.

Man, is it ever TIME FOR A CHANGE in the 10th CD!


JTylerBallance said...

I still remember a story about how Wolf took money from a local woman doctor, then initiated a language in a Bill designed to allow that woman to hide her daughter in New Zealand from the child's father, a local Dentist. It was really creepy the way that Wolf demonstrated how easily those with money could get him to act in a particular way. The case was reported in the Potomac News, but i don't have a link.

As for the GI Bill:

I worked for Jim Webb when he was SECNAV, but had I been in Congress, I would not have voted for his GI Bill.

I wrote to him and talked with his staff in advance of this Bill going to Committee. I pointed out that our military personnel, when they volunteer to join, do not sign up for a particular war, or join only for times of peace. They volunteer to serve, no matter what happens.

Given that we are supposed to all be equal under the law, why then would anyone promote a bill, including a GI Bill that treats the veterans of one era, differently than those who served in other eras?

What we should have is a GI Bill that is uniform all across the various political eras, and as changes are made, those changes must apply to all veterans, much like Social Security or other group compensation or medical programs.

To be specific, veterans who joined just at the end of the Vietnam era got no education benefits at all. There was a lousy pay-in program that wouldn't fund a semester at most colleges. This program is known as VEAP and it manifested the contempt America felt toward the military during the post-Vietnam years. Later, when the "Montgomery GI Bill" was ushered in, those benefits of that program were not "grandfathered" to the VEAP veterans, unless the soldier had been foolish enough to invest in the patently bad VEAP accounts. As a consequence of having different programs for different eras of enlistment, we have soldiers who serve alongside one another where some have a good benefits package, while others have a lesser one and in the case of the VEAP era, no benefits at all.

No union, not even the federal government has workers in the same jobs, expected to work alongside others with wholly different benefits packages.

Jim Webb has at least made a try to help the Vets, but we need to have a GI Bill that applies uniformly to all veterans, regardless of the era in which they served. They didn't pick their war, so we should not reward or punish them based on what happened during their eras of service to our country.

Scott Nolan said...

I, as a veteran, and thoroughly disgusted by the empty promised that Republicans from Ronald Reagan all the way through George W Bush and his puppet do-nothing congress have made to "support the troops" and "help veterans" - for it has amounted to nothing.

Frank Wolf and all the hypocrites like him, who claim to support the troops while pulling all the support out from under them need to get out of office now.

As a VEAP era veteran, I completely agree with jtylerballance's point that veteran's of all eras need to be supported. The older troops had older GI Bill benefits, and we were jealous of them because in comparison, VEAP sucked. The newer troops have the newer GI Bill and VEAp really looks bad now...

Having said that, simply supporting the troops we have now is a step in the right direction. I, as a VEAP era veteran might be getting screwed, but I don't care. I want the men and women fighting now to get some benefit for doing their duty even when it is so clearly for personal profit and gain by just the rich.