As America plans to celebrate Veterans Day this Monday, Concerned Veterans for America, a nation-wide, non-profit veterans organization established to advocate for policies that will preserve the freedom, and prosperity that veterans and their families have so proudly fought and sacrificed to defend, checked in with us via email with a deeper look into the overwhelming challenges facing our Veterans in today’s political climate and poor economy.
And what we saw does not paint a rosy picture.
VA Backlog of Veterans Benefits: Our veterans return from war only to be greeted by utter dysfunction at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Roughly 500,000 veterans are stuck in a disability claims “backlog,” waiting almost a year for a response—and even longer for resolution. This is a national disgrace, and must be fixed. Throwing more money at the problem has not worked. Instead, VA needs serious reform—transforming a bloated bureaucracy into a modern and efficient organization focuses on service veterans rather than making them wait in line for benefits they’ve earned.
High Veteran Unemployment: The current unemployment rate for average American citizens is 7.2 percent, but Veterans that served post 9/11 the rate is a staggering 10.1 percent . Some 708,000 Veterans are looking for work which is up from 671,000 in August.
Currently an estimated 900,000 of our brave men and women who served this country have had to turn Food Stamps to feed their families.
Erosion of Support & Freedoms: Gold Star Mom Karen Vaughn, who lost her son Aaron during his service in Afghanistan, says she has felt an erosion of America’s Support & Freedoms. “We need to restore America back to the core values that Aaron grew up loving that made him want to serve, defend, and protect this nation. I want to get America back to what my son died for.”
She also believes that Americans have become war weary and that “there’s really been a complete absence of acknowledgement that we still have men over there fighting right now. We need to get back engaged in this war. Men and Women are dying every month. They are real people with real families, not little GI Joes.”