"Bait and switch" on VA benefits for vets?

Saturday, October 01, 2005 at 09:24 AM

The site military.com has a piece by Larry Scott on the Bush Admin's hostility to the VA, and some speculation about what drives the hostility.

Scott is described as a "former E-5..served four-plus years in the U.S. Army with overseas tours as a Broadcast Journalist at AFKN HQ, Seoul, Korea and AFN, Lajes Field, The Azores, Portugal and a stateside tour as a Broadcast Journalism Instructor at the Defense Information School (DINFOS). Larry was decorated four times including the Joint Service Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. He was awarded DOD's First Place Thomas Jefferson Award for Excellence in Journalism. After the Army, Larry was a news anchor on WNBC Radio in New York City. He receives VA compensation for a service-connected disability. Today, Larry resides in Southwest Washington and operates the website VA Watchdog dot Org."

The piece begins with:
"The Senator's aide chuckled rather loudly and said, "What VA? By the time this administration is done there won't be a VA." Our conversation had begun with a discussion of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA's) healthcare budget, and quickly came down to a single, simple point. VA is being dismantled."

Unfortunately, neither the Senator nor the aide are named.  Yet I seem to recall that earlier this year, there was a Bush-appointed bureaucrat in the VA hierarchy who was bemoaning the cost of the VA as " a drag on the economy" or something close to it.  At the same time that they are sending troops into combat with the promise that they will be cared for.

As the military recruiters are stepping up their pitches to young Americans to fill the gaping holes in the recruiting quotas, undoubtedly hyping the right to care and benefits from the VA, isn't this "bait and switch" of the worst kind?  We have keyboard patriots at the Free Republic and National Review, all for the war and convinced that it's a truly patriotic thing to do, but unwilling to do it themselves, and we've got kids actually enlisting, whether for patriotism or lack of economic alternative in post-offshoring America, who are being told about VA benefits that the administration seems to be trying to kill behind the scenes.

America, where patriotism now means...what?