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Legion hoped for more from Obama’s address

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Legion hoped for more from Obama’s address
President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 28, 2014. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama, in his fifth State of the Union address on Jan. 28, pledged to cut further the disability claims backlog, improve access to health care at the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense - especially mental health care - and continue to help veterans get jobs.

“The American Legion certainly appreciates President Obama’s great concern for our military families,” said Daniel M. Dellinger, the Legion’s national commander. “We know he wants to do right by our men and women who have worn the uniform and defended America. The Legion will do everything it can to support his efforts to reduce the claims backlog, strengthen medical services at VA and DoD, and get more of our veterans back into the civilian workforce.”

The president pledged to “keep slashing that backlog so our veterans receive the benefits they’ve earned,” and ensure that “our wounded warriors receive the health care - including the mental-health care - that they need.”

Mental-health care is an abiding concern of the Legion, which established a committee to study alternative treatments for traumatic brain injury (TBI) and PTSD. Last September, the committee issued a report on its findings, “The War Within,” which recommends that VA and DoD adopt several effective treatments that are currently not used in any standardized way.

The Legion has shared its TBI/PTSD report with the White House, members of Congress and VA’s senior leadership.

Additionally, The American Legion has been playing a key role in reducing the claims backlog, promoting VA’s Fully Developed Claims initiative among its service officers at VA regional offices nationwide. This program enables claims to move through the VA system much faster, because they are more fully documented up-front than traditional claims.

Obama also addressed veterans unemployment, saying “We’ll keep working to help all our veterans translate their skills and leadership into jobs here at home.” The American Legion has been doing its part by co-sponsoring, with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, more than 200 career fairs per year for veterans nationwide (known as the “Hiring Our Heroes” program).

In addition to co-sponsoring career fairs, The American Legion has been working with DoD and the Department of Transportation to make private-sector licensing and credentialing easier for veterans. It has helped 35 state legislatures to pass credentialing laws that assist transitioning veterans with employment, and helped with the  passage of 49 specific state credentialing laws for commercial drivers’ licenses. The legislation provides waivers and recognizes military training in transportation.

The Legion helped to write parts of the Troop Talents Act, provisions of which were included in the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act.)

Yet the president failed to mention the looming cuts to pensions for military retirees 62 and younger: their benefits will be reduced by 1 percent per year for a full decade. The American Legion has protested those cuts since they were announced and continues to urge Congress to repeal them.

“The American Legion is disappointed that President Obama did not show more leadership in dealing with the COLA issue,” Dellinger said. “He promised us, back in August 2011 at our national convention, that he would not balance the federal budget on the backs of America’s veterans. But that is exactly what he is allowing Congress to do.”

Obama said the mission in Afghanistan will be completed by the end of 2014, “and America’s longest war will finally be over.” When he took office, 180,000 Americans were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan; since then, U.S. troops have left Iraq and about 35,000 remain in Afghanistan.

Dellinger said that, despite the troops draw-down, “our military’s operational tempo is increasing while its strength is decreasing, because of force reductions being made as a result of sequestration. Although Congress has recently provided $31 billion in military funding relief over the next two years, military readiness, research and development, and compensation continue to be eroded. Sequestration is not good for national security.”

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John Schuster

February 18, 2014 - 4:25pm

Wow, what a lot of hate for our President being spewed by my comrades. Who is hell are we? I have no interest in serving in the Legion with so many hate filled people.

Frank P Calderon

February 2, 2014 - 12:31am

Dear Commander Dellinger One last message, if any one thinks the President is doing fine, and trying his best, let me ask this question: supposing a General, Admiral or any leader in that position would have lost the second world war anywhere in the world would it be acceptable for him to have said: Oh it was not my fault I tried my best but my subordinate officers were rebellious and they conducted smear campaigns against me but it was not my fault I lost the war, would that have been acceptable? well that is just the position I see the President in today he blame the Republicans and who knows who else but skirts responsibility for everything that is happening, what would be done to such a General or Admiral? would it suffice to say Oh it is not the General or Admirals fault it is the fault of his subordinates, of course not the General or Admiral would be relieved of his command immediately at most it not worse, please reflect on this and answer truthfully. Yours for God and Country Frank P Calderon

Frank P Calderon

February 1, 2014 - 11:37am

Dear Cpmmander: I apologize for the errors in syntax and grammar in my previous comments but I am not proficient yet writing on computer I hope you understand the message I wanted to convey, you may edit the messages to suit you, where they will be understood. Yours for God and Country Frank P Calderon

Frank P Calderon

February 1, 2014 - 1:14am

Dear Commander Dellinger: I think the opinions of blaming Congress for all our ills is wrong to a certain extent, of course this is my opinion which could very well be wrong, but I would more appropriately blame the leader( the President) he is a very week person without any guts to rule the country and do what is right, it is the same with spoiled unruly children if you spare the rod you will spoil the child, but of course you have to be correct in what you do, you( using generalities ) a true dependable leader must be setting a good example and lay aside his whims not act like a spoiled child other wise the spoiled child will learn by what he is taught to follow. Yours for God and Country Frank P. Calderon

Frank P Calderon

January 31, 2014 - 5:22pm

Dear Commander: I categorize President Obama's State of the Union message as highly hypocritical particularly as it concern veterans, rights to which they are entitled and for which they were prepared to sacrifice everything to safeguard our Constitutional rights including his own; as they we were prepared to do for 365,000,000. Americans including him and his own family. What he is doing is a highly treasonous act not worthy of a true leader. Yours for God and Country Frank PCalderon

Sean Curtain

January 31, 2014 - 8:56am

It appears as though the present administration is more sympathetic to ILLEGAL ALIENS who continually violate our laws by living unlawfully living here that to VETERANS who HONORABLY served the nation

DogLife

January 31, 2014 - 8:53pm

I certainly agree with this comment. Once those who have served and those who deserve benefits, consideration, etc. are addressed then we can look at immigration. "Illegal Aliens" have substantially broken our laws and have no standing for consideration. Our service men and women who violate the UCMJ and rules of engagement are held accountable.

Charles McFall

January 31, 2014 - 7:23am

When I went into the service, I felt like it was my duty and I wasn't any better to go that anyone else, short and sweet, today I wouldn't go.

S R Hampton

January 30, 2014 - 11:15pm

Everyone is screaming about tightening the federal budget. True our leaders in Congress and in the White House have allowed agencies to be started that really don't serve the whole, or grow out of proportion. No one has ever talked of commercializing any of these, i.e. turning their operations over to the private sector. Government agencies are well known to spend more than their yearly budget to cry for more the next year, rather than more effectively spend what they are given. The reason they don't is so their budgets won't get cut. Financially our government like most other's has operated backwards for so long, no one in any agency can remember how to do it right. And there are so many regulations that keep them operating upside down fiscally. I for one since I was a teen prior to serving this country thought it was strange to file my taxes in hopes of getting something back. Yes I said that. I know so many low income people and homes that, fiscally reverse thinking, set their spending for the year by what they'll get back in tax returns. Half it seems of corporate accounting is spent on thinking of ways to get more back in taxes on every dollar spent. Excuse me? I wonder what would happen if we all, employees and companies alike didn't receive tax returns for ten years. I'm not saying glut an already bad system, along with private fiscal restructuring, give the government the money it needs to fix our debit, and then set flat rates of federal and state taxation that make sense, and pay for what we really need. Take a moment and think clearly about this. Its not science fiction, but financial sense. Thank you. S. R. Hampton, US Army Disabled Veteran, 1977-1992.

S R Hampton

January 31, 2014 - 12:28am

Case in point. Headstart. I worked as a school bus driver under a contract corporation for 17 years. You got paid for a set amount of time to pre-trip and post-trip your bus, and for your time behind the wheel. Headstart programs due great things for their communities, but their drivers are are paid to wait in between runs. Of course such things are listed as bus cleaning, paperwork, fueling, etc... Its a little thing military contractors used to call, "Plumping". On the corporate contractor side of busing, you leave the lot between routes unless it's under 15 minutes, and on trips you don't get driving wage while waiting at the zoo and the like. Now, it's not the Headstart drivers fault. Such things are quietly encouraged to use up the budget, so they can ask for more money the following year. Just a point of interest to explain my position. S R Hampton, US Army Vet.

Anonymous

January 30, 2014 - 5:54pm

Have Congress remove the very low fee an attorney can receive for representing a veteran's VA claim. This bar was passed shortly after the Civil War.

DogsLife

January 31, 2014 - 9:00pm

Limiting attorneys fees for Veterans, injured workers, etc. creates an unlevel and unfair playing field very unfair to the injured partand substantially benefiting the other side.

FOM

January 30, 2014 - 3:47pm

Many who have commented before me see the situation similar to the way I see it. We have a Congress which for too many years now has been absolutely unimpressive in its handling of our nation's priorities. We have a top heavy Department of Defense who has lost the big picture when it comes to supporting veterans and retired personnel. We have a world situation that demands more and more on a shrinking active duty military. However, we also have a nation full of people who want it all, but don't want to pay the way. Far too many of our fellow citizens are okay with supporting our troops from a distance, but are not nearly so quick to volunteer for duty themselves or encourage their children or grand-children to serve. If the percentage of our population who have served in our armed forces was greater we would have more of our elected representatives and their staff members who have also served. Then there would be a chance that many of the budgetary attacks on the retired and veterans would subside. But we cannot also forget that with a tax code that favors the rich and the big businesses we will never have enough federal resources to do everything that the citizenry expects of the government. Most everyone wants to see smaller government. When pressed to be specific about where cuts should be made most either have no idea or they pick a department which doesn't serve their personal purposes. However, every department serves a portion of the citizenry making cuts very hard indeed to gain real traction. Many commented on the COLA cuts. These cuts have drawn the ire of the American Legion, Military Officers Association and others. Go after Medicare and Social Security and you get push back from many other well organized and equally well intended organizations. We seem to always talk about cutting this or that to get ahead. How about we spend some serious time figuring out fair ways to increase revenues where it is appropriate to do so? I think the American Legion is a leader in defending our veterans and retired military. Many of the efforts sited in the article demonstrate the quality of the work this organization has done. In moving these issues forward why not offer suggestions on ways to reduce the deficit without hurting any segment of the population by cutting other programs that are needed? I am the first to admit that there is too much bureaucracy in our government at all levels. However, I will caution any who read this that there is a real threat to our economy by just firing the bureaucrats and the thousands upon thousands of contractors who support them. Such an action would add to the still unacceptable unemployment rate in real time and with a long tail as many small businesses would also suffer from the loss of business done by those who directly support the banished bureaucrats. In other words, be careful what you ask for. Think it through. Finally, if the President got it mostly right in his State of the Union and he didn't actually say he supported the COLA cuts, so let's give him his due credit. He has been fighting an uphill battle with a Congress that has been way more busy trying to make him look bad than trying to legislate. Emphasize the progress publicly, as you did, and work behind the scenes to make the rest better, as I am sure you are doing. As a young enlisted leader I was taught to praise publicly and criticize privately. The author might want to consider that approach. Commander, USN Retired

Bill Rivers

January 31, 2014 - 9:30am

Thank you for your comments.

David Dean

January 30, 2014 - 8:25pm

Very well said Commander. My only suggestion would be to split your paragraphs for easier reading.

Frank P Calderon

January 30, 2014 - 5:34pm

Dear Commander: All I have to say, which is not much but I believe it speaks volumes, "Talk is cheap. Yours for God and Country Frank P. Calderon

Paul Bahre

January 30, 2014 - 3:43pm

The whole speech were a string of lies and 1/2 truths. And if all you are telling is a 1/2 truth then you are lying. It made me sick to my stomach to watch it.

Carthel Adams

January 30, 2014 - 5:10pm

I suppose you had your Handy Dandy high tech R B S operated lie detector turned on and aimed at your TV during the entire speech.

jhn hourihan

January 30, 2014 - 4:41pm

What lies in particular. I am tired of so many people calling the presiden t a liar and then quoting disproven Republican nonsense as their proof.

thomas dean

January 30, 2014 - 2:58pm

I believe all the presidents was a waste of time and a bunch of political bull crap

David Crispin, MSgt Retired

January 30, 2014 - 2:33pm

You seemed to be firing arrows off in a general direction with no concept of what is going on in the target area. The Department of Defense is the driving force behind much of the cuts. DoD wants to cut Tricare and tries every single year. DoD wants to gut the retirement system. And before blaming the Executive appointees think about the senior level bureaucrats and officers who are really driving this. I believe the President is making a good faith effort to do what is right, but he has a group of generals, admirals, and senior executive service civilians who have no concept of duty, honor, or country. Blame those responsible for this.

Ken Samborski

February 1, 2014 - 1:32am

Thank you for saying something that truly makes sense. It is easy to blame he president for all the military cuts that are needed. We have been on a war footing too long. It was been deadly for our troops overseas and in CONUS. The lingering effects of combat last a lifetime. There are not many generals that have previously led troops in combat at a company grade level. We are too top heavy with leaders not having served in combat. They do not have any idea of what the men and women have sacrificed, and continue to sacrifice.

H.S.

January 30, 2014 - 12:47pm

If the Amercian Legion expected or wanted anything from this speech, then they have more faith in Washington than I do. Nothing personel against Mr. Obama, I just don't believe anything that comes from our government anymore. I think both houses of congress and the white house are full of people that have only their own intrest in mind. It seems to me that no one in either party is there to " Serve America " anymore. It is obvious that cuts need to be made. The problem is what to cut and get the least amount of resistance, or loss of votes. If not Veterans, then who? Everyone wants the governments belt tightened untill it comes to their own belt. This country needs more taxpayers to pay it's bills. Mr. Obama did touch on that subject when he talked about changing tax codes and regulations that are working backwards. What he can or even wants to do about that has yet to be seen. Mabye we could change some entitlement laws that encourage people not to try. I'm no expert. I don't really have the answers. I don't think anyone in Washington has the answers either, or even cares about anything but themselves. I believe Mr.Obama's SOU address was just another elegant campaign speech for the left. The Republican responce was just more of the same. I don't think any of them care about vets or anyone else unless it will get them a vote.

Carthel Adams

January 30, 2014 - 5:24pm

Don't lose heart. The American governing system is far from perfect but it's still worth fighting for.

Edward Moore

January 30, 2014 - 4:17pm

I believe that you are wrong. The Republican response was all right, in respect to your opinion! We need respect to our veterans who have already served. Our Commanders do not disrespect our service.

Brian J Drewelow

January 30, 2014 - 2:08am

In your condemnation of President Obama, you imply that a more forceful statement on the COLA issue and more leadership is what is necessary to deal with the looming budget cuts to Veteran's services. You state that he is "allowing" Congress to balance the budget on the backs of Veterans. The very idea that the President is "allowing" Congress to act one way or another is not a power granted to him in the Constitution and the very idea is somewhat laughable given the current climate in Washington. The issue here is monetary and the Constitution grants that power to Congress. Congress controls the purse strings. By not providing the funding for these critical and promised services, it is Congress -- your Senators and local Congress person and NOT the President that are proving most hostile to the needs of our Veterans. Want to know how your Senators and Congress person stand on this and other issues important to Veterans? Don't just ask them. Check their voting record! Brian J Drewelow USAF 1983 - 1987

Steven Harris retired MSgt

January 31, 2014 - 1:40am

People need to realize that our President and Senators are part of a biased priviledge system sponsored by big money who represent their own interests! Neither the far left are right are correct or can see clearly how to resolve any of our problems. Neither understands that there are certain elements which must be provided in order for an economy to be stable! The EPA, GSA, NSA, and IRS went too far away from their intented purposes to please the supporters of the politicians that our economy has collapsed because fossil fuel-based companies are un popular with the environment protection organizations which claim the Earth has a crisis that needs our immediate attention. I worked with EPA regs and saw the benefits when they first came in place but after a few years everything in the military was running smoothly and safer and there was little else required of them. A new concept of ozone-depleting chemical was revealed and all of a certain; every product had to be evaluated and new green products created to replace them! What does this have to do with the SOU is politicians are great at twisting the facts and creating crisis so the people will back them. Pres Obama is no different except; he has to invent numbers to show any improvement because his speeches say one thing while his back-door deals and use the IRS, NSA, and other government agencies indicate that he intends to run the nation like a dictatorship. If Congress won't agree to his ways then he will side step the Congress both houses and use his appointed officials including DOJ to get it done. Our Senators have aright to be opposed to the pres and his lackies because they have found a way to take full control of the nation and departments regardless of what the majority of American citizens including our veterans and their tax-exempt support groups say. Our nation is nothing like it was ten years ago. Most are in debt to banks and credit unions who can charge loan-shark interest rates legally. College students can't get jobs with their degrees yet the pres wants every child to go to college and become $100K in debt with school loans larger than home mortgages. The universities are full of students paying $22k or more ayear because the public is told that they must go back to school to get re-educated to get new jobs. But I have found these things are lies. There are jobs waiting for the less- academic positions like electricians, technicians, wood-working, welding, etc... that pay well enough to obtain the American dream- home, car, vacation, retirement. Yet our people are being fed lies about our society in schools and by our leaders that they need to make thousands of dollars a month at afood-handlers jobwhich was designed for first jobs and high school stuidents to learn basic skills. Our perceptions of life, values, and our basic needs have been altered so much in the past 20 years that we forgot what the true elements of success are. First is start at the bottom and learn a skill master it and then apply your own ingenuity or form a team to build your own business or you can just work 30 yrs for someone else and get a pension which is adequate but may cause you to live at a lower status of living than when working full-time. Our grandparents and great grandparents worked in mills and factories but EPA and greedy business people found it cheaper to build factories in other 3rd world nations than pay union-wages and benefits. The problem is very complex theere are many abuses of power and greed that have contributed to the problems in America for our soldiers and our children. Our way of life and our diversity of skills and ethnic cultures in our society have always been our greatest asset. The "melting pot" concept creates endless possibilities when finding solutions to a problem. But most solutions require sacrifice and restructuring or reorganization. Efficiency is achieved when the wasteful and obsolete or repetitive is eliminated. Teamwork only works when everybody has the same goal otherwise you work toward failure. Congress and the president need to realize that the American people have no interest in excuses anymore they want to see Washington DC get some results toward recovery or get out and let someone else do the driving! The few who work in DC get specia;l priviledges and we accept that as part the job but if a manager or CEO of acompany fails to accomplish the company objectives in a certain time-frame; usually the share-holders or voting members will replace them! Americans have the greatest opportunity in making a change in our future; look at who represents your state or district in Washington DC and your state legislation. If they support your interests, family, values, and way of life; vote for them. However if they do not; contact them by e-mail or phone tell them what you need and express your displeasure in their performance. Veterans are bombarded with support groups today; some can help while others are just collecting donations from a office space in abig city with Hollywod celebrity endorsing them. Find the facts for yourself and act according to what you support. The VFW ELKs Legionaires are veterans or spouses of vets who served their nation and truly desire to help our soldiers and their families to have a better life and receive the benefits promised. But even our leaders with the best intentions can be caught-up in the politics and power of their positions. The veterans in wars before us had the same problems adjusting and starting over in a peaceful society. The public did not understand their issues nor did they care to interrupt their comfortable lives, which we fought to preserve for them. Soldiers will always be the remnant expendible assets of society, war will always kill; maim and do mental damage to our troops! It was the job we took the contract for! I served 23 yrs in USAF and expected to die in one of the operations. But my GOD provided me safe return and a life afterwards,no special job or entitlements, but what I earned and pay for myself and my family. Soldiers who survive are not asking for extra just is due to them! Politicians like to use us as pawns to raise money and support for their wars and big businesses; it will never change. But we persevere because we have brothers& sisters-in arms and families who understand our needs and dedicate their lives and time to taking care of those left behind! So stop pointing fingers at who did what and take some action of your own; get involved in the fight or stop complaining about how little others are doing! Life is a series of struggles that build a unique character, strength of faith &trust in sources outside our own control. We go to battle to defeat the enemy; resolve the situations or die in the effort! That attitude and training makes us victors & conquerors ready to take on any obstacle placed before us! Civilian society doesn't teach that principle to its people that is one reason our nation's leadership has failed to get positive results in the recent 20 years. Our parents opposed vietnam war and thought their ideals of rebellion against the ways of their parents and traditional American values were Ok. That generation started a new way of life; buy now pay later-free love never hurts anybody; GOD and religion is not needed in our schools; divorce is OK; wejust weren't meant for each other- no sense of committment or honor to their vows or oaths. But this generation has gone even farther away from our forefathers principles! Our soldiers are no exception; our leaders are college graduates who never worked for a living; privileged portion of soociety with narrow vision of how the common people must live on the streets and rural communities of our nation. They destroyed the agriculture, fabric, steel, mining, fuel-based product industries to replace with green-environmentally-safe products made of synthetic chemicals which cost less to produce but still have just as many issues in disposal as their predecessors. Our politicians sold us to other nations saying it would be good for the economy and our future; but instead it made our enemies stronger and devastated our workforce. We were living on borrowed time and money and now we are paying the piper! It will take isolation and closing our borders and sending millions of illegals families back to their homelands to open-up our job markets to our citizens again! Simple and effective but not without great sacrifice!

Native

January 30, 2014 - 12:39pm

The author of the column is more interesting in smearing the president image than going to the real source of the problem. As you stated on your comment is a no secret agenda who voted in favor of the sequester. Most GOP senators praised the sequester through FOX news and other outlets while Democratic ones were condemning it. Obviously for the author of this article this is an inconvenienced truth considering his conservative views.

Steve Harris Retired MSgt

January 31, 2014 - 2:57am

The argument over "the sequester" is a mute point to anyone who ever was involved in military funding and manning operations. We projected numbers for operations and manning expectations two years in advance and sometimes even looked at five years for some projects and misisons. The military advisors, CJS, and Sec of Defense knew with the current levels of war operations drawing down after Iraq pull-out and the scheduled Afghanistan reduction of operations; most funding for certain combat projects would no longer be needed and could be used elsewhere. We assessed every facet of our mission every year and had to submit methods of how "we could do with less"! Streamlining processes and devising more efficient ways to to do our jobs in the AF was hammered into me since I joined in 1986 and when I became involved in resource management and manning acquisition part of the job as a staff-NCO E-5; I realized the days of wasteful spending and extra manning levels was a thing of the past. They drew our mannning down from 300% percent over-manned to a third in two years before the Gulf War. Another example of overextending our reduction in forces occurred in the 1990's and again in the next decade. The active duty numbers were so low before the invasion of Iraq that Pres Bush had to ask Congress for 30,000 soldiers or more for each branch of service and incorporate the reserves and ANG to man most of the operations- Called "Total Force". Two-thirds of our solldiers were expected to be assets from the reserves and ANG. So draw-downs are a natural occurence in the military for over twenty years and as is reduction of assets. We were trained to find feasible quick and timely solutions to our problems and situations. Money was tight and only high priority projects operated at full capability after 1 Oct to 1 Jan every year. The modern soldier is taught to fight smarter and with best affordable technology available. Most of our equipment I maintained in the comm-electronics field was 30 yrs old or older and it took ten years to get a new system ready and approved to replace the old ones. Some branches like Navy & ARMY get more money based on their involvement in the war-effort or national defense missions. Anyone who served in recent yrs knew that the Democrats and the Pres used the sequester as way to panic the American people and get his higher taxes and borrow more money for his newest projects. He is a liar and his words are empty but his actions behind the scenes and thw exploitation of government agencies under the guise of national defense and equality for all is not. Find the facts for yourself by looking at changes of IRS publications since 2011 for Non-profit orgs and business entities to incorporate his affordable act policies and see how much control it gives the government over any business or tax-exempt organization. Check on the the Dept of Energy involvement in creating regulations which hinder fossil-fuel based industries costing them millions to keep operational while green -energy companies which cost trillions and still do not have afeasible powerstorage capability to run more than a small community. None including solar energy can supply the power to run a big town or even a small city. Then you could look at how orgs like PETA have undermined the rights of farmers and agriculture businesses to mange their own animals and properties and how the Bureau of Land Management is taking away the lands in each state under a the guise of national park preservation and national security. The sequester and necessity for National Healthcare for everyone; including stundents under 26. Another lie; my son was told he could not remain on my health insurance after he turned 23. It ended and he was instructed that he could buy his individual plan on the exchange for $176 a month. I paid for the family plan $45 for TRICARE WEST which is actually the format they decided to use for the new healthcare system. The GOP researched the military as many are on the boards that oversee the military National Defense spending and acquisition operations. So maybe the GOP and opposers of the Left have acted properly by calling his bluff was in our interests after all! It pays to do some research or ask questions of the experts involved in the process before pointing fingers at anyone or voting for an a fraud who poses as a man with solutions! My experience is educated people are book-worms who think the professors know morethan the rest of the world and their trust their teachings without actually validating their real experience. I could write a bok on many subjects but it doesn't make me an expert. The difference is i have real life experience solving real problems and managing personnel and assets and running military operations. The pres Obama served on boards that looked at situations but did nothing to fix the problem. He has done the last the same for five years, Enough said! His legacy is Bankruptcy for the United States and drone spying over America and failure of the national health system- inability to convince Congress to agree to any of his ideas! Most deceptive and incompetent manager in our history! But women think he's cute and speaks well. Dispute those facts!

John Mahone

January 31, 2014 - 12:06pm

I swore an OATH TO THE UNITED STATES, then an OATH TO MILITARY SECRACY, - some gave their all to uphold their WORD, " SO HELP ME GOD". When did you get released from your Oath. I am Honorably Discharged Combat Veteran, and I am never going back on My Words "SO HELP ME GOD!!. "

Brian J Drewelow

January 30, 2014 - 2:08am

In your condemnation of President Obama, you imply that a more forceful statement on the COLA issue and more leadership is what is necessary to deal with the looming budget cuts to Veteran's services. You state that he is "allowing" Congress to balance the budget on the backs of Veterans. The very idea that the President is "allowing" Congress to act one way or another is not a power granted to him in the Constitution and the very idea is somewhat laughable given the current climate in Washington. The issue here is monetary and the Constitution grants that power to Congress. Congress controls the purse strings. By not providing the funding for these critical and promised services, it is Congress -- your Senators and local Congress person and NOT the President that are proving most hostile to the needs of our Veterans. Want to know how your Senators and Congress person stand on this and other issues important to Veterans? Don't just ask them. Check their voting record! Brian J Drewelow USAF 1983 - 1987

Brian J Drewelow

January 30, 2014 - 2:03am

In your condemnation of President Obama, you imply that a more forceful statement on the COLA issue and more leadership is what is necessary to deal with the looming budget cuts to Veteran's services. You state that he is "allowing" Congress to balance the budget on the backs of Veterans. The very idea that the President is "allowing" Congress to act one way or another is not a power granted to him in the Constitution and the very idea is somewhat laughable given the current climate in Washington. The issue here is monetary and the Constitution grants that power to Congress. Congress controls the purse strings. By not providing the funding for these critical and promised services, it is Congress -- your Senators and local Congress person and NOT the President that are proving most hostile to the needs of our Veterans. Want to know how your Senators and Congress person stand on this and other issues important to Veterans? Don't just ask them. Check their voting record! Brian J Drewelow USAF 1983 - 1987

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