Wounded veterans ‘the price of freedom’

U.S. Rep. Al Green, a Democrat who represents Texas’ 9th District, told The American Legion National Convention in Houston on Aug. 28 that it’s not difficult to see the price of freedom. His advice: just visit a Department of Veterans Affairs medical facility.

“If you go into a VA hospital you will see the price of freedom,” said Green, who said he saw a sign stating that fact in front of a facility he drove by. “It won’t be silver. It won’t be gold. It will be people who are patriotic, who no longer have an arm that they can hug a loved one with, may not have a leg that they can chase a ball with a child with. These are people who have given much to us. And these are people that we must respect and show we care for them every day that our country exists. We must give our veterans the respect that they’ve earned. Let us make sure we do this by and through our actions in Congress.”

Green, who serves on the House Committee on Financial Services, struck a chord with the audience on a few topics.

  • The Fort Hood murders. “There should be no doubt … that what happened at Fort Hood, Texas, with Nidal Hasan was an act of terrorism. It ought to be treated as such, and it is time for those families who have suffered to be properly compensated for the suffering they’ve endured and the loved ones they’ve lost.”
  • The beating death of World War II veteran Delbert Belton; two teens have been arrested and charged with the crime: “I say to you without question, reservation, hesitation or equivocation, we cannot allow those who can survive battles like Okinawa to come back to the United States of America and meet an untimely death at the hands of someone on the streets of this country. Those who are involved in this – regardless of race, creed, color, national origin, regardless of circumstance in life – they must be punished to the fullest extent that the law allows.”
  • Caring for veterans. “If we can spend a trillion dollars to put them in harm’s way, we can spend whatever it takes when they get back to this country to make sure they have the best health care the world can provide, make sure they get the best housing that we can afford, and make sure that every one of them has a good job so they can take care of their families.”