Veterans have always been an easy target for politicians, patriotic to a fault, easy to fool, easy to exploit and at times led by or represented by hucksters.   Read any mainstream veterans publication; the signs of assumption are there.  Than Veterans wonder why little to nothing gets done when Veteran’s benefits start being scrutinized, Veteran’s preference ignored at every level of government and still the Veteran allows himself to be used and taken in with cheap embarrassing tokens of so called appreciation certificates and medals initiated by phonies who are only interested in grandstanding Veterans and disabled Veteran for some political agenda or to feed some sunshine patriots ego. Some call this being patriotic; it is more like pandering.
Maybe it’s time the elected leaders start leading from the front, the real front, maybe a place like Afghanistan, and share in the sacrifices they ask of others to make and put some of their own skin in the fight.  If they were taken out of positions where they have nothing to lose and everything to gain, maybe than they will start to understand the sacrifices Veterans make to keep this country great; maybe they will realize it isn’t about self service, it’s about public service.   If and only then will they understand what being a Veteran is all about and why it is important to take care of Veterans…those who protect and defend this country.
Veterans will only continue to be subjected to the grandstanding, double speak, cheap tricks and the meaningless thank you for your service, until they finally wake up and decide enough is enough.
There are over 150,000 Veterans in NE Florida, yet Veterans are not represented by Veterans.  In fact, there are too few Veterans in Congress today making decision on Veterans matters many of them don’t understand.  Veterans need to start encouraging their own to run for office and then support and vote them in, regardless of party affiliation.  Veterans will take care of Veterans regardless of party and there isn’t a issue involving Veterans that can’t be better addressed than by a another Veteran.  Time for a change or Veterans will continue to be used and abused.