The White House lets us know that it wants to make work of those those who served their country.
In his remarks that day, he talked about how part of ending a war responsibly is taking care of those who fought it. The President promised to increase support for veterans, to ensure that their wounded warriors receive the care they need, and to help servicemembers and their families find opportunities once they’ve returned home.
It is getting time that the United States shall take care more of those soldiers who worked their guts out for others and risked their life. It is not acceptable that many veterans are psuhed into poverty and have to beg on the streets. The world sees too many pictures of disabled veterans having no reasonable life any more.
On Friday, President Obama returned to Fort Bliss to reaffirm that promise and to discuss how ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will make America safer and their military stronger.
“Just as we give you the best equipment and technology on the battlefield,” the President said, “we need to give you the best care and support when you come home.” This includes continuing the efforts underway to strengthen and expand health care and mental health care service for troops, particularly for veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD, and providing resources to help returning service members get the education, training, and support they need to transition back into the civilian workforce. It also means giving our military families the respect and the support that they deserve.” the president said.
It’s a powerful message, and you should check it out. Here’s the President’s speech.
As they do, they’ll be able to pursue their education through the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Through the work of First Lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden, and the Joining Forces initiative, companies across America have already hired or trained 125,000 servicemembers and military spouses.
President Obama wants to see these heroes share in the American dream they helped to defend. He’s calling on Congress to create the Veterans Jobs Corps, to extend tax credits for businesses that hire veterans, and to help our veterans find work as police officers, fire fighters, and first responders.
- Obama Campaigns For Veterans’ Mental Health – NPR (npr.org)
As that war winds down, the president is ordering additional help for those with invisible battle scars. A rash of suicides has shown mental injuries can be just as deadly as a roadside bomb.
Surrounded by soldiers in camouflage fatigues, Obama recalled his last visit to Fort Bliss, exactly two years earlier. That was the day he announced a formal end to combat operations in Iraq.
“We are now seeing more deaths among our service members and veterans than we were seeing on the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he says.
In addition to the extra professionals, the VA will hire 800 peer support counselors. The president has also set up a task force to recommend other ways the government can help those suffering from traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The Defense Department has already been encouraging service members and veterans to seek the help they need through its “Real Warriors” campaign of video testimonials and public service announcements. Obama says that message will be amplified with a new awareness campaign that will start immediately.
- Obama campaign to highlight drawdowns in Iraq, Afghanistan (thehill.com)
Surrounded by 5,000 troops at Ft. Bliss on Friday, President Obama proudly declared that he had marked the end of combat operations in the war in Iraq two years ago in the same location.
Obama’s speech at the El Paso, Tex., Army base was a preview of the Democrats’ plan to highlight the drawdowns in Afghanistan and Iraq next week at the Democratic convention to draw contrasts with the Republican ticket, as the wars received little attention during the Republican convention.
“I can simply speak for myself that I was surprised not to hear mention of the 70,000 men and women who are serving in Afghanistan, executing a mission that is profoundly important to America’s national security in a conflict that was the direct result of an attack on the United States by al Qaeda,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One.
“In an almost 45-minute speech Romney didn’t find time to mention our troops in Afghanistan,” Obama campaign spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter echoed on a conference call with reporters.
The Romney campaign responded by noting that Romney had traveled to speak to the American Legion the day before his convention speech, while the president only addressed the convention via video this year.
While Romney has criticized Obama for setting a public timeline and the Obama campaign has accused Romney of wanting to stay in Afghanistan indefinitely, the candidates have nearly the same position on the drawdown in Afghanistan: they both back the 2014 timeline with a small presence remaining afterward for training and special operations.
Obama said Friday that the United States was ending the war in Afghanistan responsibly, but acknowledged that it was “still a very tough fight.”
Tom Tarantino, an Iraq veteran and chief policy officer at the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans for America advocacy group, said that both Obama and Romney have a good record with veterans, but that veterans are complaining they haven’t heard enough from either candidate on the wars or veterans issues. Tarantino attended the Tampa convention with IAVA to lobby for veterans issues, and he’ll be in Charlotte doing the same thing.
- Obama thanks troops who served in Iraq (cnsnews.com)
- Obama focuses on veterans, military at Fort Bliss, on anniversary of Iraq combat end (democraticunderground.com)
- White House hits Romney for not mentioning troops (thehill.com)
- Obama vows help to soldiers, marks Iraq war end (news.yahoo.com)
- Obama Emphasizes Veterans Support as War Recedes – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Obama Honors US Troops on Iraq Anniversary (voanews.com)
- Obama: Afghan transition complete by 2014 (upi.com)
- President Obama: On anniversary of ending of Iraq War, a pledge to heal the wounded (timpanogos.wordpress.com)