Veterans Press Conference

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of United States again called for an end to the government shutdown this morning alongside other veteran and military service organizations at a press conference at the National World War II Memorial. It was the first time the veteran and military service organization community had united with one voice to demand that Congress and the White House stop their bickering and to pass a budget.

Speaking alongside VFW Legislative Director Ray Kelley were representatives from the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans and The Military Coalition, which includes the VFW and 32 other veteran and military service organizations who represent more than 5.5 million veterans, service members and families.

“The lack of a budget for the Veterans Benefits Administration means more than 4 million disabled veterans and widows will not receive their disability or survivor benefits checks at the beginning of November. No budget means hundreds of thousands of student-veterans will have their college tuitions go unpaid, and the VA claims backlog will only worsen because more than 7,000 VA employees are on furlough,” said Kelley, an Iraq War veteran. “And no budget means our nation’s security will continue to be threatened because the lack of a 2014 authorization, plus the mandatory sequester, is having a tremendously damaging impact on military training and readiness.

“Congress has an obligation to provide sufficient, timely and predictable funding for veterans’ programs and the Defense Department,” he continued. “Under no circumstances should the veterans’ or military communities consider piecemeal Continuing Resolutions as acceptable ways to best serve our nation’s veterans or our men and women in uniform and their families.”

(Photo courtesy of Craig Roberts)