Sunday, April 27, 2008

'Support The Troops!' - Part 2

Our Brother, Gordon, a United States Marine, currently on In-Active Duty, has a post below this one illustrating how the Republicans reward our fighting men and women when they return home after a 15 month tour in Afghanistan. First read that one. Once you have, you can do something to correct this travesty by following the links in this post.

It's time to show some backbone and give the troops the "support" they really need.


Dear Supporter,

We need your help. This week, Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Richard Burr offered a watered-down substitute to the 21st Century GI Bill, which was introduced by Senators Jim Webb and Chuck Hagel.

We need you to write to your Senators telling them that the McCain bill is unacceptable.


The Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act (S.22), the Webb-Hagel bill that we support, now has 57 supporters in the Senate, from both sides of the aisle. With three more supporters, this bill would be filibuster-proof, and guaranteed to get to the President's desk. Senator McCain's bill could split the Senate, undermining the common-sense legislation that Senators Webb and Hagel offered. In doing so, it also undermines America's veterans.

Here's how.

1) The McCain-Graham-Burr legislation creates a flat education benefit, not taking into account the cost of state colleges where veterans live. This would mean veterans in states where the cost of education is higher than the benefit would have go to into debt to get an education, or uproot themselves and their families to move to a place where the benefit would cover college. In many cases, the McCain bill won't even cover half the cost of college. The Webb-Hagel Bill determines the education benefit based on the highest state college tuition in a veterans' home state, allowing veterans to come home and attend college, without upheaval in their lives.

2) The McCain-Graham-Burr legislation creates second-class veterans, by offering those who serve in the military for 12 years the chance to transfer their education benefits to their children. This says to a veteran who serves for two years and loses both of his legs in combat that his service isn't as valuable as someone who has served for longer.

3) The McCain-Graham-Burr legislation leaves the National Guard and Reserve out in the cold. In the current conflicts, the National Guard and Reserve have served faithfully alongside their active duty compatriots, and deserve equal benefits. Yet, the McCain bill does nothing to reward our Guard and Reservists for their cumulative service. Under the McCain bill, over 160,000 members of the Guard and Reserves who have done more than one tour in Iraq or Afghanistan would get no credit towards an education for their additional sacrifice.


A fair education benefit is a sacred promise made to America's military after World War II. That promise has been allowed to become outdated and tarnished. Only the Webb-Hagel bill will restore its luster. And, for that reason, it is the only acceptable bill to America's veterans. Any Senator who joins Senator McCain on his bill does not support our veterans, and it is important that you let your Senator know that, right away.

Thank you for your support.
Jon Soltz Iraq War Veteran Chairman,

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