|To the editor:
Thank you for running the essay by K. Dimon – “OK, Missouri, Show Me”.
Now, how about running a story on veteran's issues?
I mean, I nearly fell out of my chair when John McCain said at the end of the first debate that “I love them (veterans) and I’ll take care of them.”
John McCain’s record has demonstrated the exact opposite. Below are just a few examples of how he has been ranked by veterans organizations and of his brazen disregard for their needs…and of his serious misunderstanding of global threats and poor judgment regarding military timetables or the forces required to complete something we’ve started. Of the two presidential candidates, his record and past statements demonstrate that he is the one with the poor judgment and military naiveté.
Please cover this issue between now and election day…because everyone (here in Missouri and the rest of the country) deserves to know the facts rather than just the campaign rhetoric!
John McCain has a very clear, long, and illustrious history of NOT supporting troops and veterans….and of NOT having good judgment when it comes to assessing military threats and determining the right courses of action. He continues to misrepresent reality when he says he has better judgment and is a better friend to veterans than Obama. Both of which are proven to be untrue when you look at their records!!!
Herschel Kornblatt, US Air Force, 1st Lieutenant - World War II
Dallas, TX (former Missouri resident)
Editor's note: Kornblatt submitted this:
- Veterans groups give McCain failing grades.: - On October 7, 2008, the non-partisan Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) gave McCain a grade of "D" for his poor voting record on veteran's issues, including McCain's votes against additional body armor for troops in combat and additional funding for PTSD and TBI screening and treatment. The grade makes McCain one of only four Senators to fall on IAVA’s “D List” — and marks a repeat performance for him – he received a “D” for his congressional voting record in 2007 as well. On the other hand, Obama received a “B.” Obama was acknowledged for his early support of the G.I. Bill and for working across party lines to bring both sides of the aisle together on it, according to IAVA’s founder and executive director Paul Rieckhoff. Joe Biden also received a “B”.
- The non-partisan Disabled American Veterans gave McCain a 20 percent rating for his voting record on veteran's issues; as a contrast they gave Obama a rating of 80 percent.
(The scores from IAVA and Disabled Veterans of America join those of other groups who have criticized McCain’s abysmal record on veteran's issues. The Vietnam Veterans of America noted McCain has voted against us in 15 key votes.)
- McCain voted against increased funding for veteran's health care.: Although McCain told voters at a campaign rally that improving health care for veterans was his top domestic priority, he voted against increasing funding for it in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007.
- Since arriving in the US Senate in 1987, McCain has voted at least 28 times against ensuring important benefits for America's veterans, including providing adequate health care.
- McCain voted for an appropriations bill that under-funded the Departments of Veteran's Affairs and Housing and Urban Development by $8.9 billion.
- McCain opposed $500 million for counseling services for veterans with mental disorders: McCain voted against an amendment to appropriate $500 million annually from 2006-2010 for counseling, mental health and rehabilitation services for veterans diagnosed with mental illness, post traumatic stress disorder or substance abuse.
- McCain did not vote on the GI Bill that will provide better educational opportunities to veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, paying full tuition at in-state schools and living expenses for those who have served at least three years since the 9/11 attacks, and is on record saying he was opposed to it.
- McCain voted against requiring mandatory minimum downtime between tours of duty for troops serving in Iraq.
- McCain echoed Bush and Cheney's talking points that the US would only be in Iraq for a short time. McCain: "It's clear that the end is very much in sight . . . It won't be long . . . it'll be a fairly short period of time." (ABC-TV, 4/9/03)
- McCain was unaware of previous Sunni-Shia violence before the Iraq War.: "There's not a history of clashes that are violent between Sunnis and Shias. So I think they can probably get along." (MSNBC-TV, Hardball, 4/23/03) go here.
- McCain said it's "not too important" when U.S. troops leave Iraq. This exchange occurred on NBC TV's Today Show in June 2008 with Matt Lauer.