Monday, May 26, 2008

Editorial Response to the Savannah Morning News: Bush, McCain and Kingston out of touch with the military and its families

It is very unfortunate that my May 19th Press Conference comments about Senator John McCain are being taken out of context by the Savannah Morning News. The stories published by them on the press conference have been unfair to the purpose and intent of the twenty-minute speech. My speech was about the need to take care of Veterans, and the need to increase some of their key benefits, particularly their education benefits under the New GI Bill. In my speech, I outlined possible reasons why Senator McCain opposed the New GI Bill. Congressman Jack Kingston does not support this bill either. Despite no support from McCain or Kingston, the New GI Bill passed the House and Senate and is awaiting President Bush’s signature. However, Bush says he will veto the bill.
As a 23-year Army veteran who’s served in Iraq, Germany and many other countries; as the former ROTC Director for southeast Georgia; and as a former Professor of Military Science at GSU, AASU, SCAD and SSU, I have seen first hand the plight of returning enlisted soldiers. Many struggle financially to support their families, and those who want to seek higher-education often find it hard to do so. The financial struggles are especially hard now at Ft. Stewart, where soldiers and their families are dealing with multiple deployments. I currently teach ‘transition classes’ at Ft. Stewart, which help soldiers retiring or getting out of the military be successful in the civilian work force. This New GI Bill, which would give them free access to a college degree, is the answer to their needs; it is their just reward.
As the Global War on Terror enters its seventh year, we need to offer our ‘all volunteer military’ better benefits for their service. War is what awaits all of them as they enlist. I am disappointed that Bush, McCain and Kingston do not understand this. They are out-of-step with the needs of our soldiers and their families. Time after time they choose to protect big business and special interests over the needs of the common people who serve. Americans and South Georgia should rebel against this. It is time our government puts people first. I ask President Bush, Senator McCain and Congressman Kingston to make sure the New GI Bill becomes law. Post WWII, every tax dollar spent on GI’s came back seven fold in tax revenue. It helped usher in an age of great American growth and prosperity for many deserving heroes. Our present day war heroes have earned this same type of treatment.

No comments: