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September 17, 2016

This letter was written and sent to the Roseburg OR “News Review, for publication in their ‘Public Forum” section of the paper September 11, 2016. As of September 17, 2016 it has been unpublished.

Veterans Forum 2016

The evening of September 7, 2016, I watched the “Forum” hosted by a reporter purportedly to be impartial to each candidate while questioning the candidates on their views on national defense and veteran’s health care issues. The former Secretary of State has a wide range of knowledge about the issues facing our country! This misdirected “Forum” did not afford her an opportunity to even present her views on the state of current international affairs except to point out that ISIS is actually using Mr. Trumps’ words as a recruiting tool (verified).

Veterans and active duty personnel, let us remember that it was a Democrat (former President W.J. Clinton) that EXPANDED the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to include ALL veterans, not just the Service Connected Disabled Veterans. In the same spirit of compassion, the health and welfare of the citizens of our United States was a priority of Hillary Clinton long before she became a national figure.

The VA’s trouble is not and was not the fault of the current administration. The basic faults are two-fold. The expansion of the VA system to take in ALL ex-military who had served the required time and not received a dishonorable release from active service overloaded the VA system. Then congress failed to fully fund the system in order to bring it up to standards. Finally, President Bush’s decision to expand the authorization to pursue the Taliban and their supporters by invading Iraq without a source to pay the expense of the incursion drained the Federal Budget.

The VA Medical Staffing took a direct hit when Bush was required to activate reserve and guard medical personnel to take care of those wounded in the invasion and the actions that followed. It’s time to elect congressional leaders who WILL correct this!

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