I am outraged. My father served in combat in two wars and our military family lived in three countries, and in 23 different households during his service. I am incensed by the recent op-ed on Sen. Pat Toomey's lack of support for veterans.
How can anyone defend Sen. Toomey's votes against every funding bill for the Veterans Administration — every one that provides care for brain injuries suffered in war, and for artificial limbs that replace lost arms and legs — by saying he never voted against "a bill that specifically and solely funds the Veterans Administration (VA)."
What does this mean?
How can a politician who voted to send other families' loved ones to war, but who stayed here at home, now make an excuse for why he will not fund the repair of our loved ones' injuries?
Immediate family members of veterans observe firsthand the effects on our veterans from their service to our nation. We personally care for our veterans as they cope with their health issues, brain and body, as they age.
We know whether or not Congress is keeping its promises to our warrior citizens, our loved ones.
Because the $21 billion Health and Benefits Veterans bill funds both the VA and a Labor Department jobs program for veterans, Sen. Toomey can deny he voted against veterans, saying the bill is not "solely" for the VA.
Why does the letter writer say Toomey worked to have a Labor Department website for veterans — and then fail to point out that Toomey actually voted to block that bill?
That is why I am outraged.
Finally, the letter states VA funding is at an historic high, as though that justifies Toomey's "no" vote. But the point is, Toomey voted against the funding that brought it to an historic high. He also opposed the additional funding that the administration had proposed.
What if Toomey had not voted to fund the war in Iraq for two years? Maybe then he wouldn't even have to vote "no" on bills that support our veterans in the aftermath, because Pennsylvania families would not have lost their loved ones or had them return seriously injured.
Before he passed away, my father the retired master sergeant, reminded me to beware of "certain politicians who wrap themselves in the flag and then stab veterans in the back."
Sen. Toomey is apparently one of those politicians — and this is the knife.