Ben Murray - Letter to Editor

In order to prevent a default on our already accrued debt, the Republicans in Congress have proposed a 22% cut to Veteran’s healthcare.  The party that worships veterans is proposing taking nearly a quarter of our benefits away.  This will increase wait times at the VA, it harder for those of us who served our country, protected our country, and sacrificed our long term physical and mental health for OUR country to get the healthcare we were promised.

Because of an incident on deployment, I struggle with claustrophobia now.  Since I am severely claustrophobic I failed three polygraphs and lost my ability to maintain my Top Secret security clearance.  When I needed VA mental health support, there was a four month wait.  FOUR MONTHS.  That is why I left the NSA.  Now, the GOP wants to cut veteran healthcare by 22%.  What will that do to the FOUR MONTH wait time that I had for mental health? What about veterans who have physical injuries?  We all rail against how bad the VA can be and yet we continue electing the people make it worse.

With the CBOC in Menominee, veterans in this area have it really good.  We don’t experience the unacceptably long wait times.  Let me be the first to tell you this is not the norm nationwide.  Every VA hospital I have seen (outside of Iron Mountain) looks like something you’d see in a 3rd world country. The VA Hospital in Augusta, GA, is the worst hospital I have ever seen and there isn’t a close second.  That is the level of care we give our veterans nationwide.

The people who say we need to support veterans also vote for people who cut our benefits.  The same people with the “22 a Day” stickers on their car are the same ones who support policies that drive us to that 22 a day.

We were promised that we would be taken care of when we get home and took our uniform off for the last time.  The Republican Party is looking to break that promise.  Just like last year when they voted against cancer care for veterans exposed to toxic burn pits, they again seek to hurt those of us who sacrificed for freedom.

They will spin it, deflect from the truth, or outright lie about why they are hurting veterans. They won’t stop hurting us.  They use us as pawns for re-election then throw us to the curb after inauguration day.

If you support any GOP member who wants to cut 22% from our veteran healthcare, don’t ever thank me for my service again.  Don’t say you support the troops.  Supporting veterans runs deeper than waving a flag, putting a sticker on your car, or volunteering at veteran events.  If you don’t support us at the ballot box you don’t care in any material way.

Yes, I’m angry.  Yes, I’m passionate about this issue.  And yes, I am deeply offended that the people who claim to support veterans routinely turn their back on us at the ballot box.  I am an 80% disabled veteran and I won’t stay silent on the continued neglect from the Republican Party.

Ben Murray
Porterfield, WI


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