Sunday, May 29, 2011

Helping Veterans Help Themselves

As we celebrate Memorial Day to honor Veterans of our Armed Forces, the sad truth is that many current Veterans are unemployed and some are even homeless.   This is a major failure of another multi-billion dollar government agency, in this case the Veterans Administration.  Clearly, we have to do more to help Veterans help themselves after fighting to preserve our freedom.  Since most Veterans enter military service with just a high school education, which does not train anyone to do anything, we can't just let Veterans leave military service without a skill, or path to higher education that is certain.   And, for those Veterans that leave military service with a handicap, we have to do even more. 

First, we should seriously downsize the Veterans Administration and use a big part of the savings to buy private sector services for Veterans that include success-based career development, housing and medical services.   Veterans should be paid their same salaries for two years after leaving the military while they pursue either vocational education and/or community college on their way to a four year college degree.   To be sure no Veteran should leave the military when all is said in done without a marketable skill, or path toward a four year degree.   At the same time, job search counseling, assistance and placement should be provided all Veterans upon leaving the military.   And, the federal government through private sector services, needs to actively market Veterans skills gained in the military so that Veterans are seen as potentially valuable employees in the private sector. 

Veterans hospitals should be eliminated in favor of private sector medical insurance provided Veterans presumably subsidized by the federal government until such time that Veterans are gainfully employed and provided medical insurance through private sector employers.  However, any handicapped Veteran should have medical insurance coverage guaranteed by the federal government one way or another for life. 

The fact that some Veteran's are homeless is a travesty.   When this occurs, it is likely that the inability to find a job is caused by mental of physical impairment.  This is a tougher problem that will require concerted effort to identify those leaving the military that are likely to become homeless.   In some cases, faith based solutions may be the answer; but in all cases,  the federal government needs to work with private sector charitable agencies to make sure that these particular Veterans are cared for one way or another.  

As you will notice, the Blogger supports helping Veterans help themselves, which is the best solution for all Americans in need.   Government may have a role to play, but it should never be the predominate role.   Buying services from the private sector is always the best solution because competition breeds innovation and in the end lower cost than government bureaucracy.   Naturally, President Obama and his Socialist Party would be opposed to most private sector solutions to problem solving because they support tax and spend government solutions that pay off their public employee union friends even when it is bad for the American people.   This is one more reason we must sweep these Socialists out of office in 2012 and 2014 as we take back our country.   Most important, we must help Veterans help themselves as we honor their service to our country.   Bigger government is just not the answer. 

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