As per our Constitution, the U.S. government provides for a common defense. Our U.S. military acts to deter threats, supports diplomatic initiatives, and fights and wins the nation’s wars. Although the quality of our personnel remains high, our equipment has degraded at a much faster rate than expected due to the unforgiving elements. That coupled with sequestration limitations have left our military vulnerable to attack due to lack of training and other cost-cutting measures. With our current deficiencies, the military budget needs to bring our military into the 21st century.
According to the Heritage Foundation, the military’s equipment is old and getting older in part because it is deployed at breakneck wartime rates1. Our military preparedness has declined due to an underinvestment in equipment that began in the 1990s and continues today. Sen. John McCain, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, stated, ““We are killing more of our own people in training than our enemies in combat. It’s because of thing called sequestration…”2
With a sequestration, supply chains halted or were delayed indefinitely. The troops were denied required and mandatory training, maintenance and repair, and other needed logistical support. Our lack of military preparedness stands as a direct result of Mr. Cruz’s selfish efforts.
Our military has operated on the fringe of technology for too many years. As a military spouse of twenty-seven years, I have seen and learned how dated the equipment and technology is for the average military member.
The United States is currently under attack by foreign adversaries, and beginning with Obama and ending with Trump’s administration, the U.S. has yet to fire a shot. We are currently at war--cyber war – and we need to upgrade our defenses or we don’t stand a chance against the next cyber attack. To date, we’ve been hit by the North Koreans, Chinese, and the Russians. Other groups and countries breached a weakness in our defenses and our answer is silence and inaction, coupled with political theater for the world’s amusement.
Decreased funding provides for only Band-aid fixes that institute a systemic “make it work” attitude that has put us globally at a deficiency. Our men and women of our military deserve better. While we build sophisticated aircraft and even-better bombs, our personnel use computers or equipment that are years behind what’s on the market, largely due to relic software issues.
Our personnel’s lives depend on adequate training and support. The current administration has provided for the repair of the U.S. military. However, our men and women of the service need, no require, an investment that rebuilds our military.
We have a moral obligation to provide the best care possible for our Veterans. They put their lives on the line for us and our country. But instead, our government discards them when they can no longer serve to sit, waiting endless hours to be seen, standing in endless wait lines for the pharmacy, only to receive curt responses and inaction at any mention of clerical errors or requests for help. The Department of Veteran’s Affairs (“VA”) cannot continue as the bureaucratic mess it has become.
After their service, many veterans have returned home to little help and assistance from VA, something I have witnessed firsthand. My husband is a disabled vet clogged in the VA system. His calls go unanswered, long waits for appointments, and frequent clerical and service issues with the staff. It is a national disgrace how we treat our Veterans and the fact that the Trump Administration has neglected the staffing of such an important agency is shameful.
The Department of Veterans Affairs was created due to nearly one third of the population being eligible for veterans’ benefits. Its proponents argued that due to the considerable number of Americans affected by the VA, it needed an administrator who had direct access to the president3. In 2000, the VA was being run exceptionally well. By 2014, the Secretary of VA resigned saying he felt the lack of integrity was systemic. He received reports that were doctored from individuals that he had no reason to distrust from nearly every facility under his domain.
The Veterans Administration failed in their mission. It’s time to eliminate the medical care portion of their care at the least. They were established to help veterans, but instead they’ve become a symbolic nursing home where discarded people are left to die. The government should not be charged with running a hospital.
Mr. Cruz sits on the Armed Services Committee; however, his focus remains on his big oil donors, always will. The discovery of the VA debacle in 2014 places the recovery of the Veteran’s Administration on him since it took place on his watch. His new sell to vets is privatization and the repeal and replacement of the ACA, which provides often essential medical insurance to many veterans. His record of inaction on this front is abysmal. An excellent Politico article details his absenteeism.
Sen. Cruz serves on the Armed Service Committee, working to provide the quality care our veterans deserve and have been promised. He has advocated for responsible spending that prioritizes our troops above other military expenditures while scrutinizing every program, like the superfluous algae fuel program, before considering cutting the job or benefits of a single soldier.
Ted Cruz mentioned that he has “worked hard” to right the wrongs of the VA in the Senate since 2014. That response befuddles me. He hasn’t sponsored or co-sponsored any legislation of value. Other than the standard budget for the military and a bill establishing a Chief Information Officer at the VA, there is no support for veterans. He’s skipped most of the Armed Services Committee hearings, attending just 17 of 50 hearings in 2012 and his record hasn’t improved over his FIRST term.
He tried to get rid of ACA which some service members rely upon. As a disabled veteran’s wife, I question his commitment to veterans.
What we need to repeal and replace is Ted Cruz.
1 The Heritage Foundation: "The State of the U.S. Military, by Mackenzie Eaglen," January 27, 2010, http://www.heritage.org/defense/report/the-state-the-us-military
2 Face the Nation, Transcript: Sen. John McCain, September 17, 2017, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/transcript-sen-john-mccain-on-face-the-nation-sept-17-2017/
3 “VA History In Brief” Retrieved December 30, 2016, http://www.va.gov/opa/publications/archives/docs/history_in_brief.pdf
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