Veterans Roundup: VSOs Rip Government Shutdown, Veterans Remind Critic That Women Can Fight, and More

Posted by Fred Wellman

Six veterans’ groups unite, rip shutdown: ‘Get your act together’
Donovan Slack, USA TODAY
Mixed into the heated rhetoric surrounding the partial government shutdown now into its fourth week, making it the longest in U.S. history, is the damage it is doing to individual Americans. Notably, there appears to be an outsized impact on the veteran community as among the 800,000 federal employees not being paid is an estimated 150,000 veterans. In addition, the over 43,000 members of the Coast Guard have now missed a paycheck marking the first time since the Revolution that armed services have not been paid. That doesn’t even touch the massive impact on government contractors who may never recover their losses and hundreds of veteran-owned businesses. In the end the major veterans service organizations have had enough of this silliness and joined together to urge the President and Congress to “get their act together” and take care of the nation. This is clearly beyond ridiculous at this point and the damage to our country is almost unimaginable from lost economic growth to chasing talented employees from government service. It is inspiring to see companies like our client USAA stepping up to donate funds to support furloughed workers, but it is outrageous they even have to do so. The President and Congress need to stop these stupid games over a false crisis and reopen the government before we plunge the nation into a real crisis. — Fred Wellman, CEO and Founder of ScoutComms

Veterans: Women Are Already In Combat, So Stop Saying They Shouldn’t Be In Combat Units
Jeff Schogol | Task & Purpose
Proving that no argument—however tired and defeated it may be—will ever truly die, a conservative think tank “expert” turned to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to complain about the nefarious and pernicious influence of women on our nation’s combat readiness. Armed with odd anecdotes (handstands are the devil, Bobby Boucher!) and cherry-picked data, the expert ventured forth on to the battlefield of ideas. Yet, unlike women who have valiantly served in combat, this expert was unprepared and untrained for the deluge of criticism from veterans—male and female—who lambasted the shoddy logic and dependence on tired arguments. There are certainly valid issues to discuss related to common standards of performance, but treating gender as an impassable barrier to equality for those who want and train to fight for their country is not one of them. — Brian Wagner, COO of ScoutComms

VA secretary fights notion that government shutdown could lead to veteran suicides
Nikki Wentling | Stars and Stripes
VA Secretary Robert Wilkie criticized the union’s statements of an increased number of veteran suicides due to the partial government shutdown. This is now the longest government shutdown in U.S. history—affecting many veterans in Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and Department of Transportation.

Women and minority veterans are thriving in the civilian workforce
Natalie Gross | MilitaryTimes
According to recent federal data, women and minority veterans are showing, on average, lower unemployment rates than their male equivalents. However, veteran employment advocates warn that the federal data does not measure all areas of employment success and that there is still work to be done.

V.A. Seeks to Redirect Billions of Dollars Into Private Care
Jennifer Steinhauer and Dave Philipps | New York Times
The VA is making preparations to redistribute billions of dollars allocated to government-run veterans’ hospitals to private providers. This will be the largest restructuring of veterans’ medical care in decades.

Tulsi Gabbard says she will run for president in 2020
Caroline Kelly | CNN
Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, the first American Samoan and first Hindu member of Congress, announced on Friday she will run for president in 2020. Gabbard is an Iraq War veteran and currently serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Law Enforcement Today | Kyle S. Reyes
Law Enforcement Today and Whiskey Patriots are partnering with Veteran Tickets Foundation in an effort to spread the word about their initiative, 1st Tix, which provides free event tickets for first responder families. Read more

Stars & Stripes | Rose L. Thayer & Nikki Wentling
USAA donated $15 million to Coast Guard service members in the form of interest-free loans. The loans are intended to cover an estimated two weeks without pay, as a result of the partial federal government shutdown. Read more

Fred Wellman

Fred Wellman, President ScoutComms, brings us his weekly review of veteran news via The Scout Report. Fred served over twenty years as an Army officer in both aviation and public affairs. Follow Fred on Twitter @ScoutComms

This entry was posted on Monday, January 21, 2019 11:58 am

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