Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Can America Afford to Take Care of Its Veterans?


We may have ended combat in Iraq and Afghanistan but the mental, physical, and fiscal costs of those who have borne the battle will linger for many decades.

In taking over the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Secretary Denis McDonough, only the second non-veteran and the second person not confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate, faced a series of unprecedented challenges in providing for the needs of the 19 million living veterans. The most critical of these can be placed into six categories: the rapidly increasing size of the department’s budget, the dramatic expansion of the number of veterans eligible for disability benefits, providing benefits for those LGBT personnel with less than honorable discharges, the backlog of compensation exams, the high suicide rate among veterans, and GI bill benefits.


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