Former U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony Principi:
"I believe that they (veterans) are not being well served today because of some of the policies in place under the Obama administration. And of course, jobs, adequate employment is the key to a successful life for the men and women who are returning from Afghanistan, who have returned from Iraq and from other parts around the world. Today, we see a significantly higher unemployment rate amongst those young men and women who are coming home and can't find meaningful jobs. And it impacts their well being; it impacts their mental health which is another area that they are not being well served.
"I would also point out the enormous backlog of claims that are pending at the VA. Again, this is a resource issue. The number of claims pending are somewhere in the neighborhood of 800 to 900 thousand. Veterans are having to wait an interminably long period of time to receive their disability compensation that they need as a result of their wounds on the battlefield or in training. Pensions for those who are in need to not only themselves but for their widows and widowers, it is taking well over a year and sometimes even longer to get those benefits paid by the VA. As a result, we really need to have a change.
"I think Governor Romney who has a record as governor and the programs he put in place for veterans of Massachusetts. His commitment to ensure that the resources are there and that they are allocated appropriately for things like mental health, for the prosthetic research and development. The VA should be the world's leader in prosthetics and rehabilitation and has lost ground. So, I think it's time that we really begin to address these issues, long overtime I should say, that is really why I have joined this campaign and this coalition..."
U.S. Congressman Randy Forbes (VA-4):
"When you make a statement like Obama's policies have failed veterans and military families, which I certainly agree with, it sometimes can be subjective, so I don't want to be subjective, I want to be objective and state very clearly that there is absolutely no matrix, no calculation you can use that would lead you to conclude that Obama's policies have not failed veterans and military families...
"These veterans are very proud of the military they helped build and under the president's watch we are getting ready to cut over a trillion dollars out of national defense in this country. We are talking about pink slipping between 150 and 200 thousand veterans . Where are they going to go for jobs? We have a program that the president has put in to give credits to employers, that more and more people are saying just isn't working and they even acknowledge isn't creating new jobs. We are talking about a president that is getting ready to watch 1.5 million jobs lost across the country. Many of these are veterans' jobs that is based on his own secretary of defense. We're looking at an Air Force that said they are going to be on the ragged edge, a Navy that will be down to the lowest number of ships that they have had in 100 years...
"We're changing the health benefits and are trying to balance some of these short falls by this administration of the backs of our veterans. Some of these veterans are going to have their healthcare benefits quadrupled and even the Democrat Senator from Virginia , Senator Webb said that we can't do this, that it is like the Obama administration is trying to renegotiate the contracts after they have taken place. So wherever we go and we listen to veterans talk today, they are very concerned that this president just hasn't been putting a priority on the national defense or on our veterans...
"It's so ironic that they would even have an event in Virginia where they came in and put a bulls-eye on Virginia ever since they have been in office. First thing they did was cut out the Joint Forces Command without any pre-decisional analysis at all. That cut out hundreds of jobs, many of those were veterans. They then are moving more amphibious ships out of Virginia and putting them to other locations that equals about two-thirds the number of jobs that would be with an aircraft carrier, many of those jobs are veterans. And now they are even talking about moving a carrier out of there which would impact thousands of jobs, many of them veterans.
"The objective facts, the matrix you use to calculate the benefits to our veterans there's absolutely no way you can reach a conclusion other than the fact that President Obama's policies have simply failed veterans and our military families and they deserve better."
Click Here To Listen To The Full Audio: http://www.gop.com/audio/5.17.2012_VA.mp3
Veterans Veterans Affairs Scandal