Continuing to Keep the Promise

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Hundreds of veterans joined DAV in a powerful rally on Capitol Hill Feb. 25 as part of the daylong Operation: Keep the Promise. At the same time, supporters from around the nation placed more than 10,000 calls and emails to their U.S. Senators and Representatives and our message reached over 11.5 million people through Facebook and Twitter, urging Congress to pass advance appropriations for all veterans benefits, programs and services.

The goal of Operation: Keep the Promise was to call upon Congress to enact the Putting Veterans Funding First Act (H.R. 813, S. 932), which would shield the Department of Veterans Affairs from Washington’s near perpetual budget gridlock.

Now that the smoke has cleared, we still have work to do to get this legislation up for a vote and passed. In Washington, budget delays and continuing resolutions have become an annual ritual, often threatening or directly impacting our veterans and their families.

“Imagine trying to run a large business or organization without knowing what level of funding you will receive each year or when it will arrive,” said DAV National Commander Joseph W. Johnston. “This is the unfortunate challenge VA officials have faced 22 out of the past 25 years when Congress has failed to pass a budget on time.”

During last October’s government shutdown, critical services for veterans were delayed, disrupted and, in some instances, suspended, creating hardship and needless worry to America’s wounded heroes and their families.

Work stopped on more than 250,000 veterans disability claims awaiting appeals, burials at national cemeteries were scaled back and vital medical and prosthetic research projects were threatened with suspension.

Had the shutdown continued for even a few more days, even mandatory obligations of the government, including disability compensation and pension payments to veterans and their survivors, would have stopped. More than four million wounded, injured, ill or poor veterans rely on these payments – for some, their primary or only source of income.

DAV must now continue the momentum of Operation: Keep the Promise, to make sure this is not a one-time rallying cry, but rather a sustained campaign to enact advance appropriations for all veterans benefits, programs and services.

Passage of the Putting Veterans Funding First Act would enable the VA to plan for key investments in information technology, claims processing and construction projects, and give Congress greater oversight on multi-year funding proposals – which is what veterans and their families need and deserve.


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  • Peter Field

    The promise of the U.S. Government was that if a veteran made the sacrifice of serving in the military and became disabled, the government would provide a source of income. First they made me fight for 35 years to even get rated, then they threaten to cut off benefits because of a “government shut down” and then they cut the “COLA” to the point that I couldn’t even get a McDonald’s meal deal. I am a 100% disabled vet! My rent went up 4 times what my COLA did, so I have to cut back someplace. Meantime Obama and his wife are going on lavish trips and vacations on the American tax dollar!

  • butchlemmon

    It is time for Congress to stop sending aid to these foreign countries and take care of our veterans first.

  • Tony

    United States Congress only cares about taking care of themsleves first then the rest of the world at the America’s brave troops. We are the ginnie pigs that try the new toys that the rich are making for profit. Our politicians only want to distroy American not help it people or they would not be sending Trillions of dollars (most borrowed) rather then supporing American who gave their all. The rich and special interest have or own the seats in Congress and Seanet for a very long time and Americans don’t seem to care. Without our brave men doing the fighting for the clowns we have in Congress they would not b where they are. Not that they could hold a job in the real world to start off with. Congress has one thing in mind making as much money and keeping their jobs. Time to get rid of the lawyers and put business people in their place as they have screwed up our country to the point of no return. If you want to go into debt spend the money borrowed on Americans FIRST.

  • Ken Lafayette

    All along the non-vet community has the mind set of “It doesn’t affect me” or “I’m doing fine, so what”. I have even heard that Vets get too much already. It seems that this administration feels that a handshake and “thank you for your service” is payment enough. It seems Washington is only interested in the millions of votes from the liberals, freeloaders and getting illegals on the voting rolls, and those of us who protect the constitution, Washingon lavish lifestyle, and spent countless months and years in harms way must now give again from our already empty wallets. I joined at 16 and am now 78, got through 2 wars and now I’m still fighting, but now my enemy is in Washington. Don’t ever give up, this proves we are still a formidible force.

    • DeDeMau

      Do not worry about welfare recipients. Get the 1%ers and Corporations to pay their fair share in taxes and we keep everything status quo and then some! Bush got us into 2 Wars and lowered the tax rate for his wealthy friends. Now we pay the price. You conservatives that live in trailer parks and keep voting republican have lost your minds. Turn off Rush Limbaugh and switch to MSNBC “THE ED SCHULTZ SHOW” for a dose of reality. Unless you are a 1%er you are voting against your own best interest

      • leftisbest

        Amen, brother!

      • Ken Lafayette

        Nice shot Robin Hood, take from the rich and give to the poor so they can sit in their collective butts and make babies for more free money

        • DeDeMau

          You are a 1%er!!!!!!!

          • Ken Lafayette

            Sorry pal I’m just a Patriotic American who fought for your freedom worked for everything I have and it is a far cry from the 1%ers.

          • DeDeMau

            You Tea Baggers are a far cry from being Patriots. Guess anyone that gets help from the Government is a freeloader, including us Veterans!!!!!! In Vietnam we would say to you, DeDeMau!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Ken Lafayette

            I never argue with an idiot, they pull you down to their level and beat you every time. Veterans EARNED their benefits.

          • DeDeMau

            Not according to Republicons and Tea Baggers. Veteran benefits and programs are in the budget cuts they keep pushing for! Less Government for all including veterans. Wake up.

    • leftisbest

      Nice of you to link “liberals” with “freeloaders” and “getting illegals on the voting rolls”. Jesus was a liberal. Overall I agree with most of your comments, but it was “liberals” who had the foresight to design the Social Security safety net, Medicare, minimum wages to insure dignity and ability of those of lesser fortune to raise a family WITHOUT relying on welfare (forever), and now to provide medical insurance for millions who have been without coverage forever and whose cost of care skyrockets when they are not able to take advantage of preventive care. Yes, there are issues with Obamacare, but they will be worked out. No one should be denied medical coverage b/c of pre-existing conditions, etc. Thank GOD for liberals (most of the time).

  • Grappa

    Hey Ken, I’m ,I guess one of those so called liberals. I fought in Nam and gave 6yrs of serv. to my Country. Sure it is Wash. that is plugged up; but the legislation we are looking for is in the hands of the conservative House. not all vet’s are conservative, but they are none the less vet’s.

    • Ken Lafayette

      I should have qualified myself, I meant uninformed liberals. I live in a family of leaning liberals and vote independant myself. I was calling out the people who vote Democrat no matter what, they don’t know the issues and don’t care to. They never served or they ran off to Canada, I too fought in Nam and stood alongsdide many liberal warriors. We didn’t call each other names we just agreed to disagree . Thfank you Brother for the wake up. Semper Fi

  • Fred Drew
    We veterans have to keep items like this in the faces of the Congress or we’ll be forgotten, underfunded, little or no benefits. The Secretary of Defense, a veteran himself!!!!, Chuck Hagel wants to gut the armed forces for post WWII levels. This country has a habit of they need us when they need us and when they don’t to hell with those who have served.l
    Fred Drew

  • Ken Ferrin

    Ken Ferrin,
    Like all of us, I am appalled at the attitude of congress toward us. But I’m not surprised. Less than 20% of those mutts ever served a day in the military, not even in the reserves or Guard; a vital part of our community. Over the years they had the opportunity, under three different presidents to affirm the promises of the GI Bill(s), but would not step up to the plate. Instead they sidestepped the issue and said it was for the supreme court to decide. That esteemed body ruled that when we raised our right hands and swore/promised to “…uphold and defend…etc.”, and were told we would be rewarded for signing that document saying we would “…obey the commands of…, up to and including our lives”, the contents of the “GI Bill of Rights” as signed in 1944 and amended many times since, were QUOTE >>IMPLIED>> NOT guaranteed as we were led to believe. Throw all 535 out on their A***S and put some veterans, who love this nation up there. That would stop the indecisions and waffling on the most mundane issues and send ALL the radicals back in their rabbit holes where they belong. Semper Fi, all.

  • johndo49

    There is a whole lot of lying going on today in Washington DC. But don’t be lying to us that we did not lie to you when we served our country I Spennymoor and half in Vietnam and I don’t remember turn my back on my country the matter how they feel about what was going on over there so we will continue on brothers in arms to fight the good fight keep it up God bless you all

  • DeDeMau

    Don’t take your eye off the ball. You will not have to worry about advance appropriations if the Democrats can not get the Republicans to pass bill S.1982. There won’t be any money.
    Only two of them voted for the bill which would have extended health care benefits, provide family planning aid to war injured vets and make caregiver support available to Iraq and Afghan Veterans. Don’t have the money!

  • Dale

    We came together for this..Now find out who voted NO on this and VOTE THEM OUT. In Florida Rubio voted Nay and Nelson didn’t even show up to VOTE. These two need to go. SEMPER FI. .