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This is the time of year when many are making those New Year’s Resolutions for self-improvement, or to help others. Jason Decker, our NY State Vice Chair has made the commitment, as have I, to do volunteer service with our local branch of the Veterans Administration in order to give something back to those who have paid dearly for our freedoms. In the three plus years I have been doing volunteer service, I have found it to be interesting and rewarding, and always appreciated. Jason has gone the extra distance and made a short video explaining the process that he went through while starting his own volunteer service. You can view the video by following the link here:
The following information has been provided by Modern Whig Party Deputy Director of Veterans and Active Duty Affairs, Matthew Benedict. Matthew works for the Veterans Administration, specifically with the National Cemetery System. This information has been provided in order to assist family and friends when the inevitable happens. We hope it is of benefit.
Burial and Memorial Benefits for Veterans
My family hails from Ireland. My mother's parents emigrated to America from County Mayo; my father's, from County Cork. They came to this country early in the 20th Century, in the third big wave or so of immigrants from their country, and found themselves joining a culture which regarded them as little more than the "servant class."
Little Things Help…
Part of being the Director of Veterans and Active Duty Affairs for the Modern Whig Party is finding ways for people to help our troops. I get a lot of questions about which organizations people should donate to, and whether an organization is trustworthy or not. One of the first organizations that comes to mind is the United Service Organization (USO).
Today, as on every Veterans Day, America honored the men and women of the Armed Services. It's surely heartening for our veterans to see the numerous expressions of gratitude on social media, hear the praise of pundits and citizens alike, and generally feel the affection of a grateful nation. It's nice to know you're appreciated.
But once the applause dies down, some stark realities show themselves. The unemployment rate for veterans still remains stubbornly high, and veterans of Gulf War II are still unemployed at a higher rate than the overall civilian population. The story for veterans between the ages of 18 and 24 is particularly gruesome: in 2013, 24.3 percent were without jobs.
As Director of Veterans and Active Duty Affairs, I have to read a lot of articles in a wide range of publications in order to keep up on issues affecting those who selflessly defend our rights and freedoms. Just last week I was thumbing through the October 27th issue of Air Force Times when I came across an article by Karen Jowers (kjowersmilitarytimes [dot] com) entitled “Landmark employment law for troops turns 20”.
When I have discussions about where the Modern Whig Party is on the political spectrum, questions such as, "Are you guys liberal or conservative?" are very common. Other questions may dig beyond the surface, and include a social or fiscal adjective, e.g "socially liberal, fiscally conservative." The truth is, in my opinion, summary classifications such as polarization of political position are completely apocryphal.
I recently spoke with a Veteran’s Service Officer who works for a Nationally Recognized Veterans Organization. This individual told me that lately, he has been seeing several letters each week to Veterans who already have rated disabilities which more or less conform to the following example:
“Dear Mr. /Ms. Veteran. We have conducted a review of your service-connected disabilities and have noticed some improvement. Therefore we propose to change your rating from 50% to 10% for your Degenerative Disk Disease.”
RANCHO SANTA FE, Ca., August 4, 2014 – In a Nation that favors sound bites over solutions, it should not come as a surprise that the term “political integrity” has become little more than an oxymoron. Ethics be damned: If the Parties can use something to “stimulate the base,” you may rest assured they will pursue it. It is irrelevant whether it makes sense or is morally reprehensible as long as it can be used to extract money and votes. The recent discussion of impeachment and lawsuits are cases in point.
Now that Congress is throwing sixteen-plus billion dollars at the V.A. crisis in the hopes that it will go away, I think it is time to discuss options for how it is spent. More healthcare providers are a common response. What type and at what level is less often mentioned. One functional area which needs improvement is the appointments process. As a semi-outsider trying to get in, it seems like there are a limited number of available appointments. While adding providers and increasing the numbers of appointments available will improve the situation somewhat, it seems to me more is required.
RANCHO SANTA FE, Ca., July 14, 2014 – Our political “customs” are in evidence as we see the immigration issue unfold. Recently, over 39,000 families and 52,000 unaccompanied children have been detained for entering our southern border illegally. This latest surge adds to the 11-13 million individuals who are estimated to already reside in our country illegally. Yet, our elected officials are calling for emergency measures as if the problem represented a new phenomenon.
RANCHO SANTA FE, Ca., July 4, 2014 – While small town parades, backyard barbecues and fireworks displays may be what many people associate with the 4th of July, Independence Day deserves far greater respect. Fifty-six men signed a single piece of parchment on this day in 1776 that contained 1338 words that changed the history of the world for the better. That hallowed document claimed independence not only for a Nation but for a People. Unfortunately, 238 years later, we are in danger of surrendering to the temptation of dependence.
July 4, 1776, was a day that marked a culmination in one phase of struggle for American independence and personal freedom. Many Americans had sacrificed life, fortune, and time to bring forth the ideas that were officially born on July 4, 1776. These Americans were volunteer soldiers and sailors and their families. These Americans were our Founding Fathers and supporters who sacrificed fortunes, time, and thought in crafting ideas and a framework for independence and personal freedom. It was not perfect, and never will be, but they crafted a framework that has enabled all Americans to have more control over the destiny and direction of their life than any nation before.
RANCHO SANTA FE, Ca., March 10, 2014 – The Ukrainian crisis seems to have caught many Americans by surprise, which is surprising in itself…or perhaps just disappointing. Our Nation and its leaders seem to be captivated by the moment; living in a Twitter-like world that carries an attention span of 140 hours instead of 140 characters. While it is discouraging with respect to our citizens, it is totally unacceptable with regard to our Government.
Read more at http://www.commdiginews.com/politics-2/let-freedom-ring-in-the-ukraineand-the-united-states-11892/#67ZBqBce1dIMzovT.99
RANCHO SANTA FE, Ca., March 3, 2014 – Our political system is dysfunctional if not completely broken. It has become so corrosive that many citizens have abandoned any hope of changing it for the better. Others are inclined to commit their blind allegiance to a particular Party; convinced that it occupies the moral and intellectual high-ground while the other Party is comprised of only slightly-evolved Neanderthals. To paraphrase Eldridge Cleaver: Neither behavior represents part of the solution, but rather, both are part of the problem.
Read more at http://www.commdiginews.com/politics-2/3-steps-to-fix-the-political-syst...