David Hackworth spaeaks out on veterans issues

From: "Bruce K. Melson" <doc32751@cookeville.com>

Subject: David Hackworth spaeaks out on veterans issues
Date: Sun, 6 Aug 2000 08:17:01 -0500
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Several of us have been after David Hackworth for some time now to speak out

about the shabby way veterans are treated. In this week's column he has

finally taken on the VA and eroding veteran's benefits.


It doesn't matter whether you like what he usually says, or not. He has a

huge audience and he can do us a lot of good. Please go to his website and

let him know you appreciate him sticking up for veterans.




--- Hackworth column follows ---


"In Search of a Perfect Plank"


By David H. Hackworth


Dick Cheney, Colin Powell and Norman Schwarzkopf are gathered in Philadelphia

this week for the Republican National Convention. As these three musketeers --

 who under the command of George "Poppy" Bush brought our nation its

quickest, and from this eyewitness's viewpoint, most impressive military win -

- try to help execute the political equivalent of Desert Storm on behalf of

George "Dubbya," I hope they'll include in their platform the revitalizing of

our military. A plank that will bring to the citizens of this nation a

defense plan showing:


* How they intend to pick our armed forces up off the mat and make them world

champs again after eight years of White House and Pentagon neglect, criminal

political correctness and non-leadership -- which has done more damage to our

armed forces than all of our current enemies combined.


* How they'll bring an end to mindless missions in such places as Iraq,

Bosnia, Kosovo and Colombia and assure us that from 2001 forward, our forces

will be used only to defend America and its interests.


* How they'll reform and streamline our Cold War force structure to meet the

threats of the 21st century, starting with no longer allowing the "gee-whiz"

gear that's supposedly revolutionizing our military machine to hog the

budget. Instead, our tip-of-the-spear airmen, soldiers, sailors and Marines

will once again be given the highest priority -- in wages and material, in

combat-readiness and training -- according to the tried-and-true maxim that

warriors win battles, not wonder weapons.


* How they'll recruit and retain the best and brightest leaders and grunts to

serve in our active and reserve units and eliminate the Perfumed Prince

generals and admirals who've forgotten our warriors and no longer set the

example in their self-serving rush to scurry to the top of the promotion



* How the destructive "kinder-gentler" social experiments that have been

slammed down our military's throat over the past eight years will be

eliminated, and how the traditional military culture -- read warrior ethic --

that's won our battles from Yorktown to Kuwait City will be returned



* How the recommendations of the Kassebaum Commission to end combined Initial

Entry Training -- boot camp -- of males and females will be implemented, and

how women will be pulled from all ground combat units ASAP.


* How our nuclear arsenal will be cut by at least 50 percent, and what steps

will be taken to provide these apocalyptic weapons, and facilities such as

Los Alamos, with at least the same security coverage as Chelsea Clinton

presently enjoys. * How they plan to care for the millions of vets who've

been victimized by the Department of Veteran Affairs' long-term neglect,

wrongdoing and deceit. And how they plan to modernize and revitalize the VA,

one of the most worm-eaten of U.S. government institutions.


* How they'll provide our retired professional servicemen and women -- who

since 1941 in war after war put their lives on the line while suffering long

separations from their loved ones -- with a comprehensive medical and health

plan at least equal to those of retired lawmakers and fat-cat federal civil

servants. And not forget that when our patriots enlisted to defend this

country, they were contractually promised these benefits in exchange for

living a life of hurts, standing downrange and being shot at by bad guys who

wanted to paint them red. (Now they're in line behind recent arrivals from

Third World countries, who actually receive the same level of medical

benefits -- through Medicare -- as our brave and scarred.)


* How they'll expand our national cemeteries so that those who've served our

country in war and peace will be provided the same military burial at the end

of their journey as our most distinguished generals. And how these heroes

will no longer be hustled through insulting two-bit tape recordings of taps

with -- if they're lucky -- a few members of an unfunded veterans group to

honor them and hand over the flag to their loved ones on behalf of a

supposedly grateful nation.


Then in mid-August we can ask the Democrats in Los Angeles to show us theirs.

Only then will we truly be able to make an informed decision on who should be

our next commander in chief.


*** Http://www.hackworth.com is the address of David Hackworth's home page.

Sign in for the free weekly Defending America column at his Web site. Send

mail to P.O. Box 5210, Greenwich, CT 06831. 2000 David H. Hackworth

Distributed by King Features Syndicate Inc.



Douglas McArthur, Executive Director

The National Veterans Organization of America, Inc.

Visit the NVO Website at http://www.nvo.org