Monday, May 08, 2006

Does Everyone Deserve Veterans' Benefits?

Received a brochure last week from my local congresswoman titled “Medicare Update.” In it she complains that the new Medicare D prescription drug plan doesn’t save seniors enough money: “The new Medicare coverage has a fatal flaw—it doesn’t let Medicare negotiate for lower prices. As a result, seniors pay 78% more under Medicare than veterans do for the same drugs from the Veterans’ Administration.”

Now I believe that Medicare ought to be able to negotiate for the best drug prices they can get, but I bristle at her inference that all seniors deserve the same deal veterans receive. Most seniors did not take two to four years out of their lives, put themselves in harms way for the good of their country or take the total pay cut that it has been proven veterans suffered by serving.

There are seniors out there who went out of their way to avoid serving their country during the Vietnam War by fleeing to Canada or Sweden or by becoming perpetual students to receive a deferment for the length of the war. Or, worst of all, there are senior men out there that became teachers for the duration of the war just to avoid being called up. Many of them found that the fathers of the children in their ghetto classrooms were in Vietnam, resulting in children sometimes calling them “daddy.”

I am a veteran. All seniors do not deserve the benefits I receive from the VA because they did nothing to earn them. If all seniors were eligible to receive the same benefits as veterans, it would just be more proof that the United States does not value the sacrifices they made.

Future veterans, such as our troops in Iraq, pay attention. Your service demands recognition and financial breaks not available to the general population. --Walter Haan, www.war-books.com

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