A publication of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. ®
An organization chartered by the U.S. Congress

December 2000/January 2001

President’s Message

Hail To The Chief

By George C. Duggins


The election of George W. Bush brings to the White House for the second time a member of the Vietnam War generation. Mr. Bush served during the war years in the U.S. Air Force National Guard in Texas. We have every reason to believe that, as President, Mr. Bush will be responsive to the needs of his fellow Vietnam War era veterans and their families.

Vietnam Veterans of America expects the Bush Administration to follow through on the promises Mr. Bush made in these pages in the August/September issue. In response to questions VVA submitted to him--and to his opponent, Al Gore--Bush said that all those "who value the often heroic sacrifice of our brave veterans will have a determined ally when I am President of the United States." That is a good framework within which to begin a new administration.

Mr. Bush emphasized that he would make "quality health care" in the VA an "integral part" of his commitment to veterans. He said he would create a "Veterans Health Care Task Force," which would be made up of officials from the VA, VSOs, and VA health care providers, to "ensure swift and appropriate implementation of the Veterans Millennium Health Care Act and to make the VA health care system more responsive to veterans’ needs." That is a very promising first step. VVA has every intention of being among the VSOs with whom Mr. Bush and VA Secretary-designate Anthony Principi will consult on VA health care matters.

The President-elect told us he strongly supported the G.I. Bill--a program that, he said, has been "a vital benefit for veterans and military personnel." He said he would review the G.I. Bill after being elected "to see where increased educational opportunities for veterans can be found." VVA will hold him to that promise and we will keep a close eye on his efforts to preserve, extend, and protect veterans' preference for federal jobs. We also expect him to continue to use Department of Labor programs to help large numbers of veterans find jobs.

On the crucial issue of POW/MIAs, Mr. Bush said he supported "the need for the fullest possible accounting of those who served in American military conflicts," and said he would make the fullest possible accounting "a high priority for our nation." Again, this is the news Vietnam veterans want to hear and we will closely monitor the situation during the next four years.

President-elect Bush has made promising promises to veterans. Vietnam Veterans of America promises to hold him to those promises.


E-mail us at TheVeteran@vva.org

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