At VVA's Founding Convention, David Bonior,
a veteran and member of the U.S. Congress for 25 years, stated:
"Never Again Will One Generation Of Veterans Abandon Another."
This Veterans Day, perhaps no words more clearly describe our
commitment and our pledge than the image on the cover of
I met Jesse, the young soldier in the wheelchair depicted on our
cover, during last year's Veterans Day activities when VVA took
soldiers from Walter Reed Army Medical Center to the Vietnam
Veterans Memorial. He had been injured in Iraq and was seeing his
father's name on The Wall for the first time.
I had the opportunity to spend time and speak with Jesse. We
talked about his dad and how it troubled him that he had never met
him. We talked about what this meant to him, a young soldier
answering his country's call, much the same as his father had 35
After out visit to The Wall,
we had dinner with Jesse and the other wounded soldiers.
They described their struggles to receive proper care and other
problems they had to face.
Unfortunately, many Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, some of them
our own children and grandchildren, must confront the same
problems that we, their parents and grandparents, encountered when
we returned from Vietnam and that we still face today.
We commend those of you who are able to visit the men and women at
Walter Reed, the Bethesda Naval Hospital, the VA hospitals, and
the other military medical centers across this country. This is
part of our mission: to assure these men and women, that they will
have someone next to them each step of the way.
The extent of catastrophic injuries are overwhelming some
facilities, forcing long waits for service, treatment, and even
surgery in some cases. PTSD is real and it is affecting our
Whether it be winding their way through
the bureaucratic maze, holding their hand, gaining their trust, or
letting them tell you things they won't ell anyone else. We
understand; they it in our eyes. They know we understand because
we have been there. It is our duty to be there for them.
Together, we continue to fight for disability compensation for our
wounded veterans snd all who served. Mandatory Funding of the VA
Health Care system is out Number One priority to insure continued
health care for our current and future veterans.
Please remember those who have died, those who are ill, those who
serve today, and their families.
We pray for better days. Peace.