Today is the first day of Memorial Day weekend – traditionally celebrated as the beginning of summer. On Monday, at cemeteries across this country, people will gather to honor those military heroes who gave their life in service to our country.
This year, however, will be different. We will also be mourning American veterans who have died because of negligence and greed on the part of the government employees hired to serve them. At a growing number of Veterans Administration hospitals, veterans requiring medical care have been intentionally ignored – removed from appointment waiting lists. Why? To protect raises and bonuses for administrative employees at those hospitals. Each week the list of hospitals involved in this evil practice grows. We know of at least 40 people who have died while waiting for appointments.
While the casualty rate for veterans grows, what is being done to resolve this problem? Nothing. Last night the Senate blocked a bill that would have made VA managers accountable for their actions. The bill was a small first step towards fixing a monstrous problem and even it was too much to ask for our veterans. It’s an election year, so we know where our politicians’ priorities are.
The politicians may be trying to wait this scandal out. It’s up to the rest of us to make sure that doesn’t happen. Demand action now! Make your voice heard on Facebook, Twitter and their web sites. Spend a few minutes this Memorial Day showing America’s veterans – those serving now and those who have served – that you understand the debt this country owes them. You might just save a life in the process.