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Public Statements

Issue Position: Support Our Veterans

Issue Position

Location: Unknown

The men and women of our military give us their best -- and deserve no less in return.

"As President, I will ensure that promises made to veterans are kept." -- Governor Gary Johnson

For Gov. Johnson, honoring our veterans begins with a pledge that those serving in the military today will only be asked to go into harm's way for clear, defined and justified reasons. The men and women of our armed forces signed up and swore an oath to protect and defend the United States -- and that is precisely the mission they will have with Gary Johnson as Commander-in-Chief.

They will not be sent to risk their lives just because politicians decide to topple a foreign government -- with no clear U.S. interest in doing so or plan for what comes next. Our military will not be asked to engage in nation-building or to somehow resolve conflicts on the other side of the globe that have defied resolution for hundreds of years. The men and women of our military will only be asked to protect and defend the United States -- and to do so with a firm understanding of the objective.

For our veterans who have served and returned to civilian life, many with injuries and emotional scars, Gov. Johnson pledges to provide them with the health care, support and transitional assistance they deserve -- and rightfully expect.

First, Gary Johnson will put health care choices where they belong: With veterans themselves. While there are many dedicated, caring professionals working in VA facilities, the bureaucracy of the VA is more concerned with its own perpetuation than with providing veterans with the care they need. That must be corrected NOW.

From elder care to PTSD to the specific health challenges of women who have served in uniform, veterans have a wide range of urgent needs. For some, the VA medical system is the best or only option. That system must function efficiently, provide timely care, and meet the standards we would expect for our own family members. For those who need care from private physicians or hospitals, that option must be available. A strong believer in the power of competition and the marketplace, Gary Johnson will bring that power to bear in the provision of care to our veterans.

Likewise, as many veterans' organizations have asked, Gary Johnson will remove outdated federal obstacles to the testing and use of medical cannabis to treat PTSD and other conditions for which it has shown promise.

Likewise, Gary Johnson understands the challenges faced by many veterans in their transition to civilian life and careers. The discipline and skills earned from military service are of tremendous value to many employers, but Gov. Johnson believes it is part of our moral contract with those who have served to not only maintain the GI Bill, but to enhance public-private partnerships designed to match veterans' skills with the career choices they wish to make.

Gov. Johnson also understands that family support, counseling and other tools for helping veterans deal with their unique challenges are essential. Homelessness, substance abuse, and yes, suicide are all-too frequent among veterans as they re-enter civilian life -- and our obligation to support those who have served does not end when they sign their discharge papers. Behind our veterans are spouses, children and parents who have sacrificed much, and Governor Johnson recognizes and appreciates those sacrifices.

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