Gary Johnson believes strongly that we have a solemn obligation to honor those who have fought for us, sacrificed for us, and put their lives on the line to defend our great nation. When it comes to fulfilling that obligation, there can be no equivocation.
Health care choices should rest with veterans themselves. While there are many dedicated, caring professionals working in VA facilities, much of 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.
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. 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.
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.