Mar 19, 2007
As candlelight vigils all over the country today mark the fourth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq and honor the more than 3,200 U.S. Servicemen and Women who have been killed and the estimated 100,000 that have been wounded in that occupation it’s interesting to look at the support those wounded and returning veterans are getting from their government when they return from the battlefield and other areas.
The nonpartisan Project Vote Smart has put together the grading criteria for Washington politicians of some veterans organizations that provide support to and a voice for veterans. We hear a lot from Republicans about how they support the troops and Democrats do not, but for most of the Republicans that means little more than waving a flag, putting a bumper sticker on their car and tying a ribbon around a tree.
According to the Disabled American Veterans of America that represents all of America's 2.1 million disabled veterans, their families and survivors, U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers received a 66 percent on DAV’s issues, compared to 100 for Sen. Debbie Stabenow and 80 percent for Sen. Carl Levin. Michigan’s Democratic Senators have done more than just talk the talk like Rogers and others like him, but they have walked the walk. The good news is the attempt by Rogers to distance himself from Bush and his first contested race since he was elected to Congress in 2000 improved Rogers’ rating from 0 in 2005 and 2004.
The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America gave Rogers a grade of C, but unfortunately, they did not give him a rating last year. The mission of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America is to ensure the enactment of policies that properly provide for our troops and veterans. A mission Rogers only gives lip service to. In sharp contrast to Rogers’s lack of real support for the troops are the A- earned by Stabenow and the B+ earned by Levin.
Supporting the troops means a whole lot more than waving a flag and saying you “support the troops.” For a look at more veteran's ratings check out Project Vote Smart.