Clinton and Trump to Address Military and Veteran Issues

clinton trump

By Debbie Gregory.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) will be the host of the September 7th live televised “town hall” style forum featuring Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. They will take questions on national security, military affairs and veterans issues from NBC News and an audience comprised mainly of military veterans and active service members.

“IAVA is proud to lead this historic event for our veterans community and all Americans,” Paul Rieckhoff, founder and chief executive officer of IAVA said.

The event comes just days before the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and three weeks before the first official debate between the Democratic and Republican nominees on September 27.

The event will be broadcast in primetime on both NBC and MSNBC and focus exclusively on issues the next president will have to confront as Commander-in-Chief.

“IAVA members world-wide, 93 percent of whom say they’ll be voting in November, and many deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan right now, are ready to hear from the candidates and hold them accountable,” Rieckhoff said.

Clinton and Trump will appear back-to-back in the one-hour event. In addition to questions about the size of the military and fixing the Veterans’ Affairs Department, the two will separately discuss national security.

Preparedness to be commander in chief has become a major issue in the presidential race, with Clinton and Trump questioning each other’s fitness. Trump said Clinton “lacks the mental and physical stamina to take on ISIS and all of the many adversaries we face.”

Clinton, meanwhile, has touted the endorsements of a growing number of Republican military and national security figures who question Trump’s temperament and knowledge of international affairs.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

What Does Clinton Have Planned for Military Families?


By Debbie Gregory.

Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton plans to strengthen services and support for military families who serve alongside our service members.

“It is little wonder that service members’ concern for their family’s well-being is a top consideration in whether troops stay in or leave the force,” according to Clinton’s military families agenda.

Mrs. Clinton said that members of the military should be able to easily switch between active-duty, National Guard and reserve service in order “to make decisions good for their family and maintain a career with the military.”

She believes nobody should have to choose between serving their country and taking care of their family.

Hugh Rodham, Mrs. Clinton’s father, was a chief petty officer at Naval Station Great Lakes during World War II. He instilled in her, at an early age, the importance of supporting our men and women in uniform, military families, and veterans, and empathy for the challenges that many service members and veterans face.

Additionally, since the number of married couples who both are in uniform has vastly increased, Mrs. Clinton wants the duty assignment process overhauled so that more spouses can serve near each other without either of them losing ground in their careers.

Several other elements of her military family platform include improved child care, both  on and off base; expand maternity and paternity leaves; and expanded employment assistance for civilian spouses of service members.

Mrs. Clinton wants to ensure that the men and women who risk their lives for our country have access to a good education and good jobs when they come home by solidifying services and programs that connect veterans to jobs after their service.

“I believe in making sure that people who sacrifice for us are given all the care and the benefits and support that they need. And I believe strongly that taking care of our veterans is part of our solemn duty as Americans.”

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Is Privatizing the VA a Good Idea?


By Debbie Gregory.

Top Republicans’ growing support for privatization of the Department of Veterans Affairs health care system has Hillary Clinton vowing to fight “as long and hard as it takes.”

The Democratic presidential candidate has said that veterans’ issues would be a priority of her administration, unveiling a comprehensive plan to revamp the delivery of health care to veterans, while holding the VA more accountable.

Clinton said the secretaries of defense and veterans affairs will be told that “there will be zero tolerance for the kinds of abuses and delays we have seen.”

Veterans advocates acknowledge the need for reform at the VA. But they do not believe private insurance or medical care is capable of accommodating veterans’ specific needs. They maintain that a voucher program for purchasing care outside the VA system will inevitably fall short of veterans’ expenses.

Clinton agrees that privatization will throw veterans into the private insurance market. “I believe in giving vets more choice on when and how you receive care, and I think there should be more partnership between the VA and private hospitals and community health care providers. But we cannot and I will not put our vets at the mercy of private insurance companies without any coordination, or leave them to fend for themselves with health care providers who have no expertise in the unique challenges that are facing our veterans,” Clinton said. “Privatization is a betrayal, plain and simple, and I’m not going to let it happen.”

While Ben Carson’s proposal to basically disband the VA health system is the most radical of the GOP presidential contenders’ plans, other candidates are not far behind. Donald Trump’s plan would have VA medical facilities compete with non-VA care providers.

Clinton said mental health and substance abuse treatment should be readily available for veterans, calling the frequency of veteran suicide and homelessness rates a “national disgrace.”

And, she said, pharmacies that price gouge veterans would be subject to the “full power of the federal government.”

Which side of the argument do you agree with?

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.