Our Veteran's Groups Deserve Better

United Soldiers and Sailors of America – USASOA is a veteran service organization firmly committed to securing and advancing the just-rights and dignity of our veteran community, especially for our ill, injured and wounded veterans who have served our nation with valor, courage and honor. To that end, we will stand tall in defense against any attacks, disparaging comments or actions directed at our veteran community including the vilification of any of our Veteran Service Organizations – VSO’s that exist to promote and serve our veterans. USASOA agrees with Paul Rieckhoff of IAVA that an attack on any VSO is an attack on all of us. While some of our veteran service organizations have direct links to millions of actual veterans across the country, never be so remiss to that fact that countless millions more are everyday Americans – democrats, republicans, independents and others who are ardent supporters, sponsors and donors who are willing to stand with us.

USASOA takes great umbrage in the former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich’s recent indefensible and abhorrent remarks concerning our VSO’s as anything other than self-serving groups focused more on the achievement or loss of government access or influence. The recent presidential election of Donald Trump, who unfortunately has yet to meet directly with the leadership of any VSO, does not translated into a free-for-all of irrational and unfounded attacks levied against veteran's groups whose purpose-driven missions have literally saved millions of veterans lives in a range of various ways.

We call on President-Elect Trump to utterly repudiate Mr. Gingrich’s imprudent and reckless comment regarding the integrity of our veteran service organizations as ill-considered and detrimental to the achievement of our shared goal in successfully administering effective physical and mental health care to our veterans.

The ongoing cone of silence surround the selection of our next V.A. Secretary and the critical lack of communication by Mr. Trump and his transition team – leaves us with no choice but to chalk up Mr. Gingrich’s comment as just one more of the  “Boo- Boo’s” that he has committed this week.

Mr. Gingrich, we encourage you to reach out to our VSO’s to become fully engaged and educated on the work that each veteran’s group performs to successfully affect the overall quality of health and dignity of our veteran community. Respectfully, perhaps then you will be able to trade your opinions about the VA and our VSO’s for facts. Since you have never served or defended our nation and our Constitution in uniform, you have no personal perspective on just how different the lives of our veterans, their families and care givers are compared to that of civilians. While it is true that you need not have served in the Armed Forces to help our veterans - you do need to speak with compassion and a sense of empathy and understanding for the sacrifices made by our veterans and for the VSO’s that are very much their life-lines of additional, supportive services. Once again Sir, we urge you to be more respectful and engaged to the specialized needs of our veterans, and the mental and physical health care that only the VA and our VSO’s provide for them.

USASOA may not be the largest VSO by far in terms of bureaucratic administration but we have a national impact on the very quality of life for our ill, injured and wounded veterans. We work with veterans who very often feel marginalized and confounded by a system intended to help then with their needs. All of us have a great deal to accomplish in continuing to build on the reforms already made at the VA but unless we labor in a coalition effort instead of doling out insulting and denigrating statements, the only people that lose out will be our veterans.  

 USASOA’s core mission is to ensure that our ill, injured and wounded veterans who lack the very basics of life: food, shelter, heat, utilities, toiletries and more are in fact treated as our greatest national treasures and that they live happy, healthy and safe lives with the just-rights and dignity they earned and deserve.