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This is a call to action diary. It is dedicated to HoundDog.

The Pentagon Budget - 22 Veterans Commit Suicide Every Day

HoundDog has chased down an important story this weekend, about the pentagon budget and Republican's shameful failure to adequately fund the Veterans Administration over the past 13 years, here, and here. The House voted this week to continue spending on programs the Pentagon wants to cut, including obsolete jets. Their vote shows that, even in the age of austerity we can afford to increase VA spending.

It's a story that each and every one of use can use this election cycle. There are many provider vacancies in the Veterans Healthcare system all across the country. There are waiting lists of Veterans who need healthcare, especially mental health care. People have died while they waited for their veterans disability claim to be processed. We have an epidemic of suicide among active duty military and military veterans. Their method of choice is a firearm.

  • There are veterans awaiting care in every district.
  • Any investment in Veterans healthcare is an investment across the country.
  • Fund Vets Instead of Old [New] Jets!
  • The GOP just proved we CAN afford it!

Becoming an activist

Does anyone know you're mad about this? Someone needs to know you're mad!

If you don't already know the contact info, for your political leaders, please find rebel ga's excellent links below. Whatever matters to you, whatever gets under your skin, whatever has pleased you the most, use it as motivation to program your representative's phone numbers and email into your address books.

Many of you are old hands at activism. When was the first time in your life when you were mad enough (or glad enough) to contact someone in charge about a political or policy issue?

  • What took you over the boundary from concern to action?
  • Have you ever crossed over from joy and celebration to actively thanking your representative for their policy position or their vote?
  • What prompted you to tell a political candidate what they need to do to win your support?

I was reminded of this again recently; if I don't stand up and articulate my position, there are many others all to eager to assert that they represent my views. There are too many others very willing to claim that when they speak about constitutional rights, that they speak for me. No matter what you care about most, none of us can afford to remain on the sidelines as extremists dominate the news cycle.

UPDATE 8:20 PM PT: Comments from buddabelly and DaNang65 have persuaded me that some of the old jets should be kept, and it's the F-35 that should be curtailed. So the old title, Put Vets Ahead of Old Jets, has been changed to, Put Vets Ahead of New Jets!, and simplified to Put Vets Ahead of Jets! (h/t comment by WakeUpNew).

UPDATE Sun May 25, 2014 at  5:59 AM PT:
More background on the VA budget shortfall and Congress blocking effective change.

Here are a few diaries I found using this search string:

Former Secretary Robert Gates says that Congress blocks change at the VA because they micromanage it. It takes an Act of Congress to change any of their programs or services.

Why It's So Difficult To Treat Our Vets The Way They Deserve? - Jan 17 (Jon Stewart interviews forme DOD Secretary Robert Gates)

The REAL Scandal At The Veterans Administration - May 15

Veterans Administration - "The Bush White House was so concerned..." - May 20

President Obama's Remarks on Veterans Health Care - May 21

I really hope people pick up on this story with HoundDog and jmstarto. I'm posting these links in all three of HoundDog's recent diaries. Interested readers might want to contact Kosmail jmstaro; he's been covering the VA funding and oversight problems for a long time.

This collection is a repost of Rebel Ga's directory of links for new readers and seasoned Kossacks, her NewYear's Gift to Daily Kos.
November 4th 2014

United States Senate elections, 2014 Elections will be held for all 435 seats, representing the 50 US States. Elections will also be held for the non-voting delegates from the District of Columbia and four of the five US territories.

2014 House Elections Interactive Map

United States Senate elections, 2014 33 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate being contested in regular elections whose winners will serve six-year terms from January 3 2015 to January 3 2021. Additionally, special elections may be held to fill vacancies that occur during the 113th United States Congress.

2014 Senate Election Interactive Map

US Gubernatorial Elections 2014 Thirty-six states and three territories concurrent with other elections during the United States General Election of 2014.

The first time I registered to vote in '71. I couldn't vote because I didn't know how to find my polling place.

So I'm sharing voting info with everyone. I think it would be especially helpful for first time voters.

Vote And Encourage Others To Vote; Democratic, Of Course. Registering to Vote and Voting Frequently Asked Questions ie Absentee Voting, Questions for Uniformed Services/Family Members, Questions for Overseas Citizens and many more.

Polling Place Finder/Voting Info Polls Open 6am till 8pm League Of Women Voters

Verify Your Voter Registration Status. Rock the Vote's mission is to engage and build political power for young people in our country. Frequently Asked Voting Questions

New Jersey Voting Information NJ Division Of Elections

♥Happy New Year Everyone♥
Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga
"Be The Change You Want To See In The World!" Gandhi

by rebel ga on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 12:40:18 PM PST

Originally posted to Occam was an Optimist on Sat May 24, 2014 at 05:11 PM PDT.

Also republished by VAGV - Veterans Against Gun Violence, DKos Military Veterans, Military Community Members of Daily Kos, and IGTNT Advisory Group.


When was the last time you contacted your elected leaders? Or candidates seeking your vote?. (By rep I mean anyone holding public office, elected or appointed).

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