Vista, CA (PressExposure) June 06, 2014 -- 70 years ago Allied airborne troops descended into occupied France, hours before the greatest amphibious invasion force ever assembled charged ashore on the Normandy coast, opening the long-awaited Second Front in the campaign against Nazi Germany.
But Normandy wasn't the only place U.S. and Allied forces were fighting that day. Just 48 hours earlier, the U.S. 3rd Infantry and 1st Armored divisions liberated Rome. This marked a major milestone after nine months of brutal fighting in a bloody campaign up the Italian peninsula in places like Monte Cassino, San Pietro, and in the long Allied build-up at Anzio.
The liberation of Rome wasn't the end of the Italian campaign. As in France and Northern Europe, another agonizing 11 months of combat remained ahead of Allied forces in Europe before Nazi Germany surrendered in May 1945. But with the D-Day landings in France, the Italian campaign became something of a sideshow, relegated "below the fold" in the nation's newspapers.
When the soldiers of World War II returned home, they found care with the Veteran's Administration in V.A. facilities throughout the nation, and, by and large, the U.S. upheld it's tradition of commitment to our nation's veterans.
Unfortunately, the news of vets coping with physical injuries and significant mental trauma has fallen "below the fold" in today's headlines. A lack of oversight, and a mindset that focuses on the bottom line, led to egregious abuses by some V.A. staff and managers. Many vets were, therefore, overlooked by their country - at a time when they were most in need of care and attention.
- Congressional Candidate Dave Peiser is fully committed to taking a leadership role in Congress by fully funding the V.A. and expediting the delivery of benefits delayed by bureaucratic backlogs.
- Unlike his opponent, Congressman Darrell Issa, and the Republican-majority House of Representatives, Peiser will vote to expand funding for veteran's services and spending for veteran-related care. He will work to bring that care to the 49th District - to the veterans who are entitled to it.
- Care for our nation's veterans should never be a partisan issue. But, to spite President Obama the Republican House voted against a spending bill that would have set aside as much as $100 million for overtime and additional training for claims processors which would have reduced the growing backlog of veterans waiting for care. We cannot let this deliberate obstruction of our Congress continue at the expense of our nation's veterans.
Seven decades after World War II, the 49th District again has a robust and sizable population of veterans returning or recently-arrived home from two lengthy wars.
Fortunately, due to advances in technology and personal protection many more in our armed forces have survived injuries that would likely have killed soldiers 70 years ago. An extraordinary number of these survivors need ongoing care now; they cannot wait for the V.A. to straighten out the backlog.
There are local opportunities to supplement PTSD treatment, physical rehabilitation, and related care for veterans in the 49th District. The V.A. needs to be able to quickly reimburse vets who seek this care on their own, or direct vets to such outlets when the wait time for V.A. care is too long.
The current V.A. scandal shows our nation is grievously failing to uphold its commitment to our veterans, who obeyed orders and went into combat when called upon to do so.
Once elected, Dave Peiser will work to remove cumbersome barriers with regard to care for veterans. It is our duty to not overlook the needs of our vets and every one of them must receive the timely care they need.