Ask McCain and Obama to support vets

10/14/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The folks at the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America are the real deal, and I've learned a lot from 'em:

Over the past two weeks, IAVA took our message of putting veterans first on the road to the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. IAVA is non-partisan and does not endorse political candidates, but we brought member veterans from across the country to tell convention delegates and guests about the most critical issues facing our country's newest generation of heroes.

IAVA will continue to work in Washington, DC and across the country on behalf of our newest generation of veterans. Can you help us out by adding your name to the petition to the candidates at

The letter reads:

Dear Senator Obama and Senator McCain,

I stand with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America in calling for you
to keep veterans' issues at the top of your agenda if you are elected President.

Here are the top 10 issues that the next administration should address.

1. Ensure Thorough, Professional, and Confidential Mental Health Screening
2. Advance-Fund VA Health Care
3. Overhaul the Military and Veterans' Disability System
4. Cut the Claims Backlog in Half
5. End the Passive VA System
6. Combat the Shortage of Mental Health Professionals
7. Create Tax Incentives for Patriotic Employers
8. Fight Homelessness among Veterans
9. Give Families Access to Mental Health Support
10. Repeal the Waiver of High-Deployment Pay

Honoring our veterans is not a partisan issue. Our troops served our country bravely and deserve the best once they return home.

Thank you for your commitment to our veterans.

Note: Senator McCain told me supporting vets is the right thing, but too expensive in dollars and manpower. (May 8, 2008, Time magazine event in NYC.) He didn't vote for the GI Bill for that reason. Obama supported the new GI Bill.