While John McCain often argues that no one is a bigger friend to our veterans -- and it would seem logical, on the surface -- some veterans groups argue otherwise. In fact, today a leading nonpartisan organization of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans has issued a congressional scorecard that gives McCain a big D -- and his opponent, Barack Obama, a B.
Only nine members of Congress earned a D or less. McCain was found to vote favorably only three out of nine times on key measures for vets. He missed six of the votes. Obama missed four.
The report card places McCain on what it calls "the D team" and explains, "These legislators must improve their voting records if they are to legitimately claim that they support our troops and veterans."
The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans for America (IAVA) Fund released its 2008 Congressional Report Card. It grades every Senator and Congressman on his or her leadership and voting record on key Iraq and Afghanistan veterans' issues including the GI Bill, V.A .funding and mental health care. A searchable version of the Report Card can be found at www.VeteranReportCard.org
"IAVA Action's 2008 Congressional Report Card reveals which lawmakers took a stand on behalf of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and which ones failed to truly support the troops," said Paul Rieckhoff, Executive Director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). "From their leadership on the GI Bill to their support of increased VA funding, IAVA Action holds lawmakers accountable with this campaign. Now every American can find out who in Washington really supports Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, and who is just full of hot air."
Greg Mitchell is editor of Editor & Publisher and author of the new book on Iraq and the media, "So Wrong for So Long," which features interviews with Paul Rieckhoff and several chapters devoted to vets' concerns.
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