THE BLOG

On Veterans, President Obama Off To a Great Start

05/25/2011 01:00 pm ET
  • Jon Soltz Co-Founder of VoteVets.org, Iraq War Veteran

Talk about fast. At 12 noon, the White House website flipped over from President Bush to President Obama. Of particular concern to me and all of the veterans with VoteVets.org was what the agenda was for veterans. On that, just one second after 12 noon, the new White House scored an A+.

Just before the inauguration, VoteVets.org polled the over 45,000 veterans and veteran families in its over 100,000 person email base for suggestions on what the new administration should tackle at the VA. Today, the White House website makes clear that the message was loud and clear.

The full memo VoteVets.org sent to the transition on our findings can be found here. The White House page on veterans can be found here. Notice similarities?

VoteVets.org Memo - Lack of easy access should be met with more VA hospitals and clinics and/or ability to get care elsewhere.

White House Page- Expand Vet Centers

VoteVets.org Memo - Prescriptions are often too expensive for many vets to afford; and Emergency services need to be covered.

White House Page - Fully fund the VA so it has all the resources it needs to serve the veterans who need it, when they need it.

VoteVets.org Memo - Advocates are needed.

White House Page - Hire additional claims workers, and improve training and accountability so that VA benefit decisions are rated fairly and consistently.

VoteVets.org Memo - Streamline and make the disability process easier to understand.

White House Page - Fix the Benefits Bureaucracy

How refreshing to have an administration that hears veterans, listens to veterans, and plans to fight for veterans!

We'll see what happens the rest of the week with an Executive Order closing Guantanamo, banning torture practices, and setting a new course in Iraq. But, if the new White House page on veterans is any indication, we finally have a President who is listening to us.

Crossposted at VetVoice.com

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