Among those who did return and the family members of all who served, I see too much addiction and pain. That personal human suffering is an unacceptable legacy to those who died in service to their nation.
From what I hear, read and see, the VFW does a fine job at the national level. But, as with any large organization, many of the "good things" take place where the rubber hits the road, at the local Posts.
For five years, VA leadership under Secretary Shinseki apparently continued doing the same things over and over in order to achieve a different outcome. And for five years, President Obama has supported the same secretary who continues to do the same things over and over.
Two of the most important characteristics for leadership, and certainly for the position of Commander in Chief, are straight talk and care for your subordinates. Gov. Romney's VFW speech failed the first of these.
In their dueling speeches to the Veterans of Foreign Wars this week, there were many diplomatic ambiguities from both candidates. But the sparring did make clear there would be a significant shift in America's direction if Romney comes to power.
In World World I, World War II, and Korea returning veterans used the VFW's as clubs to meet socially, have a drink, and contribute to the communities they were in. Here is an 11-step plan for re-branding and re-imagining VFW's nationwide.