The Government 's Oath Of Responsibility

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During his second inaugural speech in March of 1865, President Abraham Lincoln spoke words that would define the government’s oath of responsibility to its veterans. Now the motto of the United States Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA), “to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan,” these words describe the commitment of we the people to those who have served in the nation’s armed forces. Recently, that commitment which has served to guide the care of our nation’s veterans, has come under question. The purpose of this paper is to share the perspective of two veterans on how the community of American veterans can be better served by the government that has sworn to care for them. I conducted a bit of research prior to interviewing my informants to see the situation with how veterans are being cared for. This research showed a number of issues revolving around the Veterans Health Administration, a division of the VA. In 2014, there was a scandal that arose regarding the wait times for veterans to receive medical care. In fact, it was found that an estimated 18 veterans died awaiting the care they needed in Arizona (Daly, 2014). I personally waited almost two years for a disability claim to be processed in its entirety back in 2011. In response to these issues, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs at the time, Eric Shinseki, resigned (BBC, 2014). Lawmakers responded with a myriad of legislation to provide more accountability to the VA, as well as to protect veterans (United States Congress, 2014). It is clear that there is, in fact, a history of issues within the Veterans Affairs regarding the treatment of veterans. I took the opportunity to speak with an old mentor of mine who is a vet... ... middle of paper ... ...han 100 days. He thinks that processes that are in place due to recent events are drastically improving processes in the system. Getting veterans the help they need is important to him because none of them should have to wait for the care that they need. It would seem that the vision of President Lincoln was one that he meant to carry on beyond his days and the veterans of the Civil War. The two veterans I spoke with believe that there are improvements that may be made as to how our nation’s veterans are cared for, but have seen drastic improvement over the years. My own personal research and experience showed a huge mishandling in the care of veterans, but also a huge response from lawmakers to protect and prevent these issues from happening again. As we continue forward, it seems as though the care for those who have borne the battle will continue to improve.
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