Veterans and GI Rights

Support for men and women in the armed forces must go far beyond the rhetoric used to discredit the peace movement in the U.S. today.

We need to understand that the ill-advised and illegal actions of the U.S. administration have unnecessarily put our troops in harm's way.

We should further understand that the dangerous burden of fighting the unnecessary war in Iraq, and the wars that may follow, due to the administration's overly narrow and militaristic response to terrorism is disproportionately borne by families of lesser means.

Those who are required to carry out militaristic policies, often with great hardship to themselves, their families, and even the risk of their lives, deserve our respect and our commitment to adequate compensation and benefits.

Our first priority in foreign policy considerations is to creating a future without war. We must be committed to the idea that future generations will not face the separations and sacrifices of war.

We must recommend the following actions:

  1. Increase the current pay levels, including monthly combat pay, imminent danger pay and family separation allowances for those risking their lives in combat zones.

  2. Provide better care for the wounded, sick and injured soldiers. Restore full funding for veterans' health programs. Ensure that the Pentagon takes all steps necessary to fully diagnose and treat the physical and mental health conditions resulting from service in combat zones, including post-traumatic stress disorder. Support increased funding for additional clinics to provide services which now are too often delayed or denied throughout the Veterans Affairs system because of over crowding and budget constraints.

  3. Ensure that all pre-deployment physicals are completed within the standard allotted time period, and that medical follow-ups are routinely given to all soldiers.

  4. Honor all laws concerning time limits on deployments.

  5. Ensure a smooth transition from active military service to civilian life by providing counseling, housing, emergency management, job protection and other support systems.

  6. Many of those U.S. Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen who served during U.S. Wars in the past two decades have been exposed to nuclear, chemical and possibly biological warfare agents. We insist that the Veterans Administration not ignore the suffering they have experienced since coming home from the war. The Congress should fund and the VA should implement a comprehensive program to survey Vets and the impacts of Gulf War Syndrome on them and their families and to provide the best possible medical treatment available to minimize the suffering of these men and women and their families.

  7. Veterans of the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are being unfairly discharged from the service with PTSD and other injuries caused by stress, trauma and head injuries, under trumped-up behavioral charges, as a means of military budget cost-cutting. We must nsist that all U.S. combatants are entitled to medical and psychiatric health care by the VA, after serving any time in a combat zones. Service members serving in combat zones are subjected to assorted variations of permanent physical and mental damage and are entitled to treatment by the Veterans Administration. This nation has a moral obligation to provide health care services and disability entitlements to its veterans. We should support funding for additional clinics to provide services which now are too often delayed or denied because of over-crowding and budget constraints throughout the VA system.

  8. Provide recognized, independent veteran organizations with access to military personnel to ensure they are being informed of their rights, including those who are hospitalized due to service related injuries or illnesses.

  9. Establish a panel of independent medical doctors to examine and oversee the military policies regarding forced vaccinations and shots, especially with experimental drugs. Insist that the military halt the practice of testing experimental medicines and inoculations on service members without their consent.

  10. Enact a new GI Bill, similar to the one that began after World War II and ended in 1981, to provide tuition grants for four years of college or other educational opportunities, low-interest loans for housing or business start-ups, and free medical care for military personnel and their families for ten years following separation from the armed forces.

  11. Support a transparent and democratic conscientious objection process free of harassment, imprisonment, or deployment to war zones for conscientious objectors. Defend the right of individuals in the military service to modify or completely separate from military involvement because of conscientious objection.

Sources:

Green Party