On Thursday, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin ripped the Obama administration for putting the needs of illegal immigrants ahead of veterans who sacrificed to ensure the nation’s freedoms.
At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Palin referred to the Veterans Administration’s wait-list scandal and said, “we can’t wait for D.C. to fix their bureaucratic blunders.”
Palin demanded that veterans get vouchers to get treatment outside of the VA.
“Give our vets the same freedoms they gave us,” she declared. “And instead of illegal aliens cutting in line and being rewarded with a handout of U.S. benefits, we demand that the vets are first in line.”
She blasted the “corrupt government” for putting veterans on secret waiting lists, deceiving Congress, and then spying on investigators who were trying to get to the bottom of the scandal.
“The bureaucracy is killing our vets,” Palin said, noting that the VA’s blunders have killed at least 500 veterans.
She also ripped the the media that “doesn’t cover lame-duck scandals anymore” for not digging more into the Veterans Administration wait-list scandal after VA Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned.
“The reason why you don’t hear about them is because our vets don’t whine,” she said. “They’re not wired to complain. That’s why this ran under the radar for so long.”
Palin said veterans reentering the civil workforce should be allowed to use the technical skills they learned without having to go through unnecessary and burdensome hoops to get certified. She mentioned that Congress cut veterans benefits last year in the budget compromise while not voting to cut their own and urged Congress to permanently secure the benefits of veterans.
Palin reminded the audience that when George Washington gathered his officers after the last British troops left the colonies, the father of the country, overcome with emotion, said, “with a heart full of love and gratitude I now take leave of you. I most devoutly wish that your latter days may be as prosperous and happy as your former ones have been glorious and honorable.”
After saying that Washington’s wish for our first veterans should be our wish for every veteran that has followed, Palin asked whether America has lived up to Washington’s wish for America’s veterans. Palin said she was asking not as a politician but as a mother of a combat veteran. She addressed the post-traumatic stress veterans suffer and the high suicide rates among veterans–she said 92 veterans will have committed suicide by the time CPAC concludes–and blasted politicians who “squander precious lives” abroad and then “callously” refuse to respect and repay veterans who are coming back “broken” in “body and spirit.”
“Our vets deserve better and we demand better,” Palin said, noting that today’s troops are deployed for much longer than previous soldiers.