Happy Independence Day!

Have a good Independence Day, all! Here’s to everyone making it through with all ten fingers!

Lawmakers reject plan to require women to register for military draft

American Military News

The House Armed Services Committee has rejected a plan to require women between the ages of 18 and 26 to enter the Selective Service System, Military Times reported.

The rejection put the issue on hold until a review on the entire draft system is conducted. The decision followed up the debate on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018.

Rep. Jackie Speier, a Democrat from California, and other lawmakers pushed for an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would have ordered women to sign up for potential involuntary military service with the Selective Service System 30 days after turning 18 years old. All men ages 18 to 26 are required to register.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry, a Republican from Texas, opposed the amendment because a review of the Selective Service System is forthcoming and new changes wouldn’t be necessary.

Full article: Lawmakers reject plan to require women to register for military draft | American Military News

So what’s in this review? When is it going to start? And why can’t we get women signed up for the draft while we wait however long for that to take place? Are we considering doing away with it? If we are, in the meantime, we can get women signed up for it and if they do away with it, great, they’re cut loose just like the men.

But it seems to me that even with the pending review, men are still signing up for the draft. How come not women?

If you want equality, you take the good with the bad. You don’t just get equality of privilege. You get straight across equality. If the draft is good enough for the men, it should be good enough for the women, too. And if we, for some reason, do reinstate the draft, why should only the men be torn from their families involuntarily? This is what equality looks like.

Don’t get me wrong. I do, in fact, support women in combat. I know a lot of folks don’t, but I do. However, if you want into combat, you get into the draft, too. I’m sorry. That’s how it works, ladies.

8 More State IDs Will No Longer Be Accepted at Bases

(US Air Force photo/Anthony Jennings)

Driver’s licenses and most other IDs issued by eight additional states will no longer be accepted as official identification for accessing U.S. military bases — starting July 10 — unless new extensions are granted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Pentagon officials said this week.

All non-enhanced, state-issued IDs from Oregon, Alaska, Oklahoma, Kentucky, South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Washington will join IDs from Montana, Minnesota, Missouri and Maine on the list of those that do not comply with federal identification standards and cannot be used to enter federal facilities, according to DHS.

Full article: 8 More State IDs Will No Longer Be Accepted at Bases | Military.com

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Trump signs bills to help police officers, veterans

Fox News

Seated at a table in the White House’s Diplomatic Reception Room, Trump approved a measure giving priority for federal grants to those federal and state law enforcement agencies that hire and train veterans.

The American Law Enforcement Heroes Act and the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Improvement Act is the product of a bipartisan effort by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.

The second measure – the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Improvement Act – takes steps to reduce the backlog of families awaiting approval of survivor benefits of public safety officers killed in the line of duty.

Full article: Trump signs bills to help police officers, veterans | Fox News

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Memorial Day

Since the beginning of our nation, a proud few have stood up to answer the call to defend our nation and our freedom. Today, we honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in our name. Please take a moment to remember our fallen, including those who died since the very start of our country. A grateful nation thanks and honors you.

Shulkin Says he is Considering Closing 1100 VA Facilities

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Photo Credit: Andrew Harnik/AP

According to this, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin is considering closing 1100 VA facilities nationwide. Apparently, they are prepping to allow Veterans more use of the private sector.

For years now, we have heard stories of long wait times and Veterans dying while waiting to be seen. I personally had a fight with the VA (on behalf of my father) that required the assistance of a state Senator. Had my father been going to the private sector, he would have been treated faster, with less complaint, and more uniformly, which he actually needed because he was undergoing cancer treatment for stage 4 glioblastoma.

According to the article at Military Times:

In an internal agency document obtained by The Associated Press, the VA pointed to aging buildings it was reviewing for possible closure that would cost millions of dollars to replace. It noted that about 57 percent of all VA facilities were more than 50 years old. Of the 431 VA buildings it said were vacant, most were built 90 or more years ago, according to agency data. The VA document did not specify the locations.

I see no issue with this! Aging buildings in disrepair? Close them! I think we should allow our Veterans to see non-VA doctors with the use of a VA insurance that affords them the same benefits of using the VA. The remaining VA hospitals should be used for the most serious cases, such as our men and women coming home from overseas with injuries and rehab for those injuries. Everyone else, like my father, should be treated in the private sector.

We should also be expanding their nursing facility for long term care of aging and terminally ill Veterans. My father required the services of a 24 hour location as he got severely ill, and he very much wanted to be among his fellow Veterans in his final days. He was denied. There was no room. I personally believe that, if he had been granted a room, he would have lived longer. All my father would have needed to give himself a few more months would have been for some Vietnam era Marine to walk into his room and tell him to suck it up (my dad was Army, but he so admired the Marines that he preferred them and lamented the fact that he wasn’t one).

So let’s do this. Save the tax payers some money. And for the love of all things holy, let’s save our Veterans from long wait times, fights they shouldn’t need to focus on more than their illness or injury, and premature death.

There’s a plan in Congress to start charging troops for their GI Bill benefits

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The plan — draft legislation from House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Phil Roe, R-Tenn. — would deduct $2,400 from future service members’ paychecks to establish eligibility for revamped post-military education benefits. This was first reported Tuesday by Task & Purpose.

Currently, the post-9/11 GI Bill offers full tuition to a four-year state college (or the equivalent tuition payout for a private school) plus a monthly housing stipend to any service member who spends at least three years on active duty, and to reservists who are mobilized to active-duty for extended periods. Troops wounded while serving are also eligible.

Full article: There’s a plan in Congress to start charging troops for their GI Bill benefits

Holy crap. Why is it that every time there is a money issue, our vets are the ones that take it up the backside? I will not vote for anyone who backs this. Period.