An Open Letter to the Next President
Dear Mr. President-Elect,
My name is Edmund Dunn and I am a service-disabled veteran. I retired after 20 years serving in the United States Army. I decided to write an open letter to the next president because there has been so much talk about your plans for the future and the direction you want to take the United States in. My biggest concern is about your plans for the Department of Veteran Affairs and whether or not you will follow through on your promises to take care of veterans. Your outright refusal to talk to any of the long-standing veteran service organizations like the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America has greatly increased my concern. These organizations speak for many veterans. They allow us to unite our voices so that they reach those who are able to effect positive change.
Your consideration of Pete Hegseth and Scott Brown has raised many concerns about how serious you are about your promise. This is not about politics, but about taking care of those who have served this country and who are often left without crucial assistance. We hear too many stories of veterans in desperate need of help being turned away by the VA and committing suicide. There are too many veterans that are committing suicide and who need help. Please make sure that you appoint someone who is willing to work with all veteran organizations and listen to their voices; someone who will be able to unite efforts to help veterans.
It is now up to you to follow through on the changes started in the VA; to make sure that Congress continues their bipartisan efforts to change the laws and reform the VA; to make sure that the Department of Defense does not continue their practice of kicking out service members with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder using misconduct discharges. These discharges ensure that those service members and veterans cannot receive help from the VA.
There are also many organizations, local and national, big and small, who are helping veterans all over the country. Please support those organizations to allow them to continue to do their good work and provide. Support from the government, especially the President, can provide a much-needed boost. This support can come simply in the form of recognition.
Congress has been trying to cut into the Post-9/11 GI Bill. This cannot be allowed. The Montgomery GI Bill and the Post-9/11 GI Bill are both part of the promise given by the United States to those who serve in our armed forces. It is a sacred promise that Congress is more than happy to break for their own convenience. Please do not allow this to happen.
You are the next President of the United States whatever some may wish. Please make sure you take care of those who have served us all in the armed forces.