A woman in North Carolina recently snapped a photo of several U.S. veterans lying on the floor of a veteran’s hospital in the state. One veteran was slouched in a wheelchair while squirming around in pain and another veteran was on the floor crying out in agony. According to the Huffington Post, one veteran asked for permission to lie down on the floor to help ease his pain, and the staff at the hospital promptly denied his request and told him he can “sit in a chair and wait, like everyone else.” Witnesses indicate the man lied down on the floor anyway until someone offered him a reclining chair.
The man in the wheelchair was identified as Jesse Lee, a Vietnam-era veteran who lost both of his legs to diabetes. Lee stated that it was the worst thing that ever happened in his life, and he also stated that it is not uncommon for veterans to wait for hours before someone at the hospital offers assistance. The photo is now viral, which led to the daughter of Sen. John McCain, Meghan McCain, calling the scene “despicable and shameful.”
A public affairs officer representing the hospital will conduct a full investigation. The officer stated the photos were taken on one of the hospital’s busiest days, and it was not indicative of the level of service veterans receive.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill back in late March that gives veterans with mental illnesses the ability to buy guns, according to the Huffington Post. In 2007, President George W. Bush passed a law after the Virginia Tech mass shooting requiring the Veterans Administration to identify veterans with a “mental defect” and add those names to the National Criminal Background Check System. At the time, the law was meant to block any veteran with a supposed mental defect from buying guns.
The bill passed by the U.S. House prevents the VA from adding the names of veterans with mental problems to the NICS system. According to statistics, there are approximately 174,000 veterans with some form of mental defect. The defects range from post-traumatic stress disorder, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia. Democrats strongly oppose the passage of the bill but do admit that some veterans were caught up in the system without an identifying mental defect.
The opposition from Democrats stems in large part to the increasing number of veteran suicides. Reports indicate that 20 veterans in the U.S. take their lives every day, and two-thirds of those veterans use guns to commit suicide. Democratic lawmakers state there is a veteran suicide crisis in America and easy access to guns is the reason. A group of retired generals, including Stanley McChrystal and David Petraeus, opposed the passage of the bill.
A recent survey showed about 54 percent of American veterans still support Donald Trump. During his campaign, Trump received broad support from many veterans. Trump’s overall numbers show he has a 39 percent approval rating among the broader public, according to the Pew Research Center. Veterans both young and old give Trump high marks for his job as the United States commander in chief. Veterans between the ages of 18 and 49 give Trump a 46 percent approval rating while six-in-ten veterans over the age of 50 give Trump high marks. College-educated veterans also gave the president high marks.
The survey by the Pew Research Center showed that veterans who identify themselves as Republicans gave Donald Trump a 98 percent approval rating while the approval rating was 10 percent from veterans who consider themselves Democrats. Compared to the overall public, most veterans fall in the male, white and older demographic where support for Trump is higher.
Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau show that 92 percent of veterans are male while 8 percent are female. Most veterans in the U.S. are over the age of 65 and approximately 8-in-ten veterans are Caucasian. Trump held a wide advantage in general election back in November of 2016 among veterans. According to a national exit poll, Donald Trump won the popular vote among veterans by a 60 to 34 percent advantage over his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
United States military veterans — along with veterans all around the world — are not treated as positively as they should be, in the eyes of most United States citizens. A significant deficiency in taking care of veterans in the USA comes with the ever-failing Veterans Affairs. Recently, the new chief of Veterans Affairs in the Unites States, David Shulkin, has clarified that homelessness programs may not be run through to fruition as quickly as United States citizens would like to.
There have been many meaningless, unfulfilled promises made to veterans in the United States, such as Mr. Shulkin’s assertion that reducing current veteran homelessness down from 40,000 to 10,000 is totally achievable. Chief of the VA Mr. Shulkin believes that this goal would be easier to meet if the frequency of veterans popping in and out of homeless and in between couches, friend’s houses, and other places to live.
Although David Shulkin does feel confident in his assertion that homelessness will decline soon, the status of having top notch healthcare for those veterans is slim to none. Veterans are unlikely to even have any insurance out of what it provided for them when they visit the Veterans Affairs hospital, which is mostly paid by the government.
Homeless replacement programs come in all shapes and sizes, but any attempt at ending homelessness permanently is certainly commendable. Although the status of homelessness in veterans in the United States is far from great at the moment, there are hundreds of programs to help reposition and house homeless veterans
Over the past four months, the presidency of Donald Trump has been discussed heavily in the media. While he has made a lot of big moves already, he has lost support from some people that used to support his presidency. According to a recent survey, one group of people in the United States is continuing to support Trump (http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/05/26/u-s-veterans-are-generally-supportive-of-trump/).
According to the survey, US military veterans have an overall 54% approval rating for Donald Trump. This compares to the overall nation’s approval rating of just 39%. Furthermore, the overall approval rating has remained relatively stable over the past few months while the national approval rating has declined.
The rate of military veterans that support Trump tends to vary a lot based on age and political party. Overall, Republican US Veterans have a 98% approval rating for Trump, which is compared to 86% approval rating of all US Republicans. On the other hand, Veterans who identify themselves as Democrats only have a 10% approval rating while independents have an approval rating of nearly 50%.
Beyond the political affiliation, the age of the veteran seems to impact the approval rating significantly as well. US Veterans that are under the age of 50 have an approval rating of just 38%. This compares to those over the age of 50 that have an approval rating of nearly 60%. Another interesting fact is that those that have a college degree have a much lower level approval compared to those that have not finished their college degree.