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VFW is committed to ending hunger and sequestration

PETER O’CONNOR
Staff Columnist
oconnor@lbknews.com

COMMANDPOST *  FROM THE Chief

By the Commander-in-Chief

Keith E. Harman

VFW  *APRIL 2018

I’ve written on the subject of Sequestration in these pages.  The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States  has been my source before.  Hunger is a new subject this month.  That is  an unfortunate topic, but needs to be covered.

“At VFW, we are committed to ensuring the welfare of the nation’s troops, its veterans and their families.  It is at the core of our reason for existing.  There are two issues currently endangering these folks that VFW is striving to rectify.

One of these – sequestration, or automatic cuts to the federal budget have been hindering our military  – we have been publically fighting against for seven years.  The other – food insecurity , or hunger – is a fight we have just begun.

If not fixed, these two issues can hinder veterans throughout their lives.

As noted in VFW Res. 401 – ‘End Sequestration’ which our delegates approved at VFW’s national convention last year, the budget cuts mandated by sequestration have ‘reduced and degraded quality-of-life programs for military personnel and their families.’

The resolution states that if sequestration is allowed to continue, ‘it threatens to dismantle every quality-of –life program the VFW has helped to create for veterans, service members and their families.’

And that’s just the implications for troops and their families.  Regarding defense of the nation, these budget caps foreshadow even more dire consequences.  Quite simply, sequestration is one of the most significant national security threats of the 21st century.

We know President Trump supports VFW’s goal to kill these across-the-board budget cuts.  In January, during his State of the Union speech, President Trump asked Congress to end the ‘dangerous defense sequester and fully fund our great military.’  We agree completely.”

The VFW Chief continues: “The other issue – food insecurity – is not as well-publicized, but is a more immediate concern for those it affects.

I was shocked to learn that a study from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health determined that 27 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans  struggle  to put food on the table.  That is simply unacceptable and something VFW won’t tolerate.

Food insecurity doesn’t mean just being hungry.  It is the daily anguish of not knowing where or how you will feed your family and yourself.

VFW has begun working with Humana to raise awareness of this issue.

To promote that campaign, we have several events planned over the coming months.  We are also partnering with Kansas City-based non-profit After the Harvest, as well as the Harvesters Community Food Network.”

More:  “As you can see, the fights to end food insecurity and sequestration are battles we must wage.  Our troops must have the weapons and equipment they need to do their jobs, our veterans must be free from the shackles of hunger, and their families must have access to the care and benefits they deserve.”

“As the nation’s largest organization of combat veterans, we vow to fight for them.  It’s what we do.”

Your Correspondent is a Life Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.

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