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Friday, September 30, 2016

May 27 (Bloomberg) — The Memorial Day commemoration today honors the 1.25 million Americans who have fallen for their country. It also affords an opportunity to show concern for living servicemembers, active and retired.

The picture is complex and contradictory. The U.S. military is more capable than ever, and well-provided-for despite threats of mindless across-the-board spending cuts under the so-called sequestration. At the same time, the armed forces are plagued by soaring suicide rates, rising incidents of sexual assault and worn down by multiple tours of combat duty.

Conditions for veterans are similarly mixed. The Department of Veterans Affairs’ budget has more than doubled in less than a decade; the U.S. and China are the only countries whose military budgets exceed what the U.S. alone spends on veterans. An updated version of the GI bill has sent more than a million veterans to college. Thanks to White House prodding, employment opportunities for former servicemembers are improving. Still, joblessness and homelessness are higher for veterans than the national average, and many face lengthy bureaucratic nightmares to get their military disability benefits.

“Our active military force today is remarkable; never has a force been so continuously involved for so long in combat,” says Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, a Democrat who served as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division and is an influential voice on military matters. “This service has taken a toll; we see many pressures. There are other pressures on those who’ve served before.”

Most experts agree with Reed’s assessment of the current force. “There never has been in the history of the planet a military even three-quarters as good as ours,” says Michael O’Hanlon, a military affairs scholar at the Brookings Institution.

If the war in Afghanistan winds down next year, as President Barack Obama has promised, and if no new conflict arises, the military budget can be pared back, though more modestly and carefully than it would be under sequestration.

O’Hanlon, a close associate of General David Petraeus, the former Central Intelligence Agency chief, argues that the active duty Army and Marine levels can be reduced; the Navy, rather than increasing the size of its fleet, can deploy its resources more efficiently, and the Air Force only needs about half of the new F-35 joint strike fighters it has ordered.

The social problems may be thornier. The suicide rate for active-duty personnel reached a record high last year. While the Pentagon is devoting more resources to mental health, tragedies remain too common.

About 15 percent of the military are women; sexual assaults have risen, capturing the attention of both the president and Congress. In the military justice system, commanding officers have the authority to change the penalties in an assault conviction; the administration and lawmakers are seeking to change that loophole. Some want to go so far as requiring an automatic dishonorable discharge for anyone convicted of sexual assault.

  • Above all, we should be grateful for the courage of those who decided to join our Armed Forces. They, as opposed to those whose sense of patriotism and conservatism is to wrap themselves on the flag on their way to Dave & Buster, decided to put their money where their mouth is. Thanks to them, we are able to debate issues of national importance without fear of retribution, we can criticize a government that, by all measures, is among the most focused on national security, the advancement of our values and social improvement than most forms of government in the world.
    We should also be grateful for President Obama’s decision to withdraw from Iraq and ordering the orderly withdrawal of our troops in Afghanistan. Most importantly, we should recognize his efforts to help returning veterans. Both President Obama and our First Lady have been focused on veterans affair since his first Inauguration, both with specific deeds and by reminding the American people of the contributions of those who are giving their all and expect nothing in return.

    • Troy

      I love what you wrote and thank you I served in the United States Army & Navy,as well as two of my sons one a Marine and the oldest in his 20th year in the Navy.My late father served in the Army,and fought in the Korean War.so thank you for your words truly.

      • BDC_57

        I want to thank you and your family for your service.

        • Troy

          No! Thank you for saying that to me!! Because the sad part is that veterans do that hear it that much from the normal general population.And the only time we hear it from Washington,its on days life Memorial Day,Veterans Day.When a service member has odne something that he/she deserves the recognition and admiration for if it was valor in the line of duty.No! we should hear it every day when you see a veteran wearing a military ball cap and pins on his head showing where he/she served and what they did as well,or recognizing what all his family members did and served as mine is that hey!! will it kill anyone to just say Thank You for your service? Really how hard is that tell me anyone tell me how hard is that really? When I see World War II,Veterans at the Orlando V.A.Hospital,I always thank them and shake their hard and the reason is quite simple if you know your history.16 million Americans served and fought in World War II,in two theaters,and there is not many of them left but if it were not for the, think about how the world would be today if Hitler,got his way.
          So I am definitely grateful to those men/women when I see them at the hospital or in the street,How about you the rest of America??

          • lana ward

            I thank you and your family for your service. I thank ALL Military for their service. But you have put your loyalty in the wrong P-resident. Obama is a Muslim and his loyalty is with the Muslims, NOT our Military. Google, Obama and the military

          • BDC_57

            Shut up stupid teabagger

          • lana ward

            MERRY CHRISTMAS to you too!!

          • kent doering

            Lana Ward. As a Vietnam vet, and uncle of two Iraq – Afghan vets, I am loyal to the Constitution and the democratically elected Commander in Chief who happens to be Barack Obama, who while he has a Middle Eastern name, was baptized as a Christian as a child, married a woman of Christian faith, and whose daughters are both baptized and being raised as Christians, thank you. Barack Obama´s loyalties as Commander in Chief are with all Americans, no matter what their faith: i.e. native Americans and their “shamanic cultures”, Christians of all denominations, Jews of all denominations, Buddhist, Hindus, Sikhs, and yes, even those who prefer not to believe in a Higher Power- th agnostics and the confirmed atheists. That is what the 1st Amendment is all about. Read it.

            Now, Lana Ward- the article describes how many Iraq and Afghan vets are homeless. If you own your own home along with a bank holding part of the mortgage, or renting a larger house, and have an extra-bedroom – would you sub-rent a room to a homeless vet- of any race, religion, or gender at a reasonable price, in return for help with the household and in the yard in a mutually beneficiqlö “quid-pro-quo”, demonstrating your patriotism and stated solidary with the troops in a way that is of practical Christian charity?

            We know you by your words, but as Jesus said: “Ye shall know them by their works.” And, as St. Paul stated in Collasians – “Faith without works is dead!”

            I am confident you learnt “Catechism” and the Ten Commandments in your particular Sunday school. Now, the ten commandments are part and parcel of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The 8th Commandment reads: “Thou shallt not bear false witness”. Comparing the President with Hitler, and claiming he is a Muslim when he is a practicing Christian are “false witness.” Christianity asks us to repent of our own sins, not project them onto others. You might try doing a fearless and thorough moral invetory of your own self, and then after having done that, go to a Catholic priest and make oral confession to him, asking whatever God you worship to then remit those sins you find in yourself.

            President Obama is the Commander in Chief, and as such, he does put loyalty to the Military and the 1st Amendment above loyalty to any particular religious outlook.

            Now, repent of your own sins, and sub-rent a room to a homeless vet to demonstrate your solidarity with the American military on this veterans day.

          • lana ward

            Obama is a devout muslim. He was raised muslim and by communists. Communists on both sides of his family. He is turning the US into the US of Islam. He is destroying our country from the inside. About all arms of Government is communist. There are many more involved in destroying conservatives, those who believe what our Founding Fathers believed, not just the IRS. Obama is a terrorist traitor–watch and see

          • kent doering

            Goodness Lana, the more you write, the more ignorance you reveal. Obama is a baptized Christian, and worships in Christian Churches, is married to a Christian, and his daughters are baptized Christians. Get that straight. Secondly, his father was Muslim, but his mother was a white progressive, not a communist.
            You seem to buy into all kinds of “communist-muslim” conspiracy plots as touted by convert from Catholicism to Mormonism Glenn Beck… go ahead an believe it if you will. Others are are not.
            Enjoy your cats, Lady.

          • lana ward

            Obama was and is a muslim, never a Christian. “Rev Wright’s church” is a racist “church”, His marriage is a sham, a cover for the fact that he is queer. Google The Down Low Club. His whole life is a lie, one big fraud

          • kent doering

            Really, Mrs Ward. What is this slandering nonsense about Obama was never a Christian, and the slam §”Rev Rights” church as a “racist church”, contradicting your own first statement. Then you come out with slanderous nonsense about his being Queer– mentioning somehting called the “low down club”. Not being gay, and not being a resident of Chicago, i would not know about such things. However, gays do make up ten percent of any industrial society population, and can make the difference between victory and löss in a tight election, so smart polticians not only do not discriminate against them, they listen to their partiular concerns.

            You are really overdoing yourself in slanderous rhetoric- implying the President as a neo-Nazi-covert communist, covert Muslim, closet queen. You even outdo the late Senator Joe McCarthy on that. I notice you are not smart enough to notice the oxymorons involved in all the false things you have been implying about the President. LOL.
            Glad I am not married to a “lust of dominion” denigrating and derisive little witch like you who obviously never grew out of mid-puberty.

    • Fern Woodfork

      I Would Like To Thank You Dominick And All Of Our Troops For Serving This Country!!! Plus I’m Sorry That We Have Some No Good Ass People Like The GOP/Tea Party American Taliban Members In Congress, Who Voted No To The Vet Bill!! 🙁 It’s Sad That They Don’t Mind Sending Other People Family And Friends To Fight Their Wars, Mind You They Hardly Ever Send Their Own Family Members, But Yet When The Vets Need Help They Turn Them Down!!! 🙁

      • lana ward

        Obama stopped our troops from voting in the election–he knew most would vote for Romney. Obama won’t even salute our Marines, pitiful!!!!

        • BDC_57

          Shut up you lying asshole slut teabagger

          • lana ward

            Truth hurt?? Check out how many of our troops didn’t even get the chance to vote, slut. And OHitler wouldn’t salute a Marine when boarding AF2.

          • Fern Woodfork

            When Your Dumb Ass Start Making The Money I Do 72.00 A Hour Then We Talk!! Until Then Pucker Up And Kiss My ASS!!

          • lana ward

            What does how much money you make have to do with Obama keeping most of our Military from voting and for not saluting a Marine?? You’re a freak!!

          • Fern Woodfork

            LYING STINKING BITCH!!! YOUR MOTHER IS A FREAK!!!

          • lana ward

            Can you please tell me what our other 7 states are ? LOL . I’d like to visit LOL

          • Fern Woodfork

            Go Back To Your Pat Dichead Web Site!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • kent doering

            You are making false assertions in your claim that President Obama keeps the U.S. military from voting. As stated missing a salute to a Marine while boarding a plane shows no disrespect to the military. He is surrounded by troops assigned to the White House Guard. He does reutrn salutes on formal occassons such as reviewing the guard and state ceremonies receiving foreign heads of state as the protocol calls for.

          • lana ward

            You must not watch Fox News. You would see Obama stopped Military from voting

          • kent doering

            Faux News is known for radical distortions of truth and mixing right wing opinions with facts. The fact is, Obama took no executive actions to keep the military from voting. If he had, Republicans in Congress and the Senate would be making a very big deal out of it. They are not, so it is a false assertion on the part of some idiot at Faux News. Your fault if you´re dumb enough to uncritically swallow the “political snake oil medicine” they are selling on that network. Obama made no executive orders to keep the members of the military from exercising their right and duty to vote. That claim by Faux News is false.
            And because you repeat that falsity in your hysterical denigration, you are in falsity and evil, not in good and truth.

          • lana ward

            There are communists in every part of Government. OHitler has gone around Congress before when he doesn’t get his own way

          • kent doering

            Goodness, you sound like the late Senator Eugene McCarthy and Michell Bachmann who has decided not to run for re-election in 2014, knowing full well she´d lose after all her “faux pas”. You claim there are “communists” in every part of the Government. I seriously doubt it that anyone working for the U.S. government has ever even bothered to read Marx except for those involved in special psy ops. Communism collapsed in Russia, and even china is not very “communist” these days.

            There you go again in your ignorant deriding rhetoric by calling the President OHitler. Really. The Nazi´s had nothing in common with the communists in the 20th century, and even fought a war against them which they royally lost, starting at Stalingrad.
            Heaven and hell are not places, lady. They are states of mind, and your´s doesn´t seem to be too healthy. Glad a frustrated spinster like you has 30 cats to take care off, because no sane male U.S. Military Veteran could even imagine having an affair with someone like you, not even with an overdose of Viagra!

          • lana ward

            I’m married so don’t worry about it. And you’re a pervert, you would love going to the Down Low Club with OHitler. Don’t bother me anymore, you’re a pervert, jerk!! Have a nice day

          • kent doering

            Glad you are married, Ms Ward! I feel sorry for your obviously henpecked and dominated husband. He has to put up with 30 cats, the smell of tomcat urine, and listen to your denigration.
            Goodness, viagra is on Obamacare, so I wonder why people like you oppose it?
            (Even at age 66, I don´t need it around a woman who does not consider me a “pervert jerk”.

            You are one denigrating nutcase. Good you´re not around to call this Nam vet a “pervert jerk” to his face: I could end up having to buy you new false teeth after having punched out your real ones, you miserably married jr league derisive and engrating devil witch who never grew out of 15 year old puberty..

          • kent doering

            Lana Ward. Comparing Obama to Hitler with the “OHitler” thing is serioously off base. Goodness, iif you changed the spelling on that to O´Hitler, you´d insult every American of Irish descent and all the Irish as well.

            As a vet myself, I do not approve of Ms. Woodfork´s feisty, salty language that would make even a sailor blush. Mrs Michelle Obama is a fine example of polite decorum who never uses foul language, no matter how upset she may be.

            Most of all, I feel it is inaccurate of Ms. Woodfork to refer to you as a “bitch”. That is an insult to all unpedigreed female dogs.

            Goodness, if you complain about th President missing a salute to a Marine while boarding a plane, readers here can make sure male dogs salute you. All they have to do is take an old fashioned fountain pen, and write “Lana Ward” on a piece of toilet paper, and then take a stroll in a big city park, keeping an eye out for male dogs following a female dog on leash that happens to be in heat. And when she takes a dump, all one has to do is drop that piece of tp on the “doggy do”. And all the male dogs in the park will come up and raise their hind legs in salute of your name, Lana Ward.

            And since you falsely compared President Obama with Hitler, this ex-pat Vietnam vet had no qualms about taking a stroll in Munich´s “English Garden” park (designed by a Tory American) where Hitler strolled in the 20´s while residing here, German male dog piss then dissolved your name, Lana Ward, as described above in something dropped by an unpedigreed, German female dog. Countless male dogs have already raised their hind legs to you in salute already on this.
            This “Gargantua et Pantagruel”, “Rabelaisian response was deserved considering your shameless comparison of President Obama with Adolph Hitler.

            Now the joke is, I not only did this, I informed you about my action, and all other readers of the National Memo will get a good laugh out of it on this Memorial Day.

          • lana ward

            Something is wrong with you, I hope you are getting help. Have a nice day

          • kent doering

            What is the mattter Lana, don´t you have a sense of humour. Can´t you take a little ridicule or a joke? If not, then dot come onto these formums comparing Obama to Hitler.

        • Fern Woodfork

          Lying Cock Sucking Bitch That’s All You Fucking Ass Do Is Lie!! Nasty Ass Gutter Tramp!!

          • lana ward

            It’s true, check it out before you do what you do best-swear

          • Fern Woodfork

            FUCK YOU !!! Why Don’t The Hell You Stay Off Of This Web Site?? Go Back To Your Pat Dickhead Site And STAY!!! Stupid Bitch!!!

          • lana ward

            Your posts are on the way to your boss so he can see what a nice person you are, nurse : )

          • Fern Woodfork

            BINGO NOW You Know The Reason Why I Write The Way I Do!! LOL Prove It Bitch!!! LOL And The Animal Rescue People Are On Their Way To Your Cave!! You Can’t Hide All Those 33 Cats You Been Hoarding!! I Bet Your House Is Fucked Up Cat Shit EVERYWHERE You Couldn’t Eat It All!!! LMAO!!

          • lana ward

            I told you, I take better care of my animals than you do your kids. Animal rescue would give money to help me out, and be very surprised how well cared for my animals are. Your MOUTH, is a different story. Grow up!!

          • Fern Woodfork

            Bitch You Can’t Tell The Truth To Save Your Life!! So I Know Those Cats Are Catching Hell!!! Animal Rescue Would Put Your Ass In Jail!!! Your Dumb Ass Can’t Take Care Of YOU Let Alone Another Living Creature!!! Lying Stupid BITCH!!!

        • kent doering

          Lana Ward, you indrectly claim to be Christian by your false denigration of President Obama as a Muslim. The fact is, President Obama did nothing whatsoever by executive order to prevent any active member of service from voting absentee during the last two elections in 2010 and 2012. The few absentee ballots that were not counted were either mailed too late, or the local election boards were generally behind in counting mail in absentee ballots.

          Obama does salute the troops during formal ceremonies. He is surounded by troops on the Whtie House guard and does not always salute back. That was also true of all past presidents as well.

          Your “pseudo-patriotic” distortions are a joke. Now, if you are truly conerned about supporting troops, you can send packages of “candy and cakes” and other sweets to troops in in Afghanistan. Perhaps you could rent a room to homeless vet as a border at a reduced rent in return for help in the house and garden as well.
          Remember what St. Paul taught in Colassians: “Faith without works is dead!” Judging from your rhetorical style, your´s is not very alive and well, and you could be on your way to hell.
          Heaven and hell are not places, but states of mind.

          • lana ward

            Truth hurts? Sorry— not really

          • kent doering

            You really can´t handle it when a college educated, Viet nam vet happens to be a progressive Democrat with a different perception of what truth is and what is not. Faux News network distortions are “legion”. (In the Biblical – New Testament sense of the word.) I don´t give them much credibility. The only reason I use any Murdoch media is going to a local café which has Sky Channel – pay T.V. which carries German Federal League Soccer because I am a fan of F.C. Bayern-Muenchen. I seriously doubt you could join in on any erudite discussion about economic, military, energy or environmental protection policies at a college grad level, lady. So save us your references to “Faux News Network, lady.

          • lana ward

            I do want to thank you for your service. You won’t listen but your leader despises our Military, and that does make me furious

          • kent doering

            IPresident Obama has given no indication that he despises our military. Show me how? It needs to be re-organized, trimmed of fat and cost overruns. Straigten things out. A lot of us vets opposed the Iraq misadventure to gain control of Mossul oil for Halliburton-“me and me” based on Mossad placed lies about nuclear wmds which were proven to be non-existent after the invasion. It was a multi-trillion boondoggle which costs the lives of over 4.000 American troops, permanently maiming tens of thousands more… for what purpose, kiolling and maiming hundreds of thusands of Iraqis. . Opposing that kind of neoö-colonial adventurism was not being “anti-military”, but common sense. The country and Iraq would both have been a lot better off had it not been fought. Obama does not despise the military. Neither do I. But neither of us were too fond of the lies about “WMDS” told to congress in order to get authoritzation to invade Iraq to contol its oil for the benefit of a few.

            Some of us vets hold to Lord Kitchener´s dictum that the best war is the war not fought.

            Believe me, most vets feel that way, and do not perceive the current Commander in Chief as being “anti-military”. There is a difference between being “anti-military” and “anti-militaristic”,. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander Europe during W.W. II, made that clear distinction.

            Being pro-democracy – anti-militaristic was a tradition set down by both Democrats and Reüpublicans in the 50s and 60s, but you don´t seem to notice the difference, do you?

            Your rhetoric is so full of contradictions, Ms Ward.

      • BDC_57

        Yeah the retards start these wars and can’t finish them. and ther kids don’t have to go. look at bush jr. he was awol from the service.

  • Troy

    I have no respect for the GOP and there tea party compatriots.They disgust me to no end OrangeMan Boehner,Beak Nose cantor,Redneck Ryan,Touche Turtle McConnell,Fossil Man McCain,these are just the few and the leaders along with sorry Lindsay Graham and the idiot Buchmann that Boehner put on the Intelligence committee are u kidding me here. And now I hear that low life Sarah Palin,might run for Senator of her state.She did not even finish her governorship with a year and a half left she bolts are u kidding me.If she tuns and wins that we should take statehood from that state and give them to Russia,because that is one pathetic woman and she does not need to be in Congress with her idiot sister Bachmann,one stupid woman is enough.

    • Fern Woodfork

      Same Here My Friend For The Very Reason You Stated And Much Much More!!! 🙁 No Respect For Them What So Ever!!! 🙁

    • lana ward

      Your OHitler stopped thousands of troops from voting. He knew most would vote for Romney. He won’t even salute the Marines. You have respect for that??

      • Fern Woodfork

        LYING BITCH!!!

        • lana ward

          If you would quit swearing long enough to look things up you would see I’m not lying. Thousands of Troops couldn’t vote because of OHitler. And the bastard didn’t even have enough respect to salute a Marine when he boarded AF2. Look it up , you pathetic thing

          • Fern Woodfork

            FUCK YOU !! Why Don’t You LEAVE BITCH!!! Nobody Wants To Hear Your Racist Ass Lies!!!

          • kent doering

            Fern. Please control your language in response to Lana Ward. No progressive male readers have the slightest desire to “fuck the lady” or entertain any kind of erotic fantasies about her any more than they do about Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachman so why even use the phrase in response to her political mental masdturbation? A phrase like that hurled at a Toxic Tea Party
            t -word demeans yourself. Beleive me, the progressive military vets think otherwise, and would not use a phrase like that hurled in her direction, because men like ourselves could not even imagine having an erotic affair with a frustrated old witch like that, not even with an overdose of viagra. It is better for us men to tell women like her to go mount their brooms and fly back to their T-Party political witch coveys.

          • kent doering

            Excuse me, Lana Ward. I happen to be a Vietnam era vet, with a number of nieces and nephews on active duty in the U.S.A.F., the US Army and Navy. And guess what. The military made sure they all applied for absentee ballots to exercise their rights. If some state or district messed up on counting a few hundred military service ballots- along with other absentee ballots, then that is not the fault of the administration or the DOD. Your derision of the Commander in Chief as “OHitler”

            As Commander in Chief, President Obama does salute members of the Military during formal ceremonies. He salutes the flag as well Returning salutes during formal ceremonies is part of U.S. traditional “ilitary etiquette”. However, he has Marine, Navy Seal, U.S. Army Ranger top troop Whitehouse guards… and he does not have to return their salutes every time he steps out into the Rose Garden or something or qwhen boarding AF 1 or 2. You are making a “mountain out of a molehill” on that one. He does salute during formal ceremonies. But surrounded by military, he does not have to salute every elite troop assigned to White House duty. No president ever did that, including Eisenhower and Nixon. Bush certainly didn´t salute his guard every time he passed one either. You distort facts in your spiteful, rhetoric hatred of the current Commander in Chief.

            You are a ridiculous “teabagger” coming on to this “progressive site”, spewing nonsense like comparing as democratically elected President Obama to Adolph Hitler and ceriding him as a Bastard Muslim. (His parents were married, and Obama was baptized as a Christian as a child by his multi-culti mother, by the way.

          • Fern Woodfork

            You Got That Right Plus Did You See Him The Other Day Board Air Force One Got Back Off And Shook The Marine Standing Guard Hand!! lana ward= anal ward Like The Rest Of These Trolls Just Go Out Their Way To Lie!! Sad Lonely Pitiful People!! 🙁

          • lana ward

            Obama is behind the Military not getting ballots in on time, he knew most would go to Romney. You need to go to YouTube and see some videos of Obama. He refused to put his hand on his heart for the National Anthem, during the 9/11 Memorial, Michelle Obama leaned over to him and said, All this for a Damn Flag. We have traitors in our WH, believe it or not

          • Fern Woodfork

            We Don’t Believe NONE Of The Shit You Say!!!

          • lana ward

            Go to YouTube and look. Or don’t you know what YouTube is. Michelle Obama calls our Flag,” All this for a damn Flag” at the 9/11 Memorial of all places.!! What TRASH she is!!!!

          • Fern Woodfork

            I Bet Your House Is Nasty With All Those Cats Your Are Hoarding You Need To Get Your Ass On The Computer And Clean Up Your Funky Ass House!! LOL

          • lana ward

            Do didn’t mention America hating bangs Obama, do you approve of her calling our Flag a Damn Flag???

          • Fern Woodfork

            Go Clean Your Funky House Bitch!!