I realize that this should not come as a surprise. Honestly, if a sitting president decided to not support veterans, then that would be a story. Nonetheless, after sitting down this month with leaders from the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, President Obama advocated for improving mental health treatment for veterans, ending the claims backlog and increased employment opportunities. These meetings were a chance for the organizations’ leaders to discuss their concerns and challenges.
“Veterans should be above partisan politics,” American Legion National Commander Daniel Dellinger said. “I feel like by reaching out to our organizations, it’s a realization of the place that veterans belong in our society.” It was noted that Obama wants a continued focus on treatment for PTSD, depression and any other mental illness that troops struggle with after returning home from oversees combat.
VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and Obama reinforced the promise to end the disability claims backlog by the end of 2015. Currently the backlog is around 330,000 cases. The White House also aims to end homelessness, including that of veterans, by 2015.
The organizations also praised work through the White House’s Joining Forces Initiative to help transitioning veterans apply their military skills in the private sector and obtain civilian job credentials. Obama wants to ensure that veterans “have access to the education and training they need to re-enter the workforce.”