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by Damien LaVera, Democratic National Committee


“This president never misses an opportunity to use the men and women of our armed forces as political props,” said Dean. But when it comes to ensuring these veterans receive the benefits they have earned, Dean continued, Bush “and his party’s leadership fail every time. Our veterans deserve more than cheap talk about patriotism and supporting our troops. Real leaders know that actions speak louder than words, and this president’s actions clearly demonstrate that he is not interested in providing veterans with anything more than empty rhetoric and broken promises,”

Dean highlighted a recent Democratic National Committee report on the state-by-state impact of the Republican party’s assault on veterans. Among the report’s key findings:

· Disabled veterans in Hawai‘i are forced to wait approximately 242 days for their disability assessment;

· More than 3,475 veterans in Hawai‘i are still subject to the disabled veterans’ tax, which forces them to sacrifice one dollar of their pension for every dollar they receive in disability benefits; and
· Roughly 20 percent of all reservists do not have health insurance at all—including approximately 1,883 in Hawai‘i—leaving them and their families without coverage when they leave active duty.
“ This is a complete outrage,” said Dean. “The 2,488 men and women from Hawai‘i courageously fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan should not have to fight their own government to receive the benefits they have earned.”

For a complete copy of the report, visit www.democrats.org/a/2005/07/dnc_research_re.php.


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