The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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May 31, 2014

Veterans' care should embarrass us all

A political fracas has erupted over how veterans’ groups ought to fight for care. Unstated is the assumption that it is proper for vets to be fighting for care at all.

We’re so used to subjecting them to this necessity that we’ve come to take it for granted. Yet their fighting to receive care is only normal and natural in the sense that it is normal and natural for waiters to chase after diners who leave without paying.

We ought to be embarrassed to make them do this at all, let alone lecture them on how exactly it should be done.

Are we a nation of deadbeats? In our hearts, we are better than that, but we have allowed politicians to seduce us into acting like deadbeats through their incessant talk of government spending — as though all that mattered in a purchase was the price.

We should demand they speak instead of caring for wounded warriors, or equally well of rebuilding crumbling bridges or feeding children.

Only after we agree on what needs to be done does it make sense to negotiate the best possible price.

Premature talk of cutting spending is what has turned us into a nation of deadbeats. As I said, we ought to be embarrassed.

Max Hailperin

St. Peter

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