AMVETS wants changes to VA funding, cites shutdown

Written by Matt Paul and Radio Pennsylvania | Oct 27, 2013 2:51 AM
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(Lanham, Md.) -- A nationwide veterans’ organization is speaking out in the wake of the federal government shutdown.

AMVETS executive director Stewart Hickey says he thinks the government’s treatment of its veterans during the shutdown was deplorable.

“World War II veterans were flying back to see the WWII Memorial in DC, and the government went to extra effort to keep them out of there. It still didn’t stop them,” he says. “Death benefits for the family members of those killed in Afghanistan that was well-publicized. I thought it was one of the most despicable things our government has ever done to its own people.”

Hickey, a retired Marine Corps Major and Fulton County, Pennsylvania native, says AMVETS is urging Congress to pass the “Putting Veterans Funding First Act,” which would fund the Department of Veterans Affairs one year in advance.

He says it would eliminate the risk of veterans being used as political pawns in the event of a future budget impasse on Capitol Hill.

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