The Military Times is reporting on Tuesday that the fewest number of veterans will be serving in the next congress since World War II.
That is a sad fact.
The truth is that transition services provided to veterans in the modern era are so poor that simply succeeding in any regard is a difficult feat. Let alone finding the kind of success needed to mount a successful run for congress.
When our veterans are transitioning out of the military there is no guidance to instruct these young men and women on what to do next and how to do it correctly. This often means poor decisions that lead to life challenges, and in some unfortunate cases, financial ruin and substance abuse.
We have to start taking transition services seriously. They’re not doing that now.
And if you whittle the number of the members of congress that have served in the military, the overwhelming number of them were officers. What I’m getting at is that college isn’t for everyone, so not only do we have to revamp transition as a whole, but we have to provide real solutions for soldiers that doesn’t run through a college classroom.
Then there is the other side of this puzzle and that is the political side. And believe me, as a political analyst, the obstacles to getting a veteran elected have become much more difficult.
You have to be able to fundraise and say the right things to win over the voters. You don’t necessarily learn to fundraise or give a stump speech in the Marines. And then there is the opposition that could care less about your sacrifices to this country. They’re out to defeat you.
Now I’m getting away from the veterans affairs angle of this, but they’re are less veterans in Congress because it’s more difficult than ever for veterans to get elected.
That’s a shame. We need to change that.
And that begins with making sure our veterans have the tools to succeed when they get out, regardless of what they want to do.