No, Florida is not the best state for veterans transitioning out of the military

When Florida veterans agencies start behaving like PR firms, then the state’s veterans have a serious problem.

Such was the case in my home state of Florida with this tweet yesterday..

While the DOD Skillbridge Initiative should be successful and will ultimately have my support, for this group to call Florida the best state for transitioning veterans is wrong, and a allows policymakers space to skip over issues involving veterans at exactly the wrong time.

Right now, Florida suffers from

– One of the highest rates of veteran suicides in the country. This is why there is a resolution to get Congress to realize that (story HERE)

– The state still suffers from some of the lowest wages, in the nation and an affordable housing problem in my hometown of Orlando.

– We’re in the middle of a pandemic where we have some of the highest numbers in the nation during certain periods of the outbreak. Vaccine availability for younger veterans isn’t even on the horizon yet, and the rollout among senior veterans has been slow.

– Job placement services are poor. This agency has personally let me down. Two phone conversations and then nothing.

– Veterans can’t talk to their elected members of congress inside of their health care facilities because they’ve been kicked out of their offices (story HERE).

– And finally, the Florida Department Of Veterans Affairs Executive Director position remains empty after the last director used the post to jump from one elected office to another (story HERE).

While we have good men and women on the ground doing good work to help veterans, it is an absolute exaggeration to call Florida a veterans success story.

Some day we may be. But not if we keep lying to ourselves like this.

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