Weatherford Democrat

Veterans' Corner

March 17, 2013

Veterans, families not exempt from budget cuts

(Continued)

In addition, officials from the Department of Housing and Urban Development say sequestration would slash housing vouchers and rental assistance programs for veterans. That money, designed to keep unemployed and veterans off the streets, won’t be available to provide a safety net for financially troubled veterans. This could also put a dent into the White House plan to end homelessness in the next two years.

Protected veterans initiatives will be hit with collateral damage. Medical records sharing and suicide prevention programs run jointly by the military and the VA will be pinched because only the VA money will be protected. Pentagon programs will see funding cuts just like all other defense accounts.

VA hospitals and physicians won’t be affected, but military doctors will. For tens of thousands of veterans still receiving health care through Tricare retiree offerings, that will mean the same longer waits for appointments and reduced care that is facing military members. Ultimately, that could end up forcing more veterans into the VA health care system, adding pressure to the taxed system.

Be frugal in the meantime with finances. Don’t quit work because the work environment isn’t ideal. It’s easier to find a job when having one. Use the GI Bill to help advance chances for better employment.

AmVets welcomes new members, Larry Ward, Mike Norman and Noelle Egeland. Remember to wear your green Sunday.

Speak to you again next week.

Jim Vines is commander of AmVets Post 133.

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