All presidents are quick to pledge they will do all in their power to ensure veterans of military service and their families receive the benefits they have been promised. President Barack Obama did so during a Memorial Day speech, though he could not resist throwing in a re-election campaign line by pledging veterans will be protected "as long as I'm president ..."
Still, we Americans view it as a responsibility to keep our promises to veterans and their families. There are about 22.7 million veterans in the United States, including more than a million in Pennsylvania, 890,000 in Ohio, and 167,000 in West Virginia.
In general, we seem to do a good job in keeping our promises - but that is not good enough. The gigantic bureaucracy that is the Veterans Administration sometimes is guilty of lapses such as unacceptable conditions in veterans hospitals and lengthy waits for decisions on benefits.
That is not acceptable. Ensuring veterans and their families receive all the help they have been promised should be a top priority of government at all times - not just on patriotic holidays and at election time.