BY JOHN ROWAN
This winter has been busy as usual. Congress is back in session,
and we have been testifying at various House and Senate committees
and subcommittees on a myriad of issues. Often, the give
and take between legislators and witnesses results in new
ideas. While testifying before the Senate Veterans’ Affairs
Committee, I got into a dialogue with Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.),
the ranking committee member. He described a conversation
he had had with veterans on a college campus who discussed
some of the problems they had in trying to fit in.
to mind my experience after Vietnam, working with the Veterans
Office while attending Queens College. This program was funded
by a federal grant intended to increase the numbers of veterans
in school. I suggested that a new program be created, enhanced
with counseling for PTSD, which we were unaware of at the
time. Serendipitously, Sen.
Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) introduced
the SERV Act, which would accomplish the goals I suggested.
I later publicly urged Sen. Burr to join Sen. Brown in a
nonpartisan effort to pass this legislation ASAP. We hope
this is done in conjunction with passage of a new GI Bill,
similar to the Post-World War II GI Bill that helped create
the middle class and our higher education institutions.
I joined the American Ex-Prisoners of War, the Paralyzed
Veterans of America, the Jewish War Veterans, the Blinded
Veterans Association, the Non-Commissioned Officers Association,
and the Air Force Sergeants Association in presenting our
legislative agendas before the joint House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs
Committees. Despite our different perspectives, I was glad
to see that we were unanimous in our support for assured
funding for the VA.
In this issue is an article on food that
I am sure will bring back great memories—or perhaps
not—of those wonderful
C-Rations. Contrary to the old adage, I think the Army marched
in spite of what ended up in their stomachs. Of course I
am biased: In the Air Force, we got the best food.