War Memorials vs. Money

You can’t buy dinner with a war memorial.

The closure of the World War II Memorial and other national parks became a flashpoint of the 16 day government shutdown. On Wednesday, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., beat up Parks Service Chief Jonathan Jarvis for politically motivated “punitive measures” against the American people and veterans.

This tough talk did not translate into action later in the day, when Congress passed a short-term bill to ensure veterans would only receive disability and education benefits through Jan. 15, 2014.

The bill also took a pro-rata swipe at the requested $2.5 billion operating budget of the Veterans Benefits Administration, which means  funds for claims processors and continued upgrades to the paperless Veterans Benefits Management System are only guaranteed for the next three months.

William A. Thien, the Vietnam veteran who serves as national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, said departments shouldn’t have to operate under temporary budgets. “The VFW once again calls on Congress to prepare and pass a budget for the departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense that is long-term, forward focused, and designed to properly care for those who return home wounded, ill or injured, as well as to meet and defeat all current and future threats to our nation.”

You can’t buy dinner with a war memorial.