Daniel Doherty

Some members of the armed services, all of whom are currently deployed in war zones, will soon be notified by the Defense Department that they will be involuntarily discharged from the military at the end of their current tours. Why? “Budget cuts.” It’s as simple as that. Shockingly, too, hundreds of Army captains have already been handed the devastating news, according to the New York Post, and more officers are expected to get it, if they haven't already, soon enough.

For obvious reasons, this is an outrageous and heartless way to “thank” combat veterans:

What is astonishing is that the Defense Department thought it would be appropriate to notify deployed soldiers — men and women risking their lives daily in combat zones — that they’ll be laid off after their current deployment.

As one Army wife posted on MilitaryFamily.org, “On some level I knew the drawdowns were inevitable, but I guess I never expected to be simultaneously worried about a deployment to Afghanistan and a pink slip because my husband’s service is no longer needed.”

Awful. To put things in perspective, the government wasted some $100 billion last year alone on frivolous expenditures, and yet it can’t even wait long enough to lay off combat veterans until they’re out of harm’s way? The author describes the Defense Department’s handling of this situation as a “stunning act of callousness.” True. But I’d go a step further, and say its actions are a stunning act of cowardice. This is no way to treat American combat veterans.

And yet, as we’ve seen with the unfolding VA scandal, and now this, combat veterans are often forgotten and mistreated by the same government that purports to represent them. It’s not fair and it’s not right, and Congress should be doing everything in its power to ensure these men and women are taken care of after they retire. Right?


Daniel Doherty

Daniel Doherty is Townhall's Deputy News Editor. Follow him on Twitter @danpdoherty.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography



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