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OPINION

American Veterans, 0; Illegal Migrants, Millions

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Fernando Llano, File

Scorecards matter. Last Sunday's Super Bowl 38-35 victory by the Chiefs over the Eagles gave Kansas City bragging rights over Philadelphia as NFL champions. Today's headlines could also read "Raptors 5+, Chinese Communist balloons 0."

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Back in 1990, when Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, nearly 700,000 American soldiers, sailors, airmen, Guardsmen, and Marines were dispatched to Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf. The deployment prompted two Vietnam War veterans, Lt. Gen. Ed Bronars, USMC (Ret) and me, to have Freedom Alliance, a charitable veterans' service organization, do everything possible to ensure those serving our nation in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm be treated better than those of us who served in Vietnam.

On Feb. 28, 1991, Saddam was overwhelmingly defeated and withdrew the remnants of his army from Kuwait. Millions cheered for our returning troops during victory parades in Washington, D.C. (June 8) and New York City (June 10). Unfortunately, the exuberance of the American people in those celebrations -- the largest since World War II -- has not been matched by U.S. government agencies responsible for veterans' care.

Though more than 2 million Americans have served in harm's way since Desert Storm, there have been no national victory parades for those who won bloody battles in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and a dozen other dangerous places. Instead, they -- and we -- have been subjected to demoralizing events like the "Obama bugout" from Iraq in December 2011 and the disastrous, humiliating Biden withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021.

And now, with the catastrophic invasion across what used to be our southern border, care for our veterans has been supplanted by the extraordinary cost of caring for illegal "migrants." A Jan. 31 article in the New York Post by Patrick Reilly describes how low we have sunk:

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"A once-trendy Manhattan hotel has become a wild 'free-for-all' of sex, drugs, and violence after the city began housing migrants there, an employee claimed Tuesday."

"Over 43,000 migrants have arrived in New York City since the spring, with some 26,000 housed in the city's hotels, according to Mayor Eric Adams' office."

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott decided "sanctuary cities" like NYC should share some of the burdens of housing and caring for these illegal "migrants." But as soon as the illegals started arriving, Mayor Adams started squealing about how the federal government had to help.

He's put them up in nice hotels and supplied them with their every basic need, including food, clothing, and medical care. And who's footing the bill? American taxpayers. And how are these migrants showing their gratitude? By turning the hosting hotels into third-world slums and abusing the employees.

Meanwhile, according to NYC Department of Homeless Services data, there are around 45,000 homeless people in the Big Apple. If national statistics hold, about 16% of those are likely former U.S. military personnel. That comes out to about 7,200 homeless veterans. The ongoing high suicide rate and less-than-stellar VA care should make any reasonable person question the prevailing priorities of the White House and Democrat politicians.

Add to that the decline in essential military recruitment and retention because of finally eliminated vaccine mandates, repulsive "woke" indoctrination, poor family housing, aging Department of Defense schools, and reduced medical care for dependents and we have the very definition of injustice. Worse still, personnel shortages reduce military readiness in an increasingly dangerous world.

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In the U.S. Constitution, a copy of which I always keep within reach, I can't find any language authorizing our federal government to give deference to people illegally entering our country over current or former soldiers, sailors, airmen, Guardsmen, and Marines. Those who have volunteered to serve in our armed forces protecting the American people and our way of life deserve better.

The Republican majority in the 118th Congress is honor-bound to change the scorecard and place the needs of our armed forces and veterans ahead of illegal entrants.

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