When the country's most famous Mama Grizzly spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference Thursday afternoon, she used her remarks to honor our nation's finest.
As a military mom, Palin knows a thing or two about the sacrifices our young men and women make every day fighting for our freedom overseas. Unfortunately, she somberly noted, our veterans face a whole new set of challenges when they return home. Be it PTSD, unemployment, or staggering divorce and suicide rates, our soldiers are in danger just as much off the battlefield as they were in combat. You only have to consider this one statistic Palin provided to understand the threats they face:
"The suicide rate among our best and our brightest is 23 a day. In these four days, 92 vets will have taken their lives."
Palin, however, knows our vets are not "charity causes," as Dakota Meyer, a former Marine Corps corporal who introduced her, noted. She knows first hand how those first deployments feel - that moment when he goes from a "son" to a "sir," as she put it.
After honoring her son and the rest of our nation's soldiers, Palin spent time shaming our bureaucrats.
"They're promised no one is left behind on battlefield...We're here to collect on the promises made. This bureaucracy is killing our vets."
With revelations that the Veterans Administration put our veterans on secret waiting lists and even dared to withhold benefits from them, that statement may be truer than we may like to believe.
As to why these scandals only recently broke, Palin knows the answer.
"The reason you don't hear about these scandals, is because our vets don't complain."
The former governor offered a few solutions as to how America could better serve our returning soldiers.
1. Offer vets treatment outside of the VA. Vets deserve the same freedom as their fellow Americans when it comes to treatment. What's more, Palin said, we must ensure that illegal immigrants don't jump in front. "We demand that the vets are first in line."
2. Let them use skills they learned in the military. She called this "common sense."
3. Secure their well earned benefits. Almost unbelievably, Congress voted to cut vets retirement benefits last year. They only relented, Palin recalled, when the American people spoke up. Notably, she added, these same legislators didn't vote to cut their own.
"We must provide our vets the political will to win."
Palin couldn't speak about our vets and national security without calling attention to the very real threat of the Islamic caliphate that our president continues to dangerously minimalize. Because terrorism is "on the march" all over the world, there is but one solution, Palin said.
"The only thing standing between us and savages, is the red, white and blue - the United States military."
Palin ended her speech by asking veterans in the crowd to stand so the audience could salute them, proclaiming, "We love you!"
Our soldiers are our suited protectors. In summary, I have to echo Mrs. Palin: "Our vets deserve better."
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