April 5, 2019

Fox News' Pete Hegseth and Brian Kilmeade bashed military veterans for using government benefits they qualify for, making believe they are milking the system and don't have any "personal integrity."

Why any military veteran would appear on Fox and Friends after this display will be a mystery to me.

Fox and Friends had on presidential fluffer and weekend host Pete Hegseth to discuss how to fix the VA and the role veterans play in the budget.

You'd figure, Hegseth, a veteran, would be speaking up for the troops on this issue, but instead, he turned into a modern-day Ronald Reagan, bashing "welfare queens driving a welfare Cadillac.

Hegseth, "If you go to war, and you get injured, we'll take care of you. So when you come home, they try to rate how disabled you are and that's how much care you get. Well, I could be rated for 50% right now if I wanted to be."

Doocy, "Because it's proportional, right?

Hegseth, "Because it's proportional for different injuries that you have. Groups out there -- vets groups, mostly -- encourage vets to apply for every government benefit they can ever get after they leave the service."

Doocy actually asked why not?

Hegseth, "Because -- well, why not, right, if government's giving it out. To me, the ethos of service is I served my country because I love my country and I'm going to come home and start the next chapter of my life. And if I've got a chronic condition, mental, physical, otherwise, the government better be there for me. But otherwise, I don't want to be dependent if I don't have to be."

Kilmeade, "You got to have integrity. You got to have personal integrity.

Hegseth, "Well and right now a lot of groups are convincing vets to give -- get, take more from the system as opposed to just what you need for the service you gave."

Receiving government benefits by veterans does not make a veteran a government liability or a deadbeat. Since our military is all-volunteer, good benefits are a selling point to attract young Americans into the service. The fact that they then use the benefits they were promised is the contract being fulfilled.

In Hegesth's description of military injuries he never mentioned the psychological damage war causes. The NIH reports, "The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that PTSD afflicts: Almost 31 percent of Vietnam veterans. As many as 10 percent of Gulf War (Desert Storm) veterans. 11 percent of veterans of the war in Afghanistan. 20 percent of Iraqi war veterans"

This reminded me of Trump's thoughts on PTSD , when he was talking to a room full of veterans during a function at the Retired American Warriors PAC :

"When you talk about the mental health problems, when people come back from war and combat and they see things that maybe a lot of the folks in this room have seen many times over, and you’re strong and you can handle it, but a lot of people can’t handle it.”

PTSD doesn't discriminate or pick and choose its victims. And any veteran that makes it home alive should not be then shamed into not using all the benefits the government promised them in the first place.

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