Veterans groups are finally speaking out about their frustration with McCain, who rides on his reputation as a war veteran while sitting on a long record of opposing legislation that would benefit vets.

McCain's campaign did not return a call for comment about the work he claims to have done on behalf of veterans, both regarding his voting record and his constituent-services operations. To be fair, it's not that McCain has never cast a pro-veteran vote or helped a vet in need. But the overwhelming pattern of his actions is hypocritical: On the campaign trail, he pledges support. Listening to him, you'd think he's been the veterans' greatest champion. An examination of his record both in Washington, D.C., and Arizona just doesn't bear that out.

The last time McCain was in his adopted home state of Arizona to meet with veterans, he wasn't here to visit the Justa Center. He went to downtown Phoenix this summer to court potential voters at the annual conference of the American Legion, the nation's largest and most prestigious veterans organization.

During taped questions, McCain was asked about veterans benefits. He began by reciting a 1789 quote from George Washington that he trots out at town hall meetings: "The willingness of young Americans to serve their country at a time of war is directly related to the treatment the country accords to those who've served in previous wars."

No wonder military recruitment is down.

According to one group that compiles its own "wish list" budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs each year, the number of veterans seeking help increased 29 percent between 2006 and 2007. Yet funding didn't increase to meet that. The Independent Budget Consortium, made up of representatives of more than a dozen veterans organizations, says veterans are shorted billions of dollars in services each year.

McCain stood up in the second presidential debate, on October 7, and told the American people he supports a spending freeze that excludes veterans. But the truth is that John McCain has voted against funding for healthcare and other services for veterans for years.

The senator didn't support a measure that would have closed tax loopholes to fund improvements at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., though he surely must have wished he had when he saw the stories last year that documented deplorable conditions at the hospital. He has voted against help for victims of post-traumatic stress disorder. He has voted against programs to provide housing to low-income and special-needs veterans. He did not support the latest GI Bill.

Brandon Friedman is a former Army officer who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and is now vice chairman of a national veterans support group called Vote Vets, which is devoted to electing veterans — with one notable exception — to public office.

Friedman calls McCain's statements in support of vets "a slap in the face." He says, "Coming from a guy who's kept us stuck in Iraq at the expense of the fight against al-Qaeda in Afghanistan — and who opposed the new GI Bill — [such comments don't] carry much weight. Those are empty words. John McCain is all talk when it comes to supporting veterans, and his voting record shows it."

Historically, it's been difficult for anyone to question McCain's status as a patriot. Or, because he was tortured in North Vietnam, to challenge him on anything at all.

Even his most vicious detractors can't take away the fact that John McCain suffered for his country. But there's also no denying that McCain, unlike most of his fellow vets, didn't need a government safety net when he returned home from the Hanoi Hilton.

His grandfather was a Navy admiral. His father was the commander of U.S. Naval forces in Europe and, later, the Pacific during the Vietnam War. John III landed softly in the arms of a well-to-do family and, later, his even wealthier second wife. John McCain never needed to line up at the VA to see a doctor; he's had the finest medical care money can buy. He never needed the government's help to pay the rent or find a job.

McCain arrived in Arizona in the early 1980s with his POW story and money from his new beer-heiress wife. He took advantage of both to get elected to Congress, and has used his military record to get ahead ever since. Although McCain himself has stated that military service isn't a job requirement for commander in chief, his own time in the Navy — particularly as a POW — has served as the hallmark of his presidential campaign.

He skated for years on his military record, but now his record in Congress on veterans benefits has caught up with him. That started in earnest last year, with the scandal at Walter Reed.

McCain actually stood up and took the blame, that time.

"I will take responsibility for being a member of the Armed Services Committee and not knowing about it and not doing anything about it," McCain told the New York Times in March 2007, adding, "I apologize for my failure" to act and "I should be held accountable."

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10 comments
rejco
rejco

John McCain is as DIRTY as politicians come...

Nikodisias Papalapsuslos
Nikodisias Papalapsuslos

YES , WE CAN...YES , WE CAN...WE WILL WIN IN WAR ON TERROR (30 whities or what are terrorists will never come back alive...thank you lord....aaamen).

What do you mean tragedy! It was just a birthday present for planet apes president !!! That's all ! Feels great to flip hamburgers and hip hop atop of good news...makes you feel vibrant and energized !!!

ARIZONA = UTOYA = GOVERNMENT‘S "AFTERLIFE" CASH & $$ FLASH MOB (there was no shooting in Utoya or Arizona, but tear gas and theater instead on faces of multiculturalism maniacs..your guilt or blame and shame weapon against us and our families in our own countries atop of forceful unemployment during so called "ECONOMIC CRISES" during which third world foreigners are allowed to rape, kill, and still is nothing else but fast way to early retirements for government related criminals/ terrorists...$$$ extra bonuses, and newly issued state identities while calling you a terrorists) !!! http://stateofterror.blogspot.... or http://stateofterror.wordpress...

OBAMA = STALIN = BUSH or USA = SOVIET UNION http://avsecbostjan.blogspot.c... or http://avsecbostjan.wordpress.... Whitie is fighting war on terrorism just to come home and be pronounced as terrorist...turned in Timothy, jobless, homeless ...YESSS, WE CAN...YESSS, WE CAN...GABBY OPENED HER EYES (Obaminator’s psychotic speech in Tucson = failed “Apocalypse Now“)

WAKE-UP !!! WAKE UP PEOPLE BEFORE IT GETS ALL TO LATE ON PLANET APES !!! TEARS WON'T DO YOU ANY GOOD !!! AS BUSH STATED "THAT'S WHAT THEY ARE PAID FOR"(to die ) !!

EVEN IF IRAQ WOULD HAVE BEEN WAR FOR OIL ONLY, VETERANS WOULDN'T NEVER EVER HAVE TO BE HOMELESS PEOPLE THE WAY THEY ARE AND NOR WOULD OUR PEOPLE HAVE TO DIE ALLOVER THE PLACE THE WAY THEY DO TO VERY TODAY(never ending “war on terror” story). BECAUSE EVEN IF WAR WAS FOR THE SAKE OF MONEY, MONEY SHOULD BE USED FOR AMERICAN CITIZENS AND NOT WHAT THE CASE IS OR AGAINST WHITES(to destroy us allover the world) !!! You don't really proof for 911, just put your sht together in your heads...THIS IS PLENTY ENOUGH TO HAVE O(B)SAMA INDICTED FOR CRIMES COMMITTED AGAINST WHITE AMERICAN HUMANITY TOGETHER WITH HIS ZIONIST MASTERS) !!!

Don't worry O(s)bama, you have just saved USA what is lots of Dollars in your DEBT DEALS as those best of America or Navy Seals would also grew older and then you already know how it goes...DEAD & ILL = DEBT DEAL !!!

HOW MUCH FURTHER ARE WE WILLING TO GO IN ORDER TO PLEASE VERY SAME PEOPLE WHO DENY US EVEN THE RIGHT TO EXISTENCE(what is to you country without laws or lawless country in respect to your personal rights, but the one that in contrast to your denied basic human rights recognizes you extremely liable when payments are due) !!?

IS IT INDEPENDENCE THAT WE CELEBRATE OR DEPENDENCE (what are your credit card bills or alimony saying about it) !!? HOW IS YOUR DIABETES AND LOST MARRIAGES !!? FORECLOSURES AND JOB SEARCH !!? THAT IS THE QUESTION TO BE OR NOT TO BE !!! IS IT LAND OF THE FREE OR STATE OF TERROR AGAINST OWN POPULATION !!? IT IS TIME TO LET THEM KNOW WHAT COLOR ARE THE STRIPES ON OUR STAR SPANGLED BANNER !!! TIME TO DETERMINE WHOSE INDEPENDENCE/AMERICA, WE CELEBRATE TODAY(who wants to erase us and denies us the right to exist) !!! IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW WHOM WE ADDRESS WITH "PRESIDENT" (STOP HUMILIATING YOURSELF) !!!

VOTING POLL:

DO WE NEED MORE PROOFS TO INDICT OBAMA AND BUSH ADMINISTRATION FOR CRIMES COMMITTED AGAINST WHITE HUMANITY !!?

1)NO, THEY ARE CLEARLY GUILTY AS OIL WAR NEVER EVER WAS REAL ISSUE IN GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITES. REAL ISSUE ARE FACTS OR WHAT WE WITNESS TODAY WHEN VETERANS ARE HOMELESS, JOBLESS, KILLED, ETC.

2)NO, AS 911 ALONE AS WELL AS ACTIONS IMPOSED AGAINST WHITES IN USA (as well worldwide) ARE CLEARLY INDICATING ACTS OF GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITE HUMANITY

3)YESS AS JUST YESTERDAY(for over 15 years to very yesterday), WE (news/media = vacuum world of lies) WERE TELLING YOU THAT UNEMPLOYMENT WAS AT 10% WHILE TODAY ONE IS AT 50% (HOW COME NO ONE QUESTION JOURNALISM LIKE THIS OR WHAT IS WORLD OF LIES AND DEMENTIA)!

4)I AGREE WITH FIRST TWO ANSWERS ABOVE. IT IS TIME TO PRESS CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST BOTH ADMINISTRATIONS DUE TO ACTS OF GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITE HUMANITY FOR THE SAKE(SAFETY) OF US AND OUR CHILDREN(DO NOT TURN THEM IN WHITE REFUGEES ON PLANET APES OR WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE WHEN VISITING ABOVE PAGES) !!!

Jon156
Jon156

One Q! can New times find out what Senator Mc Cain has done FOR Arizona!??? I have the feeling he has done NOTHING to help AZ!!

Shawn
Shawn

This guy is a joke I myself am a 100 percent disabled OIF Veteran, I contacted his office for help in 2005 for help in my case against the Army. The Army was trying to Medically Board me with 10 percent disability and I was unable to return to work with severe PTSD and multiple injuries to include Traumatic Brain Injury, this guy blew me off like I had an STD, I had more help with Jon Kyle... thanks war hero...may u burn in hell.

Micah
Micah

You are idiots. I'm an Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom Vet and the VA has done alot for me as well as any of the other Vets that I know who were unfortunate enough to have something debilitating happen to them. McCain is one of if not THE biggest advocate for Vets out there. He is fighting for concurrent receipt as well as better quality of care for our Vets. The VA has alot of issues and I'm always aggrivated with them but the VA is not John McCain. Why don't you look to the Democrat controlled house and Nancy Pelosi with your complaints. Or maybe even go to the VA and talk to people who have been using the system before you shoot your ignorant mouths off. Also you may want to actually show evidence of McCain being anti-vet rather than just spew your BS.

Maxine
Maxine

Being a total political news junkie I knew about McCain's anti-veteran voting before but finally found the real deal exposed in LA Weekly. I just wish this news were out there big time as John McCain voted against helping veterans for the reason that if they have GI benefits they may choose to go to school instead of re-enlisting to go back to Iraq.

In my opinion, McCain if elected will bring us to World War III.

misslisa
misslisa

Veterans who need help need to leave Arizona, by any means possible, and move to a state that has excellent benefits for them. My dad moved back to Kentucky and is milking the vet benefit system. I hate to see him do it because he only spent 2 or 3 years in the service, so I don't think he really "earned" it. But the VA in Louisville apparently doesn't turn anyone away and provides immediate medical & psychiatric help. For veterans who need to be in a nursing home, the Veteran's Home in central KY provides outstanding care, and the waiting list last I checked (5 yrs ago) was only about 5 weeks.

Debbie Mosley
Debbie Mosley

Yea, my husband knows what it is like to ask John McCain for help! Back in 2000 his ex-wife left Arizona with his two daughters, lied said she was going to Fort Polk, Louisiana,when she actually went to Fort Campbell KY... It took us a year to track her down. When we asked John McCain for help we were told "sure no problem" My husband still has not had contact with his two daughters since 2000. Even though he has shared custody. Even though Arizona ruled she was in contempt of court they have done nothing. What is a Man who serves his country in the US ARMY, get wounded and disabled, has PTSD, can't find work, etc. to do? Yea John McCain shafted all of us!

Pamela
Pamela

Finally someone's revealing his weakness, that he talks about being a POW but doesn't really help fellow veterans.

 
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