He should. As an Army hospital, rather than a VA facility, Walter Reed actually falls under the purview of his Armed Services Committee, rather than Veterans Affairs.

Yet McCain voted against a 2006 Senate measure that would have closed tax loopholes for the very wealthy to devote $1 billion to failing healthcare facilities for veterans, including Walter Reed.

After McCain stood up at the first presidential debate and pledged his undying love for the nation's veterans, quiet complaints about his lack of support for veterans got a lot louder.

Until the 2008 presidential race, the only veterans really harping about him were from a group called Vietnam Veterans Against McCain. You need only visit its Web site to see how fringe the group's members and their complaints can be. They've called McCain "the Manchurian Candidate" and disparaged him for ignoring their efforts to find missing POWs in Vietnam. McCain has never been particularly patient with them, either — he famously made the mother of one missing POW cry at a congressional hearing in the early 1990s and engaged in heated arguments with others. They will never forgive him for voting to normalize relations with Vietnam.

But the new round of complaints is a different story. It's not only about a difference of opinion over how the war in Iraq is being handled, though that's part of it. It's a story about how the soldiers are treated once they come home.

Vote Vets' Brandon Friedman has documented and circulated dozens of instances since 1987 in which the senator has voted against what adds up to billions of dollars in funding for veterans for healthcare, counseling, and other benefits. McCain has voted to outsource VA jobs held by blue-collar veterans and supports privatizing healthcare for veterans — very unpopular positions among many vets.

More famously, he actively opposed the most recent GI Bill, stating that its education benefits were so generous that he worried it would encourage military personnel to leave the service. Even his conservative colleague and ally, John Warner, the Republican senator from Virginia, supported the bill, but McCain wouldn't budge; he didn't bother to show up for the final vote.

When Barack Obama criticized his position on the GI Bill, McCain responded with a press conference, in which he said, "I believe that I have earned the right to speak out on veterans issues. As a matter of fact, I've received the highest award from literally every veterans organization in America."

While it's true that veterans groups have honored McCain for his service in Vietnam, few, if any, are praising him for his service to veterans while in Congress, particularly in the past several years.

Most vet special-interest groups decline to officially take sides (even Vote Vets hasn't made a presidential endorsement).

But Vote Vets is among many veterans groups to note the discrepancy between John McCain's talk and his actions.

In both 2006 and 2007-08, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America gave McCain a D for his record on key congressional votes.

The Disabled American Veterans scored him at 20 percent in 2006; 25 percent in 2005; and 50 percent in 2004.

And the Retired Enlisted Association gave him a 0 in 2006 and a rating of 18 percent in 2004.

These are the most recent rankings released by the groups.

Another organization, Veterans for Common Sense, posted this comment on its Web site earlier this year: "John McCain is yet another Republican . . . military veteran who likes to talk a big game when it comes to having the support of the military. Yet, time and time again, he has gone out of his way to vote against the needs of those who are serving in our military. If he can't even see his way to actually do what the troops want, or what the veterans need, and he doesn't have the support of veterans, then how can he be a credible commander in chief?"

The special-interest groups aren't the only ones taking notes on McCain's voting record.

John Adams retired last year as an Army brigadier general. His last assignment was as deputy U.S. military representative to NATO in Brussels. He moved to Tucson and signed up as the head of Arizona Veterans for Obama.

"It's really disingenuous for him to say that he has taken care of veterans in any way," Adams says. "His voting record shows that he hasn't."

And then there's Don Johnson.

A veteran of the first Gulf War, Johnson, now 40, took a bullet in the leg and has been up and down on his luck ever since. He's currently sleeping in the overflow lot at the downtown shelter and spending days at the Arid Club, which holds meetings of 12-step programs.

When asked to talk about his feelings about McCain, Johnson did his homework. Not only did he go to the library to research the senator's voting record, he took it upon himself to conduct an unofficial survey of his fellow homeless veterans, including a Vietnam vet named Nick, who hasn't voted in 20 years but registered this time so he can vote against McCain.

As for Johnson, he wrote a poem to express his feelings:

An officer and a gentleman,
A liar,
A politician,
Standing on a soapbox,
Crying, I'm a POW and a Vet.
But you haven't done anything for us yet.
You claim Stars and Stripes, freedom for all,
Unless you are homeless, have suffered a fall.
Why must you lie for political gain?
Do you have an answer, Mr. McCain?

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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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