The President’s final State of the Union is this Tuesday, Jan. 12 at 6 p.m. PST. His plan is to address the nation on what his Administration has deemed critical pathways forward: Economic Progress; Acting on Climate; Engagement in the World; Health Care Reform and Social Progress and Equality.
A continual issue that has plagued this Administration is how the nation and the Department of Veterans Affairs is taking care of those who answer the call of this nation.
The quick response was the Joining Forces Initiative, and then the appointment of a new Veterans Affairs Secretary, Bob McDonald, the former CEO of Proctor and Gamble.
While unemployment numbers are cycling down for some veterans, the issue of viable employment continues to be an issue, as does delayed claims, insider cronyism and rising suicide rates.
But, the nation’s warfighters will have to take second seat to climate change. This president has deemed that, “No challenge poses a greater threat to our children, our planet and future generations than climate change.”
The skills and abilities our veterans have developed could be an instrumental and powerful contribution to helping this president and this country build a new foundation for prosperity or provide innovative ways to protect our planet. Just look at how we emerged from WWII.
However, you first have to understand what assets you have available to help solve the challenges.
If this Administration could be effective in ensuring that those who answer the call of this nation don’t have to fight when they get back home for what they rightfully earned, we could solve a lot of challenges in the United States. When a nation invests billions in training young men and women and then distracts that talent with bureaucratic roadblocks instead of leveraging that talent to help solve some of the nation’s problems, you have leadership that has failed to recognize one of their greatest assets: those who serve this country.
Bottom line: It is time for tactical solutions and not platitudes. This Tuesday’s State of the Union will prove to be more of the same.
— By Michael Schindler
Michael Schindler, Navy veteran, and president of Edmonds-based Operation Military Family, is a guest writer for several national publications, author of the book “Operation Military Family” and “The Military Wire” blog. He is also a popular keynote and workshop speaker who reaches thousands of service members and their families every year through workshops and seminars that include “How to Battle-Ready Your Relationship” or “What Your Mother-in-Law Didn’t Tell You.” He received the 2010 Outstanding Patriotic Service Award from the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs