Military veterans need to deal with a unique set of challenges. It's the government's duty to help those who served, but some politicians have a better record of doing so than others. With the election coming up quickly, it's a good time to take a look at both candidates to see where they stand on the matter.
Medical and psychological services for veterans are among the most important veteran's issues. Both candidates agree that the VA needs to do a better job of providing medical support, but neither of them have gone into detail about their plans to fix the problem.
Clinton plans to modernize the VA and restructure the organization to better serve the needs of veterans, but she hasn't gone into detail about how she would like to do so. She has emphasized that the organization's medical services should not be privatized, but she is open to the idea of partnerships with private groups if they are necessary to improve veterans' access to necessary services.
Trump believes that veterans should be able to seek private treatment and receive reimbursement from the government for any costs, although he has not said that private medicine should completely replace the current model. He has also endorsed increasing the number of mental health services that are available to veterans. Like Clinton, he is in favor of technological modernization for the VA, although he has also declined to offer details about the modernization process at this time.
Jobs for Veterans
Employment is a big issue for everybody in this election, and both campaigns have gone into some detail about their economic plans. Trump and Clinton have also taken the time to comment on employment programs for veterans and their plans for helping with the transition from the military to a civilian job.
Donald Trump's plan is centered on giving soldiers the opportunity to work with civilian employers as interns during their last few months of service. He has also endorsed programs that allow military certifications to meet civilian requirements for licensing and other programs.
Hillary Clinton intends to focus on giving employers incentives to employ veterans, including tax credits and stronger laws concerning discrimination against service members. She also plans to expand entrepreneurship training programs for veterans and to create opportunities for veterans to enter fast-growing career fields.
The problem is slowly getting better, but veterans are still overrepresented among the homeless in America. This is a complicated problem since many different factors, including employment and metal health, can contribute to homelessness.
Clinton plans on addressing the problem by focusing on the causes of homelessness, especially mental health issues. She also attributes some of the problem to ambiguities in the Fair Housing Act, a law that is supposed to protect people from discrimination when they are looking for a home. She doesn't think that any single law or government act can solve the problem on its own, but she does think that a combination of efforts can work to fix it.
Trump agrees that mental health and employment resources are the most important tools for addressing homelessness among veterans. He has also applauded the leaders of major American cities for making progress on the problem, although his campaign has also stated the problem will still exist as long as even one veteran needs a home.
Many people who join the military are motivated in part by educational services, including the GI Bill. Congress has recently tried to by cutting back on the GI Bill, which has made it a focal point in the discussion on education as a veteran's benefit.
Trump has said that his first priority when it comes to the GI Bill is honoring the nation's promises to those who have served, and his campaign has explicitly mentioned the GI Bill as one of those promises. However, Trump has also mentioned that he does not support the GI Bill, and that he would prefer to "bring jobs back to our country."
Clinton has been clear in her support of the GI Bill. She says that the GI Bill is a critical part of the nation's support for veterans, and that it should not be altered in any way.