Tonight, President Obama outlined his plan to send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan with an ambitious plan to start withdrawing combat troops within 18 months. Below is the President's address in its entirety from www.WhiteHouse.gov:
AMVETS' interests have always been in preserving America's interests and holding those who attacked us on 9/11 accountable for their actions.
That being said, AMVETS leaders cannot speculate on whether or not the President's plan will succeed, we can only hope that his words are sincere, that our nation's top military advisors have prudently considered the options for success, and that, as a nation, we will consider the needs of these additional 30,000 troops now called to serve long after they have returned from duty.
The need for additional troops on the ground in Afghanistan only reinforces the need for timely VA and defense funding. Both the VA and Defense budgets are now more than two months late, and our leaders in Congress must act quickly to ensure that we meet the needs of those brave enough to fight our nation's wars.
As AMVETS Legislative Director Ray Kelley says all the time, "if you're going to fund the war, you have to fund the war-fighters."
Throughout our nation's history, we've proven time and again that our military men and women are capable of overcoming insurmountable odds against brutal enemies. However, American memories tend to be short. After nearly every conflict, our veterans seem to be neglected almost as soon as the last muzzle falls silent.
This cannot happen to today's veterans, which is why AMVETS will continue to fight for improved care for those on today's battlefield long after they have returned. We have made great strides over the last couple of years with the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, improved military mental health screening and treatment, and advance VA health care funding, but the work continues.
With tonight's announcement and the holiday season upon us, AMVETS thoughts and prayers remain with the hundreds of thousands of American troops serving in harm's way, those who will soon be called to serve, and their loved ones.