Obama’s plan strikes positive chord with veterans
Veteran and Retired MA educator Bill Dooling (right)
by Brian Washington/photos courtesy of Bill Dooling, pictured at right in photo above
Bill Dooling, a retired high school teacher in Massachusetts with 30 years of classroom experience, is as passionate about fighting for veterans as he is about making sure all students have access to quality public schools.
And for good reason. Dooling, who is 69 years old, is a retired 1st Lt. in the United States Army and a Vietnam veteran.
He believes this nation needs to take care of those who have put their lives on the line for freedom. Dooling is a fan of legislation President Obama discussed during his visit to Nevada Monday to address the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
“I believe that the plans President Obama laid out at the VFW will go a long way in making sure that veterans get what they need to lead productive lives outside the military,” said Dooling. “These are the folks who stepped up to protect our nation and keep it strong and free. We owe it to them to make sure that they have access to quality education, good jobs, and health care.”
Judging from his remarks yesterday, President Obama agrees. The Obama Administration is retooling the Transition Assistance Program, which is designed to help men and women transition out of the military and into employment.
“We’re going to set up a kind of ‘reverse boot camp’ for our departing service members,” said President Obama. “Starting this year, they’ll get more personalized assistance as they plan their careers. We’ll provide the training they need to find that job, or pursue that education, or start that business.”
The President also called on Congress to pass his Veterans Job Corps proposal, which is also designed to help prepare veterans to enter the job market, and extend the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior tax credits for businesses that hire veterans.
“President Obama is speaking to the issues that hit veterans at home—jobs, health and education,” said Dooling. “These issues matter because they not only impact the future of veterans, but also the future of their families.”
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney addressed the VFW convention today, praising veterans for their service to our country and the great sacrifices they have made in the service of democracy. Instead of presenting any policy proposals that would help ease their transition back to civilian life, however, Romney took his time at the convention to bash the President’s foreign policy and accuse the White House of leaking classified military intelligence for political gain.
President Obama, on the other hand, took his opportunity to commend the VFW for fighting for veterans and their families.
“Even after you took off the uniform, you never stopped serving,” said President Obama. “You took care of each other—fighting for the benefits and care you had earned. And you’ve taken care of the generations that followed, including our newest veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. On behalf of all our men and women in uniform, and on behalf of the American people, I want to thank you, VFW.”
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