Kit Bond has been doing a fairly good job of staying out of my particular doghouse because he has been pretty good about many issues that affect veterans and our current military forces, issues that I care deeply about and place paramount importance on.
So why hasn't he signed on as a co-sponsor to S22?
S22 is the bill introduced by Senator Webb in his very first floor speech when he assumed the seat previously held by George "Macacca" Allen, intended to provide todays veterans with the same sort of education package that the vets who returned from WWII received - education, room and board covered, and a living stipend provided.
I can't understand why this bill doesn't have 99 cosponsors. I mean, aren't we all supposed to support the troops? There's a war on! But fifteen months after it was introduced, the bill still lacks enough cosponsors to get past the 60-vote hurdle to overcome obstruction on the part of the chickenhawk party.
I shake my head in wonderment. The GI Bill transformed America. It made the middle class possible, and every dollar spent on the GI Bill was returned to the economy seven times over. It made us a better, stronger and more diverse nation.
The promise of educational assistance is one of the most effective recruiting tools we have at our disposal, but it is more than that. It is a promise made to those who enlist that this country appreciates their sacrifice and their service and we will stand by them and help them move up in society in return for their service to protect it.
When I started reading the background for this post, my intention was to take John McCain to task for his failure to sign on to this decent, common-sense bill, but I care a lot more about the Senator my state elected than that old goat.
I take this all rather personally. I am from a farm family in rural Missouri community. The people from my community (not just my family) for the most part got their college educations via the GI Bill and ROTC scholarships, and the entire community is damned proud of the bootstraps.
So what's the holdup, Senator? All I can figure is you value obstruction by the minority party more highly than you value our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines. And it is especially troubling since Senator Bond's son served in Iraq as an intelligence officer.