We shouldn’t expect the Bush Administration to respect veterans, not after the last seven years of examples. Now they’ve cut the funding for military honors at funerals of veterans. The big question to me is how McCain plans on surging and accelerating this policy of disrespect.
Commentary By: Steven Reynolds
Yes, the government funds those salutes with guns at the funerals of dead veterans. In Rhode Island, at least, they are going to ration the salutes and honors, limiting them to Medal of Honor winners, those killed in action, general officers and those who have served 20 years or more. the rationing is due to funding cuts by the Bush Administration. From the Army Times:
The sound of a gun salute at funerals for Rhode Island veterans could soon be heard less frequently, due to a federal funding cut.
The Rhode Island National Guard has informed funeral directors that it can only supply firing squads for certain veterans, including those killed in action, Medal of Honor winners, general officers or those who served at least 20 years.
Local vets are livid over the new restrictions. But a National Guard spokesman blamed a cut in federal money for the military honors program – from $1.16 million to $775,000.
Rhode Island state law requires a firing squad and a bugler for any honorably discharged vet, so long as the request has been made by the vet’s family. It looks like the Bush Administration has decided this isn’t a very good law. Perhaps the vets and their families will raise a stink about this or something.
Those of us in the know understand that this is part of the Bush policy of disrespecting the men and women who have served our nation well. It shouldn’t be surprising, given Bush’s own service record, and those of his VP, that they have disdain for soldiers, as much as they posture. This is the latest example, but far from the only example of that disdain.