With the November elections rapidly approaching, much of the nation's attention is on the candidates' positions on everything from healthcare to taxes. That's the same for the country's veterans, who have a specific set of expectations of their own. According to a recent survey from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), there are certain things servicemembers expect from all candidates.
Among the most important issues to recent veterans is the Post 9/11 GI Bill. This useful benefit has helped many soldiers or their family members receive an education, but it has become threatened by predatory for-profit institutions. According to the IAVA, servicemembers expect lawmakers to work to stop for-profit schools from targeting veterans.
Mental health is a significant concern among soldiers, and it's easy to see why they want prospective legislators to place an emphasis on addressing the issue. The topic has become especially important as of late, given that there were 38 military suicides in July – the highest rate ever recorded.
According to the IAVA, veterans also want their candidates to support a revamped Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA has become bogged down by backlogs and is not meeting the mental health needs of today's servicemembers. Modernization, including paperless and electronic claims systems, would be a significant step forward.