Commentary: California taking aim at Vietnam vets again


That's what troops in Vietnam yelled when enemy rockets and mortars rained down on their firebases, camps and compounds.

Now Nam vets face more incoming rounds. During state budget committee proceedings, the state legislature has cut more than $7 million from Operation Welcome Home and the County Veterans Service Officers program. This despite the fact that the governor had proposed to fully fund those programs at $8.4 million authorized by law last year.

But faced with a $19 billion budget deficit, the politicians are showing how they're penny-wise and pound-foolish by attacking those who once served in their country's most unpopular war.

The Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), founded in 1978 to lobby for those who served in Indochina during the decade of American involvement there, wants lawmakers to restore the funds-not just to help Nam vets but many of the state's total 2.7 million veterans. That includes men and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The veterans service officers help vets navigate the tortuous terrain of red tape sometimes required to get the benefits they've earned and deserve.

To read the complete editorial, visit www.mercedsunstar.com.