SEAL who shot bin Laden: Want to truly honor a veteran on Armed Forces Day? Here's how

We are celebrating Armed Forces Week.  Did you know that?  Celebrating might be a bit of a stretch.  Many of us aren't even aware that there IS an Armed Forces Week and that's okay.  It begins on the second Saturday of May and ends on the third Sunday, right before Memorial Day.  You know: the day where we grill hot dogs and sometimes go camping depending on the weather.  We all get a day off too.  Well, most of us.

Don't get me wrong.  Memorial Day should be celebrated by enjoying a few picnics, a few cold ones and a few softball games.  These are a few of the simple pleasures in life that make America the greatest country on Earth.  But for every burger that goes on the grill, there is a young American on foreign soil who would give anything to be spending that day back home enjoying the same liberties.  And countless more who will never enjoy another sunny day ever again.

For some of us, the horrors of war are something that is not memorialized once a year or even for a full week.  It is something that is ever-present.  It is something that has become a part of our very being.  A part of our fabric.  It does not just go away when we come home.  Personally, there are some things that I can never un-see but I can close my eyes and see them anytime I want.  But I am not bragging and we are not looking for sympathy.  We believe in America.  We believe in our way of life and what we are have fought for and defended.  We are looking for, at the very least, competent health care or at least directions towards it.

How do you memorialize a fallen hero?  You take care of the ones who have returned home.  And right now, we are not even close to doing that.  Our Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is in disarray.  Honorably discharged soldiers are facing unemployment and uncertainty and there are thousands who have witnessed humanity at its most savage who cannot even get an hour of a doctor's time for their wounds, both physical and mental.  This is unacceptable.

We have the greatest Armed Services in the history of humankind. It is time we have a VA about which we can say the same.

These heroes do not just deserve the best health care in the world, they have earned it.  But there are some in the Senate who do not seem to agree with this.  There are some who, instead of a Rear Admiral, decided they would rather see another bureaucrat as Secretary of Veterans Affairs.  Because it is more in line with their parties' wishes.

This is symptomatic of the bigger problem.  We are dealing with a broken system and partisan politics are adding to the dilemma.  We have a president who is willing to take corrective action and to appoint change-makers to cabinet-level positions.  As a country, we are at a time where change simply needs to be made.  We cannot accept a system where wounded veterans are made to wait, to travel ridiculous distances or are simply ignored.

Resistance-oriented politicians with no military experience claimed that Dr. Ronny Jackson had no experience running a large bureaucracy?  Right.

You want to honor a veteran?  Elect a senator who understands the problems facing the VA health care system and has the true well-being of veterans in mind.  Better yet, elect a veteran.  Hire a veteran.  Listen to a veteran.  But most of all, thank a veteran.  And if you want to truly thank a veteran, put people in Washington who truly have their interests in mind.

We have the greatest Armed Services in the history of humankind.  It is time we have a VA about which we can say the same.