Saturday, June 7, 2008

Letter to the Editor: "Helping the Troops

From today's Topeka Capital-Journal-

Letter: Helping the troops

Billions of dollars have been spent reconstructing Iraq, financing the war and paying for Iraqi oil, while little has been allocated for injured soldiers returning from the war.

Iraq's oil profits should have to pay for its reconstruction projects and the training of its security forces. Instead, the American government has given $45 billion to Iraq in the past five years. It also pays $153 million in fuel to Iraq each month. Yet, the Iraqi government is expected to make $70 billion in oil revenue this year.

Rep. Nancy Boyda is right when she said that taxpayers have been hit with a double whammy: We pay at the gas pump and, then, again with tax monies the government continues to give to Iraq with no strings attached.

In 2003, Congress budgeted money for the war and the reconstruction of Iraq but left our VA hospitals significantly underfunded.

The House recently approved new legislation containing $404 million for a new hospital and $50 million to build a housing facility for injured soldiers at Fort Riley. The vote was split down party lines — Democrats Boyda and Dennis Moore supported the measure while Republicans Jerry Moran and Todd Tiahrt voted against it.

If the U.S. Senate passes the bill, the new hospital (to replace the 50-year-old facility) will provide the health care for injured soldiers and veterans that they need and deserve. The hospital will also provide more job opportunities for Kansans.

Rep. Boyda has led the support of health-care legislation that will directly impact soldiers, their families, and veterans. She isn't just talk. She will make sure government works for its citizens.

JEANETTE STAUFFER, Holton

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