In a complete slap in the face to that historic event, this evening Rep. Tim Scott gave local World War II veterans a paper certificate, and after he voted for a budget that cut $11 billion from veterans' benefits.
This apparent disrespect left congressional candidate Bobbie Rose with a bad taste in her mouth.
“I respect them, I honor their sacrifices and I hold them in highest esteem. I applaud any event held just to say ‘thank you’ to our bravest men and women,” says Rose, Scott’s Democratic challenger.
“But is this event enough to replace the benefits they’re about to lose?”
Rose refers to Scott’s support of the fiscal year budgetary bill recently proposed by the Republican Party, which substantially reduced funding for veterans’ benefits.
“While our veterans certainly deserve all the accolades Scott offers, they need proper benefits more, which our congressman is working to take away, based on his vote for the Ryan Budget.”
Deriving its name from its primary sponsor, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), the bill contains substantial cuts in military benefits, some of which will leave 130,000 veterans without needed healthcare.
“The Ryan Budget is an insult to every American veteran. It’s 98 pages long and does not even contain the word ‘veteran.’ It contains over $11 billion in cuts that adversely affect our veterans, yet never mentions them by name.”
Scott voted in favor of the budget.
“For his event to be done on this day, the 80th anniversary of a veterans’ demonstration against poor benefits, only adds more insult,” she says.
The Bonus March, when World War I veterans protested their receipt of certificates instead of actual payment, occurred on July 28, 1932.
“Just like 80 years ago, our veterans are getting overlooked,” says Rose.
“I’m reminded of what my late uncle asked when presented with an award at church. He asked, ‘Can I use this at the grocery store?’ When he was told no, he responded, ‘Well then, it’s really not much of anything, is it?’
“Our veterans deserve much, much more than just platitudes and empty gestures of appreciation.
“I sincerely hope that the ‘certificate of recognition’ presented to our veterans by Scott is in reality a voucher that these men and women can use to obtain health services in a timely manner, obtain preferential treatment in the job market, and obtain the assistance that is so crucial to making their transition back to civilian life a smooth one.
“Otherwise,” Rose says, “it’s just a pretty piece of paper.”