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Letter: Government must pay debt to vets

Published: Friday, June 27, 2014 11:33 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, June 27, 2014 11:34 p.m. CDT

To the Editor:

This month I was inducted into the DeKalb County Veterans Honor Roll.

I want to thank the DeKalb County Board for honoring me and my fellow veterans in this way. But a grateful nation owes even more to it’s veterans. I ask my fellow citizens of DeKalb County to call on their elected representatives in Washington to give our veterans the support they deserve.

As politically easy as it is for so many in Washington to call for war, it should be just as easy for them to fund healthcare for the veterans who’ve served in those wars. A Congress that built a bloated Defense Department budget should have no problem finding the funds to employ our returning veterans to rebuild our decaying roads and bridges here at home.

A Congress that has sabotaged economic recovery should feel a moral obligation to fund the unemployment benefits that enable so many of our veterans and others to pay the rent, the mortgage, keep food on the table and continue to look for work.

Our veterans served when our country needed them, now we need to make sure that our veterans and our nation is well served by our government. Please take the time to make your voice heard for our veterans.

Over 60 years ago, another veteran, President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave us a proper perspective on our national priorities when he said: “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

“This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.

It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population.

It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals.

It is some 50 miles of concrete pavement.

We pay for a single fighter with a half-million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. ... This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.”  

Jim Luebke


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