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Memorial Day & Social Security Disability

Friday, May 27, 2005

As a veteran, Memorial Day (formerly Decoration Day) has a special significance for me. As we all enjoy our 3-day holiday weekend, please remember that American soldiers are still dying in Iraq every day (now up to 1647). If you get a chance, please attend a Memorial Day parade and salute the marching veterans. They will appreciate your support.
While we will be honoring the dead, lets not forget all those soldiers who come home disabled, either physically or psychologically. Since the news focuses so much on death numbers, its easy to forget the much larger number wounded in action (WIA). There have been over 6,300 wounded in Iraq so far. Unfortunately, I see many of these wounded vets when they come home and have to apply for Social Security Disability. Whether they have lost a leg due to a land mine or suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), these vets deserve all the support our government can give them.
That’s why the President’s push to privatize and “reform” Social Security concerns me. When will a 22 year old Army private, now in a wheelchair, get his chance to build up a “private account”? Will Social Security Disability be there for the veteran who has flashbacks and PTSD 20 years from now? I’m still representing Vietnam veterans whose PTSD only recently became disabling. We must remember that Social Security is a government sponsored “security blanket” for seniors and the disabled. It is not a Fidelity investment account. Hope you enjoy (and remember) the holiday!

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