Draft GPUS Platform Amendment Veterans Rights
Section title: GI and Veteran's Rights
Section subtitle: ???
Our position: One sentence.
Support for men and women in the armed forces must go far beyond the rhetoric used to discredit the peace movement in the U.S. today. We believe that the ill-advised and illegal actions of the U.S. administration have unnecessarily put our troops in harm’s way. We further believe that the dangerous burden of fighting the unnecessary war in Iraq, and the wars that may follow, due to the administration’s overly narrow and militaristic response to terrorism is disproportionately borne by families of lesser means. Those who are required to carry out militaristic policies, often with great hardship to themselves, their families, and even the risk of their lives, deserve our respect and our commitment to adequate compensation and benefits.
a. Increase the current pay levels, monthly imminent danger pay, and family separation allowances for those risking their lives in combat zones.
b. Ensure that all pre-deployment physicals are completed and carried out within the standard allotted time period and that medical follow-ups are routinely done on all soldiers.
c. Establish a panel of independent medical doctors to examine and oversee the policies of the military regarding forced vaccinations and shots, often with experimental drugs.
d. Honor all laws concerning time limits on deployments.
e. Provide better care for the wounded, sick, and injured soldiers returning home. The Pentagon must take all steps necessary to fully diagnose and treat both physical and mental health conditions resulting from service in all combat zones.
f. Ensure a smooth transition from active military service to civilian life by providing counseling, housing, emergency management, job protection, and other support systems.
g. Restore full funding for veterans’ health programs.
h. Request Congress to enact a new GI Bill, similar to the one that began after World War II and ended in 1981, to provide the following benefits:
Tuition grants for four years of college or other educational opportunities.
Low interest loans for housing or business start-ups.
Free medical care for military personnel and their families for ten years following separation from the armed forces – until universal health care becomes a reality.
i. Support and respect Conscientious Objector status during all phases of the process. We fully support the right of individuals in the military service to modify or completely separate from military involvement because of conscientious objection. We call upon all military entities and officers to support a transparent and democratic conscientious objection process free of harassment, imprisonment, or deployment to war zones for those pursuing the conscientious objection process.
j. Recognized, independent veteran organizations must have access to military personnel to ensure they are being informed of their rights. This is especially true for those who are hospitalized due to service related injuries or illnesses.
Our government violates our right when it recruits us before the legal age of 18. Our government violates our rights when it deploys us to illegal war. The military violates our rights when it involuntarily extends our service contracts or denies us conscientious objector status. Our government violates our right when it dishonorably discharges us for our sexuality. Our government violates veterans’ rights when it denies us proper care. Our rights are violated when we are left on the streets broke and jobless.