Dear Mrs. Clinton/Mr. Trump/Mr. Johnson/Mrs. Stein,
One of you will have the ultimate honor of being the next commander-in-chief. All four of you have promised in one way, or another, to take care of veterans and military families during your campaigns. As a military veteran and military spouse, I have an interesting insight on how you can truly help us.
First of all, throwing money at programs with a fancy name is not going to provide much help. For the last 14 years of my husband’s 19 years of service, I have been unemployed. For the most part, I volunteered to be the stay at home mom, but when I was ready to return to work, I discovered much to my dismay that my commission, 40% disability rating, and experience meant next to nothing. The “real world” is like the honey badger, it doesn’t give a f(#*. It doesn’t care that you race directed three 5-kilometer races, and raised over $70K for autism charities. It doesn’t care that you are a published author, that you gave away your artwork that you work extremely hard on, or that you have put the free freelance for years. The real world doesn’t care.
Secondly, please change the EFMP system for special needs children. My son is one of those military children that have fallen through cracks. He has been written off as uneducateable by the local school system. He was ABUSED in a classroom, and sadly there was NOTHING I could do about it. I tried hiring a lawyer, but the local school district had all education lawyer on retainer. I tried writing the newspaper, and I was told by readership that they didn’t want my child bringing down the standards for their children. I even contacted Dr. Phil, but my husband didn’t want to go to on a daily talk show. How can you help with this? Make school districts for ALL special education students (not just military ones) accountable for not following the law! It is amazing how back asswards some districts are. The military is a powerful way to affect change in educational standards for special needs kiddos. Basically, if the military start refusing to send families to school districts that systematically ignore the law– it will hit them where it counts. The military where I live has a strong positive impact on the local economy. There are over 10,000 family members in the state I live in now with special needs, and if those families were to move, it would negatively impact an economy.
Finally, the number one employer for veterans is actually the US Government. One thing the government can do to make it easier for veterans is make the application process less cumbersome. The complicated application process makes applying for a job a daunting task. Many veterans quit before the accomplish their application. The transfer and application process makes it difficult for veterans and spouses apply for jobs.