A poll recently released by the Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation indicates that less than a third of veterans who served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan approve of President Barack Obama’s job performance.
The poll results show 32 percent of veterans surveyed said Obama was doing a a good job as president. At the same time, 42 percent believe he is a good commander in chief, according to The Blaze.
A recent Washington Post story about the survey reports that while Obama’s approval numbers remain low among vets, nearly two-thirds believed that President George W. Bush was a good commander. Reasons cited for Obama’s lower numbers included his plans to reduce the size of the military, cut benefits for future service members, and cease funding for expensive new weapons systems.
The story in the Post indicates that many veterans remain proud of the time they served in the military but expressed frustration over a lack of support to help them adjust to civilian life. Many of the 891 veterans surveyed are also upset by the Department of Veterans Affairs’ seeming inability to treat soldiers who were injured in the war.
“When I raised my right hand and said, ‘I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America,’ when I gave them everything I could, I expect the same in return,” said Christopher Steavens, an Army veteran who was injured in a construction accident in Kuwait two years ago.
Steavens filed a claim with the VA last summer hoping for medical care and some financial compensation. So far, he has not received a response.
“It’s ridiculous that I’ve been waiting seven months just to be examined by a doctor — absolutely ridiculous,” he said.
While the budget for the VA has grown 60 percent under the Obama administration, many — including members of Congress — believe that he has done a poor job of taming the bureaucracy of the department.
VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki has said that he believes that the troop frustration stems from delays in processing claims, not from the quality of service that is eventually received.
“There’s always room for improvement,” he said.
Two numbers may best illustrate the mixed emotions expressed by soldiers in the poll. The survey shows that while 90 percent of the war-weary veterans remain proud of their actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, only 35 percent believe the wars were worth fighting.