Not Supporting Our Troops Enough

Joe Klein gives low marks to the Department of Veterans Affairs:

[T]he VA hasn’t set the right priorities. A Marine who was blinded and lost two limbs last year in Helmand province goes into the same queue as a Vietnam veteran who wants increased payments because his back is deteriorating with age. First-time claims need to be handled before second-, third- and fourth-time claims; 100%-disability cases need to be handled before 20% disabilities. Somehow that isn’t happening.

On top of that, Charlie Reed and Jennifer Svan report how the Air Force, Army and Marines are “dropping tuition assistance due to sweeping federal cuts”:

The official message that the Air Force was suspending all new requests for tuition assistance effective immediately, came out “stateside time yesterday,” Davis said Tuesday. “We pushed an email out this morning from the education center,” informing airmen of the change, Davis said. By the time airmen woke up Tuesday morning in Germany, they were shut out from submitting new requests for tuition assistance through the Air Force Portal. A message on the application site says in red letters: “Air Force Military Tuition Assistance Currently Not Available.” …

Sequestration, [Air Force spokesman Capt. Nicholas Plante] said, is having “devastating effects” on readiness, mobilization and the workforce. “We have to make difficult choices to preserve those types of things.”