This past week, Rep. Mark Green, who represents Lawrence and the rest of the Eigth Congressional District in Washington, was the only member of Wisconsin’s Congressional delegation who voted against a bipartisan effort to extend TRICARE to Americans serving in the National Guard and Reserves. TRICARE is the health care program for active-duty U.S. troops and their families. (9/25/03, vote #523)
Green has been very outspoken in his praise for President Bush and Operation Iraqi Freedom, but yet, once again, will not vote to support health care benefits for many of the troops over in the Middle East, many of whom have been told their duty will extend up to another year.
These brave men and women will only receive TRICARE benefits when they achieve active duty status, leaving their families back in the U.S. in flux.
These families are the ones that will suffer as their husbands or wives will continue to be gone for a longer period of time, and a source of income will remain missing in these homes, as will health care benefits.
The opposition to this bipartisan effort by Green is rather surprising, considering several statements he has made regarding U.S. troops abroad.
Green had this to say after visiting troops in Afghanistan: “They and their families are making major sacrifices for our nation, and lots of kids are spending months and months without a dad or mom. I’ve tried hard to make sure they all know how much their service means to everyone back in the U.S.”(www.house.gov/markgreen/AfghanDiary.htm)
If Mark Green thinks that not extending these benefits is a good way to show how much their services mean back to people in the U.S., then he is sorely mistaken.
If you feel that this is wrong, and a dishonor to our servicemen and women abroad, come do something about it.
The Lawrence University College Democrats meet every Thursday night at 7 p.m. in the Sage basement. Come to one of our meetings and see how you can make a difference.