Dishonoring Veterans On Their Day

us border

U.S. Army vehicles sit parked at a military camp under construction at the U.S.-Mexico border on November 7, 2018 in Donna, Texas. The new forward operating base is located near the Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge and port of entry between the United States and Mexico. U.S. President Donald Trump ordered troops to the border weeks in advance of the possible arrival of a migrant caravan, which the president has called an 'invasion.' (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Yesterday's New York Times included a depressing report from the Mexican border, where U.S. troops are out in the desert in primitive conditions, awaiting the potential arrival of the so-called "hostile invasion" of Central American asylum-seekers.

There remains no evidence to back up the derogatory rhetoric about them and their intentions. At one point, far-right-wingers were claiming they were being hustled into the country so they could vote for Democrats on Election Day, but gosh, it looks like that was a lie.

Despite the whole migrant invasion scare being an Election Eve farce, 5,600 of our troops are down there unspooling barbed wire in the heat. And the Times reports that, if the White House follows through on their plan to expand that force to 15,000, it could wind up costing us $200 million that isn't currently budgeted.

As we honor U.S. military veterans today, I can think of a few better ways to spend that money.

An estimated 10 percent of America's homeless are veterans, and 75 percent of them suffer from mental health or substance abuse issues.

Veterans make up 20 percent of suicides nationally, but only 15 percent of returning veterans needing mental health services get them.

Start there, move on to properly funding transitional services, and keep going. That money could be much better spent on just about anything other than a cheap political stunt.

The Times reports Pentagon officials "privately deride the deployment as an expensive waste of time and resources, and morale-killer to boot."

No wonder.

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Keller @ Large

Keller @ Large

Jon Keller is a WBZ TV & Radio political analyst. Read more

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