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Vietnam Veterans Against the War Denounce Bush Proposal to Cut Vets' Benefits

By VVAW National Office

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"President Bush has become the master of doublespeak. Out of one side of his mouth, he tells the public to 'support the troops' while out of the other side of his mouth he tells Congress to increase veterans' fees for healthcare," said Barry Romo, national coordinator for Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), in response to the White House's 2005 budget proposal to double many veterans' co-payment for prescription drugs and charge a new $250 annual fee to some veterans for their healthcare.

VVAW, an organization that opposes the war in Iraq, is joining other veterans' organizations in opposing the added costs to veterans. "When we enlisted, the government promised us lifelong health care. If Bush can give tax cuts to rich people, why isn't there enough money to maintain veterans' access to the prescription drugs that they need?" Romo questioned.

The organization is currently preparing to release a report on veterans' benefits that will detail the failure of the current administration to provide adequate healthcare for U.S. veterans and the troops coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan. The report will be released in the beginning of March, 2005. For more information, contact Tracy Van Slyke at tracyvs1@yahoo.com or 312-315-1127.

Vietnam Veterans Against the War has more than 1,500 members throughout the country and includes veterans from World War II. It currently organizes for better benefits for American vets, runs a counseling program for current military servicemen and veterans, and has become one of the most outspoken and respected peace organizations in the country. The first group to organize Vietnam veterans in 1967, it was founded to voice returning service-men's and women's growing opposition to the Vietnam war and grew to include more than 30,000 members. The group started the first rap groups to deal with the war's traumatic aftereffects on GIs, helped make known negative health effects of exposure to chemical defoliants and exposed the Department of Veteran's Affairs attempts to cover up Agent-Orange-induced illnesses.

For Immediate Release February 8, 2005

For more information, contact:
Barry Romo 773-276-4189 (9 a.m.- noon)
David Curry w314-516-5042, c314-276-3821, h 314-389-1080
Tracy Van Slyke 312-315-1127

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