Veterans are slamming Trump for shutting down the government and denying paychecks to nearly 1 million federal workers, all to try to extort billions of dollars to build what some are calling a “vanity wall.”
As Iraq War veteran Will Fischer said in a statement to Shareblue Media, “An attack against federal workers is an attack against veterans.”
Fischer, who now serves as director of government relations at VoteVets, noted that the “Trump Shutdown is a veterans’ issue, as much as anything else. To punish them, and their families, and take them hostage, for Trump’s vanity wall is cruel.”
Nearly a third of the federal workforce is made up of military veterans, and thanks to Trump’s shutdown, over 250,000 veterans are not receiving their paychecks.
“Additionally,” Fischer said, “many of these workers need security clearances to do their jobs. By cutting off their pay, the Trump administration is making it harder for them to keep up on their bills, and credit. That kind of financial strife raises red flags in security clearance checks. So, Trump is literally jeopardizing the jobs of many federal workers, even past the Trump shutdown.”
The financial hardship for veterans is also increasing concerns of suicide within this vulnerable group of Americans.
“If this shutdown does not stop, we are going to have fatalities. We’re going to have suicides,” Edward M. Canales, veteran liaison officer with the American Federation of Government Employees, told ABC News.
Canales, who served in Iraq during Operation Desert Storm, said he has been referring calls to the Department of Veterans Affairs over concerns that a veteran might self-harm.
The shutdown is happening — and depriving hundreds of thousands of veterans of their much-needed paychecks — because Trump has demanded that American taxpayers foot the bill for an unnecessary border wall costing billions of dollars. Polling has consistently shown that Americans do not support his wall and certainly do not support the shutdown he’s so “proud” of.
The public has repeatedly made clear that the government should be reopened and that Trump’s obsession with appeasing racist supporters with the wall is not worth the harm to the global economy.
But Trump is refusing to listen, and has threatened to keep the government shutdown for months or even years unless Congress gives him $5 billion of taxpayers’ money to build a wall he insisted repeatedly that Mexico would pay for.
Now, thanks to Trump’s stubborn and destructive behavior, the same veterans he claims to care so much about are being harmed. Trump has a history mistreating and insulting veterans, but now he’s putting their lives and livelihood at risk, all for a “vanity wall” no one even wants.
Featured image via screen capture
Published with permission of The American Independent/Oliver Willis under Creative Commons License 4.0