Veterans’ representation in Congress has fallen drastically since post-Vietnam years

By Chuck Raasch, St. Louis Post-Dispatch:  WASHINGTON — As the federal government struggles with problems at the Veterans Administration amid thousands returning from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it does so with a Congress that has only a fourth of the number of veterans it had after Vietnam.

Currently, about 20 percent of representatives or senators have served in the military, according to numbers compiled by the House Armed Services Committee and the American Legion. In 1976, Legion records show, 77 percent were veterans.

How this diminishing connection will affect the care that the nation provides its veterans in coming decades is unknowable on this Memorial Day. But there is general consensus that treatment of veterans has become one of the few bipartisan issues in a badly divided Congress, in part because of lessons learned after the Vietnam War.

That’s why the VA scandal, which includes allegations that some people died while on patient waiting lists, has inflamed national news headlines for weeks.  To read full article, click here: