QUERY : What are the priorities of Congress ?
A. Jobs/Infrastructure/Reducing the cost of healthcare
B. Building a border wall
C. Tax cuts so the wealthy can re-invigorate the economy
D. Planning a Memorial for a conflict that is still ongoing
With the election of a Republican-control government, it is time to give them credit … President Donald Trump signed H.R. 873 on Friday night authorizing the construction of a Global War on Terrorism Memorial in Washington, D.C.
And to know what is important to your Congressman, look at what bills they sponsor and what ones they do not.
H.R.873 – Global War on Terrorism War Memorial Act was offered on February 6 and garnered the sponsorship of Minnesota’s Third District Congressman Erik Paulsen on April 28th and Minnesota’s Second District Congressman Jason Lewis on June 7th. It was approved via voice vote by the House on July 28th.
Yep, for Congress, they took quick action … in fact, what they did was to allow the construction to begin before the war is over (under the Commemorative Works Act of 1986, memorials have a 10-year waiting period after the conflict is complete.)
The Congress was concerned that the GWOT veterans may not live long enough to see their memorial built … as many World War II veterans never had the chance to see the World War II Memorial completed, because it was not finished until 59 years after the end of the war. Similarly, the World War I Memorial was not authorized until 2014, nearly 96 years after the Treaty of Versailles was signed.
This Republican-controlled Congress won’t let that happen.
What the memorial will consist of is unknown … will there be reference to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (June 6, 2002)
Now what is the message there? The message is that there are no “knowns.” There are thing we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know. So when we do the best we can and we pull all this information together, and we then say well that’s basically what we see as the situation, that is really only the known knowns and the known unknowns. And each year, we discover a few more of those unknown unknowns.
Surely, you remember that soldiers had to scrounge through Kuwait landfills for pieces of rusty scrap metal and bulletproof glass to modify wit extra armor military Humvees and trucks with what they called “hillbilly armor” prompting this observation from Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld (December 8, 2004)
“You go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time”
OK … so President Trump has now signed off on a GWOT Memorial … the “Mission Accomplished” banner will have a home.
But at some veteran’s homes, they have problems … medical problems.
That is known … what the government calls unknown is what caused the medical problems … like pancreatic cancer.
Did their military service have any relationship to their illness ?
Some politicians want answers … like Minnesota’s Senator Amy Klobuchar who has authored S.319 Helping Veterans Exposed to Burn Pits Act
The House has a companion bill — H.R. 1279 which has bipartisan support … yet Congressmen Lewis and Paulsen are not one of the Republican sponsors … WHY ?
There have been briefings for Congress sponsored by Senator Klobuchar and Representative Mike Coffman (R-CO-06) yet Congressmen Lewis and Paulsen continue to ignore … WHY ?
Amie Muller’s service needs to be honored, not ignored.
Amie Marie (Dahl) Muller died at age 36, but her legacy of service to her country and her fellow veterans lives on.
She joined the Minnesota Air National Guard at the 148th Fighter Wing in late 2001.
In 2005 and in 2007 Amie was deployed to Balad Air Force Base in Iraq.
After serving overseas, she returned to Minnesota as an active advocate for military veterans. She designed a series of license plates to commemorate “Gold Star” families who have lost a family member serving on active military duty, and her design was accepted. At the unveiling ceremony at the state capitol, which was attended by then-Governor Tim Pawlenty, Amie was presented with an engraved award and roses.
But Amie, married and raising three children, was suffering from fatigue, headaches, and chronic pain. After years of consulting with doctors she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in May, 2016.
Amie died on Feb. 18, 2017 leaving behind her husband and three children, ages 14 to 3, who are actively promoting the Amie Muller Foundation.
Ya gotta ask WHY Congressmen Lewis and Paulsen are so eager to sponsor legislation for a Washington DC Memorial yet have failed to support legislation that a Woodbury mom would have advocated for if she hadn’t died after serving in the military ?