It shouldn't have to be this way.
It should be a given that our veterans go to the head of the line when it comes to federal expenditures. After all, there'd be no Federal Government to expend anything if they didn't put their lives on the line, time after time.
Instead, we get the national shame of the Walter Reed scandal (uncovered by Washington Post investigative reporting --a field which is in great danger these days--but that's another story) and VA hospitals with staffs so poorly trained that they spread horrific diseases through shoddy hygiene to people who deserve much better.
My guess is that the reason the pols pay lip service to our men and women in uniform without following through with the goods is that the volunteer military is a relatively small constituency. Back when we had a draft, the inconvenience and sacrifice were spread to many more families throughout the congressional districts, and besides, many pols had served themselves, thanks to that same draft. They could relate.
Now, as the number of veterans in Congress dwindles, there is no immediacy.
It's easy to forget our national obligation, except at election time or Veteran's Day, when talk is cheap.