An audience member at a McCain town hall meeting in Las Cruces, New Mexico on Wednesday indicted the VA's treatment of veterans and expressed worry that unless the draft was reinstituted, the United States wouldn't have the manpower to "chase bin Laden right to the gates of Hell and push him in."
"Disabled veterans, especially in this state, have horrible conditions," the woman said. "Their medical is substandard. They drive four hours one way to Albuquerque for a simple doctor's appointment, which is often cancelled. Our VA hospital is dirty, it's understaffed, it's running on maximum overload. The prescription medicines are ten years behind standard medical care. We have 700 claims stacked up at the VA office in Albuquerque. Some of them are ten--seven years old, waiting to be processed. In the meantime, people are homeless. My son is an officer in the Air Force, I'm a vet, and I was raised in a military family. And I think it's a sorry state of affairs when we have illegal aliens, having a Medicaid card, that can access specialist top physicians--the best of medical--and our vets can't even get to a doctor.
"And these are the people we tied yellow ribbons for, and Bush patted on the back. If we don't reenact the draft, I don't think we'll have anyone to chase bin Laden to the gates of Hell."
"Ma'am," the Senator responded, "let me say that I don't disagree with anything you said. Thank you, and I am grateful for your support of all of our veterans."
Video of the exchange appears below:
This video is from MSNBC's Countdown, broadcast August 20, 2008.