In Leviticus 19, God commands us to avoid many things, including:
• Tuna, sardines, anchovies, and lobster (in Leviticus 19:17–19:22).
• Fish (Leviticus 19:24–28:7; 20:16-17).
As a former U.S. Army officer, I have seen the effects of war on our society. As a lawyer and judge, I have heard from survivors who faced physical and mental trauma after witnessing violence in their communities. I have also experienced firsthand the impact of violence from war and occupation on civilians and the disabled. I have a deep compassion for our young soldiers in war zones, because they carry the scars of years of war from Afghanistan into civilian life when returning home. What I do not know, I suspect, is how the trauma from war and occupation will affect the next generation.
The U.S. military has been involved in some of the most brutal combat in recent history—the Iraq War; the Afghanistan War; and today, the US-led airstrikes on Libya. And yet today, the US continues to treat veterans as though they would be incapable of living civilian lives after their service. On top of that, the VA continues to fail veterans at nearly every level by charging them exorbitant prices, refusing to diagnose their psychological problems or treat their physical health, and failing to adequately care for veterans in nursing homes and prisons.
In short, the United States continues to treat our most dedicated veterans almost like second-class citizens because of the government’s failure to meet their basic needs.
If we don’t change this practice, the next generation of veterans will have to endure the trauma of war and occupation on a daily basis from their own government, even if they never returned to the military.
I have spent much of my career fighting for veterans who have been neglected by the VA and other agencies after their service. I have gone on committees to investigate the problems with VA health care for veterans. In 2006, I joined with a group called the Veterans for Free Choice, which has fought to establish the VA as a national healthcare service for the disabled, veterans and their families. The Veterans For Choice Act is currently pending in the House.
In our efforts to address the crisis of our veterans’ health care system, I have seen firsthand how the problems faced by our veterans are being solved by our country’s military and civilian leaders. This has allowed hundreds of thousands
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