Our Senior Director for Research and Analytics, Dr. Nick Armstrong, wrote an opinion for the Washington Examiner detailing the importance of veteran priorities, especially under a new presidential administration.
With President Biden’s inauguration and the beginning of a new Congress, this is the moment to think of the nation’s 18 million military veterans and their families. For those who have borne the battle, who wore the uniform in our nation’s defense: How can we be better?
In policy and advocacy circles, the weeks and months ahead will be marked by talk of the new administration’s priorities for veterans. We’ll hear of plans and legislative priorities for better care, job training, and other support. But before we dive into priorities, first, we should pause and consider our guiding principles.
In such a time of national tumult and hardship, why should veterans’ concerns remain a top priority? And what’s in it for the rest of society? To be sure, it starts with our moral obligation to care for those who’ve borne the battle — the Department of Veterans Affairs motto.
But will moral obligation alone guarantee veterans’ good health, fiscal sustainability, or healthy civil-military relations? Will it ensure a thriving veteran population and example of honored citizenship and upward mobility that calls young people to serve their nation voluntarily in the years to come?
With the election behind us, before we get back to policymaking, let’s advance a set of guiding principles that build upon our usual point of departure. I’ll offer three to start.