The national Union Veterans Council, AFL-CIO is planning a series of events to educate Missouri members on Republican U.S. Senator Roy Blunt’s voting record on veterans’ affairs and his claims to support veterans – and by extension, working families – in his re-election bid.
Blunt’s Democratic challenger Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, a former Army captain who served in Afghanistan, understands veterans’ issues and has made his office work for veterans. Kander’s campaign announced the formation of “Veterans and Military Families for Kander” last week.
Blunt, who received a student draft deferment from serving in Vietnam, talks about support for veterans, the Union Veterans Council says, but has a record of voting against health care, education and job training benefits that would actually help veterans.
The Union Veterans Council and the Missouri AFL-CIO have scheduled a series of meetings to discuss Blunt’s record on veterans’ issues and give working people a chance to meet Kander face-to-face.
“This is about exposing Senator Blunt for what he really is,” said Mike Louis, president of the Missouri AFL-CIO. “He’s a veteran hugger but does nothing to help them when it comes to the things they really need passed on the federal level.”
NOT AN ANOMALY
“Roy Blunt is not an anomaly in the sense that very often these very same folks that we see attacking workers, attacking veterans are the very same folks who love to wrap themselves in the flag, stand on stage and put out emails talking about how pro-veteran they are,” Fischer said. “But when they go back to Washington – and Roy Blunt was the case – they vote against expanding veterans’ health care. They vote against expanding veterans’ education benefits. They vote against expanding veteran job training benefits. It’s important for us to work together and lift up where people really are on veterans’ issues.
“It’s very easy to say you’re pro-veterans,” Fischer said. “It’s very easy to put a yellow ribbon magnet on your car. But yellow ribbons aren’t going to help any veteran pay their utility bills. What veterans need more than anything is access to a good job that allows them to live with dignity.”
The meetings are scheduled for:
- May 31 – 6 p.m. VFW Post 280, 1509 Ashley St., Columbia, MO.
- June 1 – 6 p.m. IAM Lodge 778, 9404 Grandview Rd., Kansas City, MO.
- June 2 – 6 p.m. at Tri-County Labor Club, 12 Droste Square, St. Charles, MO.
The state AFL-CIO is also launching a Statewide Union Veterans Committee to address these issues. For information, or to volunteer to serve on the committee, contact Louis at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 573-634-2115.