VETERANS & MILITARY AFFAIRS
Extracted from the Platform of the Democratic Party of New Mexico
All qualified persons who wish to serve our nation should be free to do so without discrimination.
Our country must honor all of its veterans and wounded warriors, especially those who have been historically marginalized within the Veterans Affairs system, such as women, Black, Indigenous, people of color, non-citizens, and LGBTQ+. Our party passed the G.I. Bill of Rights and will always work to protect the benefits our veterans and their families have earned in service to our nation and its interests.
- The threat and use of military force should never be used in violation of international law and should only be used as the last resort, e.g., to end human rights violations or when all other foreign policy tools have failed to effectively defend the national security interests of the U.S. and the interests of its allies; and
- Our country has a moral responsibility to provide adequate support to all veterans and military families. We must honor our obligations to all who served in any capacity because they were willing to risk their lives in the furtherance of the interests of the U.S.; and
- The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) must increase its outreach to identify and fully serve all veterans; and
- The VA must be responsive to the conditions of veterans, many of which derive directly from their service, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health issues leading to addiction and being unhoused; and
- All service members of the U.S. Armed Forces who have been honorably discharged and meet all other naturalization requirements should receive priority for citizenship; and
- The VA must be fully resourced; and
- All veterans who have fulfilled the terms of their initial enlistment contract and those who have deployed to any combat zone have earned and deserve high-quality health care for the rest of their lives. This includes veterans of any race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender identity; and
- Veterans whose physical and/or mental health injuries are related to their service deserve timely, high-quality health care. This is especially applicable to veterans who suffered sexual assault during their service; and
- Aggressive prevention, investigation, and prosecution of sex crimes in the armed forces must serve as a top priority to ensure the safety, security, and rights of service members and veterans, especially those of sexes, genders, sexualities, and races that have long suffered persecution and disrespect in the U.S.; and
- Diversity strengthens individual service members, builds unit cohesion, expands opportunities, and enables service members to work better in defense of our nation and its interests. The honorable, diverse members of the U.S. Armed Forces strengthen the military and their sacrifice deserves our respect and admiration. People of every race, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender identity, and sexuality shall receive fair treatment in the chain of command and health care that honors and expands diversity; and
- We reject any and all attempts to privatize the VA; and
- To protect the well-being and health of veterans, especially during public health emergencies.
- Support full federal funding for comprehensive veteran-centric systems to fulfill our commitment to all veterans by meeting their needs upon discharge, with an emphasis on suicide prevention, employment, housing, family support, reintegration, comprehensive health care with timely processing of claims and appeals, and legal assistance, including for the lasting damages incurred during the global pandemic; and
- Provide support to care for our military family members, especially for the parents, spouses, partners, caregivers, and children who have to rebuild their lives after the loss of a loved one or life-altering injury or disability; and
- Push for more educational benefits and job training, and protect and preserve the post-9/11 GI Bill for future generations; and
- Ensure that Reservists and National Guard members are treated equitably when it comes to employment, health, education benefits, deployment, and reintegration; and
- Oppose the exploitation of veterans by the for-profit college industry and support strengthening programs that help veterans choose the best educational programs possible; and
- Proactively review and update/upgrade discharge records for veterans who were discharged because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, citizenship status, misdemeanor (e.g., cannabis) charges; and
- Commit to ensuring fair treatment to LGBTQ+ individuals throughout and after their military service; and
- Support the construction of clean energy on bases and in surrounding communities; and
- Declare that the Department of Defense (DoD) is the most egregious polluter and it is their responsibility to adopt clean energy; and
- Support the full adoption of the Biden DoD Climate Adaptation Plan; and
- Support laws that benefit qualifying veterans, spouses, and children seeking higher education without time limits or other restrictions; and
- Support the expansion of National Guard training in climate mitigation/wildfire response missions; and
- Support the full removal of anyone within the immediate chain of command from decisions and investigations in sexual assault claims; and
- Adopt the Vanessa Guillen Act which adds extra support to survivors and victims of military sexual assault; and
- Support the full implementation of the VAAdvisory Committee on Tribal and Indian Affairs; and
- Provide free, safe, and accessible treatments and preventive measures to veterans and their households in response to public health emergencies.
CLICK HERE to view the complete Platform of the DPNM