Many valiant sons and daughters went off to war for our country; many had no choice, but they fought and died proudly and bravely. Thousands upon thousands of Americans, especially African Americans, suffered disproportionately high losses in Vietnam. In 1965 alone Black Americans comprised almost one out of every four combat deaths. The vast majority of these soldiers did not have the same privilege of deferring the draft as Senator Roy Blunt.

Sen. Blunt’s reported deception about his draft status during Vietnam dishonors the service and memory of our United States Armed Service men and women. Though there were many during the Vietnam War who legitimately sought and received draft deferments, not many receiving deferments were African and Latino Americans, or draftees from economically disadvantaged communities.

My family has sacrificed dearly to defend this nation in World War II and the Vietnam War, as well as more recent conflicts in Afghanistan. I know well as a family member and, more importantly as a nurse, that their sacrifices did not end when their service ended. Missouri’s veterans from all eras need the best healthcare we can provide. Today’s young veterans need jobs and a path back into society.

I want the absolute best for our soldiers, as they deploy and when they return home.




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