Consider the following 2000 campaign speech by GW Bush in light of the abuse of America's military, the lack of a plan and equipment in Iraq, and the Walter Reed scandal.
“The facts are stark and the facts are real. . . Our men and women in uniform love their country more than their comfort. They have never failed us, and we must not fail them. But the best intentions and the highest morale are undermined by back-to-back deployments, poor pay, shortages of spare parts and equipment, and rapidly declining readiness.”
". . .these are signs of a military in decline and we must do something about it. The reasons are clear. Lack of equipment and material. Undermaning of units. Overdeployment. Not enough time for family. Soldiers who are on food stamps, and soldiers who are poorly housed. Dick Cheney and I have a simple message today for our men and women in uniform, their parents, their loved ones, their supporters: Help is on the way!"
"A generation shaped by Vietnam must remember the lessons of Vietnam. When America uses force in the world, the cause must be just, the goal must be clear, and the victory must be overwhelming."
"To build morale in today’s United States military we must keep faith with those who have worn the uniform in the past. We must keep faith with America’s veterans. . . And keeping faith also means giving our veterans first-rate health care and treating the veterans with dignity. . . So chaotic is the process there is now a backlog of nearly one half-million claims. This is no way to treat any citizen, much less a veteran of our armed forces. The veterans health-care system and the claims process will be modernized, so that claims are handled in a fair and friendly way."
"In my Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs will act as an advocate for veterans seeking benefit claims, not act as an adversary. Veterans who once stood in the line of fire to protect our freedom should not have to stand in the line of a bureaucracy that is unwilling to help them in their claims."
—George W. Bush VFW Speech - August 21, 2000