Sunday, July 29, 2007
Honoring Our Veterans: "President Bush Discusses Care for America's Returning Wounded Warriors, War on Terror at American Legion Support of our veterans has been a high priority in my administration. This year I've asked Congress for more than $86 billion for veterans' services. And if Congress approves my request, this would amount to a 77 percent increase of the budget since I took office; it would be the highest level of support for our veterans in American history. (Applause.) We share with your concern about making sure our vets have good health care. I've talked to your commanders past, and suspect I'll be talking to your commanders future, about making sure that our veterans have got good, decent, quality health care. Since 2001, we've helped over 1 million more veterans -- we've added a million veterans -- take advantage of the VA health care system. The 2008 budget proposal will increase the VA health care budget by 83 percent since I took office. The Department of Defense's health care budget has grown from $19 billion to $38 billion. And that's an important commitment, and I look forward to working with Congress to say to our veterans, we care about you. Money is one thing; delivery of services is another. (Applause.) I know I share -- listen, I am as concerned as you are about the conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. My decisions have put our kids in harm's way. And I'm concerned about the fact that when they come back they don't get the full treatment they deserve. Many people working at Walter Reed are fine people. If you've been out there, you know what I'm talking about. They're dedicated, honorable healers who care deeply about our soldiers. Fine doctors, nurses and therapists work day and night to help the wounded. Yet some of our troops at Walter Reed have experienced bureaucratic delays an"