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    For Memorial Day: The VA Mission Act is a Step Forward for Our Veterans

    It is vital that Americans—and our government—support our troops and veterans with more than a few remembrance days in May and November. Thanking them for their service is necessary in terms of showing our appreciation, but more must be done to help them.

    The VA Maintaining Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks Act—otherwise known as the VA Mission Act—was passed through the House committee and Veterans Fairs in a show of bipartisanship (it was passed 20-2). This bill would establish the Veterans Community Care Program, to provide care to veterans who are enrolled in the VA healthcare system or are entitled to VA care. The bill would also require Veterans Affairs to develop an education program to inform veterans about their healthcare options. Overall the bill plans to reform the VA’s healthcare infrastructure.

    Overall, the bill plans to reform the VA’s healthcare infrastructure. Military Times writes that it plans “to increase veterans’ access to private-sector doctors, expand caregiver stipends to more former military families and increase medical marijuana research for veterans’ care.”

    Late last year, USA Today ran an article that VA hospitals are ranked on the bottom of the list, for example the Phoenix VA, “where veterans died waiting for care.”

    Let’s make sure this bill is moved forward so that our veterans can receive the tools necessary to get the healthcare they deserve.

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    Should the Private Affairs of Politicians Be Made Public?

    As a politician, I have seen my fair share of private affairs be made public—including the decisions and mistakes I’ve made in the past. But we were all young, bold, and stupid once. Does that mean that our private affairs, or our past, should be made public? And does it mean that we should be judged by our abilities to serve by it?

    President Donald Trump had an affair with a porn star. Barack Obama smoked marijuana in college. So did George W. Bush. John F. Kennedy had an affair with Marilyn Monroe. And of course, we can’t forget Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.

    But should these things that happened in a President’s private life be in the public eye? What do we have to gain by knowing that President Trump had an affair with Stormi Daniels, years before he became president? It has nothing to do with his ability to lead. Same with JFK—did having an affair with Marilyn Monroe affect his ability to lead America?

    We’re public figures. We expect that some of our private lives will be in the spotlight. But our past is in the past. If you judge everyone today and vote them out of office because of what they did 10, 15, 20 years ago, then we’d have no one in office.

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    Should the US Meet with North Korea?

    The return of three detained Americans from North Korea was indeed an opportunity to celebrate. As the countdown begins for a meeting with the U.S. President and Kim Jong Un, this gesture seems like a nod in our favor. But, we need to take care not to get ahead of ourselves.

    The infamous Trojan Horse was a gift filled with soldiers who, once the gate was down, stormed the city. Are the detainees a modern-day version of the same? Or should we look upon the symbolic walk between the South and North Korean borders by the leaders of these countries as the end to the Korean War? Will North Korea cease trying to create and stockpile nuclear weapons?

    These are difficult questions and most government officials must be thinking the same things. In addition, we know that the North Korean people are starving and rumors of crimes against humanity are circling about. Given its history, the United States will have a hard time making a deal with a country that is letting its population suffer in the name of global dominance. As simple as the news media portray this “historic” meeting between two nations, people with experience in government at high levels know there are many layers to the discussion.