On February 16, 2007 the APCW announced a working partnership with the Veterans of Foreign Wars Webcom Network for the purposes of identifying and exploring the possibilities of using the charitable online gaming model as a means to bring online gaming back to America while at the same time creating a dedicated revenue stream for the Veterans Administration.
The potential of this alliance is enormous and if successful can be used to correct some of the political strip mining of US citizen rights and restore US Veteran benefits to their rightful place in our country. Politicians can back this type of legislation without personally approving of gambling whether online or land based; online gambling can be regulated and taxed, keeping the billions of dollars in the US and fill the coffers of a badly depleted and abused government department and the model for this type of legislation is already in place, fully sanctioned by the US government and successfully operating under the labels of lotteries that fund education and First Nation casinos that support Indian culture and communities.
But the really big winner in this type of legislation is the Veterans Administration. I speak from experience when talking about the frustration and disappointment our veterans feel when dealing with a department of our government so unprepared in resources and funding.
How is it possible that the military branch of our government that prides itself on being a superbly structured, disciplined, well oiled machine can not build and maintain an equally efficient and well funded system for the veterans who made them what they are?
A recent article published in the Washington Post ‘Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration At Army’s Top Medical Facility’ underscores the deplorable conditions our battle scarred veterans face when they are returned home. The article is centered on Walter Reed Hospital, which has always been a centerpiece for military medicine, but this article could have been written about any one of hundreds of VA facilities in the US. VA funding has received cutback after cutback with more scheduled while the need for more and better facilities and manpower rises with every day’s involvement in Iraq.
The charitable online gaming structure applied to online gambling has the ability to heal all ills in the VA, or at least most of them. Unfortunately, poor leadership is not one of them.
Editor’s Note: On February 23, 2007 VFW Webcom released the following information:
“The preliminary report for the “Online Charity Gaming for Veterans” Initiative that was being prepared for membership under the direction of the Departments of Alabama, Missouri, North Carolina and Virginia is all but complete.
It identifies more questions then answers at this time and will recommend that the initiative be tabled.
We would like to thank the APCW and everyone who contributed their input to the report.
We look forward to the review and input process by the membership, which could determine an interest in revisiting this issue in the future.”
I refer you back to the last paragraph of this article.