Last month, 22-year veteran and television personality Montel Williams made headlines for an emotional speech he gave about the ongoing VA scandal during a Memorial Day picnic in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Despite their political differences, Glenn praised Williams’ willingness to speak so frankly about the issue and said he is “exactly right.” Williams later joined Glenn on the Glenn Beck Program to discuss what is seemingly a common sense way to begin to right some of the wrongs.
In the interview, Williams said President Obama could order a surge over the next 90 days simply by issuing an order as commander in chief. If reserve soldiers were brought back into service on temporary active duty, they could man military hospitals and clear out the backlog in 90 days.
“Why do we need to do it with military personnel? Hear me, please understand, our soldiers are in pain and right now you can’t send a person who doesn’t understand how to speak the speak to a soldier, to understand and get him to open up unless it’s another soldier,” Williams said. “So why don’t we employ the ones who are out of work right now?”
“Direct each branch of the service to do this today,” he continued. “90 days from now we’ll have a backlog cleared up and we’ll understand what the baseline is for what we now have to commit to, to pay for and to take care of our obligation and our debt to our soldiers.”
Williams started a petition on WhiteHouse.gov called #VASurge demanding this action from President Obama.
You can sign the petition HERE.
On radio this morning, Williams joined Glenn to further discuss the work he is doing to keep the VA scandal in the news and keep people informed as to what is happening to our veterans.
“Glenn, thank you so much for keeping this alive and talking about this the way it needs to be discussed,” Williams said. “It's absolutely an abomination that we can watch a nation react to those who protect and defend our freedoms… this way and not be aghast. Not be so upset. I get so angry having discussions right now.”
Williams believes the primary problem main problem with the VA is the lack of leadership from the top down. Looking at politicians’ reactions to the situation in Iraq and the desire to put troops on the ground, Williams finds himself disgusted that leaders in Washington are still willing to put our depleted military in harms’ way.
“We're having a discussion over this past weekend… both sides of the House [about] how fast we put soldiers on the ground in Iraq. What do we got to do in Iraq,” Williams asked. “Let's put more children to death in somebody else's country when we have a problem, a crisis facing us right here that we can't get the attention on.”
“Remember, in the last five days, you heard multiple numbers. There's over 200 Marines that were already there… We're going to put another 550 that were on a boat that were trying to be part of the extraction force. We have 300 advisors,” he continued. “How many people are really on the ground? And tomorrow, if one of them gets shot, they come back. We haven't even told them, ‘We promise you we'll take care of you’ So I don't get it. Something is wrong.”
Williams is equally disturbed by the care we are giving illegal immigrants at Department of Defense facilities at the expense of caring for our veterans.
“There are 50,000 children that came across a border illegally. We're opening up DOD facilities to make sure that we triage them,” he said. “These are refugees. We should help them. But how dare we let them go to a DOD facility before we let our own people, who fight for our lives, the same thing… How dare we make a decision to help other people’s children, and we won't help our other children who put their lives on the line for us. How dare we.”
“Montel, I really hope we have a chance to have dinner some time because I am really growing to like you. I've disagreed with your political stances, but I've always felt you were an honest and decent guy,” Glenn concluded. “I hope we get a chance to meet some day because my respect for you is growing immensely. You're honest, and you actually do care about something. And that seems to be rare in people on television.”