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  • 20 Oct 2014

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My View: It's time to end discrimination of military veterans

I am writing to bring attention to the Warfighter Rights Movement. This is a movement that I am proud to be a part of, not only as an advocate for veterans’ rights, but as executive officer and member of the organization’s leadership team for operations in the state of Oregon.

We stand here today united to end warfighter discrimination and stop the phobia of post-traumatic stress disorder.

As you are aware, the issue is that the Veterans Administration’s means of assisting veterans has been substandard and unacceptable for decades. However, this is not the only issue we as warfighters are facing in America today.

Routinely, our warfighter community is discriminated against in the areas of employment, housing and even, in some cases, how we interact with law enforcement and courts. Discrimination, harassment and denial of rights and benefits like this might seem like something out of the past in our great nation, but it is ever apparent now in our warfighter community. In the worst of these cases, this has contributed to the death of struggling warfighters — the very individuals who so courageously volunteered their lives to defend our flag, our Constitution, our freedom from oppression, our equal rights.

As a veteran and member of your community, I am respectfully bringing this to your attention so you may appropriately support this movement. As part of the plan, we will seek to take action in the courts through class-action lawsuits and to propose legislation to end the discrimination of warfighters in America.

American warfighters are comprised of 23 million strong veterans, plus those who are currently serving in active-duty military and their friends, families and supporters.

In the 1960s, Americans rallied to end discrimination with the civil rights movement. During that same timeframe, the returning warfighters were chastised and shamed by the very people they fought for.

We continue to see this kind of treatment today, as another generation returns from answering the call to arms of this nation. The method of discrimination is different and, in some ways, more covert and underhanded.

We will not stand idly and allow this to continue to happen to any warfighter, past or present. This is the era of the Warfighter Rights Movement.

Rather than complain with excessive rhetoric, we seek your assistance to support our effectiveness. We want all legislators, media outlets and individuals to show where they stand on warfighters rights by having our backs, just as we volunteered to have yours, at any price.

We don’t care about politics. Politicians who support us must agree to “give no quarter to the corrupt.” Expect to see us protest and rally in large numbers across the country.

If you have questions or wish to support our mission, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Doug Wilkinson of Canby is a U.S. Army veteran who served during Operation Desert Storm.