Sunday, May 20, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: The debt a nation owes its veterans

This Veterans Day marks a period of comfort and hope as thousands of service men and women return home from the war in Afghanistan intent on reuniting with their families — and coping with enduring pain from combat duty and the uncertainty of civilian life. The long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan sensitized the country over the past decade to the incredible sacrifice that so few in our society took on, to the physical, mental and financial challenges that many will face the rest of their lives, and to the enduring obligation this nation owes to its military families. The spirit of the holiday must be put into everyday practice.

This nation always has responded to a call to arms to protect the freedoms that make America unique. It has taken on the cause of liberty throughout the world when peace, security and human rights were threatened in the far reaches of the globe. This holiday is an occasion to pause and honor that sense of duty. And it's made more meaningful by the nation acknowledging the debt it owes in return to veterans and their families.

With America's presence in Afghanistan scheduled to wind down by the end of 2014, the nation is coming to terms with the needs of its veterans just as fewer Americans can personally relate to the experience. The gap between military and civilian life has grown wider for years; veterans make up 7 percent of the population, about half the portion in 1970 during the Vietnam War and before the end of the draft. Only one in five members of Congress has any military experience. Even as the plight of our military veterans returning home with physical and emotional scars has received more attention, too many Americans still are unaware of the challenges these returning warriors face. Congress should not lose sight of the need for ready access to a full range of veterans' services, from advanced medical care to housing, educational assistance and job training.

The nation's obligations don't end when the hostilities do. Nine million veterans are in the workforce. One-fourth of those disabled have serious injuries. These men and women are a cross-section of America, and the nation's responsibility to them will only grow. Florida, home to the third-largest veterans population after California and Texas, should be especially sensitive. The welfare of veterans impacts the state's economy, and officials need to ensure that these families get the care and benefits they have earned. That's our civic trust this holiday.

Comments
Editorial: Tampa Bay House members fail to stand up to Big Sugar

Editorial: Tampa Bay House members fail to stand up to Big Sugar

Big Sugar remains king in Florida. Just three of the state’s 27 House members voted for an amendment to the farm bill late Thursday that would have started unwinding the needless government supports for sugar that gouge taxpayers. Predictably, the am...
Published: 05/18/18
Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s lawsuit against the nation’s largest drug makers and distributors marks a moment of awakening in the state’s battle to recover from the opioid crisis. In blunt, forceful language, Bondi accuses these companies of ...
Published: 05/18/18
Editorial: A sweet note for the Florida Orchestra’s violin program for at-risk kids

Editorial: A sweet note for the Florida Orchestra’s violin program for at-risk kids

This is music to the ears. Members of the Florida Orchestra will introduce at-risk students to the violin this summer at some Hillsborough recreation centers. For free.An $80,000 grant to the University Area Community Development Corp. will pay for s...
Published: 05/17/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Trump backs off China tariff threat as China pumps money into a Trump family project

Trump backs off China tariff threat as China pumps money into a Trump family project

In barely six weeks, President Donald Trump has gone from threatening to impose $150 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods to extending a lifeline to ZTE, a Chinese cell phone company that violated U.S. sanctions by doing business with Iran and North K...
Published: 05/17/18
Editorial: Activism as seniors helps put Hillsborough graduates on the right path

Editorial: Activism as seniors helps put Hillsborough graduates on the right path

Lots of teenagers are walking together this week in Hillsborough County, a practice they’ve grown accustomed to during this remarkable school year.We can only hope they keep walking for the rest of their lives.Tens of thousands of them this week are ...
Published: 05/17/18
Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s lawsuit against the nation’s largest drug makers and distributors marks a moment of awakening in the state’s battle to recover from the opioid crisis. In blunt, forceful language, Bondi accuses these companies of ...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Editorial: Johns Hopkins All Children’s should be more open about mistakes

Editorial: Johns Hopkins All Children’s should be more open about mistakes

A state investigation raises even more concern about medical errors at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and the venerable St. Petersburg institution’s lack of candor to the community. Regulators have determined the hospital broke Florida law by ...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/17/18
Editorial: St. Petersburg recycling worth the effort despite cost issues

Editorial: St. Petersburg recycling worth the effort despite cost issues

St. Petersburg’s 3-year-old recycling program has reached an undesirable tipping point, with operating costs exceeding the income from selling the recyclable materials. The shift is driven by falling commodity prices and new policies in China that cu...
Published: 05/15/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Editorial: HUD’s flawed plan to raise rents on poor people

Editorial: HUD’s flawed plan to raise rents on poor people

Housing Secretary Ben Carson has a surefire way to reduce the waiting lists for public housing: Charge more to people who already live there. Hitting a family living in poverty with rent increases of $100 or more a month would force more people onto ...
Published: 05/15/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Editorial: Voters should decide whether legal sports betting comes to Florida

Editorial: Voters should decide whether legal sports betting comes to Florida

It’s a safe bet Florida will get caught up in the frenzy to legalize wagering on sports following the U.S. Supreme Court opinion this week that lifted a federal ban. Struggling horse and dog tracks would love a new line of business, and state l...
Published: 05/15/18
Updated: 05/16/18