Monday, December 18, 2017
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
Looking back at 2017 through the eyes of editorial cartoonists

Looking back at 2017 through the eyes of editorial cartoonists

The annual Editorial Cartoon Round-Up is a thought-provoking recap of a momentous 2017. The gallery containing 32 cartoons from some of the best editorial cartoonists in the country is made available by the Washington Post News Service & Syndicat...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Editorial: Warren’s smart approach on guns, domestic violence

Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren would make it safer for victims and police alike with his plan to remove firearms from defendants charged with domestic violence. These cases are toxic enough, and having guns at the ready only adds to a dang...
Published: 12/15/17
Editorial: St. Petersburg council right to reject Bayfront deal

Editorial: St. Petersburg council right to reject Bayfront deal

The St. Petersburg City Council made the difficult but correct decision this week to reject the proposed sale of a local nonprofit’s minority stake in Bayfront hospital. Despite months of negotiations, there were too many questions, a few suspicions ...
Published: 12/15/17
Editorial: Congress should fix flood insurance, children’s health insurance before Christmas

Editorial: Congress should fix flood insurance, children’s health insurance before Christmas

Here’s a snapshot of misplaced priorities in Washington. Last week, the Federal Communications Commission foolishly rushed to scrap net neutrality rules and allow internet service providers to treat different content differently despite overwhelming ...
Published: 12/14/17
Updated: 12/15/17
Editorial: Scott’s smart changes to sexual harassment policy

Editorial: Scott’s smart changes to sexual harassment policy

With misconduct allegations rippling through all levels of government, Gov. Rick Scott has taken the prudent step of ordering uniform sexual harassment policies throughout state agencies. The executive order strengthens protections for victims, which...
Published: 12/14/17
Updated: 12/15/17
Editorial: MOSI faces a clean slate and should give everyone a piece of chalk

Editorial: MOSI faces a clean slate and should give everyone a piece of chalk

For three years, the only news about finances at Tampa’s Museum of Science and Industry was bad news: "Struggling MOSI asks Hillsborough County for $400,000 loan," one headline read, "Audit sees MOSI finances slipping," read another, and "MOSI donor ...
Published: 12/14/17
Updated: 12/15/17
Editorial: Rubio should make good his threat to oppose tax cuts without changes

Editorial: Rubio should make good his threat to oppose tax cuts without changes

For once, it would be nice to see Sen. Marco Rubio stand up as the independent leader he aspires to become. For once, the Florida Republican should hold his position rather than bow to pragmatic politics. Rubio can stick with his threat Thursday to v...
Published: 12/14/17

Another voice: A shameful anniversary

Josephine "Joey" Gay should have celebrated her 12th birthday this week. She should have been surrounded by friends and family in a place festooned with purple, her favorite color.Chase Kowalski should have been working toward a Boy Scout merit badge...
Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/14/17
Editorial: Congress should block efforts to expand offshore drilling

Editorial: Congress should block efforts to expand offshore drilling

Timing is everything, and Sen. Bill Nelson seized the right moment this week to call on his colleagues to pass legislation he filed earlier this year that would block the Trump administration from opening additional areas to offshore drilling. With t...
Published: 12/13/17

Another voice: Alabama picks an honorable man

THANK YOU, Alabama.In Tuesday’s special election, the state by a narrow margin chose to spare the nation the indignity of seating an accused child molester in the U.S. Senate. Though the stain of electing Republican Roy Moore would have sullied Alaba...
Published: 12/12/17
Updated: 12/13/17