An organization that is seeking to mobilize veterans to become active in veterans affairs and national security issues made a stop this week in Las Cruces at Veterans Memorial Park.
The ‘Defend Freedom' Veterans Bus Tour sponsored by the organization Concerned Veterans of America held a luncheon forum where retired Lt. Col. Steve Russell gave a talk that defended the United States invasion of Iraq, while he shared his experience about the operation he helped lead that eventually captured Saddam Hussein in 2003.
“We basically went after Saddam’s social networks, a half-dozen family members supporting him and his security with a very inner circle of body guards. Once we went after those small groups it ultimately led us to the hole, and we were able to find him,” said Russell.
Veterans that served in World War Two to Iraq and Afghanistan were honored at the event.
Many of the speakers like Russell, voiced concerns of the impact of the government shutdown and mentioned some failures of leaders in Washington.
“Our nation is in peril and it’s time we take a stand collectively, lend each other’s voice to one another so that we can deal with issues not only affecting our veterans, but our runaway spending problems, and ultimately the security of the United States,” says Russell.
Russell voiced frustration about having an outdated paperwork process in the twenty-first century for veterans to navigate in order to begin to receive benefits from the Veterans Affairs Department.
“Why is it that we have an archaic structure that shrugs its shoulders administration after administration, secretary to secretary, and bureaucrat after bureaucrat, we can do better and we must,” says Russell.
The Bus Tour will continue to stop in cities across the country throughout the rest of the month.