With the departure of General James Jones as the National Security Advisor, the ONLY person in the West Wing that has ever donned a uniform in defense of this nation is gone. Something most troubling about this administration is its total lack of diversity when it comes to Veterans as Obama's is truly a "Vet-less Administration" when it comes to his inner circle. I suspect it's the "Veteran void" that has allowed the administration to blunder early on into such ill conceived schemes as billing veterans’ private insurance for combat connected disabilities and his DHS Secretary accusing Veterans of being prospective Terrorists. President Obama makes President Clinton’s abysmal 5% West Wing Vets look pretty good but not quite as good as President Bush 41’s 34%. I started to review the resumes for the Cabinet appointees but after looking at about 10% became disgusted and quit. Only in VA, State and Defense did I find any Vets at all and in places like Justice, several of the appointees were actually hostile to the Military with records of supporting anti-military causes and suing the Department of Defense or the services. Even the Washington Post recently noted this administration has the fewest Vets in the Cabinet since the Hoover Administration.
To take the measure of a man, look at his actions instead of listening to his rhetoric. One indication of how the Commander-in-Chief Obama feels about his Military is to analyze who he feels comfortable having closely around him. Despite his public utterances of support for the Military and Vets, even those of prime Vietnam era draft age like his new Chief of Staff, Peter Rouse, managed to avoid any brush with danger during their youth. Not even his new National Security Advisor, Thomas Donilon has ever served. For that matter, no one on his entire National Security team has one day of Military experience. It is always easier to send others into harms way when neither you nor any of your loved ones have ever gone or probably ever will.
Our first indication of how candidate Obama felt about the Military should have been his choice for Vice President. When he selected good old Joe "5-Deferment" Biden he showed he valued draft dodging over Military Service! Of course, Joe’s demonstrated his Military Expertise by the way he skillfully avoided any brush with armed conflict during his youth when he successfully dodged the draft and Vietnam (he and Dick Cheney did everything short of maiming themselves which neither had the guts to do – I guess it’s a prerequisite for VP). By comparison, Biden made "W" look like a war hero! (For the record, Bush flying antique Air National Guard Convair F-102s was probably in more danger than I was during an extended CIB-earning tour in Vietnam!)
I suspect eventually as his reelection nears, for survival President Obama will be forced to hire at least a few Vets to help prevent him from repeating those boneheaded blunders like billing veterans’ private insurance for combat disabilities or allowing his DHS Secretary to accuse Vet of being potential Terrorists -- Ray Charles could have seen what the public reaction was going to be to these preposterous utterances but the Presidents “Vet-less” inner circle allowed it anyway. Including a Vet in his decision circle could have pointed out the obvious and avoided some embarrassment.
All Americans should encourage President Obama to add a little “diversity” to his administration and set an example for the rest of the country by hiring a few Vets. It might even have the serendipitous effect of lowering the Veteran unemployment rate. Now that would truly be “Change we can believe in!"