Who Were We Fighting For?

The Veteran Benefits Act of 2003, authored by Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey was meant as a benefit for service disabled veterans who gave up so much for their country, recognizing and rewarding these vets by mandating that 3% of federal procurement contracts be awarded to service disabled veteran owned small businesses.

This program has been, to say the least, falling far short of its goals. As of 2008, just 1.5 percent of all federal contracts went to SDVOSB’s, and among those, fraudulent awardees have been making the news as they flagrantly lie about being service disabled vets, yet reap the rewards on the backs of those service men and women meant to get these awards.
So, not only is the program being disregarded, or only given lip service by federal agencies (except for the VA) but is fraud ridden by greedy businesses because of a lack of true oversight of the program to verify their eligibility.

Education of our government representatives has to be a first step in changing our fight to root out fraud, and make these agencies meet the targeted goals called for in the Veteran Benefits Act. A good start might be to mandate 3% of an agencies budget be denied them when they fall short of their statutory goal. One way to create a groundswell of action is by calling, tweeting, facebooking, and yes, even old fashioned talking to our government representatives to make them aware of the needed reform.

Education of the public is needed also; use your contacts, use social media, call your friends, write your editors, and let’s get the ball rolling.

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