Melania Trump’s ‘honorable’ gesture means nothing


Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump gives a thumbs up to the crowd as he finishes his speech at Dorton Arena Monday, Nov. 7, 2016 in Raleigh N.C. It’s the final day before Election Day. (Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS)

Saadia Akhatar

First Lady Melania Trump brought a Kentucky veteran, Cpl. (Ret.) Matthew Bradford, as her guest to President Trump’s State of the Union Address. Many are applauding her for bringing such an honorable guest; I, however, am not one of those people.

Don’t get me wrong, I respect all of our veterans and I am not criticizing the First Lady for simply choosing a veteran as her guest. What angers me is that this is simply lip-service. If both Melania and Donald Trump truly care about veterans, why has nothing been done to alleviate their drastic situation?

Currently, 11 percent of the homeless population is comprised of veterans, and there are over 500 homeless veterans in Kentucky alone. So many of our veterans are jobless, have mental illnesses, are addicted to drugs, and do not have enough money for their day-to-day expenses.

Many of their problems could be alleviated if Trump passed a good health insurance bill or fixed many of the flaws in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). 

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin has already started the process of dismantling Kentucky’s adaption of the ACA (Kynect), which helped many poor people, people living in rural areas and veterans. 

If our presidential family really wants to help the veterans in Kentucky, why not tackle the opioid crisis?

Many veterans have substance abuse problems, as a result of their wartime injuries, PTSD or other mental illnesses. Again, many veterans are also jobless or short on money.

Why push coal when solar energy and other renewable energy sources are at the forefront of the market?

Until we see legitimate action– that actually helps our veterans– from the current administration, Melania Trump’s “honorable” gesture does not mean a thing.