This brave soldier who lost both his legs while protecting soldiers from IEDs is now running for Congress. He is not afraid to speak the truth about the left and their ideology that hurts veterans and soldiers alike. We need more leaders in Congress like Brian Mast who will fight for soldiers like himself and hold the VA accountable. This is a very important race in 2016. We will do all we can to elect Brian Mast in Florida's 18th District.
Nathaniel - DFS
Congressional candidate and veteran Brian Mast says ideology is to blame
By Edmund Kozak
Liberal ideology leads Democrats to ignore the plight of servicemen, says rising GOP star and congressional candidate Brian Mast.
“‘The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it,’” said Mast in an exclusive interview with LifeZette, quoting JFK.
It is for this very reason that “the far left feels they can take advantage of the American service member, because they know we’re always going to step up to fight,” he said. “They don’t value that because they don’t have to ask twice for us to do it.”
Hillary Clinton “coming out not too long ago and saying, ‘Oh, the problems with the VA, those are just Republican talking points, there’s not any real problems that exist with the VA’ — that tells you exactly where she’s at,” he said. “It’s an ideological viewpoint that those people do not value the services of the American service member.”
Mast served bravely and faithfully in the Army Rangers as well as under JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command) as a bomb disposal expert — a role in which he lost his legs. So he knows all too well the shortcomings of the VA.
"From the moment I was transferred to the VA it was headaches," he recalled. "I called the crisis hotline once, not because I was thinking of harming myself [but because] I really needed to talk to somebody," said Mast. "I was thinking about friends that I've lost ... and I just wanted to talk to somebody."
"I got on the phone with a guy name Daniel, and Daniel acknowledged me. He said, 'Hey, I can hear you're very emotional, is everything okay?' and I said, 'Don't worry, I'm not going to hurt myself, I just need to talk to somebody.'"
But almost as soon as he got through to the VA crisis hotline, Mast was just as quickly sent away. "In a matter of two minutes or three minutes, something like that from beginning to end, I was literally pushed off the phone," he recalled. It was, "’Well, okay, thanks for calling, if you ever need to talk to us again give us a ring any time.’"
"I wasn't done talking, I was tearful," he said — yet he was still pushed quickly off the line. "If that's indicative of the way other veterans have been treated there, thank God I wasn't thinking about committing suicide, because otherwise I might be a statistic somewhere."
It’s not just the VA crisis hotline that is run appallingly: The VA’s bloated bureaucracy and inherent disorganization means that even the most basic medical care our veterans need desperately is bungled on a regular basis.
"When I needed a new [cane] I went to the VA and they said, ‘Okay, you need to get a script from your primary care physician,’" Mast explained. After about two weeks, "I get an appointment with my primary care physician, and he says, ‘Brian, I can't write you a script for a cane … you have to go to physical therapy, so I have to write you a script for physical therapy and physical therapy will give you a cane," he continued.
After about another two weeks, Mast was finally able to see a VA physical therapist. "They say, ‘Okay, we can write you a script for the cane, but before we write you a script for a cane you have to take a one-hour class on how to use a cane.’"
Such a farce might be funny if it weren’t the best America has to offer our wounded warriors. "If you want to fix the VA, you need to make them more accountable and introduce a free market system," explained Mast. "You need to allow the dollars to follow the veteran wherever it is that they determine the best care is for them."
"Veterans affairs is at the top of my priority list," said Mast, who is running for Congress in Alan West's old Florida district. The brave men and women who are serviced by the VA were "willing to give their last breath in defense of their country," he said. "What they're getting from the VA is not what they deserve."