Don’t Throw Sergeant VerSteegh From His House

May 29, 2008 – I’m delighted Senator Webb’s GI Bill and Senator McCain’s opposition to it presents another opportunity to emphasize that the neoconservative elite who lied about Iraq also lied about “supporting the troops” — the very club they used to silence criticism when they lied about Iraq. If we can reach the place where a super-majority of the U.S. population is permanently convinced that you can’t trust anything related to military affairs said by neocon elitists like Pastor John Hagee’s AIPAC, it’s quite plausible that we could, at long last, enjoy a Presidency of the United States in which the U.S. commits no new violations of international law with respect to the use of military force.

In the latest evidence that neocons “support the troops” as long as it doesn’t cost anything to them or their rich elitist friends, Bloomberg reports:

In the midst of the worst surge in mortgage defaults in seven decades, foreclosures in U.S. towns where soldiers live are increasing at a pace almost four times the national average.
You might think veterans’ groups would be very concerned about this. You’d be right.

“We’ve never faced a situation like this, not in the Vietnam War, World War II, or the Korean War, where so many military are in danger of losing their homes,” said Paul Sullivan, executive director of Veterans for Common Sense, a Washington-based advocacy group started in 2002 by Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans.

How does this affect the family of an individual soldier?

U.S. Air Force Technical Sergeant Jeffrey VerSteegh…departed…in April for his third tour in Iraq. The father of four may lose his home when he returns.

The four-bedroom farmhouse he and his wife, Kathleen, own…went into default in December after their monthly mortgage costs doubled to $1,100. Kathleen missed work because of breast cancer and they struggled to keep up the house payment, falling behind on other bills. Their bankruptcy was approved by the court a week after VerSteegh left for Iraq.

Congress has at its disposal a simple means for making sure that Sergeant VerSteegh and his wife Kathleen are not thrown out of their house. Representative Raul Grijalva has introduced H. R. 6116, “To allow homeowners of moderate-value homes who are subject to mortgage foreclosure proceedings to remain in their homes as renters.” The bill draws on economist Dean Baker’s “own-to-rent” proposal. Moderate income homeowners facing foreclosure could stay in their homes as long as they paid fair market rent.

If you agree that your America wouldn’t throw Sergeant VerSteegh and his wife Kathleen out of their house, why not call your Representative at 202-225-3121 and ask them to co-sponsor Grijalva’s bill?

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