The title of this post is rather trite in my opinion. The list of actual betrayals that veterans have sustained is as long and as storied as this country’s history. Whether it’s the violent crushing of the Bonus Army, lack of body armour for forward deployed troops, or the “wait till they die” attitude that the VA espouses, there is no shortage of slights.
This particular transgression is overlooked by most. Unfortunately, it’s a pretty serious setback for people who are no longer serving as a government employee. In 2014 the DOD stripped AKO email access from all veterans.
Stripping away AKO email access not only made it that much harder for veterans to take advantage of discounts in a safe manner without revealing all of their PII, it also (and most importantly) stripped away access to a wealth of information, training and accredited education available only to .gov/.mil/LE email addresses.
The training available is not limited to esoteric counter terrorism studies or exclusively relatable to government fields; a lot of these exclusive classes had to do with general management, leadership and plenty of other skills that are universally desirable or translatable.
The idea that you’d strip away training and education resources from a portion of the population that faces a disturbingly high unemployment rate is absurd. Large numbers of veterans serve in the security industry, whether it be commercial security or top secret overseas contracts and are not always in possession of a CAC or an active .mil/.dos contractor email. The training that was available was absolutely helpful to lower level operational employees, including domestic static security guys looking to broaden their horizons.
While we spend billions on exoskeletons, F35s and Escalades for staff officers, we continue to heavily scrutinize every benefit available to veterans. We continue to hamstring reintegration into society, we continue to clutch our pearls in shock at the suicide rate, but at the end of the day we are all too comfortable with keeping our combat troops as GIs. General issue expendable items.