On this Veteran’s day, the nation is transitioning to a new Commander in Chief who, for the first time in history has no elected office or military experience. But that doesn’t bother long time Veteran’s rights advocate Ric Davidge. Davidge started the Alaska Veteran’s Foundation in 2003, he is the head of the Vietnam Veterans of America chapter here and was the chair of the Alaska Veterans for Trump campaign. He says homelessness among veterans is one of the myriad problems that contributes to the more than 2 dozen veteran suicides that happen every day in the nation. Davidge said many Alaska vets choose to live outside of urban areas in the wild.
“I know them because they come into Anchorage in the summer time, we often hire them to help with various projects and they live here for two or three months, camping out in the woods and make money and they use that money for the rest of the year,” Davidge said. “So Alaska has the highest number per capita of veterans, we have the highest number of veteran suicides, so as an old medic from Vietnam, I’m really motivated to save just a few more lives.”
Davidge said he believes Donald Trump will help clean up the VA by giving veterans the option of going to a VA facility or using VA benefits at other medical clinics and hospitals.
“That will immediately reduce the waiting list and it would give veterans a choice,” Davidge said. “There are a lot of veterans that want to use a traditional VA program and that’s fine but there are a lot of veterans that don’t and I think if they are given a choice, over a 10 year period, we’ll begin to find out which of those programs works the best.”
Davidge just released his new book called The Second American Revolution- First 100 Days. He said the Trump campaign requested and received one of the first copies.