Letter: Veterans' businesses need to have higher priority

Regarding "Vet-owned business advocate criticizes VA bill": It's a shame that the [government's] most funded agency fails to meet the mediocre 3 percent target for veteran-owned small businesses. The problem with [the Defense Department] is that it is a civilian organization as a whole, and since most people in the decision-making process never wore a uniform, they actually feel no connection to the service member. Career civil servants are just that — career! Until there is a war, most civil servants think of the military members that work with them as a temporary headache.

Because military members rotate so much, the civilians think they're not competent. This same thought process is why there is a lack of urgency to meet the 3 percent set-aside goal. Most of the small-business offices throughout DOD have no prior military members serving. They have career civil servants. There is no one looking out for businesses owned by former military members.

Vet-owned businesses should be given the same special treatment given to 8(a) businesses. The fact is that vets who took time to serve for your freedom should take priority over some of the other set-asides out there. The Small Business Administration pushes the 8(a) program on agencies, but you don't see the same push for veteran-owned, or even the service-disabled veteran-owned, businesses.

DOD is a disgrace. It should be leading the charge, but instead it lags behind. At least vets can really see what we think of their service to this country.

Demetrius

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