Veteran unemployment is at 13%. The soldier suicide rate has skyrocketed. Money that was once provided for service members and their families is being diverted to fund higher weapons spending.

Our soldiers are facing very real issues. And it's time these issues are addressed.

But too often politicians put the concerns of our troops to the sidelines in favor of patriotic speeches that praise our soldiers while offering nothing to help them. The uniform should symbolize more than a photo op on the campaign trail.

This Memorial Day, let’s remind politicians that they need to take up the issues of our armed forces. Tell them to commit to small business loans for vet entrepreneurs. Make them push to improve the VA hospitals to help soldiers deal with their postwar physical and psychological needs. Have them fight to protect VA funding and the Post-9/11 GI Bill from budget cuts.

In this big election year, our presidential candidates need to hear this message the most. Sign the petition and tell them that our troops are too important not to be presented with actual platforms for their issues. This is the weekend to start giving soldiers the support they really need.

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