Ben Stiller is an actor, director, writer, and producer. He has directed and starred in Reality Bites, Zoolander, and Tropic Thunder. His acting credits include There’s Something About Mary, Meet the Parents, The Royal Tenenbaums, Flirting with Disaster, and Greenberg. Next year, he will direct and star in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
REASON 69: President Obama has improved conditions for our active and retired military.
I am not in the military. I have never been in the military. In fact, the closest I have come to serving was making a movie about actors making a war movie. Which, by the way, was a really hard shoot. We shot in Hawaii for like three months. And it was really muddy. And there were mosquitoes. It was hell.
So it is safe to say I have no idea what it is like to serve in the armed forces or be in a combat situation. But I can guess it is a lot harder than making Tropic Thunder
was. And I, like most Americans, am extremely grateful for the service that the men and woman of our military provide.
That is one of the reasons I support President Obama for re-election. He has supported the men and women of the military, who do the tough jobs we civilians only hear Jack Nicholson talk about in A Few Good Men
President Obama has supported phasing out the stop-loss program. Stop-loss forced soldiers to remain in the military after their enlistments ended. This made them eligible for repeated combat deployments. An estimated 120,000 troops were affected by stop-loss since 2001.
With help from Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in 2009 President Obama began a two-year program to phase out stop-loss completely. He granted servicemen and women whose service was extended due to stop-loss 500 dollars a month in retroactive pay for each month their service was extended.
The President has also helped those in the military in other ways. Through the post 9/11 GI Bill, over 300,000 veterans and members of their families have been able to pursue a college education.
The current administration has made it easier for those suffering from PTSD to qualify for VA benefits. A veteran can now establish a claim based on his or her own testimony of events without the requirement of corroborating evidence—no matter what war he or she served in.
President Obama has also provided one of the largest funding increases in decades to help create a 21st century VA that provides our veterans better health care, better services, and better support.
So that is one of the reasons I am voting for President Obama. Also, I hear he supports benefits for actors who have trouble getting work after their war movies flop at the box office, which would affect me more directly, but I’ll save that for another essay.
New York, New York