Whether Democrat, Republican, or Independent, there will always be issues on which a President’s administration will be criticized as mishandling. But when it comes to the continuous failures, and inadequate handling, of the welfare of our Veterans that the Veteran’s Administration has repeatedly shown, the shame and disgrace of these failures runs through all political parties.
The latest allegations regarding VA misconduct and cover-ups comes from Phoenix, as retired doctor Sam Foote has told Congress that he has proof, such as e-mails and other documents, that the Phoenix VA is guilty of creating “secret’ waiting lists and “cooking the books” on wait times for Veterans to be seen by medical professionals there. Said Dr. Foote “We have the names of 23 people who died while waiting for care of approximately 45 potential victims.”
Despite these allegations, VA Director and CEO Sharon Helman, and Chief of Staff Dr. Darren Deering both deny having any knowledge of said “lists.”
While these allegations are relatively new, the problems that our Veterans have been met with regarding physical and mental health care have been a long going issue. A “decades” long issue according to President Obama today.
One of the quotes that stands out the most from the President’s speech today, was when he referred to the “larger mission” as “Upholding our sacred trust to all of our Veterans and bringing the VA system into the 21st Century. Which is not an easy task.”
With that said, one has to ask; Why did no one think of this as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continued to drag on year after year? Surely someone had to wonder what we would do to assist these brave men and women once they returned home. Or maybe they did. But unfortunately for our Veterans, there were more important issues to deal with such as corporate tax breaks and childish bi-partisan bickering.
For whatever reason, our Veterans still face an uphill battle. While these latest developments may be shining a brighter light on the VA’s shortcomings, they must now wait as Washington begins another one of its thorough investigations. And if history shows us anything, it’s that these can take awhile. In the meantime; I wonder how many more of our Veterans have to die?
While many administrations have dropped the ball on this issue for years, I hope that you keep your word Mr. President when you said today, “If these allegations prove to be true, it is dishonorable, it is disgraceful, and I will not tolerate it, period.”