Yesterday the American Legion held a press conference and issued this statement:
‘In front of local media and a live Internet audience, American Legion National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger today called for the resignations of Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, Under Secretary of Health Robert Petzel and Under Secretary of Benefits Allison Hickey.
Dellinger cited poor oversight and failed leadership as the reason for calling for the resignations – something The American Legion hasn’t done regarding a public official in more than 30 years.
“Gen. Eric Shinseki has served his country well,” Dellinger said. “His patriotism and sacrifice for this nation are above reproach. However, his record as the head of the Department of Veterans Affairs tells a different story. The existing leadership has exhibited a pattern of bureaucratic incompetence and failed leadership that has been amplified in recent weeks.”’ (Read more)
The VFW responded:
“WASHINGTON — America’s largest combat veterans’ organization, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, does not agree with a call made today for the resignations of Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki, Under Secretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey, and Under Secretary for Health Dr. Robert A. Petzel.” (Read more)
One of my favorite quotes that I received once in a Fortune Cookie read: “Recognize and deal with reality, no matter how unpleasant that may be.” Seems to me keeping secret waiting lists (as I wrote earlier, that’s not a new practice and it happened to me) indicates a culture internally that discourages the open identification of issues either to avoid the unpleasantness of the dirty laundry or to secure that fat bonus. Either way there is a serious issue, veterans are dying and the survivors are frustrated, and there appears to be no accountability. It doesn’t help that the two largest veteran organizations disagree.