The Department of Veterans Affairs has been in the news a lot lately, much of it over substandard treatment of veterans’ health. President Donald Trump has promised to make veterans’ issues a high priority in his administration.
The latest controversy brewing at the West Palm Beach, Florida, VA Medical Center is about treatment — not treatment of veterans, but the treatment of our president.
It seems that the president’s picture wasn’t on the wall, and veterans were not happy about it, according to DisabledVeterans.org.
Responding to complaints from constituents about the missing portraits of President Trump and Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin, Congressman Brian Mast, R-Fla., decided to do something about it, according to Fox News.
Rep. Mast brought two sets of “placeholder” portraits to be displayed until the official federal portraits could be installed. They were warmly received, and the first set was installed with cameras rolling, to the delight of the veterans present.
“That’s the person who would ultimately give the order for us to put our lives in danger and we believe that his picture should be displayed there proudly,” veteran John Rourke told CBS News.
Then the unthinkable happened. The congressman and the veterans were barely out of the facility when the portraits were removed. You won’t believe the reason why.
Check out the report on “Fox & Friends” here:
The spokeswoman went on to say that they have to wait for “official” portraits from the “central office.” That’s understandable, but the election was 4 months ago. Isn’t this the very definition of the red tape issues the VA grapples with?
Mast is also a patient at the facility. While serving our country in Afghanistan, the Army veteran lost both of his legs, and he still receives treatment at the West Palm Beach VA facility.
According to another Fox News report, Mast stated that when he initially raised the issue with the VA, a bureaucrat had the nerve to say, “Trump is not our president.” Seriously.
Mast, clearly disappointed with the VA’s disrespect of the commander in chief, tweeted this message:
After so many vets contacted me, disappointing to see resistance from VA over hanging portraits of Commander in Chief & VA Secretary. https://t.co/tHIznwut7q
— Rep. Brian Mast (@RepBrianMast) March 15, 2017
This mess is a metaphor for everything wrong with the VA. Bureaucracy, red tape, misplaced priorities and ignorance. Let’s hope that even if they’re not on the wall, President Trump and Secretary Shulkin whip these morons into shape, and fast.
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