Local Reaction to Resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary

By: Hayley Skene Email
By: Hayley Skene Email

Eric Shinseki resigned as Veterans Affairs Secretary.

President Barack Obama made the announcement after a closed door meeting.

Just an hour before the announcement Shinseki apologized, announced changes and recognized the extent of problems in the VA system.

He apologized to veterans and Congress for not recognizing the issues earlier, but declared that the situation can be fixed.

The VA acknowledged 23 deaths nationwide due to delayed care.

Deputy VA Secretary Sloan Gibson will run the department on an interim basis while he searches for Shinseki's replacement.

In Washington County, vets are skeptical about Shinseki's resignation.

At the veteran service office they say taking top leaders out might make things worse.

Air Force vet Roy Ash thinks the problem is that a leader like Shinseki doesn't spend enough time out in the field.

"I don't think that fixes the problem at all. When things get sensationalized to a point where everybody's expecting something to happen - like heads must roll. They need someone to step down, get fired," says Ash.

Ash says he hasn't seen issues with veteran care here.

There are about 7,000 veterans in Washington County.

Ash says they usually get their health care appointments within 30 days.

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