Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America

Time for Change at the VA

Spring 2014

Washington, DC – In response to the damaging and verified accusations of mismanagement at VA hospitals, and the failure of VA leadership to properly respond to these claims, the Jewish War Veterans of the USA (JWV) calls for the immediate resignation of VA Secretary General Eric Shinseki.

“These systemic breaches of basic medical and ethical conduct on the part of the various administrators of many VA hospitals are beyond the pale. A new broom must come in and sweep the trash out, clean house from top to bottom,” said JWV National Commander Dr. Robert Pickard, COL (USA Retired). “I met with Shinseki in Feb. 2014 and voiced veterans' concerns regarding the bonuses being distributed to various VA administrators in light of these horrible allegations. He corrected me and said that they were not "bonuses" but rather they were ‘performance awards.’ A stink weed by any other name would smell as bad! We respect and honor Shinseki's past experience and leadership in the military, and we honor his service to our country, but now it is past time to move on and get the job done by a new leader.”

“It is time, in fact, it is past time, to restructure the leadership at the Department of Veterans Affairs. It is also time, in fact, it is past time, for a criminal investigation at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Many veterans are now concerned about going to the VA. Trust is gone.” said Bob Zweiman, JWV Coordinating Committee Chairman. “It is important that new leadership take over and straighten out, swiftly and decisively, the many, many failings at the VA. From huge furniture purchases, to conferences being held at excessive costs, to performance awards that were not justified, and worst of all, to the patient delays at a steadily increasing number of VA hospitals.”

As the scope of the allegations widens, it has become clear that the current leadership at the VA is not equipped to handle these challenges and investigate these matters.

Removing Shinseki from office is one of the significant ways to demonstrate that our government is not only willing, but actually doing, the right thing for our veterans.

At the same time, we must recognize that the VA Health System provides and is rendering a very valuable service to the veteran community. Congress, while publicly commending the veteran community, has chopped away as to the budgetary requirements, demonstrating that you get what you pay for. Political hypocrisy is no answer to actual veteran need. The Congress must show and enact veteran health care security in passing mandatory funding and the monies necessary to carry it out.


About Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America
Founded in 1896, the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America is one of oldest active veterans’ organizations in America. JWV is dedicated to upholding America’s democratic traditions and fighting bigotry, prejudice, injustice, and discrimination of all kinds. As a national organization, JWV represents the voice of America’s Jewish veterans on issues related to veterans’ benefits, foreign policy, and national security. JWV also commits itself to the assistance of oppressed Jews worldwide.

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