Veterans Administration Secretary David Shulkin
(reprinted from USA Today)
WASHINGTON – Three veterans organizations urged President Trump to keep Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin in place despite a report that said he misused taxpayer dollars during a European trip last year.
The American Legion ticked off a list of his accomplishments at the department, including modernization of the appeals process for VA benefits, improved patient satisfaction, decreased wait times and increased access to mental health care.
"We have been encouraged by the great progress Secretary Shulkin has made and believe that he remains the best person to lead this important federal public institution on the behalf of the American people," the group's national commander, Denise Rohan, said in a statement Monday.
One of the oldest organizations representing veterans, AmVets, praised the secretary.
“Please allow VA Secretary Shulkin the space necessary to do his job and continue your focus on fixing the VA,” Joe Chenelly, executive director of AmVets said in a statement directed at the president.
Vietnam Veterans of America echoed those thoughts and expressed support for VA Deputy Secretary Tom Bowman, who has been on the job since August.
"Keep both David Shulkin and Tom Bowman, and see where we are in a year," said Rick Weidman, co-founder of the organization. "It hasn’t been long enough."
Veterans groups had been largely silent since the VA inspector general released a report last Wednesday concluding Shulkin improperly accepted tickets to Wimbledon and airfare for his wife during a 10-day trip to Denmark and London last July.