All the Major Veterans Groups, Including Once A Soldier, Demand Better For All Veterans

How dare you treat one of our own that way? That’s the message, and with Representative Mark Takano (D. California) leading the charge, all of the Big Six veterans organizatins; The American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Disabled American Veterans, AMVETS and Vietnam Veterans of America, want him gone. Takano is the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. The entire report, published by the Office of the Inspector General, can be found here.

“From his own actions, it’s clear that instead of handling the sexual assualt with dignity and honor, VA Secretary Wilike initiated a smear campaign against the female veteran,” said David Barbush, CEO of Once A Soldier. “Of course, we are thinking of the Veteran’s family involved in all of this.”

The veteran who made the complaint was, and continues to serve as, a staff member on the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Veterans’ Affairs (HVAC). She works on issues affecting women veterans for the committee, including efforts to reduce the incidence of sexual harassment and assaults in VA medical centers.

Disgraced Trump Appointee VA Secretary Robert Wilkie

“When the most senior leadership of VA are derelict in their duty, refuse to take immediate action to correct glaring deficiencies, and are themselves complicit in attempts to discredit and cast doubt on the facts, they betray the public trust and as a result disqualify themselves from all future public service,” Rep. Mark Takano. Wilkie’s lack of character and ethics, a trademark of all Trump VA Secretaries, was recognized by other politicians in addition to Takano.

“The accountability, professionalism and respect that our veterans have earned, and quite frankly deserve, is completely lost in this current VA leadership team,” said B.J. Lawrence, executive director of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. “Secretary Wilkie must resign now.”

“It is unfair to expect accountability from the nearly 400,000 VA employees and not demand the same from its top executive,” wrote American Legion National Commander James W. “Bill” Oxford. “Wilkie failed to meet the standard that the veteran who came forward with the complaint deserved. By the promises set forth by his own department, the American Legion believes Secretary Wilkie should resign.”

Along with Wilkie, Takano called for the resignation of acting Deputy Secretary Pamela Powers, acting Chief of Staff Brooks Tucker, Principal Deputy General Counsel William Hudson Jr., Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs James Hutton, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Curt Cashour. All of them were named in the report.

The OIG’s investigation was hindered by the refusal of several senior VA officials to cooperate with requests for follow-up interviews to clarify and resolve conflicts that arose when additional information was gathered after their initial interviews. The individuals refusing to cooperate included Secretary Wilkie, Chief of Staff Performing the Delegable Duties of the Deputy Secretary Pamela Powers, Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs James Hutton, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Curtis Cashour.

Sources for this post include the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and Military Times.

 

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