Obama pledges to uphold ‘sacred trust’ with veterans
At the end of a week rocked by allegations of mismanagement and cover-ups at the Veterans Affairs agency, President Barack Obama used his weekly address on Saturday to again vow to make sure veterans get the necessary medical care.
“Let’s keep working to make sure that our country upholds our sacred trust to all who’ve served,” Obama said in his address, slated to air on Memorial Day holiday weekend, when Americans honor their war dead.
“In recent weeks, we’ve seen again how much more our nation has to do to make sure all our veterans get the care they deserve,” he said.
Obama this week responded personally to a growing furor that veterans had suffered long delays in receiving healthcare, making clear that Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki’s job could be on the line.
Shinseki is slated to give Obama the preliminary results of a review of the scope of the problems next week. Obama has assigned Rob Nabors, one of his top aides, to conduct his own look into what happened. Nabors’ review is due next month.
The agency’s inspector general, an independent watchdog, is also investigating the allegations. Its review is due in August.
Republican lawmakers are planning investigations and have criticized Obama for being slow to respond.
“Now that we’ve ended the war in Iraq, and as our war in Afghanistan ends as well, we have to work even harder as a nation to make sure all our veterans get the benefits and opportunities they’ve earned,” Obama said.
(Reporting by Roberta Rampton)