One of the largest federal agencies is the Department of Veterans Affairs, which has 370,000 employees. The agency is in the news often and many times it is because of problems and scandals.
The VA often is criticized for not providing adequate services for veterans, but there also are many positive stories about the care given to veterans.
We’ve heard directly from veterans who had no complaints and said services provided to them were good. There have been problems in some VA facilities that have given a black eye to the agency as far as wait time is concerned, especially for specialized services, and general conditions in a few facilities. Complaints have given some VA facilities a bad name.
President Trump nominated the White House physician, Dr. Ronny Jackson, to head the VA. He has withdrawn his name from consideration after criticism came from lawmakers about his record as White House physician in regard to supervision of prescribing drugs, his drinking and creating a hostile environment for the medical staff. However, he served three presidents and none of them were critical of him. Dr. Jackson has denied the accusations.
The president had said he wouldn’t blame Dr. Jackson if he withdrew as a nominee because of what he was being put through, in accusations, by several Democrats intent on denying the appointment.
A rear admiral, Dr. Jackson was a combat medic in the Iraq War and received commendations for his service. His service record was not criticized and was praised by supporters.
In withdrawing his nomination, Dr. Jackson said the false allegations against him had become a “distraction.” We don’t know whether the accusations against him are true, but his image has been tarnished forever. Because of his military service as a medic, we feel sorry for him.
The VA is one of the most sensitive federal agencies due to the nature of the services provided and who it serves.