On Veterans Day week it seems appropriate to give a shout-out, a thank you, and even a salute to our brothers and sisters in arms. It is also rather appropriate to point out something that many don’t know about the President’s commitment to our men and women in uniform.
As one story reported updating us on the President’s commitment to our armed forces, he means more than lip service. Those who defend, protect, and in particular, all of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, deserve our respect. They have earned our appreciation, our gratitude, and for our freedom, we owe them our best. That is the driving force behind the President’s focus on reforming and changing the VA system, so it works for veterans and their families.
Our aforementioned story began by saying, “President Donald Trump has relieved over 8,000 Veterans Affairs employees for failing their duty since becoming the president, according to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie.”
That’s a very big number and that is the definition of “cleaning house.” According to our story, these positions ranged from the most basic to the highest levels of the VA administration. And why you ask, were there so many?
The simple answer is standards. Quoting the VA Secretary, the story reported him saying that, “the standard is if you don’t live up to your oath if you don’t live up to the standards that our veterans expect, that you will be asked to leave,” – standards. Those standards are apparently high too, and for our veterans and our military men and women, shouldn’t they be?
In his own words, as the story went on to share, the President said, “Do you remember all of the bad stories that used to be about the VA? Now you don’t see that because they have accountability. We can fire bad people. We fired a tremendous number of really bad people that should’ve been fired years ago. I don’t like firing people, but I like firing people that don’t treat our vets great, that aren’t doing their job.”
And that is exactly what has been happening, to the tune of some 8,000 people who simply weren’t getting the job done. The results have been evident, and most importantly those results are coming from the most important source, the veterans themselves. Along with touting the President’s commitment by pointing out the increased budget for the VA, as our story said, Wilkie also noted that the VA recorded their highest satisfaction rates in its history among patients. An impressive 89.7 percent.
We celebrate Veterans Day every year and hopefully, we take the time to stop for a moment, to pay respect to those who protect us, and to pay homage to those who have sacrificed – life and limb. The President, perhaps here more than anywhere else in his duties, has and is leading by example. In fact, the Commander and Chief hasn’t made it a point to stop once a year to honor our vets. Instead, he has made it a point on some 8,000 different occasions over the past three years to do just that.
Today our veterans are treated better, they get better care, and there are improvements still being made to serve those who serve us. Issues like the suicide rate among veterans are of the leading concerns but the VA system is helping. The story reported that, “… 60 percent of veterans who committed suicide were not in Veterans Affairs care,” and work is being done to reach those it hasn’t.
Today we celebrate you for wearing the uniform. Today we say thank you to those who have paid a great cost in serving and today we remember those who have paid the greatest price. We will never forget and to carry on the work of VA and to make it better is just one way we can honor your memory – your sacrifice.
To those at home and abroad, past and present who have protected freedom, have protected us, and that have made us the land of the brave – we all thank you and Happy Veteran’s Day today and every day.