AMVETS in Action

Category: Press Release

AMVETS Announces Summer Sweepstakes Winners

LANHAM, MD, May 21, 2015 — AMVETS leaders this week congratulated AMVETS 2015 Memorial Day Weekend Sweepstakes grand prize winner Robert Davis. AMVETS National Commander Larry Via personally called Mr. Davis to congratulate him on winning the $10,000 sweepstakes grand prize.

AMVETS selected the 10 lucky sweepstakes winners from over 100,000 entries from around the country for prizes ranging from $500 to the $10,000 grand prize. The drawing took place today at the AMVETS National Headquarters in Lanham, MD.

Proceeds from the sweepstakes will help support AMVETS’ continuing mission to deliver quality of life programs for veterans and their families. Be sure to look for the next AMVETS Sweepstakes entry form in the mail in September 2015.

2015 Memorial Day Weekend Sweepstakes winners:
$10,000.00 – Robert Davis, Newark, DE
$5,000.00 – Rita Ludlum, Skillman, NJ
$2,500.00 – Anthony J, Picciuto, Grosse Ile, MI
$1,000.00 – Steven R. Clark, Lakewood, OH
$500.00 – Alice S. Dempsey, Barboo, WI
$500.00 – Gerald Maccombs, Elyria, OH
$500.00 – Gary E. Haines, Middleton, NH
$500.00 – Robert H. Boyd, Orange City, FL
$500.00 – Charles David Petty, Callaway, FL
$500.00 – Les Henriksen, Fort Wayne, IN

A leader since 1944 in preserving the freedoms secured by America’s armed forces, AMVETS provides support for veterans and the active military in procuring their earned entitlements, as well as community service and legislative reform that enhances the quality of life for this nation’s citizens and veterans alike. AMVETS is one of the largest congressionally-chartered veterans’ service organizations in the United States, and includes members from each branch of the military, including the National Guard and Reserves. To learn more visit

AMVETS’ Stewart Hickey Appointed to Commission on Care

LANHAM, MD, May 28, 2015 – AMVETS National Executive Director Stewart Hickey has been selected to serve on the Commission on Care established by Congress to examine how to best deliver health care to the nation’s veterans.

Appointed to the commission by Mitch McConnell, majority leader of the U.S. Senate, Mr. Hickey will be one of only 15 voting members on the panel, which was established by the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014. The goal of the commission is to examine how best to strategically organize the Veterans’ Health Administration, locate health care resources and deliver care to veterans.

“Stewart’s perspective is veteran-centered and expert-driven. He is an excellent choice to ensure the best health care choices for veterans all across the country,” said Senator McConnell. McConnell appointed Stewart for his military service and executive leadership in health care administration and the non-profit, veteran service organization sectors, noting he adds a valuable balance of professional expertise and first-person experience to the Commission’s due diligence and understanding in evaluating access to care throughout the VA health care system.

Since 2011, Major Stewart M. Hickey, United States Marine Corps, (Retired) has served as AMVETS National Executive Director where he operates the nation’s fourth largest congressionally chartered veterans service organization and its subordinate organizations, and the daily advocacy of issues affecting veterans, national security, foreign affairs and the economy. Previously Mr. Hickey was chief executive officer for the Hyndman (Pa.) Area Health Center, a multi-site community health center providing medical and dental services to several counties of Pa, WV and Md. His health care administration includes as Chief Human Resources Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Western Maryland Hospital Center in Hagerstown, Md., a 123-bed JCAHO accredited, long term care and sub acute hospital with rehab, OT, PT and Respiratory care.

Mr. Hickey received his Bachelor of Arts in History from Penn State University, and his Master of Arts degree in Management from Webster University. He enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in 1977 as an infantryman, and his commission in1978. Major Hickey served in Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield and was awarded a Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V” for his achievements as Commanding Officer, Company D, Third Tank Battalion, Task Force RIPPER, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Saudi Arabia from Sept. 1990 to Feb. 1991.

Stewart Hickey resides on his family farm in Cumberland Valley Township (Bedford Co.) and in McConnellsburg, Pa. He and his wife Ellen have five children: Monroe, Ali, Charles, Andrew, and Bryce. Three of his sons, Andrew, Monroe, and Charles, followed their father’s path and currently serve in the United States military.

A leader since 1944 in preserving the freedoms secured by America’s armed forces, AMVETS provides support for veterans and the active military in procuring their earned entitlements, as well as community service and legislative reform that enhances the quality of life for this nation’s citizens and veterans alike. AMVETS is one of the largest congressionally-chartered veterans’ service organizations in the United States, and includes members from each branch of the military, including the National Guard and Reserves. To learn more visit

Purple Heart Recipients Object to Award of Medal to Oklahoma City Bombing Victims

Washington, DC May 4, 2015

Purple Heart Recipients Object to Award of Medal to Oklahoma City Bombing Victims

The Military Order of the Purple Heart of the USA, a Veteran Service Organization composed exclusively of combat wounded servicemen and women who received the Purple Heart medal for their service and sacrifice on the battlefield against the enemies of the United States, is dismayed by and adamantly opposed to an amendment to the 2016 NDAA, introduced in Congress by Rep. Steve Russell (R-OK) to award the Purple Heart medal to victims of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

While the MOPH is sympathetic to the loss suffered by the families and friends of the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing, and especially those who were serving at the time in the Armed Forces of the U.S. it cannot support or condone award of America’s oldest and most venerated combat decoration for an act of pure domestic violence. The attack on the Federal Building which killed 168 peopleand injured more than 680 others on April 19, 1995 was carried out by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols solely in retaliation for a perceived Federal Government mishandling of the 1993 siege of Ruby Ridge, and was timed to coincide with the second anniversary of the deadly fire that ended the siege in Waco, TX.

The criteria for award of the Purple Heart medal has been constant and clear – it is awarded only to those who are killed or wounded in combat. In recent years the criteria has been extended to accommodate a change in warfare that has brought the battlefield to our own shores in the form of international terrorism. The MOPH has fully supported award of the Purple Heart to victims in the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, and the 2009 Ft. Hood, TX, and the Little Rock AR Recruiting Station shootings because these incidents were clearly inspired or motivated by international terrorist organizations. The Oklahoma City bombing had nothing to do with combat on the battlefield or international terrorism.

The MOPH urges all Members of the US Senate and House of Representatives, especially those who serve on the Armed Services Committees, to reject this amendment that would cheapen the intent and importance of the Purple Heart medal and denigrate its meaning for those who have received it for their sacrifices to protect the freedoms that all Americans enjoy.

The organization now known as the “Military Order of the Purple Heart of the U.S.A. Inc.,” (MOPH) was formed in 1932 for the protection and mutual interest of all combat wounded veterans and active duty men and women who have received the decoration. Chartered by the Congress, The MOPH is unique among Veteran Service Organizations in that all its members were wounded in combat. For this sacrifice, they were awarded the Purple Heart Medal. With grants from the MOPH Service Foundation, the MOPH and its Ladies Auxiliary promote Patriotism, Fraternalism, and the Preservation of America’s military history. Most importantly, through veteran service, they provide comfort and assistance to all Veterans and their families, especially those requiring claims assistance with the VA, those who are homeless, and those requiring employment assistance. Programs of the MOPH include VA Volunteer Service, First Responder Recognition, JROTC Leadership Award, Scholarships, Americanism, Purple Heart Trail and Cities, Welfare, and numerous community service programs, all with the objective of service to Veterans and their families.

For information contact:
National Public Relations Director, John Bircher, (352) 753-5535
Or, National Adjutant, Ernesto Hernandez, (703) 354-2140
MOPH on the Web
MOPH on Facebook

VA Expands Choice Program Eligibility

On August 7, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-146) (Choice Act). Technical revisions to the Choice Act were made on September 26, 2014, when the President signed into law the Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-175) and on December 16, 2014, when the President signed into law the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (Public Law 113-235).

The Choice Act required VA to implement the Veterans Choice Program through an interim final rule, and on November 5, 2014, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published an interim final rulemaking. In that rulemaking, VA adopted a straight-line method for determining eligibility for the Program based on the distance between a Veteran’s place of residence and the closest VA medical facility.

On April 24, 2015, VA published a second interim final rule that changed the way VA measures distance for purposes of determining eligibility. VA now considers the distance a Veteran must drive to the nearest VA medical facility, rather than the straight-line or geodesic distance to such a facility. This results in an expansion of eligibility for the Choice Program.

VA is pleased to announce this expansion effective today.

Effective immediately, VA is also changing the mileage calculation for beneficiary travel. The change will ensure consistency in VA’s mileage calculations. The beneficiary travel mileage calculation will now be made using the fastest route instead of the shortest route.

A Veteran who meets threshold eligibility criteria may be eligible for the Choice Program based on the distance from his or her place of residence to the closest VA medical facility. VA previously determined eligibility based on place of residence using a straight-line measure of distance. VA is now using a driving distance measure.

For example: Under the new distance calculation, a Veteran who lives 40 miles or less, measured using a straight-line distance, from the nearest VA medical facility, but who needs to physically drive more than 40 miles to get there would be eligible for the Veterans Choice Program. Under the previous straight-line distance calculation, this Veteran would not have been eligible for the Program unless he or she was required to wait for an appointment longer than 30 days from his or her preferred date or the date determined to be medically necessary by his or her physician.

The expansion in eligibility increases Veterans’ access to high quality, timely healthcare. VA looks forward to continued collaboration with Veterans and our partners to ensure the success of the Veterans Choice Program.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: When is this rule change effective?
A: The interim final rule was published in the Federal Register on April 24, 2015, and is effective immediately upon publication.

Q: Why is VA changing this criterion now?
A: The change in criterion to the program will allow more Veterans to access care when and where they want it. VA believes a driving distance calculation is consistent with the law. The Choice Act does not state how distance should be calculated for purposes of determining eligibility based on place of residence. The straight-line measure adopted by the first interim final rule was consistent with language in the legislative history of the Choice Act. .

Q: What mapping tool is used to calculate the 40 miles?
A: VA will use the commercial product that is used by VA’s long-established beneficiary travel program. Because different mapping tools use different proprietary programming, the results may vary among products.

Q: Is the distance calculated the same way that is used to calculate mileage for beneficiary travel?
A: The mapping tool for beneficiary travel will now calculate the driving distance using the fastest route rather than the shortest route. This is a change to the beneficiary travel program that will make the distance determinations under the beneficiary travel program consistent with distance calculations under the Veterans Choice Program. The fastest route was chosen as the standard to ensure fairness to Veterans.

Q: Is it still 40 miles from any VA medical facility or is it 40 miles from a VA medical facility that actually provides the care needed?
A: This Choice Act requires VA to measure the distance from the Veteran’s residence to the closest VA medical facility, even if that facility does not provide the care that is needed. Absent a statutory change, VA does not have the flexibility to adopt an alternative approach. We are working with Congress to seek possible alternatives.

Q: How does VA plan to notify newly eligible Veterans?
A: All potentially eligible Veterans already received a Veterans Choice Card. VA will send follow-up letters notifying Veterans who are eligible under the revised mileage calculation.

Q: Who can a Veteran call if they have questions about the Veterans Choice Program or do not remember receiving their Veterans Choice Card?
A: If a Veteran does not remember receiving a Veterans Choice Card or has other questions about the Choice Program, they can call (866) 606-8198.

Q: Where can I get more information about the program?
A: Please review the VA Choice website at

Univ. of Phoenix AMVETS Scholarship

Related: Apply Here for 2016 Scholarship:

2015 Recipients Announced!

AMVETS ScholarshipsScholarship program provides 20 full-tuition scholarships to active-duty service members, eligible family members and veterans

PHOENIX, Feb. 10, 2015 – University of Phoenix and AMVETS, an advocate for veterans’ education, awarded 20 full-tuition scholarships to active-duty service members, eligible family members and veterans to pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree from University of Phoenix. AMVETS has teamed with University of Phoenix since 2007, offering 325 scholarships to demonstrate the appreciation of the sacrifice active-duty service members, their families and veterans make for the country and to help them transition from the military to the civilian sector.

University of Phoenix AMVETS Scholarship recipients are:

  • Ronald Camacho of Oceanside, Calif.
  • Marie Cooper of Tinley Park, Ill.
  • Brittany Diaz of Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Kathryn Jones of Port Saint Lucie, Fla.
  • Trent Maxwell of Kings Bay, Ga.
  • Sheila Morrow of E. Saint Louis, Ill.
  • Shelia Palmer of Felton, Del.
  • Rebecca Parks of Salem, Va.
  • Karen Ramirez of Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Ethan Ramsey of Yuma, Ariz.
  • Tiffany Rupp of Hope Mills, N.C.
  • Wanda Shires of Chesterfield, Va.
  • Jill Slate of Camarillo, Calif.
  • James Stephens of Middletown, Del.
  • Ashley Stimac of Stafford, Va.
  • Edward Stimac of Stafford, Va.
  • Kevin Thieme of Delia, Kan.
  • Jimmy Tidwell of Lawrence, Tenn.
  • Jamie Train of Derby, Kan.
  • Michael Wainwright of Brockport, N.Y.

“We are so very grateful for our long standing education partnership with University of Phoenix. This is truly a commitment that changes the lives of the recipients,” said AMVETS National Commander Larry E. Via. “These scholarships are an important part of our mission to help all veterans. In particular, our post-9/11 recipients can attain their educational goals as they strive to make a successful reintegration back into the civilian world.”

“We have a responsibility to help educate America’s transitioning service members, their families and veterans for career opportunities in both the military and civilian sectors,” said University of Phoenix Military Relations Vice President retired Army Col. Garland Williams. “The 2014 University of Phoenix AMVETS Scholarships provides the 20 recipients an access to education opportunities to help increase their professional skill sets to secure future career opportunities.”

Even though the post-9/11 veterans unemployment rate is improving compared to a year ago, there is still an urgent need to provide education and career services for transitioning active-duty service members, their families and veterans. University of Phoenix and AMVETS understand the critical need for America’s military to educationally distinguish themselves among job seekers in today’s competitive employment landscape.

Applications for the 2015 University of Phoenix AMVETS Scholarships will be accepted May 5, 2015, through Sept. 8, 2015, and scholarship recipients will be announced on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2015.

For more information on how to apply for the 2015 University of Phoenix AMVETS Scholarships and for scholarship requirements, please visit when the scholarship application period opens on May 5, 2015.

A leader since 1944 in preserving the freedoms secured by America’s armed forces, AMVETS provides support for veterans and the active military in procuring their earned entitlements, as well as community service and legislative reform that enhances the quality of life for this nation’s citizens and veterans alike. AMVETS is one of the largest congressionally-chartered veterans’ service organizations in the United States, and includes members from each branch of the military, including the National Guard and Reserve. To learn more, visit

About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help working adults move efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive learning can help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. As a subsidiary of Apollo Education Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL), University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit

AMVETS Renews Arizona Memorial as “Keepers of the Wall”

USS Arizona Memorial Wall

AMVETS are Keepers of the USS Arizona Memorial Wall. Rededicated Veterans Day 2014.
AMVETS photo by David Gai

Lanham, MD – Black tears of oil still seep up from the submerged tomb of the 1177 sailors and Marines that perished in the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. These are constant reminders of this defining moment of WWII that propelled America into global conflict and forever changed the course of world history.

During the hour-and-fifty minute raid on Pearl Harbor, nearly 2,400 American servicemen died and approximately 1,170 were wounded. Eighteen ships lay sunken or badly damaged and close to 350 planes were put out of commission. The USS Arizona, one of seven battleships moored along Battleship Row was the most seriously devastated. Taking several hits from large, armor-piercing bombs, the great ship went down in less than nine minutes. As the President spoke to Congress, asking them to declare war on Japan, sailors were cutting through the still burning wreckage of the USS Arizona attempting to save others who were trapped inside the ship. The last survivor from the Arizona was pulled from the wreckage that afternoon.

The loss of life that day wasn’t restricted only to military personnel, or even to Pearl Harbor. Forty nine civilians of very different backgrounds, ages, and locations on the island of Oahu also took a heavy toll.

AMVETS is committed to ensuring that December 7, 1941, which President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared “A date which will live in infamy,” will always be remembered and preserved through the USS Arizona Memorial and the Wall of Remembrance. In the 1950’s, AMVETS helped secure the final required funding of $250,000 for the memorial. Unfortunately, the Wall of Remembrance, a permanent memorial with all the names inscribed in marble panels, began to deteriorate over many years, making them hard or impossible to read. In 1983, AMVETS replaced the Wall of Remembrance, which was rededicated in 1984.

Thirty years later the Wall of Remembrance once again faced the challenges of deterioration and needed replacement. As keepers of the Wall, AMVETS again honored our commitment and raised the funds to replace the 138 Olympian White marble panels adorned with the names of the fallen. Construction on the Memorial began in August 2014 and the wall was rededicated this past Veterans Day 2014.

For many Americans, the bombing of Pearl Harbor on that ordinary Sunday morning marked a change in the world as they knew it. The attack united us as people and strengthened our resolve to ultimately prevail over the forces of aggression. The vicious and unprovoked terrorist attacks of September 11 also served to remind us yet again that we still face challenges to our freedom, and we must be vigilant in defending liberty. Our country will not tolerate those who jeopardize our very way of life.

The upsurge in American patriotism in response to the terrorist attacks — much like the response to the attack on Pearl Harbor— gives us much reason for hope.

As our country fights to eliminate international terrorism and bring those responsible for the attacks to justice, America’s veterans know — perhaps better than most — the sacrifices that must be made until victory is achieved.

AMVETS, which had its beginnings in 1944, near the end of World War II, shoulders the responsibility to see to it that the United States never forgets those who served and died at Pearl Harbor. Realizing that freedom is best protected through strength, we will continue to stand firm on national defense issues.

President Lincoln said that speeches and statues are not an adequate repayment for service in defense of one’s country. One day of remembrance is simply not enough for what these veterans did 73 years ago. For we are able to choose freedom today because of the bravery of those men and women whose fate, on that day, had been chosen for them.

It is our duty and our solemn vow to never forget those who fought and died. Let us always honor the brave men of the USS Arizona with this memorial so they may rest in peace among the waves and know they will never be forgotten.

(Click to enlarge)

AMVETS Veteran Job Fair bringing more than 40 employers to Memphis

August 7, 2014

AMVETS hosted Veteran Job Fair Set for August 13 in Memphis
More than 40 Employers to Attend

Lanham, MD – Veterans service organization AMVETS (American Veterans) will host a Veteran Job Fair, a hiring event for veterans, military and spouses, at the Memphis Cook Convention Center on Wednesday, August 13, 2014. Call of Duty Endowment and the Greater Memphis Chamber will co-sponsor the event, which will run from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.

“We expect more than 40 employers looking to hire veterans not just for local positions but many with opportunities across the nation,” said AMVETS Career Specialist Gema Moreno. “We encourage career-seeking veterans and current military personnel who are transitioning from active duty to civilian life, members of the National Guard and reserves, military spouses, and other military family members.”

A free seminar will be offered prior to the event at 10:00 a.m., entitled “The Military to Civilian Transition: Leverage the Power of Your Personal Brand.” Internationally regarded branding expert Lida Citroen has worked with returning veterans across various channels, teaching them personal branding, marketing resources and social media skills to better aid their relevancy in a competitive job search. All veterans are welcome to attend this session that will provide information that can immediately be put to use with participating employers.

If you are a veteran looking to attend or a business that would like to participate in hiring veterans you can pre-register and sign up via AMVETS at: AMVETS is being assisted by RecruitMilitary. By registering for the career fair, you will also be registered in the RecruitMilitary job board. With 600,000+ jobs available for veterans, our partner provides further access to jobs nationwide.

AMVETS, is one of the country’s premier veteran service organizations, with a proud history of assisting veterans and sponsoring numerous programs that serve our country and its citizens.

American Legion, AMVETS and CVA Joint Statement on VA Spending Request

Washington, DC – Today, the American Legion, AMVETS (American Veterans), and Concerned Veterans of America (CVA) released the following statement regarding congressional posturing resulting from a request made by acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson for an additional $17.6 billion in funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs:

“Regardless of the merits, a last-minute VA request for $17.6 billion dollars in additional spending only hampers an already difficult VA conference committee negotiating process. Both the House and Senate VA reform bills that passed were centered on two things—accountability and access. It is disgraceful and utterly painful to see bipartisan efforts erode and lawmakers lose sight of what’s important. Negotiations, which should happen in public, not behind closed doors, must stay focused on ensuring VA leadership is held accountable and veterans have timely access to care. All other discussions only undermine a critically important process.

“We urge Congress to take immediate action to regain their focus on ensuring the VA Secretary exercises their authority to hold management and staff accountable for their inappropriate behavior, and immediately stop the corruption and mismanagement within the VA. Before asking for more money, the VA must start making good on the nation’s promise to its honored veterans.”

Dan Dellinger
National Commander
the American Legion

Stewart Hickey
Executive Director

Pete Hegseth
Chief Executive Officer
Concerned Veterans for America

FBI to Investigate Phoenix VA

June 12, 2014

Lanham, Md. – Officials announced today the Federal Bureau of Investigation is beginning to review records at the Phoenix VA for potential criminal wrongdoing.

Phoenix was the first location whistleblowers exposed manipulation of appointment schedules and claims veterans had died while waiting for care. The VA scandal includes more than 40 hospitals and at least 120,000 veterans experiencing improper delays. The VA Inspector General’s audit proceeds in 69 different medical facilities. In its preliminary report of its audit last week, the VA stated 13 percent of VA schedulers said they were told to falsify appointment-request dates to give the impression that wait times were shorter than they really were in order to receive performance bonuses.

“AMVETS fully supports the criminal prosecution of all who are found to have dishonored the Department of Veterans Affairs by believing they were not actually accountable to the veterans they were there to serve, and the American people,” said Stewart Hickey, AMVETS National Executive Director. “We are pleased the administration is moving in this direction and anticipate it will run its full course.”

“VA easily gets distracted by ‘shiny objects’ and is notoriously slow to act. It is imperative the administration is not diverted by this investigation and continues its focus to further adopt viable solutions that truly fix the VA’s deep-seated systemic problems. Keeping the quality care of veterans within the VA system is the top priority. AMVETS provided recommendations to the VA to bring much needed solutions to the table. Our nation’s veterans deserve access to a health-care system that puts their needs first,” added Hickey.

FBI Director James Comey would not say whether their investigation would be expanded beyond the initial allegations at the Phoenix medical facility, but said the FBI was “working with the VA IG and will follow this wherever the facts take us.”

AMVETS Statement on VA Secretary Shinseki’s Resignation

May 30, 2014

Lanham, Maryland. – Following today’s announcement of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki’s resignation, AMVETS and National Executive Director Stewart M. Hickey released the following statement.

“We are saddened but not surprised at Eric Shinseki’s resignation today. He is an honorable man whose dedication and service to our country and veterans is beyond reproach. Shinseki’s leadership and vision to deliver veterans with the highest quality care were bringing the Department of Veterans Affairs into the 21st century. His focus on veterans included directing the adoption of solutions that directly addressed the known problems including developing the capabilities to digitize claims and implement procedures and capabilities to better manage patient schedules and reduce wait times. Unfortunately, Shinseki’s legacy at the helm of the VA will forever be tainted by the shameful performance and failures of VA employees and managers. Shinseki, as the honorable man that he is, is accepting full responsibility and blame for the problems at VA but he is not the one within VA who should be gone. Shinseki’s trust in the VA was betrayed. The systemic problems are the result of the lack of integrity of nearly every member of VA’s career bureaucrats, especially the VISN and hospital management layers who failed him by withholding crucial facts, disregarding directives and policies, hiding bad news, falsifying documents and otherwise lying to convince him that the serious, systemic issues were merely isolated incidents to be ignored.”

“Shinseki’s removal further complicates, not solves the VA’s problems. With their staunchest champion gone, the trust of America’s veterans will come at a high price for the new VA Secretary. The VA bureaucracy needs a total overhaul; the type of reform that changes the very culture of the VA from complacency and mistrust to the full accountability for the care and well-being of our nation’s veterans. The VA’s new leader must take swift and decisive action to further adopt viable solutions that truly fix the systemic problems, and keep the quality care of veterans within the VA system. The new leader must also immediately discipline and remove the employees responsible for mismanagement, negligence and corruption.” – Stewart M. Hickey, AMVETS National Executive Director


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