VFW on VA nominee: We will fully support him, on one condition

Eric Dehm
March 30, 2018 - 10:30 am

Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

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In recent weeks, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) voiced their support for Dr. David Shulkin to remain in his position as Secretary of the VA. Following Shulkin's removal, the organization has now turned their attention to the nominee, Navy Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson. 

Jackson, who has served for over a decade as the presidential physician, was a surprise announcement to take the helm of the massive VA system. While there are concerns being raised about Jackson's lack of management experience, including from the Veteran Service Organizations, the VFW says they look forward to finding out more about where Jackson stands on several issues, and that his thoughts on one in particular could make or break his relationship with the organization. 

"The confirmation hearings should be interesting," VFW Communications Director Joe Davis said during an appearance on the Morning Briefing radio show. "But the thing is, if he becomes secretary we will fully support him. Now, obviously the talk of the town here is about privatizing the VA and the VFW is 100 percent against privatizing the VA. 

As those upcoming confirmation hearings draw near, the VFW hopes the veteran community waits to learn about Admiral Jackson's stance on issues like privatization before passing judgement on his nomination one way or the other. The organization believes that there's nothing to be gained by condemning Jackson, or giving him a free pass, based solely on who he's replacing or who appointed him.

"We have to give him the benefit of the doubt," Davis said. "I would hope that the president would have not chosen him if he didn't have the confidence for him to succeed. And that's what we need here. The VA needs successes...what we don't need is the antagonists out there saying 'see? American veterans don't trust their VA, that's why we should privatize it.'"

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