Executive director praises VA leader's vision, endorses plans for new processing system
WASHINGTON, March 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In the wake of calls from a few vocal critics in the media and veterans' community for Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki to resign, AMVETS National Executive Director Stewart Hickey today announced his organization's support for the VA leader's continuation in his post.
Hickey argued only Shinseki, a man with a proven record as a transformational leader, with a clear and well-articulated vision for improving the VA claims backlog, is capable of successfully leading VA through the necessary planned changes that will make services and benefits more readily available to those veterans who have earned them.
"There is a reason major veterans service organizations, including AMVETS, are standing with Secretary Shinseki," said Hickey. "It's because we're working alongside VA to connect thousands of veterans with their benefits each year, and we understand the organizational challenges VA faces. We know the Secretary is on the right path, prioritizing older and more complex claims, and instituting a new electronic processing system."
Hickey also lauded Shinseki for adding more than a million veterans to VA's rolls for care and benefits through his decisions on presumptive conditions associated with Agent Orange, Gulf War Syndrome and PTSD.
"The Secretary's call to serve more veterans despite the existing backlog challenge was nothing short of courageous," said Hickey. "We need this leader who has consistently made the right calls to advocate for the veterans who depend on their government's assistance. Instead of calling for Secretary Shinseki's resignation, those wanting change should urge Congress to adopt the recommendations of The Independent Budget, and guarantee sufficient, timely and predictable funding for VA."
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 www.amvets.org.
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