WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Tuesday spoke on the Senate floor about the systemic dysfunction within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the need for leadership.
After sharing several examples of Kansas veterans who have been disregarded by the VA, Sen. Moran demanded accountability from VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and called for his resignation.
Locally in Topeka, patience is growing thin for veteran Chuck Vanhoutan who served in the gulf war and was in the air force for nearly 20 years.
“It’s always waiting to hear what your benefits are going to be. If you get them at all. It’s been over ten years now trying to deal with this.”said Vanhoutan.
Vanhoutan suffers from, hearing loss, sleep apnea and a herniated disk in his back.
“It’s frustration,you do what you can,you do what you’re asked and it just never happens” said Vanhoutan.
That’s why Tuesday, U.S. Senator Jerry Moran called for the VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to step down.
“What we’re missing anymore is now the hope and that it’s going to get better. The veterans are losing the hope that it’s ever going to work in their favor. It doesn’t matter if you’re a 2001 veteran or a 1941 veteran you are entitled to service.”
Moran says, the quality of care among VA Medical Centers like the one in Topeka is under scrutiny.
“In which we know no longer have an emergency room and I’m unable to determine by the V.A. why that is.” said Moran.
Vanhoutan says the entire process needs to be more organized for vets.
“It’s like pulling teeth, you know you get frustrated and you hope that when you get all the information they’re requiring and asking of you that it will get settled. But it just keeps going on and on, like it’s like a never-ending dream.”said Vanhoutan.
Concerning this issue Moran replied, “We need a strong leader who will change the nature of the way the department sees things and actually find solutions.”
“I don’t think it matters who’s in charge but the whole process needs to be simplified.” said Vanhoutan.
Click HERE to hear Senator Jerry Moran’s full speech on the Senate floor