(Photo by Lucas Carter)

Dellinger focusing on VA accountability issue

American Legion National Commander Daniel Dellinger will travel across the country over the next few days as he continues to call for better accountability in the Department of Veterans Affairs. The national commander will start the tour talking to veterans about their health care and end it testifying before a Senate hearing called to investigate the state of VA health care.

Dellinger – who on May 5 called for the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and his top two under secretaries for “poor oversight and failed leadership” – will attend a Legion-sponsored veterans town hall in Phoenix on May 13.

The hearing will focus on the quality of health care veterans are receiving from the Phoenix VA Health Care System, where it is alleged staff maintained a secret list of patients who waited many months for the scheduling of medical appointments. The list has been linked to as many as 40 patient deaths at the Phoenix VA Health Care System, according to a CNN report.

The town hall meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Tony F. Soza-Ray Martinez Thunderbird Post 41, 715 S. 2nd Ave. Those who have served in the U.S. military, especially veterans receiving health care at the Phoenix VA facility, are encouraged to attend.

Earlier in the day on May 13, Dellinger will appear on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” at noon ET to discuss the issues facing VA and why The American Legion believes a change in leadership is needed. In the past week, Dellinger also has appeared on NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, CNN, Fox News and Fox Business News.

And at 10 a.m. on May 15, Dellinger will be back in the nation’s capital to deliver testimony to the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs hearing that will focus on what the VA health care system does well and how it can improve care for veterans. Shinseki also will testify at the hearing.

Check back at www.legion.org to find out how to watch the town hall meeting and Senate hearing online. For more on VA’s problems and the Legion’s call for improvements, click here.

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  1. Perhaps we area barking up the wrong tree. All of sudden Congress is taking note of veterans' medical issues when the subject can no longer be ignored. Second, as a Legion member, I am concerned that we do not have our own house in order. Since my latest appeal was filed, I have had 5 different Legion reps. The first 3 were very good at not returning phone calls and providing misleading guidance regarding my appeal. The 5th has been a wealth of information to me and I am looking forward to having him at my VBA hearing in July. This rep was brought out of retirement to handle appeals and has thus far done an excellent job keeping me informed whenever I call. I realize that the Legion has funding problems here in Michigan. Monetary support was cut by the State of Michigan around 5 years ago. I do not know if any has been restored.
  2. The V.A. is a wonderful, amazing system. Where there are serious shortcomings, they must be brought forward and corrected. Masking problems is the beginning of the end. Do not judge any man or organization by their best or worst but do recognize it. Do not blame the person who tells you, you have cancer for the cancer. Work together to make the best end possible.
  3. If Mr. Dellinger called for the resignation of our top generals for every alleged casualty in every alleged skirmish, he would be asking for our country to lose the war. If you want really independent panels to find the truth, that is fine. If you want to align yourself with those who would use such allegations to destroy all the good that the VA does, then you do not represent all the veterans.
  4. I've been going to the VA for healthcare since '77 and I think that I have been getting good care. I also went to school through the VA and my wife and I bought our home with a VA guaranteed loan. A few facilities, of how many have turned up with bad problems that need to have something done to correct them and insure that this doesn't happen again. This disability back log is a national disgrace. I still think that I'm better off with the VA than I would have been without. VA does a lot of good things and trashing the whole system isn't the right answer. My sympathy and prayers to those who lost family members. There is no words or point of view that can fix that or ever make it right.
  5. agree with your statement "If you want to align yourself with those who would use such allegations to destroy all the good that the VA does, then you do not represent all the veterans."
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