During his campaign, Trump went great lengths to court veterans, while in the same breath mocking POWs. Now that he’s president, one of his first meaningful acts could be to completely betray America’s former warriors.
Trump’s newly appointed Veteran Affairs Secretary David Shulkin has just announced he is looking into closing down more than 1,100 VA facilities.
In usual Republican fashion, Shulkin thinks the solution to every problem is to punt responsibility to the private sector. The problem with this approach is that it’s purely profit driven. If a company decides there are not enough veterans in a given area to make it financially attractive, it could create great swathes of area where veterans are unable to find care. The move could leave veterans who are already struggling to get adequate assistance utterly helpless.
Shulkin claims his department has found 430 vacant buildings and 735 that are “underutilized.” Rather than invest in the areas and revitalize hem, he’d rather shutter them to save $25 million in costs. Under Shulkin’s leadership, the VA is also entertaining the idea laying off VA employees.
Our veterans deserve better care. They deserve better than Trump.
Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.