WASHINGTON, DC - Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Eric K. Shinseki, is the target of an upcoming Time Magazine article titled, "Ten Years After: A National Disgrace," scheduled to be published on March 25. The columnist, Joe Klein, criticized Secretary Shinseki for the VA claims backlog, his absence from the media, and a supposed disconnect between him and this newest generation of veterans. Klein ultimately called for Shinseki's resignation.
Student Veterans of America's (SVA) executive director followed suit and issued the following statement:
"I am disappointed to read an article from a prominent journalist that is so one-sided. Clearly, he did not take the time to interview leading veteran advocates that represent millions of veterans, including those from Iraq and Afghanistan, prior to penning the article.
I have met with the Secretary on numerous occasions and he has always been receptive to recommendations offered by SVA, an organization created and now led by numerous veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The notion that he is disconnected from this newest generation of veterans is misguided.
While I agree that the Secretary may not be found courting the press when he travels, I've observed him shaking the hands of countless veterans and speaking with them personally. Veterans of all eras come first with Secretary Shinseki. That has been evident during his tenure in office.
I concur with my Veterans Service Organization colleagues that much work remains to be done to reform and update the VA. Thankfully, Secretary Shinseki has answered the call to transform the department and SVA will continue to work with, not against, the Secretary to usher in a stronger VA for all veterans."
This is not the first time Secretary Shinseki has come under fire in the media. Last year, SVA issued a statement commending Secretary Shinseki for his leadership and support of military veterans.
# # #
About Student Veterans of America
SVA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit coalition of over 750 student veteran organizations on college campuses globally. SVA's mission is to provide military veterans with the resources, support, and advocacy needed to succeed in higher education and following graduation. For more information, visit us at www.studentveterans.org or visit our YouTube channel.