The look on Robert Wilkie’s face when President Trump announced he had nominated him for VA Secretary was priceless. He had no idea that the President was planning to nominate him. Surprise...shock… The VA Secretary position has been one of the most controversial places to serve in any President’s administration. Mr. Wilkie was sworn in on Monday. Now he will be sworn AT.
According to Military.com, Wilkie is inheriting an agency with extremely low morale, and riddled with infighting as well as major things that need to be fixed regarding our veteran’s medical care.
We have written about failures at the VA for years. Wait times. Malpractice. Suicides at veteran health facilities. People dying before they get the proper care. People being bumped from the roles by mistake. Misdiagnosis, doctor issues, even recently in Spokane, Washington a member of the surgical staff of a decent VA medical center was fired because of sex abuse allegations from another state. Employee morale is in the basement because of all these issues and the constant pressure to perform according to statistics instead of compassion. Employees who need to be fired because they’re uncaring horses rear ends. Speaking of swamps…
Robert Wilkie has his work cut out for him. Secretary Wilkie served as an intelligence officer in the US Navy and holds the rank of Colonel in the Air Force Reserves.
If we don’t listen to each other, we won’t be able to listen to our veterans and their families,” said Wilkie, a Republican who previously served in a number of Capitol Hill and White House staff positions.
“We must have a bottom-up organization,” he said when he was named to become acting secretary. “The energy must flow from you who are closest to those we are sworn to serve. It is from you that the ideas we carry to the Congress, the VSOs [veterans service organizations], and to America’s veterans will come.”
He stressed that he would listen to the rank-and-file. “Anyone who sits in this chair and tells you he has the answers is in the wrong business,” he said.
In his Senate confirmation hearing, Wilkie, who grew up at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, said his concern for the military and veterans comes from his late father, retired Army Lt. Col. Robert Leon Wilkie Sr., who died last year.
We wish him well in his new position, and hope that he will be able to accomplish all that will help our veterans. Anyone who says he “grew up in khaki diapers” can’t be all bad.