Friday, September 19, 2014

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VA Secretary Resigns, Local Veterans React

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Albany/HV: VA Secretary Resigns, Local Veterans React
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A public apology to our nation's heroes, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki has resigned in the growing scandal over care at VA hospitals. Twenty-three veterans died while waiting for care at VA hospitals. Time Warner Cable News' Geoff Redick has more on the latest, with reaction from local vets.

The only VA secretary President Obama ever had, resigned his post Friday, casting an even darker pall over the United States' healthcare system for veterans.

Tom Griswold commands dozens of them at his local V.A. Post.

"Heartbreaking, the fact that our nation's veterans are not getting care. There's a backlog on claims for 18 months; it's just insane," said VFW Post 6776 Commander Tom Griswold.

Thousands of veterans remain on that backlogged waiting list. Some have died in waiting.

Secretary Shinseki telling the President he will no longer be a distraction from the job at hand.

"That was Ric's judgment on behalf of his fellow veterans. And I agree. And we're going to do right by our veterans, across the board," Obama said.

Already, numerous high-ranking officials in the worst VA hospital in Phoenix have been ousted. But local veterans, like Albany County Executive Dan McCoy, want more.

"I understand you've got to start at the top, but these investigations should go into this hospital, and people should be charged with murder," said Albany County Executive Dan McCoy.

A former First Sergeant in Iraq and current National Guardsman, McCoy says America's warriors are woefully underfunded after they serve.

"There needs to be more money out into veteran's hospitals, to the men and women who served this country. Stop the finger-pointing. Fix the problem," said McCoy.

Tom Griswold wants greater accountability, too.

"From the top, all the way down to Eric Shinseki: there's bigger problems that are going on, that's causing stuff like this to happen," said Griswold.

It should be noted that the Stratton VA Hospital here is undergoing a review, but no issues have been found.

There is a concert at the Times Union Center Friday, to support construction of a new veteran's residence here in Albany.

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