Military Watches
Find us on Facebook


Printer Friendly VersionPrinter Friendly VersionSend to a FriendSend to a Friend

VA Secretary Resigns Over Growing Scandal
By Harold Hutchison

Official portrait of Shinseki

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki, a former Army Chief of Staff, handed in his resignation, which was accepted by Barack Obama. The resignation comes as new details of the growing scandal surrounding secret waiting lists at the Department of Veterans Affairs emerged.

According to media reports, Shinseki handed in his resignation after he vowed to replace officials at the VA Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona, where the scandal first erupted. At least 40 veterans who had been placed on the waiting list may have died for a lack of medical care, and FoxNews.com reported that one World War II veteran was denied benefits for wounds suffered in that conflict for 68 years.

Shinseki’s resignation came after an initial inspector general’s report showed that the scandal was far more widespread than Shinseki had earlier claimed. “I apologize as the senior leader of the Department of Veterans Affairs. I extend that apology to the people whom I care most deeply about, that's the veterans of this great country, to their families and loved ones who I have been honored to serve,” Shinseki said.

Sloan Gibson
(VA photo)

Shinseki served in the United States Army for 38 years, rising to the position of Army Chief of Staff, where he was the subject of controversy during the run-up to the liberation of Iraq. In 2009, Obama selected Shinseki to serve as Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and the Senate confirmed him unanimously.

Sloan Gibson, the Deputy Secretary for Veterans Affairs, has been named acting Secretary by Obama. Gibson had previously served as President of the United Service Organizations.