Veterans deserve accountability after VA fallout

Memorial Day is more than just a three-day weekend sprinkled with cook-outs and old war movies on TV. It’s a time when we make the conscious effort to reserve part of our lives to remember and honor lost loved ones and all of our veterans who died while serving our country in active military service. All across the nation, cities large and small hold special events and services to pay tribute to those who paid the ultimate price to preserve the freedom that we enjoy and take for granted today.

Memorial Day 2014 was unfortunately scarred by the ongoing saga surrounding this nation’s VA hospitals.

Long waits and backlogs appear to be the main problems at VA hospitals, and lawmakers have pressed for policy changes and better management while allegations about treatment delays and falsified records at VA centers around the country swirl.

More than 25 VA facilities are currently under investigation. At one, in Phoenix, Ariz., a former clinic director says as many as 40 veterans may have died while awaiting treatment, although a review found that none of the deaths appeared to have been caused by delays in treatment.

That’s quite a chilling accusation and one that makes us really stop and think.

Where does the blame lie? With Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shineski? Perhaps. With the federal government for underfunding the VA, which serves close to 9 million of our veterans? Maybe. In the end, we need, no we demand accountability on this one – that’s the first step in healing this open sore. We would like this issue to be solved immediately, but we realize it could take time, because this needs vetting, this needs investigating – this is not an issue that should be allowed to fade away onto the back pages.

Our veterans and their families deserve better – on Memorial Day and on every other day of the year.