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To the Editor,

Eric Shinseki, a Retired Four-Star General, West Point Graduate, and former Army Chief of Staff, is truly a remarkable man. Last year he stepped down from his position as Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Simply put, he failed to be able to manage the Department of Veterans Affairs. He was replaced by Robert McDonald, also a West Point Graduate with excellent credentials — not the least of which was as CEO of Proctor and Gamble. He took the P&G giant from 51.10 a share to 78.80 a share. Now there are calls for his resignation from the VA for being billions of dollars over budget and stating that VA Hospitals may have to close.

If people of this caliber can’t manage the VA, who can? I mean, I would but I’m busy! Seriously, since I’ve worked with the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) beginning in the 1980s, the number of veterans has gone from roughly 30 million to roughly 20 million – and will continue to drop even more quickly in the coming years when those who were subject to the Draft will pass.

In the same time period, the VA Budget has continued to increase. Now the budget is roughly 20 times what it was 30 years ago. For example, if I told you I was willing to pay you 20 times what you are now getting, for doing the same job, and further, that I would cut your responsibilities by one-third, wouldn’t you think you could handle it?

I can’t wait to see the new guy’s resume. All I can say is he’d better be able to walk on water or at least have been born in Bethlehem.


Jerry Donnellan, Director
Veterans Service Agency of Rockland County

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