Marines and sailors with Marine Expeditionary Brigade – Afghanistan load onto a KC-130 aircraft on the Camp Bastion flightline, Oct. 27, 2014. U.S. Marine Corps photo
The White House, Department of Veteran Affairs, and members of Congress are moving fast on veterans issues in 2017. They're working on proposals to reform the GI Bill, veterans health care, and the VA appeals process, with support from many of the nation's largest veterans service organizations and nonprofits.
For the first time in its history the Department of Veterans Affairs will be headed by a non-veteran. While speaking at a press conference on Jan. 11, President-elect Donald Trump announced that David Shulkin, the current Under Secretary for Health at the VA, will take over as the department’s head if confirmed.
Most medical centers serving veterans across the country are improving, according to a once-withheld rating system just released by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Yet, the ratings show several facilities racked by scandal continue to struggle.
On. Sept. 27, Tom Hanks and former Sen. Elizabeth Dole officially announced the launch of Hidden Heroes, a national campaign to raise awareness and garner support for the nation’s 5.5 million military and veteran caregivers.
As efforts to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs continue, there’s an ongoing debate about the best way to fix a system mired in bureaucracy and haunted by past scandal. While some argue in favor of VA privatization, either in part or in full, others and most recently, the president, are in favor of continued VA reform.