VA proud of 2017 accomplishments

#Middlebury #VeteransPost

For all the grousing so many of us do about the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), when you add it all up, there’s a lot it did last year. VA Secretary David Shulkin wrapped up the year in a message that highlights all they got accomplished. To name just a few:

  • With HUD, got 61,000 homeless veterans into housing.
  • Authorized 6.1 million community-care appointments, 42 percent higher than previous year.
  • Raised the level of Service Disabled Veteran Owned businesses to 19 percent, double the goal.
  • Launched Big Data Super Computer to expand research into veterans health.
  • Reduced dropped calls on the Crisis Line from 35 percent to less than 1 percent.
  • Lowered veteran unemployment to 2.6 percent, the lowest in years, and much lower than the U.S. average of 4.4 percent for the year.
  • Helped 1 million veterans use the GI Bill for education.
  • Helped 620,000 veterans with opioid addiction, resulting in a 36 percent drop in use.
  • The list summed up with a claim that the veteran “trust” score went to 70 percent now from 46 percent a few years ago.

And we can’t forget President Donald Trump. No matter what side of the political aisle you sit on, Trump signed nine bills for veterans, plus an executive order and three proclamations. He pushed until he got the 24/7 Hotline for Veterans, and actually showed up in person at no less than six veteran events. Vice-President Pence was there too, at Honor Flight ceremonies and Wounded Warrior rides.

It’s easier to take the measure of a man when you can see him in person, or at least on a video. If you want to view Shulkin’s end of year message to all of us, go on YouTube at to see him talk about the progress the VA made in 2017.

(c) 2018 King Features Synd., Inc.


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