WTVM 5/23/14 Editorial: Veterans’ Affairs hospital scandal

WTVM 5/23/14 Editorial: Veterans’ Affairs hospital scandal

(WTVM) - This editorial on the VA hospital scandal could have almost written itself.

That's because what happened to veterans who were denied proper care or whose cases were ignored or delayed in some VA hospitals, resulting in at least two dozen veteran deaths, is such an obvious betrayal of our servicemen and women, that no one can disagree about that.

But how the scandal is being managed is up for debate.

Many lawmakers called on President Obama to fire the retired general in charge of the VA: Eric Shinseki.

The President should have fired Shinseki almost immediately. If that does happen, some argue firing the head of the VA won't really matter.

But I'd argue that kind of symbolism does matter to our veterans. Veterans understand symbolism. They fight for it and some die for it.

Medals for valor are symbolic to veterans and they wear them with pride. Those decorations on their uniforms are deeply symbolic of the price they paid to protect us.

Yes, the firing of Shinseki would be a symbolic act, but it would not be just that.

It is a necessary start to finding and fixing the unacceptable flaws in the veterans' administration that failed our best and bravest.

General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to WTVM Editorial Committee or write to:

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