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VA's history of problems doesn't absolve the president of responsibility [Letter]

Your recent editorial correctly pointed out that mistreatment of veterans by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has occurred in every administration ("VA's troubles deep-rooted," May 21).

It is common knowledge that one of the most difficult challenges for soldiers transitioning to civilian life involves the VA in some manner. However, you incorrectly infer that the enduring issues at the VA absolve the president of responsibility.

This is especially troubling because it was the Obama administration that implemented the 14-day appointment policy in reaction to the increased number of veterans requiring support after fighting the global war on terror.

I believe his intent actually was to shorten the wait for VA services across all domains to benefit veterans. What I take issue with is that, despite increased demand and shortened wait times, the appropriate resources were not diverted to execute his policy.

I am speculating that the root cause of the recent VA scandal was an overwhelmed and understaffed veteran's health care system constrained by policies that led to a culture of "cooking the books" for self- preservation rather than highlighting its failures.

Despite the VA's negligence, veterans understand that supervising the reforms is just as important as issuing the order. Not knowing how your orders are being executed or being disengaged is never an excuse for failure.

Kevin Williams

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