President Trump mentioned veterans when he campaigned here and announced that he was going to change the Department of Veterans Affairs and make it more responsive to our needs and be more effective in helping us with our medical issues in every speech he gave.
Now, that he is elected president with the help of many veterans, it is becoming clear that he cannot even put someone in charge or nominate someone to head the VA to do what he promised us. There is no way anyone can say at this point that veterans, even those who voted for him, can have any confidence that he can make his promises during the campaign a reality.
There are two groups that President Trump and Western North Carolina politicians have completely ignored and have not consulted about who should head the VA in either the first VA pick, who was forced out by Trump himself, or the [next] nominee who lasted two days because it seems Trump and his staff did not vet him properly.
Those two groups are veterans and veterans groups, and I ask the president why no one seems to care about any input from us about who we think should head the VA?
— John Penley
Editor’s note: Penley reports that he is a former Navy air traffic controller who was arrested at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte in 2012. Penley says he was nonviolently protesting about the rise in veterans’ suicides and lack of treatment by the VA, adding that he was found not guilty at his trial.