Obama on Memorial Day: We need to do more for veterans

McClatchy Washington BureauMay 24, 2014 


Jeff Hensley of Frisco, Texas, a retired Navy fighter pilot who fought in both Iraq wars, hugs his girlfriend Colleen Ryan after placing American flags on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., March 27, 2014, representing the 1,892 veterans and service members who have died by suicide this year.


With his administration under fire over allegations of misconduct at VA hospitals, President Barack Obama used his weekly radio address to pay tribute to the fallen -- and pledge greater support to veterans.

"In recent weeks, we’ve seen again how much more our nation has to do to make sure all our veterans get the care they deserve," Obama said. "As Commander in Chief, I believe that taking care of our veterans and their families is a sacred obligation. It’s been one of the causes of my presidency. And now that we’ve ended the war in Iraq, and as our war in Afghanistan ends as well, we have to work even harder as a nation to make sure all our veterans get the benefits and opportunities they’ve earned."

Obama earlier this week denounced reports of falsfied records to cover up long waiting lines for treatment -- and potential deaths linked to those wait times as “disgraceful” and vowed to punish those responsible.

But his remarks on the VA controversy have not stemmed the fury among veterans groups and lawmakers, who have demanded that Obama clean house at the troubled agency_starting at the top with VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.

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