Tags: montel williams | veterans | affairs | scandal | hospitals | deaths | probe

Montel Williams: A Democracy Can't Stand If It Lies to Its Veterans

By Greg Richter   |   Wednesday, 28 May 2014 05:53 PM

Former talk show host and retired Navy Lt. Commander Montel Williams warns that the United States cannot continue as a democracy if it doesn't fix the current Veterans Health Administration scandal.

"Democracies don't stand when you can't man an army, and you can't man an army if you lie to those who want to protect you," Williams said Wednesday on Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto."

Editor's Note: Weird Trick Adds Up to $1,000 to Your Social Security Checks

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Williams spent 22 years as a Marine and as a Navy officer before retiring.

A video of Williams speaking to a Memorial Day picnic has gone viral. In the impromptu speech, Williams said a war is being waged against veterans. He was referring to the growing scandal in which several VA hospitals across the country put veterans on secret waiting lists to mask the fact that they weren't being seen by doctors in a timely fashion.

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Veterans groups and members of the House and Senate have called for the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, but Williams told Cavuto it would do little good, since the problem is systemic.

"There have been 30 years of studies, committees," a visibly angry Williams told Fox News.

Soldiers who have returned from Afghanistan and Iraq now find themselves in "Battlefield USA," he said.

Some left body parts in the field of battle and some never made it back, Williams said.

"Some of them are here now, and their souls are still there. All societies are judged by what they do for the least of us. The least of us are the ones that protected this democracy. We owe this debt."

Williams also had harsh words for President Barack Obama, who addressed graduates at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point earlier in the day. In that speech, Obama said that rather than engage in more war, he would pledge $5 billion to help other countries fight terrorism.

"He could have used the day to say, I'm sorry for the pain that I've caused you, the families," Williams said.

Citing the troop surge Obama launched in Afghanistan in 2009, Williams called for a "VA surge" in which recently discharged corpsmen from each branch of service could be re-activated for a short period to help clear the backlog in VA hospitals.

He told viewers to help him gather support by tweeting him at @Montel_Williams and using the hashtag #VASurge.

Helping veterans is not a political issue, he said, and isn't like debating school lunch funding or other issues.

"This is the reason why we have a democracy," he said.

Editor's Note: Weird Trick Adds Up to $1,000 to Your Social Security Checks

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