Ollie North: All New VA Hires Should Be Vets

Friday, 23 May 2014 11:53 AM

By Wanda Carruthers

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The first item on retired Lt. Col. Oliver North's list of things to change at the Department of Veterans Affairs is for President Barack Obama to issue an executive order mandating that all new hires at the agency to be veterans.

North, a retired Marine officer and Fox News military analyst, said Obama "promised before he got elected and after he got elected that he was going to fix it, and it's gotten worse."

North old Fox News' "America's Newsroom" Friday that there were three things that could be done to address the situation.

"Here's what you do. These are real fixes. Number one, and he can do this by executive order tomorrow, saying, 'Effective immediately, every new hire for the Veterans Administration has to be a veteran,'" he said.

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The problems at the VA surfaced in April and revealed veterans were experiencing delays in healthcare treatment. VA employees allegedly covered up the delays by keeping secret wait lists.

It was reported that as many as 40 veterans died awaiting care at a VA healthcare system in Phoenix, Ariz. Problems at other VA facilities have since been reported in several states throughout the country.

North said it would also help if the Senate voted on a bill passed by the House that would allow the VA to make personnel changes easier.

He further suggested the VA could "give every veteran a card" that would allow them to "go to any medical facility."

Responsibility for the problems rested not just with President Obama, but also with Congress, North suggested. He said Congress had "failed" by not providing proper oversight for the agency.

"The bottom line of it is, nobody in this town gives a damn. It's lip service. There's 23 million of us who are veterans, many of us disabled, who are really madder than hell," he said.

While North said he thought VA Secretary Eric Shinseki was "dedicated," he said he "absolutely" needed to step down.

"You've got to have new blood in there. You've got to have somebody who can get the job done," North said.

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