Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said Wednesday that the Department of Veterans Affairs should be folded into the Defense Department to cut the size of the federal government.
"We don’t need a Department of Veterans Affairs," the retired pediatric neurosurgeon told financial guru Dave Ramsey on his syndicated radio show. "Veterans Affairs should be folded in under the Department of Defense. And it should be a smooth transition."
His comments on the subject begin around the 13:40 mark:
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"We need to be looking at the way we take care of soldiers," Carson said, explaining that poor treatment of veterans is why Army recruitment is down 14 percent.
"They are looking at what we are doing to our veterans," he told Ramsey. "When a person applies for the military, they should be in a support system immediately from day one. Particularly when they go through combat, because that is when all the trauma is occurring.
"And we should have people in place a year before their time of discharge to be working on their integration back into society. There shouldn’t be a period of unemployment when they come out of the military."
Carson also called for health savings accounts for veterans, allowing them to seek treatment at any hospital or medical center in the nation. VA centers also should address such specialized medical care as traumatic brain injuries, limb replacements and research.
"We should be delighted to take care of them," he said.
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