By Pete Kasperowicz. A key veterans group on Wednesday demanded that Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald apologize for insulting a member of Congress who just happens to be a 22-year Marine Corps veteran.
McDonald got the attention of Concerned Veterans for America during the day when he got angry at a series of questions from Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.). Coffman was asking about the VA’s failed hospital construction project in his home state, when McDonald stunned the room by trying to shift the blame to Coffman.
“You’ve been here longer than I have,” McDonald said. “If there’s a problem in Denver, I think you own it more than I do.”
McDonald then seemed to imply that Coffman wasn’t qualified to question the VA’s activities, by saying, “I’ve run a large company, sir. What have you done?”
Pete Hegseth, the CEO of Concerned Veterans for America, said McDonald was “disrespectful” of Coffman, who is the only member of Congress to serve in both Iraq wars, and demanded an apology. (Read more about the Veteran group demanding an apology HERE)
Obama Signs Suicide Prevention Bill
By Bryant Jordan. President Obama signed the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act Thursday that will provide $22 million to help boost programs that look to reduce the veteran suicide rate that has climbed to 22 veterans each day.
The suicide prevention legislation is named for a former Marine who died by suicide in 2011 after losing his battle with mental health issues related to his service in Afghanistan. Hunt was 28.
In remarks before signing the bill at the White House, Obama said Hunt did everything he could to fight against the post-traumatic stress symptoms that plagued him.
He sought help from the VA, got involved in helping other veterans, and even volunteered with a relief organization assisting people in Haiti. He also made a public service announcement encouraging other veterans with mental health issues to get help, Obama said.
But the right combination of help, therapy and medication was not found for Hunt in time, Obama said. (Read more from this story HERE)