The White House released a fact sheet yesterday entitled “The Bush Administration Has Provided Unprecedented Support for Our Veterans” in recognition of the 67th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor – a day which also saw President-elect Barack Obama’s official announcement of his selection of former Army Chief of Staff and Bush administration critic General Eric Shinseki as Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
The fact sheet touted dramatically increased funding for VA medical care and benefits during President George W. Bush’s tenure. Veterans’ medical care funding has increased by more than 115 percent since 2001, and FY 2009 funding for the VA as a whole is nearly double the level of funding when the President took office.
It also cited the implementation of recommendations by the Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors, not mentioning that it was created in 2007 in response to a media expose on substandard care for injured service members.
Although avoiding direct criticism of his predecessor’s record on veterans’ care in his announcement of Shinseki as VA secretary nominee, Obama noted that “far too many [veterans] are suffering from the signature injuries of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan –Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Truamatic Brain Injury. And far too few are receiving the screening and treatment they need.”