This morning, on the Friday before Veterans Day, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie hosted a State of the VA press conference at the White House. The Secretary outlined the successes VA has made in 2019, and offered a glimpse of what Veterans can expect to see moving forward.

The video (above) begins at 22:07. The highlighted remarks include:

  • VA’s budget is now the largest in its history, and VA is authorized to increase the number of employees to 400,000.
  • Recent studies show that VA now meets or exceeds private sector care when it comes to quality and access. We achieved this success while seeing more patients than ever before.
  • We’ve efficiently implemented the MISSION Act, which gives Veterans permanent choice to seek medical care outside VA when VA can’t provide what Veterans need, when VA is too far of a drive, or when it’s in their best interest.
  • Early next year, we will start rolling out a new unified health record that’s shared by VA and DoD. What it means for Veterans is this: any doctor, nurse, pharmacist or lab worker that you visit won’t have to guess at your medical history. They’ll have access to a single record that will take into account everything that happened to you since the day you enlisted.
  • By working with local partners, 78 communities across this country have effectively ended Veteran homelessness, along with three states: Connecticut, Delaware and Virginia.
  • Veteran suicide prevention. This is a problem our nation has lived with for more than a century. But thanks to President Trump, we are on the road to acting on it. Under the President’s PREVENTS Initiative, we are meeting to come up with a nationwide plan to finally make progress toward reducing these tragic events. We need everyone’s involvement because while 20 Veterans die by suicide each day, 60% of them have no current connection to VA at the time of this last tragic act. And we are working to help everyone realize that anyone make a difference—by being someone who truly listens to Veterans share their stories and struggles.

The Secretary also noted that next week is VA’s “Week of Weeks,” that, “This is the week we honor the 41 million Americans who have put on the uniform since the first shots were fired at Lexington in April 1775.”

History—both national and personal—is a recurring theme for the Secretary. You can read more on this in his recent op ed, Let History Guide Us on Veterans Day, here:

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Published on Nov. 8, 2019

Estimated reading time is 2.1 min.

Views to date: 94


  1. Michael Oliver November 11, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    The Mission Program must have been accelerated as per my own experience. The Choice program was a complete failure. USMC 1966-1970, 3rd Marine Air Wing. STILL fighting the VA/BVA under a non-adversarial system, with a Claim/ Now Appeal of thirteen years or one hundred fifty-six months. Fighting for my benefits and justice under the new regulations; not those of 1968 when my future was deleted by Uncle Sam and his Corps; during the absolute worse and immoral war; the RVN which ended in 1975. TWO appearances at the CAVC with Remand from them to the BVA. Major health issues pending. Wait, wait, more waiting…

  2. Kaci Palmer November 9, 2019 at 5:04 pm

    Wowww don’t do too much now, you might actually hel a Veteran or help them and their family. I don’t know where these communities are but maybe y’all should start with the Dallas and Ft. worth VA in Texas first. Look at the medical records of Veterans, get the numbers for how many deaths have occurred under the VA care, the number of Veterans they turn away and the kind of treatment they give. Y’all think this country has a problem with drugs but yet the VA gives a 70 year old stroke victim amphetamines, Benzodiazepines, ambien, along with other sleeping pills and multiple mood stabilizers. Then even after my stepdad said he didn’t want anything stronger than Hydrocodone they loaded him up with Oxyxodone and morphine pills the last day he went to his doctors before he was in a different hospital with septic shock the next day and died a week later. This being the 2nd time they turned him away with septic shock. They killed my dad and my step dad as well as my grandpa. Investigate investigate investigate these pos hospitals using our veterans as guinea pigs.

  3. Daniel Pimentel November 8, 2019 at 8:18 pm

    I am a 100% disabled veteran I am willing to pay for my van if Karen Juile will approve it witch she sis now I am denied I made a complaint to I G Veterans affairs and being punished for it please help me Eugene Oregon and I have vets choice and can’t get in-home care primary care turned me down for try west care please help me

  4. ARNOLD JIMENEZ November 8, 2019 at 4:47 pm


  5. ARNOLD JIMENEZ November 8, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    It’s been a long time coming to honor all veterans, especially those who served Vietnam era, we were treated as trash and disrespected after serving our country. Today I’m so proud to be a veteran and also my son who is serving in the US Army in Germany. May my mother rest in peace with God she served u.s. Navy World War II as a wave. Love you Mom and thank you for your service.

  6. kevan flanagan November 8, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    H.R. 2200 (IH) – Keeping Our Promises Act


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