ST. CLOUD - National Veterans of Foreign Wars Commander-In-Chief William Thien spoke at the St. Cloud Post 4847 on Friday afternoon.

Thien met with local VFW members and answered questions. One universal concern at the meeting was the recent resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.

Shinseki resigned after widespread troubles with the VA health care system were reported. An internal report found improper proceduers and long wait times across the system. An audit found that in some cases schedulers were instructed to enter different desired dates that ones requested by veterans, in order to mask waiting times.

Thien told media and visitors that he supports Shinseki's decision to resign.

"There's an oversight committee...but apparently there wasn't a lot of oversight or none of these things would be happening, we respect Secretary Shinseki's decision to resign," Thien says.

Shinseki has faced increased calls from both politcal parties to step down from office over the last few days. Thien adds that the VA healthcare system has lots of work ahead of it in order to properly treat veterans across the country.

"You have to admit to yourself that you have a problem first, I think moving forward the new secretary is going to have a monumental task," Thien says.

Thien has been scheduled to visit 18 Minnesota VFW posts over four days.


Dan DeBaun, WJON News