Commander's Communique for September 1, 2016
'One Veteran Complaint Is One Too Many': Wisconsin American Legion Issues Statement On King Veterans Home
(Portage, Wis.) -- State Commander Daniel J. Seehafer of the Wisconsin American Legion issued the following statement related to recent news media reports of health care concerns at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King in Waupaca county:
The Wisconsin American Legion has a 100-year history of advocacy on behalf of our fellow military veterans, especially the most vulnerable among us. We have been deeply troubled by news media reports this past year of questionable care and oversight at two key facilities -- Tomah VA Medical Center and Zublocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee. The American Legion staffs volunteer offices at both Federal and State institutions charged with the health care of veterans. The WAL recently stated in a statewide Opinion column that substandard care is unacceptable.
This week there is yet another disturbing series of reports coming out of the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King that allege mismanagement and neglect. The scope and severity of the issues are yet to be determined, but we at the Wisconsin American Legion want to be very clear. One veteran complaint is one too many.
We are perplexed as to how a facility that has invested mightily in improving its services, staffing and infrastructure over the past five years and has earned "five-star" status (the highest ranking the federal government bestows) is also accused of critically shoddy health care.
The disturbing personal stories emerging from King have to be addressed, whether through increased regulatory oversight, a re-doubling of efforts by the Walker administration or a legislative audit of the King facility.
The veterans who have entrusted themselves into the care of the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King are the survivors. Many have been subjected to the horrors of combat and suffered wounds at the hands of America's enemies. We owe it to them and their families to provide the best care we have to offer and demand the most from our political and regulatory leaders.