Guest Opinion: President Trump is fighting for Florida Veterans

Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, (ret.)For decades, our veterans have been betrayed by career politicians and Washington bureaucrats.

Many of those politicians, such as Florida’s own Senator Bill Nelson, still serve today, and have done little to bring relief to our heroic veterans.

Establishment politicians like Nelson spent their careers singing the praises of the bravest among us, only to neglect them when they returned home. The Department of Veterans Affairs was in shambles before President Trump took office. Veterans weren’t getting the care they needed, and the care they were getting wasn’t nearly good enough.

One of the many reasons that Donald Trump was elected president in 2016 was to bring his business skills to bear on the failing agency that plays such a special role in our society. Just last year, President Trump said, “We will not rest until all of America’s great veterans can receive the care they so richly deserve.”

Since then, the President has worked tirelessly to reform Veterans Affairs, and to ensure the critical care delivered to veterans is quality care, from top to bottom.

Where career politicians like Nelson failed, President Trump has succeeded in keeping his promise to our nation’s heroes.

By signing the VA MISSION Act into law earlier this year, President Trump made true on his campaign promise to give veterans a “real choice.” The law allows veterans a broader choice of healthcare providers and lays the groundwork for an overhaul of the VA community care programs, which will include easier access to free appointments and access to private-care doctors.

“All the veterans medical care is considered excellent,” Nelson said earlier this year when criticizing President Trump’s plan to let veterans see private healthcare professionals. Nelson insisted that veterans “need” government-run VA centers — the same government-run centers that have been failing our veterans for decades.

In response to the tragic news that more than one-third of calls to the VA suicide hotline were left unanswered, President Trump decided to open a new VA hotline, staffed with veterans and their relatives manning the phone lines to make sure that no call for help goes unanswered.

Most importantly, however, President Trump gave VA administrators the power to fire underperforming employees faster and more effectively. Since signing the VA Accountability Act, the Trump administration has already fired more than 1,700 VA employees who failed our veterans.

These are all achievements that would not be possible without President Trump. The Washington swamp is infested with establishment politicians like Bill Nelson, who make a lot of promises on the campaign trail, but deliver nothing for Americans.

Veterans Affairs, when left in the hands of career politicians, once represented everything wrong with government. Its inefficiency and incompetence did more than just waste taxpayer dollars — it literally cost the lives of many brave men and women who served our great country.

President Trump has delivered on his promise to restore faith in our veteran services. With an overhauled VA, our men and women in uniform are finally getting the care they have always deserved.

Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer is a retired senior intelligence operations officer and vice president for strategic initiatives & operations at the London Center for Policy Research.