Square Deal for Veterans participated in the President’s Executive Order signing ceremony for VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection, and applauds this continuing display of this Administration’s absolute commitment to bringing fundamental reform to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Sarah and Michael Verardo, Co-Founders of Square Deal for Veterans (SD4V), and Chair and President of SD4V, respectively, met with Secretary of Veterans Affairs Shulkin on Michael’s “Alive Day” Monday, April 24th, and joined Secretary Shulkin, Vice President Pence, and President Trump at the Executive Order signing ceremony April 27th.
Sarah noted the need for such reforms when she described some of her and Michael’s experience with an unresponsive VA.
“Under the last Administration, for example, we waited almost four years for adaptive housing renovations that were never started, so that my husband Michael could live adequately in our house. Under the Trump Administration, our repairs were started within two weeks.”
Sarah’s husband, and SD4V’s co-founder and President, SGT Michael Verardo, US Army (Ret), was wounded in southern Afghanistan April 24, 2010, when a series of improvised explosive devices ripped off his leg and arm and left him with burns over 40% of his body. “I don’t know where we would be if not for the Trump White House intervening on our behalf,” stated Sergeant Verardo. “But this just further highlights how the current VA system is either unable or unwilling to be held accountable to the very basic levels of customer service wounded service members rate,” added Mrs. Verardo.
“Today’s Executive Order is a good start” continued Mrs. Verardo, “but much more needs to be done. It’s been almost two months since the House passed the VA Accountability Act, and still, the Senate has taken no action on this crucial legislation. The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee held substantive hearings and legislative markups on this issue in the last Congress, but the Senate failed to act on any VA accountability legislation. No more action is needed by the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee in this Congress, and Square Deal for Veterans calls on Majority Leader McConnell to bring the VA Accountability First Act of 2017 to an immediate and direct vote in the Senate.
Square Deal for Veterans is a 501(c)(19) war veterans organization which will organize an army of veterans, wounded warrior caregivers, and military supporters to hold this Administration and Congress accountable to the necessary and immediate reforms promised in the 2016 campaign. It will do this through traditional grassroots advocacy by opening upwards of 40 field offices, with the goal of delivering 50,000 constituent calls to Congress in single days to demand necessary VA reform as they move through the legislative process.
Wartime veterans, other veterans, military and veteran family members and other supporters can join SD4Vs (full membership is only open to wartime veterans), or get more involved with these grassroots efforts at www.SquareDeal4Vets.org.