Your morning veterans news report for Wednesday, 7/23:
Confirmation hearing becomes a debate on Veterans Affairs (The New York Times)
The members of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs praised Robert McDonald, a former chief executive of Procter & Gamble, as an ideal pick to resolve the challenges facing a department that is under fire for numerous issues, including masking the lengthy delays faced by thousands of veterans trying to see doctors.
Ex-P&G chief says he’ll use business skills to revamp VA (Bloomberg)
Robert McDonald says he will expand the agency’s use of digital technology to “free human resources that can be applied to care for the veterans.” He promised to travel extensively, hold quarterly video conferences and “improve productivity” at the nation’s fifth-largest agency by spending.
Veterans’ ranks in Congress show decline (Kansas City Star)
By 2013 18 percent of members of the Senate were veterans and 20 percent of members of the House had served in the military.
Aid Veterans Affairs by nixing budget gimmickry (The Wall Street Journal)
Opinion: The long-term solution is simple enough: The administration should present an honest budget based on the VA’s own internal projections. Congress should pass an honest budget resolution and honest VA appropriations.
Military suicides up a bit in 2014; more seek help (Stars & Stripes)
Pentagon documents show there were 161 confirmed or suspected suicides as of July 14, compared with 154 during the same time frame in 2013.
Stranger pays veteran’s duck fine without his OK (Air Force Times)
Darin Welker was cited with a minor misdemeanor June 23 for being in violation of a West Lafayette law regarding keeping farm animals in village limits. He has 14 ducks he uses for physical and emotional therapy after serving in 2005 in Iraq.