Local reactions to Shinseki’s resignation

APPLETON – In our area, veterans and those who work in veterans services are reacting to the news. So are Wisconsin lawmakers.

But not everyone agrees on the impact Shinseki’s resignation will have.

As a Gulf War veteran, Steve Conto, is outraged over what he calls the mishandling of healthcare under Veterans Affairs.

“it’s a slap in the face to all veterans. There’s no excuse for it,” Conto said.

But Conto told FOX 11 Veteran’s Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki’s resignation might not do much.

“Not to say that he’s not held responsible, but there’s plenty of blame to go all through the VA,” Conto explained.

John LiDonne is Outagamie County’s Veterans Service Officer. He told FOX 11 Shinseki was doing a good job overall and is now being made a scapegoat.

“I know he told the President he didn’t wanna be a distraction, but I find it distracting he had to resign. Now we’ll be scrambling for new leadership,” LiDonne explained.

Conto told us the VA system does not have the resources it needs.

“Blame lies with our Congress, our senators, our congressman, and the administration,” said Conto.

Wisconsin Senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson both said in statements Shinseki is an honorable man, but he had to go.

Johnson said, in part, “his resignation as secretary of Veterans Affairs was a decision made appropriately between him and President Obama.”

Baldwin said, in part, “His resignation will not simply solve the problems that exist at the VA, but I am hopeful it will create an opportunity to put solutions in place.”

LiDonne told us the issue at hand is with a few locations with poor management, not the entire VA system.

“Locally, we’re happy with our VA healthcare and they’re very responsive to our offices,” LiDonne said.

But while Conto told us he’s gotten good care at the V-A in Milwaukee, he knows others who struggle.

“It’s frustrating for those who are relying on it,” he said.

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