Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens recently sent a letter to his state’s senators addressing their allegations of improper care at the St. Louis Veterans Home.
The two senators – Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt – sent a letter on Oct. 31 saying an investigation should be launched into the allegations of abuse and mistreatment at the state-run St. Louis Veterans Home, and that action should be taken. However, there are already investigations underway, and Governor Greitens has been taking action to help veterans.
Greitens responded with a letter on Nov. 2, striking back at what he calls “meaningless letters from career politicians” who are grandstanding.
He points out that investigations are already underway, and that he is already taking action to fight for veterans. Greitens is a veteran himself.
After graduating from the University of Oxford in 2000, Greitens attended the Naval Officer Candidate School in January 2001 and graduated from Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training in February 2002. He deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa and Southeast Asia, and was a lieutenant commander in the United States Navy Reserve.
Greitens is a recipient of the Combat Action Ribbon, the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star and several other military awards.
After returning home from Iraq, Greitens started “The Mission Continues,” an organization that challenges “veterans to serve and lead in communities across America” by participating in volunteer organizations all across the country.
In 2013, TIME Magazine named Greitens one of the 100 most influential people in the world and in 2014, Fortune Magazine named Greitens one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.
The full text of the governor’s letter to the senators is below:
“Dear Senators McCaskill and Blunt,
I appreciate your recent interest in the St. Louis Veterans Home. Frankly, it’s good to see some signs of life out of Congress. A lot of us back home are wondering what you’ve been up to.
I’ll tell you what we’ve been doing in Missouri: We’ve been fighting for veterans. When we learned about the possible mistreatment of veterans at the St. Louis Veterans Home, we called on the Missouri veterans commission to investigate immediately. Then we directed a Department of Public Safety to complete a follow-up investigation. Then, we asked the Department of Veterans affairs to do the same. We will continue to demand the best for veterans, and we will hold those responsible for their care accountable. As a veteran myself, I won’t tolerate a single one being mistreated. Every veteran, and every veteran’s family, should have confidence in their care. I won’t rest until they do.
But you probably knew about these investigations before you sent the letter, “requesting an investigation.” Or, maybe you didn’t? Because in the other part of your letter, you asked for a copy of the VA report on the St. Louis Veterans Home. The VA publicly released their report back in September. If you lost your copy you can Google, “St. Louis veterans Home Survey Report VA.” It’s the second link down.
We don’t need more meaningless letters from career politicians. What we need is action. After all that time in Washington, both of you should have some pull there, so you can talk to your friends at the VA. Get to work helping veterans, and fix the broken bureaucracy that fails our veterans and their families.
I saw too many of my friends and fellow service members return home from combat and get mistreated by the VA. I saw lives ruined and families destroyed. In fact, the terrible treatment of our veterans is one of the reasons I ran for governor. I’ve seen this pain with my own eyes. I didn’t just read about it in a report.
While have you, one more thing: Missourians need Congress to get its act together to do it’s job, tax relief, Obamacare repeal, securing our borders – folks back home are looking for some results from Washington DC. It’s been too long, and we are tired of waiting.
Eric R. Greitens