Recalling Shinseki's service to country

It appears that Secretary Eric Shinseki's tenure at Veterans Affairs is over and I will not discuss the chorus in the popular press that, for political motives, wants to assign the blame for all the ills of the VA to him. I have had extensive contact with the VA over the years and it is a multi-generational problem.

What the press has missed or maligned is the man that Secretary Shinseki is. I first met him 31 years ago when he was a lieutenant colonel commanding the Border Cavalry Squadron that I was assigned to as a brand new lieutenant.

After my 30-year career in the military, I can honestly say that he was the most moral and compassionate commander I ever served with. He taught his officers the value of doing the "hard right." A value he personified in 2003 when he told Congress the truth about the troop requirements for the Iraq campaign, which eventually forced him into early retirement.

Did he make the VA perfect? No, he did not, but upon his departure he will have left it better than when he arrived. We should all thank Secretary Shinseki, a great American, for dedicating his life to the country we all love.

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