Photographs of the Commander-in-Chief and the Secretary of Veteran's Affairs are usually (but not always) hung at the entrance to VA hospitals. However, the portraits are not yet on display at the West Palm Beach VA Hospital.
First-term U.S. Congressman Brian Mast, a veteran, came with other vets and the portraits to the hospital and demanded they be put up.
Mast released a statement noting he was contacted by a number of constituents who wanted to know why President Donald Trump's portrait and VA Secretary David Schulkin's portrait were not installed at the VA hospital?
Congressman Mast is carrying the portraits in the video and looking on as workers installed them.
"Two blank holes, it's been 60 something days now," commented vet John Rourke who was part of the group with Mast. "The veterans administration has been asked about it a few times, the local VA hospital has and they haven't had any real reason other than they didn't have the picture, which is readily available."
Rourke continued: "That's the person who would ultimately give the order for us to put our lives in danger and we believe that his picture should be displayed there proudly."
Congressman Mast’s office released the following statement:
“This morning, Congressman Mast visited the West Palm Beach VA, where he gets his own healthcare, after numerous calls from constituents that there was a delay in hanging up photos of the new VA Secretary and President—photos that are hung in every VA facility across the country. While there, he addressed the concerns of these local veterans by helping to hang the official photos of Secretary Shulkin and President Trump.”
Despite Mast’s dramatic action on Tuesday, the VA hospital administrators took the portraits down after Mast left.
A VA spokesperson commented to the media that the actions of the congressman and those who accompanied him were “inappropriate”, and that the video was not authorized or legally obtained. The spokesperson noted the portraits were taken down because they have not been authenticated and portraits on display at VA facilities must originate from the central office.
Source: CBS 12
Photo: CBS 12