Callis Invites New VA Secretary To Tour Local Facilities

Aug 2, 2014

Robert McDoanld

13th District candidate for Congress Ann Callis has invited the new Veterans Affairs Secretary to visit VA facilities in the district.

Callis, a Democrat,  sent a letter to Robert McDonald this week.  In it, she specifically mentions facilities in Springfield and Decatur along with St. Louis' John Cochran Hospital. 

The agency has faced criticism over how it's handled patient care, including the revelation that some employees were falsifying reports about the time it was taking for vets to see a doctor.  Callis and her Republican opponent, Rep. Rodney Davis, were among those critics.  

Veteran's issues have become a key part of the race in a district that stretches from the metro east through Springfield, Decatur, Champaign-Urbana and the Bloomington area.  

Callis points to having a son in the U.S. Army and her experience establishing a veteran's court while serving as a judge to help members of the military re-integrate into civilian society. She was recently endorsed by the publication Veteran's Vision.

Davis has touted his record that includes sponsoring legislation to provide small business employment opportunities to veterans. 

Callis' letter to McDonald below:

Dear Secretary McDonald:

Congratulations on your unanimous confirmation to serve our nation as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). I know that your experience handling challenging tasks will be invaluable as you take on this critical mission: the care and well-being of our veterans.

I, along with many Americans, was extremely disappointed by the mismanagement and lack of leadership exposed at the VA. As the mother of an Army Ranger who just returned home this week after his deployment with a Rapid Response Force with Army Central Command, this mistreatment of our veterans hit close to home for me.

As you transition into your role as VA Secretary, I humbly invite you to come tour facilities with me that serve Illinois veterans, including St. Louis’ John Cochran VA hospital and community based outpatient clinics in Decatur and Springfield. This is an opportunity to meet with veterans and see how we can ensure they have timely access to the quality and affordable health care they deserve.

Thank you for considering this invitation. I would be honored to introduce you to Illinois veterans and share my experience creating Illinois’ first Veterans’ Treatment Court, a local resource that has won national awards for helping troubled veterans get the services they need and become productive members of society again.