Craig calls VA heroes and suggests donations to the Armed Forces Retirement home
(Washington, DC) Praise for the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Independent Armed Services Retirement Home in Washington, DC, were heaped on both agencies by U.S. Senator Larry Craig Thursday.
“This is an incredible story about a mission accomplished extremely well,” said Craig, chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
“The dedicated VA staff, many of whom were cut off from the outside world and their families, acted bravely and with a commitment to their mission to provide for the people they care for. These heroes didn’t wait to be told what to do. They moved out approximately 4,000 people, both staff and patients, without a single loss of life.”
Craig’s comments came during a press conference held after a committee briefing with VA Secretary Jim Nicholson. During the briefing, Nicholson told the senators about a VA worker who stayed by her patients in the New Orleans hospital while…
watching from a window as her home disappeared under the rising flood waters.
Nicholson and his staff are assessing the financial needs of the agency in the wake of the storm, but the costs will be significant. The VA hospital in New Orleans is now closed, still surrounded by flood waters, and is being guarded by a small police force. The VA hospital in Gulfport, Mississippi, has been completely wiped out.
Late Thursday the Senate passed an emergency supplemental bill to provide more than $50 billion in emergency relief funds for the Gulf Coast. Some of that money is targeted for the VA as it provides care for veterans and help for its employees.
Another agency helped by the supplemental funding is the Armed Services Retirement Home, an independent federal agency. Craig toured the historic District of Columbia “retirement home for heroes” early Thursday and met with displaced veterans from Mississippi.
“Over and over veterans told me what a great job had been done to get them from Mississippi to the nation’s capital city,” Craig said. “To help meet their needs, I encourage people to donate what they can.”
Among the needed items are phone cards, small t.v.’s and refrigerators, bedding, nail clippers, clothing – everything from pajamas to gloves, and more. For additional information, see: http://www.afrh.gov or call
202-730-3043 or 202-730-3556.