As is customary within Veteran’s Affair’s centers in the United States, portraits of the sitting president and Secretary of the VA often welcome entering visitors.
However, the West Palm Beach VA never hung the two portraits upon the installation of Donald Trump’s new administration.
After a number of phone calls and an in-0ffice visit from veterans demanding the portraits be put in their rightful place, a cell phone video recorded Congressman Brian Mast entering the West Palm Beach VA on Tuesday and demanding the portraits be raised. Mast, a combat veteran himself, was accompanied by fellow veterans as he walked into the VA with the portraits of President Donald Trump and VA Secretary David Schulkin.
Mast’s office released a statement on Tuesday regarding the incident:
“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”
Accompanying Congressman Mast was veteran Beau Brumfield, who was satisfied with the day’s transpirations. “Proud of the fact that the local vet community got it done. We walked in there, we made it happen,” Brumfield said. “It was non-confrontational. It was nonpolitical. We just wanted to see it happen.”
Veteran John Rourke also commented on the situation. “Two blank holes, it’s been 60 something days now,” Rourke said. “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.”
After Mast left the VA, officials removed the two portraits saying the Congressman acted “inappropriate”. A statement from the VA said the center will not hang illegitimate portraits, and that any art displayed must come from VA headquarters.
A CBS report on the incident can be seen below:
H/T: CBS 12
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