In his last months as president, Harry Truman sat in his Oval Office and contemplated the fate that would befall Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, the World War II hero who would be his successor.
“He’ll sit right here, and he’ll say, ‘Do this! Do that!’ And nothing will happen. Poor Ike — it won’t be a bit like the Army. He’ll find it very frustrating.”
Unfortunately, that sums up Gen. Eric Shinseki’s frustrating experience since becoming secretary of Veterans Affairs. Shinseki, a much-decorated, twice-wounded officer in the Vietnam War, entered office determined to give orders that would finally fix a VA’s documented history of forcing veterans to fight new battles at home just to get treatment and benefits they’d earned fighting our wars.