Vietnam Veterans Of America

VVA Calls for VA Secretary Wilkie to Step Down Over of Handling Sexual Assault

December 12, 2020

No. 20-12

Mokie Pratt Porter

VVA Calls for VA Secretary Wilkie to Step Down Over of Handling Sexual Assault

(Washington, D.C.) "In light of the recent findings of the government audit regarding the handling of an incident in which a veteran was sexually assaulted, Vietnam Veterans of America calls upon VA Secretary Robert Wilkie to step down immediately,” said VVA National President John Rowan.

The audit’s findings showed that Sec. Wilkie repeatedly sought to discredit Andrea Goldstein, who was assaulted by a VA contractor at the Washington, DC, VA Medical Center, insinuating, in remarks to the Joint OIG-USAO criminal investigation, that Goldstein had made similar claims previously.

“As Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Mr. Wilkie is responsible for the care and wellbeing of our nation’s nine million veterans,” said Rowan. “Non-consensual sexual acts are criminal in nature and punishable by law. Rather than taking the necessary steps to protect the veteran, investigate the incident, and ensure her wellbeing, he chose to discredit her. Mr. Wilkie has demonstrated that he has lost sight of his responsibility to those who are entrusted in his care. He has breached the trust of the veterans community, and he has proven himself to unfit to lead."

Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is the nation's only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated to the needs of Vietnam-era veterans and their families. VVA's commitment to all veterans is exemplified in its founding principle, "Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another."

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