By: Jasmine Saunders, Editor-in-Chief
On Wednesday BBC sat down with veterans from the surrounding area at Delaware State University to discuss their concerns with President-Elect Donald J. Trump and his policies for improving the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in terms of speeding up the time for veterans to get the care they need as well as other issues that pertain to veterans.
“The BBC is a well-respected media organization,” said DSU Director of News Services Carlos Holmes. “By allowing them to do this here, the name Delaware State University got broadcast all over the world.”
BBC was going on a “road trip” before the inauguration to different cities with high veteran populations to get a consensus of their opinions toward Trump.
“There’s been quite the split, a good few of the veterans here today are optimistic about Donald Trump, but there are some who are very concerned as well,” said BBC Broadcaster Journalist Orla Barry.
The veterans have positive outlooks about Trump and him keeping his word. They believe he will make a change.
“I think he’s going to do a good job, even though I didn’t vote for him,” said veteran Darryl Ridgeway. “I looked at all the people he put in his administration…most of them had something to do with the military.”
“I’m hoping to see female veterans get better care,” said veteran Kim Petters. “I’m remaining cautiously hopeful.”
However, some were also skeptical of Trump being effective, citing some of his picks for his Cabinet.
Steve McGuire, a former U.S. Army ammunition inspector was concerned about proposed pick for secretary of defense, Gen. James Mattis, saying “[he] really enjoys making veterans.” What he means are Gen. Mattis’ “aggressive” war tactics, as one Washington Post article stated.
He also spoke about the privatization of the VA which is a possibility due to the fact that Trump’s nominee for secretary of VA David Shulkin proposed the venture.
Overall, the veterans just want to see that the VA changes to help fellow vets by giving them the care they need in a timely fashion that could save lives.
“Everything is so backed up,” said Ridgeway.
“It’s a lot of talk, we’d [veterans] like to see action,” said Petters.