An Open Letter To President-Elect Donald Trump

Dear President-Elect Trump ,

As the president and co-founder of United Soldiers and Sailors of America – USASOA, I would like to first congratulate you on your election to the highest office in our land. Sir, as one of the Veteran Service Organizations that provides a direct and meaningful impact on the quality of life for our wounded veterans, their families and care-givers – I feel it is my duty as an American as well as the leader of my organization to ask you to consider maintaining Robert McDonald in his current position as the V.A. Secretary when you take office in January and become our Commander in Chief.

As I adjoin my voice with those of the many other VSO’s who have been calling on you to entrust the health and safety of our veteran community by allowing Secretary McDonald to continue his incredible hard work and the accomplishments that he has overseen in such short order. To start over with someone less familiar with the complex nature of veteran’s lives and the current VA system would be tantamount to chaos that will, without a doubt be more detrimental to the reforms achieved to date. Under the effective leadership of Secretary McDonald, more veterans are experiencing the benefits of a much improved system able to handle their particular and often unique mental and health care needs. Make no mistake, we have a myriad of hurdles and barriers to overcome, not least of all is the enactment of Congressional legislation that will pave the way for much needed and additional reforms. Secretary McDonald’s leadership is held in the highest regard by the overwhelming majority of VSO’s, he is trusted and has the business  acumen as well as the military experience and expertise in understanding the complex and often complicated needs of our veterans especially that of those veterans who suffer from invisible wounds.

While the focus of a new administration is to advance the leadership and governing policies of the incoming president, I urge you to consider allowing Secretary McDonald to remain at his post for a period of time of your choosing so that as president you will then have the opportunity to gauge, assess and evaluate his abilities and accomplishments.

The resolution to the problems and challenges facing the VA requires a keen sense of strict clarity and the proper implementation of effective leadership and legislative solutions which will take time, if we are to get it right. At this point our veterans who depends on us cannot afford to have us abandon ship just when we have it afloat and with Secretary McDonald remaining at the helm we will continue to secure a steady and constructive course of reform until which time you will decide otherwise. Sir, time is on our side, not on the side of our veterans who urgently need our help.

As for my organization we are committed to joining with you and your administration in providing for the care, safety, and dignity of our veterans and to ensure that their just-rights are being preserved. Let us live by the words spoken by President Lincoln so many years ago in which he called on all Americans, “to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan.”

Sir, thank you for considering my request and the leadership, staff and volunteers of USASOA pray for your success in leading our nation in peace and prosperity.

USASOA's core mission is to provide the essentials of life: food, shelter, heat, utilities, toiletries and more to our wounded veterans and their families who will often struggle for these basics items and resources - some of whom have fallen through the safety net of government programs and services. As strong advocates we engage members of Congress to enact legislation that will benefit the wounded and our entire veteran community to ensure that they are treated as our greatest national treasures.

John P. Yori, President of United Soldiers and Sailors of America - USASOA