President-elect announces Shinseki appointment - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

President-elect announces Shinseki appointment

WASHINGTON, D.C - President-elect Barack Obama has named a decorated Vietnam veteran as his choice to head the Department of Veterans Affairs. Retired Gen. Eric Shinseki is a former Army chief of staff, who was known for criticizing the Bush administration's plans to invade Iraq with too few troops. The 66-year-old is the first Army four-star general of Japanese-American ancestry. He would head the government's second largest agency. The VA has been under fire for underestimating the funding needed to treat thousands of injured veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, Shinseki spoke of building a "smooth, error-free, no-fail benefits-assured transition" back to civilian life for veterans. Veterans groups praised the appointment. An Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans group calls Shinseki a man who has "always put patriotism ahead of politics."

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