JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Governor Eric Greitens has, for quite some time, taken an interest in the welfare of veterans in the U.S., and when it comes to that topic, he’s showing that he’ll pull no punches.
The latest example of that is his response letter to Missouri’s two U.S. Senators, who this week penned a joint letter to the governor urging him to call for an investigation into the accusations of patient mistreatment at the St. Louis Veterans Home.
Some of the allegations, shared during a meeting held in Kirkwood this week, included patient neglect, prescription errors, and poor morale.
“As a veteran yourself, we are certain you share our concerns over these claims,” the letter states.
In a letter sent in response, Greitens responded, saying that “as a veteran myself, I won’t tolerate a single one being mistreated. Every veteran – and every veterans’ family – should have confidence in their care. I won’t rest until they do.”
But the Governor’s response also came with a fiery response, his tone taking on a very critical and scornful manner as he accused the Senators of trying to shift the blame.
“I appreciate your recent interest in the St. Louis Veterans Home,” Greitens started. “Frankly, it’s good to see some signs of life out of Congress. A lot of us back home have been wondering what you’ve been up to.”
The reasoning for the tone, as outlined by Greitens in the letter, is that a state examination is already underway. As for the St. Louis Veterans Home, situated in north St. Louis County, Greitens wrote that his office called on the Missouri Veterans Commission to investigate immediately and said that the Department of Public Safety had conducted a followup.
“Then, we asked the Department of Veterans Affairs to do the same,” he wrote. “But you probably knew about these investigations before you sent a letter ‘requesting an investigation.’ Or maybe you didn’t?”
The original letter from the Senators had also asked for a copy of the VA report on the St. Louis Veterans Home, to which he delivered a response with an almost sarcastic tone.
“The VA publicly released that report back in September. If you lost your copy, you can Google, ‘St. Louis Veterans Home Survey Report Va.’ It’s the second link down.”
The Governor chided the two Senators, saying Missouri didn’t need more “meaningless letters from career politicians” but needed action.
“After all that time in Washington, both of you should have some pull there, so you should talk to your friends at the VA. Get to work helping veterans, and fix the broken bureaucracy that fails our veterans and their families,” he wrote.
He finished by telling the pair of U.S. legislators this:
“Missourians need Congress to get its act together and do its job. Tax relief, Obamacare repeal, securing our borders – folks back home are looking for some results from Washington D.C. It’s been too long and we’re tired of waiting.”
Benjamin Peters was a reporter for The Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine and also produced the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined The Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield.