Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: August 21, 2012
Sen. Frank Simpson
Senate Veterans Committee hears from key
players in veterans’ center debate
Members of the Senate Committee on Veterans and Military Affairs
on Tuesday heard from the key players in the debate about problems
surrounding the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs (ODVA).
Those presenting included the Oklahoma Secretary of Veterans Affairs,
retired Major General Rita Aragon; Oklahoma War Veterans Commission
Chairman Rich Putman; Oklahoma War Veterans Commission Vice Chair
Jerry Riley, ODVA Acting Deputy Director Roy Griffith, and ODVA
Interim Executive Director John McReynolds.
Committee Vice Chair, Sen. Frank Simpson, requested the study to
find solutions to problems being reported about the ODVA’s
seven state veterans' centers.
“Our ultimate goal is to strengthen ODVA so that we have the
peace of mind of knowing that the needs of our veterans are being
met; and when I talk about the needs of our veterans, I’m
not talking only about our veterans that are in the centers. There
are many other aspects of the Department of Veteran Affairs that
we need to focus on also and make sure they don’t fall through
the cracks,” said Simpson, R-Ardmore. “We’re going
to look at meeting the needs of this broad spectrum of veterans
During the meeting, committee members and guests discussed administrative
issues including the structure and responsibilities of the ODVA
and the War Veterans Commission as well as the role of the War Veterans
Commission and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs in relation to
oversight of the ODVA.
The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 27. An agenda
with time and location will be released closer to the meeting. The
committee will be looking at the operational level of the state
veterans’ centers including staffing and pay, training of
employees and other issues dealing with patient care and reports
of neglect and abuse at the centers.
These meetings are public so veterans or those concerned about veterans
affairs are encouraged to attend. Streaming audio will also be available
on the Senate website at www.oksenate.gov.
For more information contact:
Sen. Simpson: (405) 521-5607