Tampa Bay Times
By: Marco Rubio
May 24, 2014

Memorial Day has always been a time of unity for our nation. It’s a time when we put aside partisanship and politics, come together, and honor the memory of all those who have given what President Abraham Lincoln called “the last full measure of devotion” to America.

As we remember the fallen this weekend, we are also reminded of our duty to their brothers and sisters in arms who continue the fight for freedom, and to the many millions of veterans who have given so selflessly in service to our nation and now wish for lives of dignity, honor and security.

Our treatment of our veterans should prompt the same unified response and solidarity among our people as our sacred tradition of honoring those who have fallen in battle.

That’s why all Americans should be outraged by recent reports that the Department of Veterans Affairs has been selectively denying care to certain veterans. According to the inspector general, 26 VA facilities are now under investigation for disgraceful mismanagement.

In Florida, which is home to almost 2 million veterans, we have widespread and disturbing reports of wait lists, backlogs, misplaced or lost records, and rampant malpractice in our St. Petersburg, Miami and Gainesville VA medical centers.

Those who have fought bravely in defense of the United States have earned the right to expect the gold standard of care upon their return home. When their trust is broken, we have a responsibility to act swiftly to rectify the damage done — to whatever degree possible — and ensure that people are held responsible for their incompetence and negligence.

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