When it’s time to put protocol aside: Portraits on the way to VA facilities


In the last few weeks, and especially in the last few days, there have been a number of inquiries from the public, media and members of Congress in regards to the lack of photos of the president and Secretary Shulkin in VA facilities. Though these facilities abide by the General Services Administration protocol and have been anxiously awaiting an official photo of the president to arrive, today, Secretary Shulkin issued guidance to break from protocol.

By direction of the secretary, VA facilities have been instructed to temporarily display an image from the White House’s website until an official portrait of President Trump is released.

All VA facilities have been directed to download and print photos of both the president and Secretary Shulkin, and every facility is expected to have them appropriately displayed immediately. The president’s photo, while not his official portrait, is currently used by the White House on its website and social media platforms. Once VA receives the official photo of President Trump, facilities will replace the temporary version.

Though VA facilities have been following the correct federal protocol for official portraits, we realize that it is more important to display these temporary photos to demonstrate a clear chain of command and respect for our leadership and our Veterans.


VAntage Point


  1. Ronald Cross    

    Every new administration has this situation upon assuming office. While pictures or portraits are traditional and certainly have their place, service must always be 1st priority.
    Veteran artists are a great asset to the VA, veterans and their communities.

  2. Joe S Burkey    

    Finally, the VA has been forced to admit its mistake in NOT having earlier approved compensation when it had already allowed medical treatment for Camp LeJune Survivors. Just as with A/O, how many families have suffered over the 30 or more years since these afflictions had started? Think of the billions that the US has saved in unpaid claims to service members, families and DIC , just like the older RVN vets who were discouraged or denied filing 50 years ago. Dragging its feet was the VAs greatest disservice to these late HONORED heroes. NEVER AGAIN!!!

  3. Steven Lynch    

    It’s about time that the VA starts cutting through all the red tape. Hope you start applying this same principle of by passing time consuming protocols to get things done more quickly and efficiently for us Veterans.

  4. Laurence H Maddelein    

    Not only is the change in photographs a welcomed site, but so is the TV channel change getting rid of CNN on ALL the VA waiting room TV sets.

    1. Mike Flynn    

      This delay was entirely from the Trump administration. They’re literally so incompetent that they didn’t know they needed to send an official portrait to the printers. Two weeks after this temporary fix and they still haven’t.

  5. Gary Corbin    

    Why did the St. Cloud MN VA say they would not put the picture up as they were waiting for the Presidents impeachment???
    What a bunch of losers, what a political organization, and to think I belong to the VFW…..

  6. Helen Powell    

    I’m at the VA in Oak Lawn. There is no photo of President Trump. 3.17.17
    Helen Powell

  7. Ronald W. Mann    

    I had an appointment this week and no one could answer why President Trumps picture was not on the wall, I must admit the blank wall was an improvement over the past 8 years

  8. Mary Hayden    

    The question is, why did VA Medical centers lie…..this information you have here is not what YOUR workers at medical centets say…They say that President Trump is not their President and they run VA, not the Veterans…. This is how we are mostly treated. Like a herd of cattle going through cattle stations.
    A consultation and reply would be welcome.
    Not a common letter sent out to all.
    If you can’t do the job, GET OUT

  9. Bill Robbins    

    Typical VA BS, SSDD for left wing hind tit useless GS 99’s and the GOOD OLD boy Democratic Party of less work and more pay to build up more red tape and cloud the issues. You can fire most of the GS 99’s and they would not be missed and people that care can start thinking OUTSIDE the Box and JUST GET IT DONE!

  10. Richard E. Forster    

    I don’t understand where some of these comments are even published. The VA has enough MAJOR internal problems to work out for the VETERANS that portraits should NOT be anything of significance. This is BS and I do not believe our president would see it differently.

  11. Richard w Lewis AMH-1    

    Here is wonderful place to start termantions!

  12. Paul Barton    

    What about the Florida v.a. employee who immediately took down the portrait the congressman had them hang, as soon as he left, and commented: “He (Donald Trump) is not OUR president.

  13. Barbara Rivera    

    Thank you I was concerned when my Veteran husband was hospialized and did not see the photos.

  14. R. Pugh    

    As of this morning in Las Vegas VA hospital. Still has no picture. I read one in the comments were someone said that whenever there’s a new election they always have this problem. I don’t ever recall this happening until this election I’m glad they finally decided to get it done.

  15. Theodore Meyer    

    I’m very please to see this action from the new Secretary. It may seem minor, but actually shows the potential we now have to get through some of the obstacles we face in making positive change.

    May not be YOUR president, but he is THE president. Respect the office at the very least, and try to curb the knee-jerk reactions.

    1. Theodore Meyer    

      BTW: Pictures in place at Iowa City VA Med Center. TPM

  16. Josh M.    

    I work in a DoD facility…USAF to be specific. We’ve had a picture of President Trump since early February.

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