A Memorial Day message from VA Secretary Wilkie

Each year, on Memorial Day, we take time to remember those who gave their lives in service to our country. At the Department of Veterans Affairs, we take great pride that our cemeteries are fitting shrines to the sacrifices of all of those who fell in battle. On Monday, May 27, I urge everyone to observe this National Day of Remembrance and honor the sacrifices of those who served principles greater than themselves.

In the words of Abraham Lincoln, “from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion.” That cause is the enduring principle that freedom is the birthright of all men and women.

From the American Revolution, through the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea, through Vietnam and Desert Storm, to Afghanistan and Iraq, more than a million Americans have paid the ultimate price to secure the blessings of liberty for our Nation. As we go about our duties providing America’s living Veterans the care, benefits, and services they have earned, let us also remember the men and women who gave their lives for our freedom.

It is my privilege this year to join all Veterans, and all my friends at VA, in honoring the service and sacrifice of our fallen—those who remain forever young in our memories. God bless their memory, your service, and our great Nation.


Robert Wilkie

The Honorable Robert L. Wilkie was sworn in to serve as Secretary of Veterans Affairs on July 30, 2018. He also served as the Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs from March 28, 2018 to May 29, 2018.

Before confirmation as VA Secretary, Mr. Wilkie served Secretary James Mattis as his Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness—the principal advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense for Total Force Management as it relates to readiness, National Guard and Reserve component affairs, health affairs, training, and personnel requirements and management, including equal opportunity, morale, welfare, recreation, and the quality of life for military families.


  1. Robert H Rede    

    Thank you for making 200K ineligible to receive their benefits and in the meantime the care that we, veterans receive is driven by costs, otherwise keep it at minimum cost even if the veteran has to suffer… I watched my father go into an early grave due to Agent Orange. In the meantime PROTUS shirked his duty when called!

  2. Richard G McHenry    

    Thank you for your beautiful comment. I honor and respect your service and what your family has done for our country.
    You are receiving this reply from a Marine Captain who served in Vietnam.

  3. USN Vet    

    We will not forget. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

  4. James Palmatier    

    Thank you sir,
    I am a Navy man, who served during the Vietnam War, aboard the USS Cromwell, DE 1014, then the USS Intrepid CVS 11, and my first Duty station was Roosevelt Roads Naval Air Station, Puerto Rico.
    My time, my service were my duty. I learned so much about life, and saw many countries, and met many people. It was an education in itself. Many of my brother veterans did not make it home, some were forever disabled, some came home but were never right.
    I am proud to have served, I am honored to be alive, and I remember those who went before and gave the ultimate sacrifice for our Country which has always been great,
    Thank you for the great changes you are making, in our Healthcare, and lives.
    God Bless us all, and let us never forget those who are no longer here.

  5. Jimmy Cembrano    

    76 yrs old … Thx to our Veterans for serving…. Pls. help me get reinstated into the VA Hospital /Med. Center. USA jobs agency found my more than 100 applications “ineligibles” CLS, BSMT, MSMT, Supervisory Position. Believe it or not all over the country USA. So disappointed that I can’t help our veterans, working with my technical expertise – skill in management. Thanks for your time and Have A Great Day!


    Jimmy Cembrano, CLS, BSMT, MSMT
    Laguna Woods, CA 92637

    Note: my sons retired from USAF

  6. Margeé Morris    

    They do not help all of the Vietnam Vets that are dying from GBM brain cancer mor their widows left behind.

  7. Arturo Mendoza    

    I have the same problem I go to VA 8890 Mission Valley,Ca and have been fighting for my benefits since 2010. I have gone to Congressmen Juan Vargas in Chula Vista his office has been wonderful very professional. But VA keeps playing dumb. What do we as ex War Veterans have to do. Very hurt with the system.

  8. Larry m alderink    

    Really don’t get good care at nashville va hospital especially on my eyes i am 100% and am glad i have Medicare or i would be dead it only took 3 years to find my heart blockages but took to long to try and fix i went to a private doctor and was pit in surgery right away and the eye clinic was the worst because of va using trainiess it hurt more then helped seeing a specilist and 3 surgerys to correct the problems

  9. Robert Teach Blackburn III    

    I served in the USMC as a officer from 1974 to 1985 (Captain) and with a honorable discharge. I have been told by the VA that I do not rate my Veteran Benefits due my gross income was to high. Please explain to me what me and my wife’s gross income has to do with my benefits?
    I have written to Paul Ryan when he was in office and Marco Rubio but with no return response. Please give me a a justifiable answer to this and what must I do to receive what I was promised by my country.

    1. Stan Clark    

      If you had 30 days or more active service at Camp Lejeune, NC during your time on active duty, you should be eligible. Also if you were in Vietnam you would be eligible. Otherwise you would need to have a service connected disability or be a MOH or Purple Heart Recipient or a POW. Congress changed the eligibility criteria back in 2004. Thanks.

      1. Victor Sellers    

        I know what you are saying, but the reality is different. I was medivac’d out of Vietnam after 21 days in the hospital broke out with Chloracne and swelled up and other issues like heart palpitations, abdominal pain, bloody urine, liver abnormalities, but because the Army doctors had no idea what caused my conditions, they said it was an “Urticaria secondary to Chloroquine Ingestion”. I never had a reaction to Chloroquine, but my records have been withheld to this day. They were stored in a Vault in Neosho, Mo. for litigation. Myself and family were denied all service connection and all benefits, when I should have been medically retired with 100% pay and medical. My disabilities are documented so the records proving them was withheld and still are.

        1. Shelley Davis    

          This is all CRAP!!!!! My father-in-law only made it out of Marine boot camp, never even got sent to Vietnam, (b/c they discharged him for some supposed “mysterious” medical issue, rolling eyes) doesn’t have anything service related (he never really served) and he’s getting VA benefits….which I think is wrong…..

  10. Jennifer Doerflinger Hill    

    Thank you, Sir. My family has served our Country as far back as I’ve been able to discover. I may, therefore, rightly assume, their love for this great Nation.
    My Mother’s brother, Harold, served in the USMC, as did my father, Everett R Doerflinger, a Marine at Iwo Jima, & my cousin, Ches, another Marine, who came home full of shrapnel from Vietnam.
    I wanted to join the USMC, but my Dad discouraged me. This & the fact that our area had no Marine Corps recruiter, led me to join the USAF.
    I’d hate to forget my paternal cousin, Jim, a submarines, who just met up w his confreres of 40 years, at a Reunion in Branson, MO.
    To top it off, our granddaughter recently took her Oath, joining the USAF & will be following her dreams upon her high school graduation.
    God bless the USA.

Comments are closed.