Politics

Veteran Upset Over VA's Missing Trump Portrait

| by Denise Recalde

A veteran from Florida has expressed outrage after finding the Department of Veteran Affairs Clinic in Cape Coral did not have a portrait of President Donald Trump on display. 

The man says the clinic should have a picture of the current president displayed on a wall, as it always has, reports WFTX.

A portrait of the president and the secretary of Veterans Affairs is prominently displayed in all VA medical centers around the country. 

"A couple of weeks ago I went to the VA clinic in Cape Coral and when I saw that the pictures weren't there I felt violated," John Delaney said. "I see pictures of [former] President [Barack] Obama and when I saw the board was empty that troubled me."

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"I even called the White House," he said.

Ralph Santillo, founder of the Cape Coral Veterans Foundation, said he had not heard of any other complaints. 

"I'm sure there are a lot of people upset that it's not up there but then again there's probably a lot of people that are glad that its not up there," he said.

Santillo spoke of the other major issues affecting local veterans.

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"Housing is always important, homelessness is a major factor all over the country. It runs in spurts here. During the season, when it's warm there's a lot more homeless veterans that come down here."

He added it is extremely difficult for veterans to be placed in affordable housing.

"Most places require a security deposit and first and last month's rent," he said. "There's nothing available in the Cape."

Delaney said local veterans are struggling with tough issues but believes the missing portrait was politically motivated.

"If Hillary Clinton was the president of the United States this wouldn't be happening and that's what I believe," he said. "Is it going to hurt me? No, but in the big picture, it's a statement that they're making."

The VA office has responded to complaints and says it is working on getting pictures of Trump and Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkan. It is using temporary photos until proper replacement portraits are procured. 

A representative for the office provided a statement:

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), like all other federal agencies, relies on the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) to provide official photos of the President to display in our facilities.

GPO will print the portraits upon receipt of the file from the White House and then distribute accordingly. Once VA receives the official photo of the President, we will ensure both the photo of the President and the photo of Secretary Shulkin are displayed appropriately.

In the meantime, all VA facilities were ordered to post temporary photos of the President and VA Secretary until official portraits are received. The order occurred late on March 16, 2017.

All Bay Pines VA Healthcare System facilities, including the facility in Cape Coral, have posted temporary photos. Larger, permanent photos will be posted as soon as we receive them.

While official portraits of Trump may be delayed in getting to VA centers around the U.S., some Trump properties have been vandalized.

A Trump golf course in California was attacked in mid-March by environmental activists who carved "No More Tigers. No More Woods" into the green, The Washington Post reports.

​Sources: The Washington Post, WFTX / Photo credit: Michael Vadon/Wikimedia Commons

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