Q&A: VA Secretary on Veterans Affairs Mission Act

Jun 21, 2019

On this West Virginia Morning, the 2019 Veterans Affairs Mission Act went into effect earlier this month. It makes emergency and specialized care available to more U.S. veterans. The act promises to provide less red tape and greater satisfaction and predictability for veterans. The legislation passed through Congress easily with broad bipartisan support and President Trump signed it into law.

Robert Wilkie, the Veterans Affairs Secretary since last July, took over the VA during significant turmoil. He spoke over the phone with Eric Douglas about changes to the VA and the challenges the organization still faces.

Also on today’s show, from time to time we get curious about the names of places in Appalachia. What is the story behind certain names?

Well, our recent Inside Appalachia episode focuses on alcohol, which, in a roundabout way, led us to Cooper’s Rock -- the state forest just outside Morgantown. Our folklife reporter, Caitlin Tan, found there’s a mystery there connected to bourbon and a fugitive life on the lam.

And our Mountain Stage Song of the Week comes from enchanting jazz and pop vocalist Kat Edmonson, who makes her third appearance on the show with songs from her album called "Old Fashioned Gal."

Accompanied by her band, Edmonson performs "I'd Be A Fool.”

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting which is solely responsible for its content.

Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.

West Virginia Morning is produced with help from Caitlin Tan, Jessica Lilly, Kara Lofton, Liz McCormick, Dave Mistich, Brittany Patterson, Eric Douglas, Cory Knollinger, Emily Allen and Roxy Todd.

Our news director is Jesse Wright, our producer is Glynis Board, and Teresa Wills and Chuck Anziulewicz hosted the show this week.