Missouri Governor Eric Greitens sent a letter excoriating his state’s two U.S. senators, Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt, accusing them of turning their backs on problems at the state-run St. Louis Veterans Home, launching a sham investigation, and trying to place the blame for the troubles on his office.
The retired Navy SEAL slammed the Senators — one of whom (Sen. Blunt) is from his own party — for a letter they sent jointly asking Greitens for an investigation into the problems at the facility.
“I appreciate your recent interest in the St. Louis Veterans Home,” Greitens said sarcastically. “Frankly, it’s good to see some signs of life out of Congress. A lot of us back home have been wondering what you’ve been up to.”
The governor continued delineating what his government has done on the matter:
I’ll tell you what we’ve been doing in Missouri: we’ve been fighting for veterans. When we learned about the possible mistreatment of veterans at the St. Louis Veterans Home, we called on the Missouri Veterans Commission to investigate immediately. Then we directed the Department of Public Safety to complete a follow-up to the investigation. Then we asked the Department of Veterans Affairs to do the same. As a veteran myself, I won’t tolerate a single one being mistreated, and we will hold those responsible for their care accountable. Every veteran—and every veteran’s family—should have confidence in their care. I won’t rest until they do.
Greitens went on in his sarcastic vein to note that the Senators “probably knew about these investigations before you sent a letter ‘requesting an investigation.'”
The governor next showed that he doubted the senators’ sincerity:
Or maybe you didn’t? Because in the other part of your letter, you asked for a copy of the VA report on the St. Louis Veterans Home. The VA publicly released that report back in September. If you lost your copy, you can Google “St. Louis Veterans Home Survey Report VA.” It’s the second link down.
As he continued, the governor informed the senators that Missouri doesn’t “need more meaningless letters from career politicians.”
“What we need is action,” Greitens wrote. “After all that time in Washington, both of you should have some pull there, so you should talk to your friends at the VA. Get to work helping veterans, and fix the broken bureaucracy that fails our veterans and their families.”
Greitens then reminded the senators that he is all too aware of the problems our veterans face:
I saw too many of my friends and fellow service members return home from combat and get mistreated by the VA. I saw lives ruined and families destroyed. In fact, the terrible treatment of our veterans is one of the reasons I ran for Governor. I’ve seen this pain with my own eyes. I didn’t just read about it in a report.
The Show Me State leader ended his letter warning Congress to “get its act together” on tax cuts, the repeal of Obamacare, and securing our borders.
“Folks back home are looking for some results from Washington, DC. It’s been too long, and we’re tired of waiting,” Greitens said.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.