Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) is demanding answers from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) after video recently surfaced of an employee brutally beating a 73-year-old Vietnam veteran at a VA clinic in Atlanta, Georgia, according to a letter first obtained by Breitbart News.
Roy wrote to VA Secretary Denis McDonough in a letter sent on June 27 about the assault, which occurred at the McPherson VA Clinic: “This vile display of behavior is horrifying and antithetical to the VA’s critical mission of caring for ‘those who have borne the battle’ in defense of our nation.”
The assailant, Lawrence F. Gaillard, Jr., is a VA patient advocate, according to Stars and Stripes. Gaillard was arrested and charged with a felony for the assault, but was ultimately released on $10,000 bond. He was suspended without pay, according to the VA.
I've obtained by FOIA surveillance video of the brutal beating of elderly Vietnam vet by a VA employee at an Atlanta VA clinic. @2Investigates was 1st to report on the attack last month. The attacker, Lawrence Gaillard is still employed by VA. @wsbtv at 6https://t.co/oLCyCNa8ea pic.twitter.com/A87YTvSK2q
— Justin Gray (@JustinGrayWSB) June 20, 2022
McDonough issued a public apology to the veteran and his family at a recent press conference, but Roy argues that more needs to be done.
“[R]eports indicate that Mr. Gaillard is still employed by the VA. This, after his victim, veteran Phillip Webb, suffered several injuries and was hospitalized for three days with a ‘brain bleed’ as a result of the assault,” he wrote.
“The VA must take immediate action to hold this employee accountable – the least of which is removing him as an employee of the VA. An incident such as this should never again happen, and the VA must take all necessary steps to ensure that it never does. Every veteran who walks through the doors of a VA facility should be treated with the utmost respect worthy of their service to our country,” he added.
Roy demanded answers by July 7 to the following:
— when officials at the Fort McPherson VA Clinic first became aware of this incident and what actions they took;
— whether Fort McPherson VA Clinic officials have taken any disciplinary actions against Gaillard and if so, what actions did they take;
— whether there have been any complaints or incidences of inappropriate, abusive, or violent conduct by Gaillard before, and if so, what the nature of those complaints or incidences were, and whether any officials at VA took any disciplinary action at that time;
— what Gaillard’s VA employment status is, and if he was terminated, when he was terminated.
“Thank you for your attention on this important matter,” Roy wrote.
Roy serves on the House Committee for Veterans’ Affairs.