Veterans Affairs secretary to step down
16 minutes ago
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary
James Nicholson said on Tuesday he would step down,
leaving an agency that with the military has been
criticized for the care received by Iraq war veterans.
Nicholson, whose resignation is effective no later
than October 1, said he wanted to return to the
"This coming February, I turn 70 years old, and I feel
it is time for me to get back into business, while I
still can," he said in a prepared statement.
Nicholson was sworn in on February 1, 2005. He has
also served in the Bush administration as U.S.
ambassador to the Vatican.
The Veterans Affairs Department and Pentagon have
faced increasing criticism this year for the quality
and level of care received by veterans of the Iraq and
Reports have shown that the rise in post-traumatic
stress and traumatic brain injury among returning
troops has not been met with more resources to deal
with mental health problems.
Some critics also say the Veterans Affairs Department
is still unprepared and lacks the budget to care for a
coming wave of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who will
draw on veterans care benefits when they leave the
(Additional reporting by Tabassum Zakaria)