A bizarre battle is brewing between a VA hospital in Florida and the U.S. congressman who represents the district in which the hospital is situated. The two parties are butting heads over two empty picture frames in the hospital’s lobby that veterans decided they wanted to fill with portraits of the president and the head of the VA – only to be blocked by hospital staff members.
The kerfuffle began months ago, according to Army veteran Beau Brumfield.
“Two blank holes, it’s been 60 something days now. The Veterans Administration has been asked about it a few times, the local VA hospital has, and they haven’t had any real reason other than they didn’t have the picture, which is readily available,” he explained to WPEC-TV.
Other veterans agreed; they wanted portraits of President Donald Trump – the Commander in Chief – and Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Schulkin hanging in the lobby of West Palm Beach’s VA hospital. They petitioned to Rep. Brian Mast, who was particularly sympathetic to their plight since he is a disabled vet who lost both legs and a finger in Afghanistan.
Mast’s response was swift: he traveled to the VA office himself and brought portraits of Trump and Schulkin, which he instructed hospital administrators to install them. Employees acquiesced, only to take them down shortly after Mast left.
Why? According to a VA spokeswoman, Mast’s actions were “inappropriate” because the portraits had not yet been authenticated. She cited some idiotic loophole that stipulated that all portraits put up at a VA hospital must come from the central office.
That’s government bureaucracy in action, folks.