ROCKWALL (WFAA) -- When he took the stage in the early hours of Wednesday morning to address the country for the first time as President-Elect, Donald Trump broadly spoke about his goals once he took the oval office including a nod to Veterans.
“We will also, finally, take care of our great veterans who have been so loyal and I have gotten to know so many over this 18-month journey,” said Trump. “The time I spent with them during this campaign has been one of my greatest honors.”
The comment came just days before Veterans’ Day and for area veterans who hope to receive better care and appreciation year around, Trump’s words are met with both hope and skepticism.
“We have heard this before,” said Marine veteran Jerry Troxler. “We are hopeful Donald Trump will follow through on his promises.”
Veterans Affairs hospitals have been plagued with problems and a system forcing vets to often must wait long periods of time to receive needed treatment. Glenn Atterberry served from 1959-1964 and until things change, he sees Trump’s promises as empty.
“I do not think he is going to do it,” he said. “I do not think he said anything about that during the campaign other than he knows more than the admirals and generals.”
In October, Trump laid out his priorities for the first 100 days in the White House should he be elected. One of the outlined actions was “Restoring National Security Act” and contained language providing Veterans with the chance to get public VA treatment or go to a private doctor of their choosing.
Similar actions and policies have been implemented before only to spring more leaks in the system. However, Janice Willis-Johnson, a veteran of the Navy nurse corps during Vietnam said she thinks Trump’s unique candidacy will yield a unique result for Veterans whereas so many efforts before have failed.
“I heard him speak and we can always have hope,” she said. “He is a different sort and maybe he will do a better job than some have in the past.”