December 21, 2020
The Military Women’s Coalition Demands that VA Secretary Robert Wilkie and VA Deputy Assistant Secretary Curt Cashour Resign Immediately
Representative Dan Crenshaw should be Censured by the House of Representatives
The Military Women’s Coalition (MWC) joins local, state and national Veteran-serving groups in demanding Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie’s immediate firing or resignation along with his Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, Curt Cashour. We further demand that Representative Dan Crenshaw be censored by the US House of Representatives. All three individuals participated in a deliberate campaign to smear a woman veteran who reported being sexually assaulted at the Washington, DC VA Hospital.
An extensive Inspector General Report makes clear that rather than focus on the perpetrator, a man with a history of sexual assault and a criminal record, they chose to attempt to discredit the woman veteran for reporting being assaulted. Not only did Secretary Wilkie subvert the internal investigation into the veteran’s report of a sexual assault, he enlisted the assistance of Representative Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) and VA Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, Curt Cashour in efforts to harm the veteran’s credibility.
According to former Deputy VA Secretary James Byrne, a former federal prosecutor and Marine, he was forced out of his position at the VA after refusing to participate in the smear campaign.
The Military Women’s Coalition knows that women veterans continue to suffer debasing behavior when they seek services at the VA. This IG Report provides detailed evidence of such behavior and the response that women are often met with when they report to VA officials.
The manner in which Secretary Wilkie handled a sexual violence situation, just a few miles from the VA headquarters is reflective of the greater problems impacting women being served by this system. He must resign now. Help us break and transform this toxic culture.
The Military Women’s Coalition is a national coalition of 28 organizations from across the country whose primary mission is to connect and support military women; past, present, and future. Collectively, we reach 1.67 million members and followers. We are committed to engaging in collective action, sharing resources and knowledge, and promoting the activities of military women's organizations to better serve and support service women and women veterans