“The recent statement from the Department of Veterans
Affairs about the loss of social security numbers and other data for 26.5
million veterans does not add up, literally,” said John Rowan, National
President of Vietnam Veterans of America, “and VVA calls upon Congress
to begin immediate hearings on this appalling situation.
“There are only about 26.5 million living American veterans,
and only a fraction of these have ever sought anything from the VA. More
than two-thirds of us separated from the military well before the 1975 date
that the VA alleges. So, the real story is: Why did VA have this data in the
first place? How did they collect it? And why did they collect it? For what
VA said in a prepared statement this week that a data analyst
had taken the data home to “work on it.” VVA questions what kind of work was
this personor anyone at VA doingon data that the VA may not have legal or
legitimate right to possess without the specific permission of the
individual citizens involved.
“The real story here may be hidden in plain sight,” Rowan
went on to say, “it is questionable that this data should have been in the
possession of VA or anyone other than the Social Security Administration for
strictly narrow and legally defined purposes. Did VA share it with some
other public or private entity for some other purpose? Was the story about
to be leaked by someone that accounts for the timing of the VA disclosure?
Why did the VA wait nineteen days to notify veterans? There are many
questions that remain to be answered here.”
The VA has put veterans at risk for identity theft. If this
were the private sector, they would be required to provide each veteran with
free credit reporting services so that they could monitor their financial
information. VVA urges veterans to monitor all of their banking and credit
statements to insure that the VA has not compromised their personal
information. We call on the VA to assist the compromised veterans.
VVA also calls upon the leaders in the House and Senate to
conduct immediate hearings on this disgraceful situation.