VVA Testimony VVA Testimony
VVA Testimony


Press Release

May 23, 2006

No. 06-008

Mokie Porter

(301) 585-4000 Ext. 146

The VA's "Lost Data" Puts Veterans at Risk;
Congress Must Investigate

(Washington, D.C.) – “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 purpose?”


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 personor anyone at VA doingon 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.


Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is the nation's only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated to the needs of Vietnam-era veterans and their families.  VVA's founding principle is “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.”

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