(Washington, D.C.) – "Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) has joined as a plaintiff in a lawsuit that challenges what we believe to be unethical and blatantly illegal: the use of sections of the 387-acre West Los Angeles VA Medical Center & Community Living Center in violation of the covenant in which this land was deeded in perpetuity to the federal government over 100 years ago. It was supposed to be used only for the benefit of wounded warriors and veterans," said John Rowan, National President of VVA.
"Because this VA campus sits on prime Los Angeles real estate, it has become a tempting target for developers," Rowan said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs has played fast and loose with its stewardship of this land, leasing nearly one-third of the campus to car rental companies, hotels, oil companies, and private schools.
"This is an outrage and an injustice," Rowan said. "Los Angeles has a significant number of homeless veterans, many of whom are still dealing with demons from their wartime experiences. Instead of providing a place of refuge for these veterans, and instead of converting buildings on the campus to supportive housing and providing a continuum of care for these men and women, VA officials have, for decades, violated the terms under which this land was deeded to the government. Under four presidential administrations, VA has abdicated its responsibility to veterans in the Los Angeles community.
"It is time to end this poor behavior by VA. This is why VVA has joined with four currently homeless and disabled veterans suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in suing the VA and the director of the VA's Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System," Rowan said. "It is our hope that this litigation will lead to a solution that serves the needs of the veterans for which this land was intended."