VA Gulf War panel members walk out to protest changes
By Patricia Kime
Jun. 18, 2013
Three members of a Veterans Affairs Department advisory committee on Persian Gulf War illnesses walked out of a meeting in Washington, D.C., on Monday to protest planned changes to the board’s makeup — alterations they say are designed to neuter the often outspoken panel.
During a meeting of the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses, VA interim chief of staff Jose Riojas announced changes to the panel’s charter, including replacing half the board members and cutting its budget.
According to panel member Anthony Hardie, Riojas “made clear that the [committee] had overstepped its charter” and needed to be steered in a different direction.
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