VA hospital refuses to hang photo of President, Army Ranger Congressman makes on-the-spot correction

An ongoing drama continues to unfold between a US Congressman and the West Palm Beach VA Hospital in Florida over a portrait of President Donald J. Trump- or the absence thereof.

The fracas over the photos came to a head after several veteran patrons of the medical center complained to Republican Congressman Brian Mast that the portraits of their Commander in Chief and new Secretary of Veterans Affairs were curiously absent- even though the previous administration’s portraits had been there prior.

In response, Mast -a former Army Ranger EOD Technician who was wounded in Afghanistan and elected in 2016- brought portraits of Donald Trump and David Shulkin directly to the hospital Tuesday morning, looking on as VA employees hung them on the wall.

“Proud of the fact that the local vet community got it done. We walked in there, we made it happen. It was non-confrontational. It was nonpolitical. We just wanted to see it happen,” said combat infantry veteran Beau Brumfield Tuesday morning.

“Two blank holes, it’s been 60 something days now,” said Veteran John Rourke. “The veterans administration has been asked about it a few times, the local VA hospital has and they haven’t had any real reason other than they didn’t have the picture, which is readily available.”

However, shortly after Mast left, the portraits were taken down, with a VA spokesperson telling CBS12 that the congressman’s actions were “inappropriate” and that the portraits have not been authenticated- with any displayed portraits needing to come from the VA central office.

Mast responded on Twitter earlier this morning, expressing his disappointment.

“After so many vets contacted me, disappointing to see resistance from VA over hanging portraits of Commander in Chief & VA Secretary,” he said.

Both Congressman Mast and the West Palm Beach VA were unavailable for comment.

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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