U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert Wilkie will be visiting Guam and the CNMI for the first time this week, Adelup announced.
During his visit, Secretary Wilkie will meet with Acting Governor Joshua Tenorio, as well as members of the Guam Veterans Commission.
On Tuesday, Secretary Wilkie will tour veterans facilities and discuss VA initiatives with stakeholders. He will also honor Guam’s World War II heroes during a wreath-laying ceremony at the Asan Bay Overlook.
Acting Governor Joshua Tenorio said Secretary Wilkie’s visit to Guam gives Adelup an opportunity to work on longstanding issues affecting the veteran community and advance Guam’s agenda of improving the availability of veteran services.
Some of the concerns and issues local leaders plan to address with the VA Secretary are the availability and streamlining of services at the Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC), the long wait times for claims processing, expansion of VA services on Guam, and increased support to local veterans organizations.
GovGuam also wants to make use of federal lands to build veterans-related facilities, such as a veterans hospital, homeless shelter, and a substance abuse treatment center, among other topics.
Though they will not be meeting on Guam, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero and Secretary Wilkie were able to discuss the administration’s priorities for Guam’s veterans while together in Pohnpei.
Both Governor Leon Guerrero and Secretary Wilkie are attending the inauguration of Federated States of Micronesia President David Paneulo.
Secretary Wilkie will be joined by his Chief-of-Staff Pamela J. Powers and other officials from the VA.