SENATOR DOLE: Well, first I want to thank you, Mr. President. I remember when I was asked to be on this commission -- I think Josh Bolten and I had a discussion, and Secretary Gates and with yourself -- I said, at my age, I don't need any -- to be on a commission that's going to gather dust, like most commissions do. But I'm here today to attest to your commitment and to the tremendous work of the White House staff.
I've been around -- not the White House as long as I'd like -- (laughter) -- but I've been around Washington for quite a while. And I know when the staff is working. And I've been here for at least five or six meetings, and they weren't 15, 20 minutes; they were two hours, three-hour, four-hour meetings. So because of the dedication of the Veterans Administration and the Department of Defense, the President of the United States and the President's staff, we're where we are today.
And we're honored to have a number of our commissioners here today. It might -- well to point out that five of the nine commissioners had disabilities. So it wasn't a group of people who had never focused and never had to deal with problems. Four had disabilities, and one was the wife of a man who was burned over 70 percent of his body. So out of the nine, we had a good representative group.
And I can't think of a better person to work with, except she works too
hard, than Secretary Shalala. I mean, she's 24-7; I think that's where it
started. But we did the work. We know there are some veterans groups that
are a little skeptical about certain things. They're living now with a
600-page of band-aids and amendments and things that a
|SOURCE White House Press Office|
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