Fixing the Department of Veterans Affairs’ medical system will take a leader who sees the big picture, a skill nominee James Peake doesn’t possess, an ex-colleague tells NPR. “When I tell you honestly what I think of him, I could lose my job,” said the retired general, depicting ex-Army surgeon general as detail-obsessed and myopic.
When Peake ran the Army medical system in the early days of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, many soldiers had trouble getting the mental and physical help they needed. "That is clearly a failure," said a former Army lawyer. A presidential commission found a medical system unprepared for the flood of PTSD cases, and the retired general said Peake should be pressed on that at his confirmation hearings.