Today, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dennis McDonough, Deputy Homeland Security Advisor Josh Geltzer, Senior Response Official at Operation Allies Welcome Bob Fenton, and White House Director of Veterans Engagement in the Office of Public Engagement Saki Ververis, hosted a virtual meeting with 75 veteran, military family, caregiver and survivor organizations.
The call was part of the Administration’s efforts to hear directly from veteran and military family groups about the work they are engaged in to support the community that has been active in or impacted by the withdrawal, including veterans, servicemembers and Afghan allies.
Secretary Blinken thanked the organizations represented on the call for their commitment to supporting veterans and military families, as well as the mission of helping our Afghan allies. The Secretary noted the importance of their voice as leaders and of their continued work in the days ahead, and committed to regular communication and coordination between State and these groups.
Secretary McDonough reiterated his commitment to ensuring the Department of Veterans Affairs continues to coordinate with and support the work of veterans organizations who have been at the forefront of advocating for veterans, their families and our Afghan allies. The Secretary highlighted the importance of these groups as part of the resettlement infrastructure and noted that their work will fill gaps created by underfunding of resettlement agencies in past years.
Administration officials reiterated the President’s commitment to both our allies and the brave men and women who have and currently serve our nation, and committed to continued engagement and partnership with these groups.