Montana VA Director Resigns Citing Health, Family and ‘Several Factors’
After less than two years as Director of Veterans Affairs Montana, John Ginnity announced today that he will be retiring.
"While there are several factors contributing to my resignation, my family and health are my main priorities at this time, and as such we have made this decision after several months of consideration," said Ginnity in a letter sent to VA employees. "I will continue to support Veterans as I have done faithfully for over 25 years of service through other opportunities."
Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke says he has spoken with Ginnity about the VA position and says there is more to this retirement than just health and family.
"He put his letter of resignation in, and I've spoken with him often. I think he is an honorable man. He got frustrated with the system, and he felt that he could not lead the charge of change as he wanted to, and he's a former vet."
According to Zinke, Ginniti expressed frustration over the difficulties of running the facility in Helena. For example, he had to go all of the way to the Secretary of the VA just to refurbish some of the older buildings on the campus to make them usable.
"It's for family reasons, but also, he resigned because our VA system is broke," Zinke said. "He recognized that too, and I think there is a lot of frustration. From a military commander's point of view, you've got to give more flexibility to the front line, but what we've done is just the opposite."
16 months on the job seems to be a new ceiling for Directors of Montana Veterans Affairs, prior Director Christine Gregory, resigned in May of 2014, after taking the position in February of 2013.