Newsmakers: WI Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary John Scocos
About 13% of Wisconsin veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are unemployed – far above state and national jobless rates, Veterans Affairs Department Secretary John Scocos said in WisconsinEye Newsmakers interview on Nov. 14. Scocos said those returning veterans include 28,000 women, who have special needs, and record numbers of National Guard members. He also said the state Veterans Fund is on track to go broke in 2013, which is why Scocos is recommending a moratorium on subsidized home loans to veterans. He also discussed why he won’t drop his lawsuit over his 2009 firing by the Veterans Affairs Board, saying that it was illegal after he had completed his second tour of duty in Iraq. After the law was changed to give governors — and not the board — authority to name the secretary of the Veterans Affairs agency, Scocos got his old job back.