President Bush Picks New Head of Veterans Affairs

WHITE HOUSE (AP) -- Retired Army Lieutenant General James Peake is President Bush's pick to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Bush made the announcement at the White House, saying Peake would work tirelessly to eliminate backlogs and ensure that veterans receive the benefits they need.

Peake says "there is a lot of work to be done" to improve the VA's disability system. He says it's time to make revisions to the process of coordinating medical treatment and disability benefits to millions of veterans.

The 63-year-old is a physician who spent 40 years in military medicine. He is decorated for his service in Vietnam and served as the U.S. Army surgeon general for four years.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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