House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., is currently looking into what unfolded at several VA hospitals over the Christmas holiday.
Military Times reported that administrators at various VA hospitals prohibited veterans organizations, schools and private donors from delivering Christmas-specific cards to their patients. Carolers singing Christmas songs were also blocked, as well as people delivering gifts wrapped in Christmas-themed paper.
Miller, along with Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala., have addressed letters to Secretary of Veteran Affairs Eric Shinseki about the reported incidents, asking him to look into whether or not the VA violated its policy on distributing religious material and gifts, according to the news outlet.
"In taking it upon themselves to restrict Christmas cards, carols and gifts in certain locations, VA officials clearly ignored longstanding federal government traditions, basic common sense and possibly a 2011 federal consent decree that ordered VA not to ban religious speech," Miller wrote in a letter to Shinseki, as quoted by the news source.
The reports of people being barred from delivering Christmas cards and other items to VA medical centers have also angered the American Legion. According to Alabama.com, the organization stepped in after staff members at the Dallas VA Medical Center prohibited a group of school children from distributing religious-themed cards to veterans at the facility. The American Legion is now calling on the VA to provide answers.