"For generations of veterans who have wondered what this VA is all about," Shinseki said in an interview this week, "I think there's a clear message that not only are we interested in taking care of veterans out of Iraq and Afghanistan.
"But we're also looking at our responsibilities over time to make sure that the boys who went to Vietnam, their problems, are being addressed," he said.
He also acknowledged that the growing backlog of disability claims is one of the toughest problems he faces two years into his appointment.
"Maybe the backlog is (not solvable). ... I'm going to find out," said Shinseki, who added that he is pushing for full automation of disability claims to speed up the process and reduce the hundreds of thousands of veteran requests languishing longer than five months.