DAV Virtual March on Washington to Protect Veterans’ Compensation and Benefits
found at the following event page ~ http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=226797254026308
I am virtually marching on Washington today to express my disappointment in the management of the Department of Veterans Affairs. This federal agency has not addressed the most dire issues, nor do they have a plan to address issues veterans face today. Leadership of the VA – needs to lead, and stop hiding behind technology to fix veterans issues. I know that the current administration is ONLY interested in helping veterans from current conflicts, and they are ONLY interested in helping their friends in the Tech sector. But nothing will replace the human interaction that veterans need, when they seek help at the VA.
1) Adjudication of Claims Claims have dramatically increased from 600,000 in 2008 to over 1 million. It’s probably twice that, but VA played a shell game, denied veterans simply to move them to a different status: instead of new claim, they are now appeal claims. Some veterans have been waiting over 6 – 10 years to get their claim finished. Forcing a veteran to a DRO, who denies and then on to Appeal. This system is kiilling veterans. Even in light of the new PTSD rules, veterans are still having to prove stressors and have buddy statements, which leads me to…
2) Mental Health In May 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that “unchecked incompetence” by the Department of Veterans Affairs had led to poor mental health care and slow processing of disability claims for veterans. All VA has done is create an APPLICATION for PTSD for iphones, which most veterans do NOT have. Their second line of defense is a useless hotline, medication. 18 a day are killing themselves, just to avoid interaction with Veterans Affairs. Your program is not working. Tool up with a better plan.
3) 25% of our homeless in this country are VETERANS The VA has thrown good money after bad to charities to rectify this, to the tune of 55 million last year, and only helping 6000 of the over 100,000+ homeless veterans. A useless homeless hotline that goes no where, that finally tells a veteran to lie at a commercial hospital and have a bed for a night. Vets are homeless right now in Texas and they are living day by day to try to survive the heat. There is no money here in Texas according to the VA’s charities, they gave it all away by last February.
4) Poor infection control standards MRSA, HIV and Hepatiitus are spreading rampantly in the VA. Dirty instruments incidents happen time and again, all over the country. Publishing guidelines does not make it so. Get on the stick and educated your workforce and fire those who do not comply.
5) VA CULTURE With 79% of the workforce never having worn a uniform, there is a tendency of those at the hospitals and VBA to mistreat our veterans and be very nasty and off-putting. The time has come to clean house. I mean from the top of the food chain to the bottom rungs. Re-education programs, basic military history courses. I have literally heard a psych DOC say that She hates the military, it’s traditions, it’s customs and laughs…- I OWN THE VETERAN. As if they were dogs. She was hell bent on ensuring they never got the help they needed. She still works in Fort Worth. The VBA undersecretary never served one day in combat or overseas. She had 15 years in DC. She, and her entire staff at the VBA will never understand the vernacular of a disabled veteran. She needs to go. We need a leadership that has combat experience. We cannot help the disabled veteran if we cannot understand them.
6) KOREA If the VHA will not give a simple coarse to their employees about where the military is, they will continue to embarrass themselves to veterans. To tell a Korea DMZ veteran that he is a “peacetime veteran” is wrong. A treaty was never ratified by South Korea. Those veterans who served post Korean war were in a similar theatre of operation as those in Afghanistan is today.These veterans are aging and need medical attention, and are being pushed away and denied based on their status as PEACETIME. If this is not combat, why do so many of the DMZ veterans have CIB’s and paid hazardous duty pay?? They faced daily hand to hand combat, infiltrators, and forced to lay in Agent Orange, which may of been sprayed in 1968, but has a 15 year shelf life. To deny their claims, as the VA has continued to do, and disrespect their honorable service is a travesty. General Shinseki served in Korea and should know this, and educate his workforce.
7) Jobs for Vets Stop trying to cure all veterans joblessness with education. Not every returning veteran from OEF/OIF is in thier 20’s and wants to go to college. Not every jobless veteran served in OEF or OIF. Many are not retrainable, and you need to address this, or they will fall into the homeless ranks.
Veterans and Veteran supporters, please feel free to share this note…
Lisa Holmes, Admin
Vets Helping Vets
You sure laid it out there. Unless one has experienced you cannot comprehend what a bureaucratic nightmare the VA is. I have seen some improvements but you are right they need to do better much better. Way to go I support your efforts 100 percent.
“Poor is the nation that has no heroes, but poorer still is the nation that having heroes, fails to remember and honor them.”
Marcus Tullius Cicero
Sean P Eagan
Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans