Merri Busch

Over 15,000 people on social media spoke out about how vocational counselor Merri Busch is a wanted woman. She is an activist supporting veterans rights. She openly advocates for greater transparency. We love her on the Facebook group Disabled Veterans – Chapter 31 Voc Rehab, and you should too.

RELATED: Free Speech Of Pro-Veteran VA Counselor Restricted On Facebook

Sadly, a mistake at the Department of Veterans Affairs resulted in her withdrawing from our group due to confusion about whether her speech on Facebook was legal. Luckily, we resolved that it is protected speech since she is a member as a private citizen and American with First Amendment free speech rights.

One, two, three cheers for the Constitution!

To give some history here. Merri Busch is an employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs on the benefits side in Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E). She has extensive training in providing vocational counseling and now helps America’s heroes get retrained and hired into meaningful careers despite military service-connected disabilities that interfere with normal employment.

Sadly, Veterans Affairs took Merri Busch from our group last week in an accidental move where they mistakenly presumed Merri was commenting on social media while on-duty. The erroneously offended party was none other than VR&E Service department in Central Office, and they demanded Merry withdraw from the group and not speak with any veterans ever on Facebook.

Once enraged readers elevated the matter on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, VR&E Service took a minute to evaluate and realized there was a mistake. Merri Busch was in fact an American regardless of who her employer was.

In light of the revelation, VR&E Service is working to reinstate Merri to the group and even provide a full time resource for disabled veterans in an official capacity.

Everyone wins, and the lesson here is that working together in a respectful manner despite disagreement and work to everyone’s advantage when enough people are watching on social media and in legal work groups.

More to come.

Check out our group on Facebook at Disabled Veterans – Chapter 31 Voc Rehab.

16 COMMENTS

  1. Seems to me that the VA is actually a tad *fearful* that Veterans may use social media to actually *help Veterans*.

    My theory on this is the ‘timing’ is not a coincidence, with the 2016 election machine starting to ramp-up. We have seen how social media has been used in other countries to organize revolutions/protests, and my theory is the VA views social media as an extreme threat to shedding even more light on VA sub-par care and Veteran’s communicating with each other and to advocates to learn how to circumnavigate their claim process.

    I am appalled that Secretary McDonald obviously appears to be hiding behind a large blinder that has large print that says, “See no evil”…because he actually has a position of leadership and power to use that and his voice to so much more than the very occasional ‘PR Talking Points’. All I am seeing and hearing are indeed talking points rather than ACTION.

    Please Secretary McDonald, step-up and speak-out and help our fellow Veterans by performing a mass enema on the VA!

  2. The VA violates the Constitution and we call it a victory when they reverse their unconstitutional directive and do the right thing? This is all part of the present day government mind set; trample on rights and freedoms all you want, and if you get caught, apologize by doing what was the right thing to do in the first place. That will make the masses (veterans) happy.

    Well, I am not happy. We celebrate VA reversal of decisions like this as if the VA just announced it fired all the bureaucrats who deny veterans benefits and good healthcare.

    As long as the sole mission of upper management (career bureaucrats) is the perpetuation of the bureaucracy, there will never be meaningful, beneficial change.

    I am thankful Busch will still be able to assist VR&E claimants. However, it should never have come to this.

    • @Dan F-

      Now that you have made me think about it, you are absolutely correct. We should be doing MUCH MORE than just celebrating the VA reversing their incredibly bad judgment in STOMPING ON THE CONSTITUTION AND VETERANS!!

      The VA needs to be held to the CRIMES they are committing, not remaining passively humbled that “they VA did the right thing…once there was out-cries”…if nobody had spoke-up in first place, the VA would have whittled yet another chunk of our Constitutional Rights away and kept going to see just how far they can run with it.

      We cannot be passive-aggressive-passive because somehow I feel the VA still wins in the end because they BROKE THE LAW…and yet again get away with it.

      Why was this not on Main Stream News Channels?

      • ANY breaching of our Constitutional Rights should ALWAYS be considered Main Stream Media Material! Not yet another talking point on a blog.

  3. I like your positive attitude about this Ben, but the excuse of it being accidental stinks. If they accidentally believed she was posting during official time, they would not have told her to never post again regardless of whether she did so while off duty. It also shows whoever originally told her not to do it reacted in a knee-jerk fashion rather than accidentally. They could have easily checked the time stamps on her posts and saw they were outside her duty hours.
    In the end it worked out for the best if someone will post there in an official capacity, which shows some higher management decided to make lemonade out of lemons rather than compounding the problem made by a lower managers decision. The only problem I see here now is that Merry will have to be careful when posting so as to not contradict whatever official is at the site in an official capacity. It would be unfortunate if she contradicted someone with better facts and it caused some “official” Butthurt.

  4. You are absolutely right everyone has freedom of speech under the U.S. Constitution. Don’t be afraid to criticize government agencies’ wrong doing because they are accountable to the people for unlawful conduct. Remember we live in a democracy a government of the people.

  5. I used to provide information to whoever asked for it and needed it when I was working for the Federal Government. Why not? I didn’t have anything to hide and we weren’t trying to cover anything up. It is sad that the people they hire just don’t have the right training and qualifications to do the job of determining our disabilities. I am getting so tired of submitting things over and over again and still get denied because they don’t even read it and just deny it. No wonder there is such a high suicide rate among Veterans…..

  6. Since, any disability benefits come out of insurance money and is the VA is an insurance entity,???? Then it is automatically assumed one is a fraud, This unto itself is THE the foundation to deny and or delay. Looking at anyone who are asking for their rightful benefits. are looked at as a criminal of sorts.. Therefore any training the VA employees receive is to automatically deny benefits to the fraudsters. This comes from the top. Save money at any cost.
    BUT to ignore a vets medical evidence or make one refile over & over again should be punishable. There are penalties for any federal employee who practices any obstruction to a vet to get his or her benefits just so the VA can save or make money. THAT’S THE WAY of any. insurance, though, whether public or private…Save money at any cost.
    The lowering of of a disability evaluation is done all of the time by military and ex-military doctors in the private civilian sector.. These doctors are trained & instructed by insurance companies from the onset to change , omit, alter, the real disability. Basically, the insurers are the ones running the whole show as to how much of a disability percentage you will get.. And if you are 80% or 50% or 100%, you’ll get the 10% threshold. THE LOWER your benefit rating the less likely you’ll get voc rehab. This is the way it works.
    Maybe vets need to start comparing their notes and or evaluation’s. At least you all have real attorneys to fight for you.
    These same evaluations doctors in the private sector are now corporations. just as are the defense attorneys for the insurance companies. Every one gets high money payouts except for the injured or ill who get little to nothing. & just SSA/Medicare at the lowered rates..
    It is all done the same way in the SSA./Medicare too.
    .

    .

  7. Not surprised at all by the treatment she received from the VA. Is there anyway one can phone or contact her for information?

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