Controversial ‘VA is Lying’ Billboards Come To Chicago

47

VA is Lying

Benjamin KrauseCHICAGO – Starting Monday, citizens in Chicagoland driving down the Eisenhower Expressway will likely see two controversial billboards saying, ‘VA is Lying’ along their commute. Chicago now joins a growing list of cities where ‘VA is Lying’ billboards have been erected, including Phoenix, Minneapolis, Albuquerque, Tampa, and Indianapolis.

Since August, Ron Nesler, founder of VA is Lying, has created a national grassroots campaign to counter false claims against whistleblowers and veterans coming from the Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) executives with billboards. Those billboards express exactly what Nesler and other supports see as a growing crisis within VA, “VA is lying, Veterans are DYING!”

The most recent ‘VA is Lying’ billboards outside Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital (“Hines VA”) are financially supported by an ever growing collaboration including current VA employees, current union members, past VA employees, VA Truth Tellers and VA is Lying.

VA Truth Tellers is a group for VA whistleblowers comprised of current and former Federal employees of the agency. The group was founded in response to persistent agency retaliation against whistleblowers. Its primary goal is to ensure veterans get the quality health care and services they are promised by increasing transparency and oversight at facilities nationwide, including Hines VA.

According to Germaine Clarno, co-founder of the group, “We have joined forced with the VA is Lying Facebook group to increase local awareness of problems at the facility.” Clarno is a social worker, VA employee, and president of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 781 at Hines VA Hospital. She is supporting all the union members that have come to her with issues of being retaliated against. One of these past employees is cardiologist, Dr. Lisa Nee.

Last year, Hines VA was noted among a list of VA facilities in Illinois as having problems related to the VA wait list scandal. According to Clarno, the wait list problems persist, “Schedules are still being manipulated and the data that the agency puts out is still not reflective of the veteran’s experience.”

In June 2015, the VA Office of the Medical Inspector (“OMI”) confirmed allegations that veterans received substandard care at the facility and that Hines VA doctors falsified records to boost performance numbers.

On July 30, 2015, Dr. Nee provided testimony to the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs about shortcomings in health care quality at Hines VA and whistleblower harassment. In her testimony, Dr. Nee indicated many veterans received substandard care at Hines VA, and that Hines VA leadership retaliated against her for trying to improve care.

In August 2015, Illinois Senator Mark Kirk wrote an editorial that called for increased whistleblower protection. “Reports of patient abuse, manipulated wait times and whistleblower retaliation are rampant at Hines here in Illinois and at VA hospitals across the country. Our nation’s heroes deserve better than mistreatment and neglect at the hospitals and clinics whose mission is to provide them quality care.”

Nesler believes the billboard in Chicago is significant, “The Chicago sign shows Americans this issue is not just about disabled veterans. It is about the full sail failure of a Federal agency to conduct business in a safe and honest manner.” He says the ‘VA is Lying’ billboards are part of a nationwide grassroots campaign to raise public awareness about problems in the Department of Veterans Affairs including lying to the public and lawmakers.

Route inquiries to the local contact Germaine Clarno at [email protected] or at (630) 258-5489.

* * *

Kevin Michael Phelps

Love it….VA is Lying and Veterans are Dying…….way to go Ron and Ben and the VA is Lying group.

William

great all I want is a fair playing field in my disability/compensation appeal in LA

namnibor

Great!

Ben, I you should consider making montages of your ‘Bad VA Art’ into a yearly calendar format. Seriously fun!

FYI- Clinton, Hillary very recently just showed how out of touch she is about the VA and Veterans…she more or less blamed Republicans for blowing it out of proportion, basically disavowed any truth to VA Scandals by this.
Thinking this may be a purposeful projection to make VA Scandals fade to black. (points for Metallica reference…great YouTube Video/Military;-)

pat fero
pat fero
No, when interviewed last week by Rachel Maddow, the last question Rachel asked was about the mess at the VA. Rachel asked Hillary to explain it.. Hillary said she did not understand. Then she clarified the two biggest issues…wait times on disability and the quality of care. She went on to say she would take swat team in there to clean up the mess. Now, you might believe that is all talk, but as Sec of State, she did more… Read more »
crazyelf
crazyelf
On the “Diana Rubins Mocks Congress” blog. “Just another Jarhead in SJ” asks, “Why hasn’t anyone been prosecuted or gone to jail” (paraphrasing)? I’m asking that question again. Why? There’s been more than enough evidence to throw half, if not more, of these retrobates in prison! Hillary is completely disconnected from reality over her “comments” on MSNBC last Friday. These “Veterans Committees” in Washington seems to NOT be getting the job done. The job they were elected to do, by… Read more »
Just thoughts
Just thoughts
While I do not disagree with much of what you say I feel I must point out that Shimkus (?) the previous VA Director tried on several occasions to make congress aware that staffing and funding of many VA facilities was inadequate and that it would only get worse as a growing number of Veterans from two ill conceived wars who would soon me flooding these facilities. While I am ashamed of the care and treatment provided to the Veterans… Read more »
Just thoughts
Just thoughts

Not Shimkus….Shinseki.

William

could not agree more as Hilary is a joke. She don’t care about me and you

crazyelf
crazyelf
@Just thoughts. There’s been more than enough news articles, with evidence, concerning everything I’ve stated. So, again, “Why hasn’t any of the VA ingrates been jailed?” As far as Congress and the Senate goes, they were elected to do a job. So far, they have not only let veterans down. They’ve also let the American People & Taxpayer down on a number of MANY issues! Lastly, As far as “VA not being adequately staffed”, a news reporter here in Central… Read more »
crazyelf
crazyelf

@Just thoughts,
As far as “funding” for VA. Aren’t you aware of a scathing “report” about VA vs. Medicare? It was reported this year, Medicare primary care physicians see many more patients per day than VA’s physicians. AND they do it for way less money!! So for anyone to defend VA on that “premise”, well it ain’t gonna fly with me.

91Veteran
91Veteran
I don’t buy the lack of funding claim. How much money would be enough to prevent a VA doctor from acting like a medical professional and not cutting off a veterans pain medicine cold turkey without a sound medical basis? Or any other medication where withdrawals may be an issue? I take no pain or other medicine stronger than Tylenol, but what these doctors are doing is unprofessional at a minimum and unethical. How much money spent on furnishings or… Read more »
James
Also those who falsely the veterans records, I was shot in the head point blank, region office told me over and over my records were burned in the st Louis fire, when I was discharged after the fire! Hired an attorney, majic happened and my records all of a sudden showed up! Obtained 100 percent after they were found, turned down for migraine headaches and traumatic brain injury for a (Gun) shot point blank! Do not know what callaber! Just… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran
James, it is likely they want a new claim because the date you submit it would be your effective date. Much cheaper than them paying you disability back to 1973. VSOs used to be helpful in not only getting you a rating, but in making it retroactive depending on the condition. Wouldn’t they be shocked if you provided military paperwork showing you were treated in the military for that wound? You should contact Coffmans office, ask for a case file… Read more »
James
They have it, the c and p stated I was shot with a tear gas bullet ! How do you get shot with a tear gas bullet! All I know is, I seen a (gun) pistol pointed one foot from my head, heard it go off! The next thing I knew, was waking up in a German car, covered up with a blanket over my head (shrouded) and could hear someone speaking in a foreign language! Various thoughts, what’s happening,… Read more »
James

Who is Coffman and how do I contact him!

James
What I would like to know how many men work in management and how many women! What positions and military time they served! How many employees are men vs women period and how many of them joined the service! I’ll bet women hold more vital positions than men! How many women do veterans ratings and did any of them serve! Their maybe a gender gap and more females are being hired over qualified men! At one time women were fighting… Read more »
crazyelf
crazyelf

@James, you make a good point.
Have you noticed though, most of the newer articles concerning VA scandals, are about more women than men?

Also, I’ve read a few articles now about women will have to “sign up for a draft”! I put one, or more, titles to said articles on some of Ben’s Blogs. At the same time, I wondered if the military was up to something. Just wondering…..

James
Women should be made to serve, maybe then they will realize that all those veterans they say are faking their claims and are facing the real world, where mommy and daddy can’t get them out and they see for themselves! Veterans don’t have a desk job! They are the front lines defending this country and our veterans are faking! And when they see a person getting blown up or have hundreds of the enemy attack at the same time! Many… Read more »
baciasbits
@James… While I understand you are frustrated, turning this into a gender war is not beneficial to anyone. To answer some of your hypothetical questions, though, I WAS a rater at VA for a little over three years. I served four years honorably in the US Air Force from 1990-1994, you know Desert Storm era. I have a BS in Nuclear Medicine Technology and I previously worked in the legal field. I far exceeded the production standards VA puts on… Read more »
crazyelf
crazyelf
@namnibor, great idea for a calendar. Bet Ben could sell them for a reasonable price, too. That would also be a great way to raise money to defeat VA. Clinton is so far outta touch with reality, it’s pathetic. In my opinion, she’s just like most politicians, using veterans (not knowing thousands are dead) to get elected. Only, this time I’d bet this one’s going to backfire on her! My wife and I have already Tweeted it. My wife’s already… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran
I wish I had your confidence in anyone caring about what Hillary said. Far too many are more than willing to overlook dead vets because they support her blindly for other reasons. I don’t recall the year, 1994, 95, but a huge number of Gulf War vets thought she was going to do something for veterans back then. So many of us were trying to get proper care through the VA, and they kept claiming they couldn’t diagnose the problems.… Read more »
ronald
ronald

i will send more money every time i can lets stay with it VETS

James

How do we donate,this is to important to fail!

crazyelf
crazyelf

James, go to VAislying and there should be a link there to donate. If not email Ron or Ben and ask for an “address” you can send check or money order to. It’s simple.

James

Thanks

Seymour Klearly
Seymour Klearly

James,

I donate through the GoFundMe site created by Ron Nessler you can reach it at: “https://www.gofundme.com/vetvsVA”, or you can google the term “gofundme va is lying”. It should be the top listing for google.

James

Thanks

Shmoo_usn
Shmoo_usn

And how exactly is this “controversial”, especially when it’s completely TRUE!

Dennis Fitzgerald
I’ve been a member of VA is lying Facebook group for quite a while, Mr. Nesler has done a very good job of projecting this issue into the mainstream. There is always some good information for veterans on there on a regular basis, he is to me doing more than just talking the talk, he has acquired the knowledge to know what he is speaking of and has put himself out there with this issue. One may ask isn’t “VA… Read more »
James
This is the only way to let the people know there are big problems and the billboard will last more than five minutes of news yearly? I just hope they care enough to join and insist on our law makers to investigate and in force the laws we have now! The disruptive committee has to go! No oversight at all and they can hurt any veteran they choose to and you can’t do! ‘?:!: about it! This is a Que… Read more »
CorpsmanuP! (@Tang1967)

James, you have to file a tort claim regarding the standard of care and file a protective order in family court against the person who wrote those things about you in your record. A magistrate has jurisdiction in your home state against illegal seizure of your property (medical record). 4th amendment.

crazyelf
crazyelf
If y’all are not familiar with “the Blaze T.V.” Go to “The Morning Blaze.com” and look for a show from 18 Sept. 2015. “Doc & Skip” have been going around the country talking with veterans, whistleblowers, VA employees, management and so on. To get the lowdown as to what the hell is going on with VA…. Their doing it for an upcoming show for us on the 11th of November 2015! On the 18th they were here in Orange City,… Read more »
Eric Rolston

like it, love it, want MORE OF IT!!!!

crazyelf
crazyelf

If y’all can’t find it,
Google the following;

“#VAislying-TMB 9/18/15 by Doc Thompson-Sound Cloud”

Take off the quotation marks. It’s kind long. But I’ll bet y’all will enjoy it!

Stephen LeMaster
I absolutely agree with the message, but I have to ask the question: Are these billboards doing any good? I have to think that if the majority of Americans knew the truth about the VA, lawmakers would be rushing to toss VA execs under the bus. The problem I see is that these billboards are such a 20th Century medium. I would imagine that the only meaningful metric would be the growth on the FB group. How much has the… Read more »
namnibor
Agree, especially with the “Apathy Problem” and very short attention pans and weird-ass priorities of interests. I say that because it still burns my ass that a cocaine’d and prostitute ranched-out basketball star and his still married to a freaking Kardasian…totally blankets the news while blatant fraud is being exposed and even the Under Secretary resigning…but no…it would literally take a Kardashian to be in a war zone and shot in the ass trying to get plastic surgery from the… Read more »
namnibor

I meant…”attention SPANS”….I have peripheral neuropathy and fingers are mostly numb, so think I typed a key but did not. Did not want anyone to think I was drooling in the corner…LMAO

91Veteran
91Veteran
Yes…apathy fits. As long as people are not personally affected, as long as their paychecks come in, as long as Dancing with the Stars is not interrupted, not many give a damn about what might be happening to others. Congress is as bad. As long as they can fly under the radar, no heavy work has to be done. I commented here long ago when they quickly gave the VA billions more for the lack of Choice program that some… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran
James, I wrote a lengthy reply to your question about who Coffman is, but it appears to have not made it to the site. I will try again. I believe he is on the House VA Committee. He is an Army/Marine veteran. Coffman is Congressman Mike Coffman. If you Google him, you can find contact information for his Aurora office. I assume you live in his district. Call his office and ask them to help you get your military medical… Read more »
James
I will try anything and will continue to contact anyone who will listen to the whole story! And just pray they won’t thrown it in the trash! Or just send a letter to the VA and not require them to provide them and myself with the proof they used to punish me! They will (VA) will not do so, because there is nothing period that they can produce, because they have none, because it never happened in the first place!… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran
James, One thing to keep in mind that I learned long ago…do not confuse the issue with too many details. What is frustrating for many veterans is that their medical problems are sometimes complex, but dealing with the VA makes them incredibly complicated. I learned long ago that when talking to someone who is not a veteran getting care at the VA that if you get too detailed in what you are talking to them about,..their eyes glaze over quickly… Read more »
James
You may be right, but the truth does hurt and some people can’t handle the truth and it sounds like I said something wrong ! Maybe my tbi, is taking it’s toal! Wish I’d had therapy those many years ago and just maybe, the PTSD program in Topeka Kansas was very good with veterans who wanted to understand what is happening due to the service! They had very well planned the class’s and counseling sessions to help the veteran cope… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran

James, you don’t ever say anything wrong, it’s just many people tend to not listen well and they get bored with what they are hearing rather quickly, unless they had a similar experience. That’s why many vets can talk about VA care because most of us have been through horrible experiences.

Good luck on getting your records.

DL
DL
Be careful about the FOIA. If you have more than 100 pages, they can charge you for copies and send you a bill. If there are a lot of records to be copied, the VA has to give you a free copy of your medical records once every couple of years, so use that to get your records, not a FOIA per se, they might charge you because they are buttheads and why pay when you are able to get… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran
Years ago I submitted a FOIA to a federal agency that would require gathering documents from several installations around the country. I was called by their HQ FOIA officer and asked if I wanted to go forward with the request since the bill would be about $3000.00. It was clearly an effort to intimidate and not have to provide the information requested, I said I stated in my request that I asked for the fees to be waived because I… Read more »
Al Winston
Al Winston
Oh, there is a serious overlooking of facts here. There is a major reason why the VA is stretched thin, and this website and all its posts ignore it, quite conveniently. No doubt because it undermines the whole “VA is in the wrong” theory. I signed up with the VA as a doc within the past year. The #1 reason for backlogs: Abuse of health care resources in the VA by a small minority of veterans. By clogging up primary… Read more »
James
You state veterans not wanting to get better! You state the VA will take away their benefits IF they get better! Why is the VA so intent in taking away a veteran disability because he gets better! Are you kidding, veterans want to be whole and would like to get better! Quit trying to take away a veterans disability, you said it yourself, the VA treats veterans only to punish them for getting better! This is a lame excuse, ALL… Read more »
wpDiscuz