IAVA Fundraising Fraud

Former employees of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) say the organization has engaged in fundraising fraud including doctoring the books.

Paul Reickhoff, IAVA CEO, is reportedly the “mastermind” behind the doctoring schemes.

IAVA is one of the largest veterans organizations serving veterans of the most recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and apparently providing similar services as the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP). The similarity does not end there, both organizations have come under fire for their money management of grant fundsreceived as part of the organizations fundraising efforts.

RELATED: Wounded Warrior Project Recovery Could Take Years After Scandal

Headlines about WWP and its lavish spending exposed malfeasance within the organization resulting in an erosion of fundraising and brand trust, last year.

Now, IAVA has possibly joined its ranks, if the allegations are proven.

Jonah Bennet at The Daily Caller wrote a damning piece yesterday about IAVA that may result in a massive shakeup within the organization. Numerous former employees who have had it with the organization came forward with the hope of reforming IAVA via public scrutiny when they approached Bennet with the story.

Here is what jumped out at me in the report.

IAVA apparently bundles all the grants, even the grants that should be set aside into separate accounting systems, into one account. This makes it hard to track.

This practice makes it hard to track the funds, and organization can inappropriately draw down on designated funds to compensate for low fundraising periods.

For grants with specified goals, IAVA reportedly exaggerated and doctored records to reflect grant outcomes that did not happen. Insiders said the fraudulent practice can easily be verified by tracking social media photos of events should the IRS investigate.

And they might because the practice as described opens the door to fraud.

IAVA Fundraising Fraud Described

Here is an excerpt from Bennet’s piece that I think really captures the problem here:

Still a third former employee with direct knowledge of the grant process said reports were exaggerated and doctored to reflect things that either didn’t happen at the scale reported or didn’t happen at all.

“There would be discussion about what needed to be included in a grant to make the funders happy, but that wouldn’t necessarily include facts,” this third former employee said.

“In an effort to be honest, I would say ‘Well, this isn’t real, this didn’t happen’–and I would just be rebuffed.”

Sometimes officers rebuffed the corrections. Other times, Paul himself would reportedly rewrite huge portions of the grant to include accomplishments that were simply fabrications, in order to please donors, the third former employee said.

Since IAVA takes an enormous amount of pictures of each of its events and posts them to social media, this employee added that it would be fairly easy to cross-reference events written up in grants with photos publicly available. If there aren’t any publicly available photos of an event listed in a grant, it likely never happened.

“There were some definite issues around grant compliance,” a fourth employee added. “If anyone ever looked at the books, the problems would be obvious.”

IAVA Rebuttal

CEO Paul Reickhoff denied the allegations later that day in a Stars and Stripes article:

“Some troublesome, anonymous accusations have been made against me and IAVA in the partisan internet news source, the Daily Caller,” Rieckhoff wrote. “It’s unfortunate that these nameless sources have gone to such lengths to attempt to discredit me and undermine IAVA’s critical mission.”

He said the group is committed to efficient and sound financial management and transparency.

“I’ve operated in the public eye for over 13 years and my work has been an open book,” Rieckhoff said. “I hope my long record of impact, dedication, success and support for my colleagues and our members will speak for itself.”

The allegations centered on Rieckhoff, calling him the “mastermind” behind doctored grant spending.

At the rate things are going, fundraising for veterans’ causes will see a hit. The biggest and smallest organizations seem to thumb their nose at fundraising laws ultimately harming veterans once caught.

[NOTE: I have been under the weather for the past few days after my mother’s mom passed away, in case my regular readers have been wondering. Thank you to those of you who reached out to see how I was doing.]

Source: http://dailycaller.com/2017/02/21/former-employees-say-ceo-of-large-veteran-org-pressured-them-to-falsify-grant-reports/

240 COMMENTS

  1. Ben, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if this were to turn out to be true. We veterans are used as stepping stones for all kind of corruption, after all what American would be against helping out veterans in need. This heartfelt obligation, the patriotic American has, sets the stage for alll kinds of crooks, con men, and scammers, to prey upon the good intentions of the everday American. It is shamefull. Heck, even religious organizations are corrupt. A better question would be. Is there any honor left in this world? and if so, where? Cause I sure can’t find it. Only the everday man and woman on the street, so to speak are the honorable people. SCOTTYYYYYYYYYYYY……….BEAAAAAM ME UPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!

  2. “[“I’ve operated in the public eye for over 13 years and my work has been an open book,” Rieckhoff said. “I hope my long record of impact, dedication, success and support for my colleagues and our members will speak for itself.”]”

    Anyone ever take notice how quickly these VSO Groups forget entirely to thank Veterans or even mention them, instead he only mentions “colleagues and our members”? I really want to believe by “members” he may be referring to Veterans but as a Veteran-centric Non-Profit, like many that have come before IAVA, they all seem to quickly lose their focus and that inconvenient word “Veteran” gets lost in the accounting books….or am I just being too hypercritical here?
    Is this yet another Burch type of money-pit, you know, the VA SES Employee with yet another scam of a VSO Group that had a pension for expensive luxury cars like Boss Hogg?

    It’s a sad time in America where as a Veteran you would like to support an organization that’s supposedly helping Veterans but time and time again that thing called corruption and fraud raises it’s head once critical mass is formed in a pile of cash…I rather directly support Benjamin or similar in advocacy for Veterans than does not have a huge overhead and majority goes to making the VA held accountable…never again to a VSO Group. I was stung by Wounded Warriors Project, as I had donated to them for a few years without fail. No more. Between the VA and AFGE throwing the dino VSO groups a bone or two and plenty of cash to make them happy piggies, I would rather take a bag of cheap cheeseburgers out to a Veteran Homeless Camp in my local woods so that way I know that 100% of my intentions are going in their near-empty stomachs, not fueling a garish life that requires tricky accounting.
    Good to see you’re back, Benjamin. The VA really let-out a lot of impacted crap in last few days, you will be plenty busy.

    • Nam, I think IAVA started believing their own headlines.

      They started out as a well intentioned group, but their intentions became clear when, like other hack VSOs, they started endorsing political candidates based on which direction they leaned rather than their history of support for veterans issues.

      Truly sad that veterans groups cannot just focus on their primary purpose.

  3. It is so disheartening to realize just how corrupt some Americans have become. Those who take advantage of the Veterans and those wishing to honestly support them, will answer for their devious actions. If not here on earth, they will come face to face with the man upstairs and be punished for their actions here on earth. I won’t see it, but I will know they will get their just due in the end.
    How shameful and disgraceful some of our citizens have become. They should not even be allowed to call themselves American.

  4. “Doctored Books”, well, that explains how VSO’s get away with fraud, waste and abuse to those who contribute.

    I’ll bet *IF* one would dig deep enough, most VSO’s would be guilty of this.
    Remember, a few years ago, DAV (Disabled American Veterans) changed their banks to out in Denver. No one knew about it, until “DAVREFORM.org” reported on it.
    I said this before,
    While Obama was usurping his authority, “secret late night executive orders”, others were figuring out how to scam the systemn
    Rep. Trey Gowdy, during his 2015 Congressional speech, said that Obama was making “…Congress an afterthought!”
    Congress is there to write laws. They also have the right of the Purse Strings!
    When Obama stood in front of Congress, he said he “…would do [it] with them or without them!” (Referencing the executive orders he planned)!
    There’s so much bullshit going on today. Seems everyone is out to destroy our Republic. “Greed” will destroy all the good America has done!

  5. All of it is completely true. And the worse part about it is, according to some current employees the CEO now holds daily meetings about this issue, reminds the employees of his 13 year tenure, tells them if they are not happy there they can leave, keeps the minority employee(s) for his dog and pony show to get money, creates an atmosphere of fear using the if you are not a good fit (leave) tactic & if you are not behind us you are against us, claims to be better than WWP, has directors there with limited or no experience, had his cousin as the head of HR until last month (that open door policy would have been a fearful joke for me); used several grants to pay salaries that had nothing to do with the grants, his “side kick” who they say is not happy with her life reportedly uses email tactics with capital letters and small words to shame and humiliate the employees. The abuse and misuse of funding goes years back according to my source. He uses the board to field his attacks and makes the employees think if they leave no one will hire them because he is the one who made them. He has a lawyer as the HR person though that is not what her degree is in. My source says they have no money and the problems are getting worse. I am going to see if this current employee is willing to talk on the record or anon.

    • @Mr. Peeples,
      That person who “claims” to be an attorney, is possibly committing a felony.
      If you have a friend in law enforcement, and can get that faker to say she’s an attorney, he might be able to arrest her.
      I know in many states, one claiming to be something (attorney, doctor, nurse, etc.) they’re not, and are practicing in that field, ARE COMMITTING a crime!
      Just a suggestion!

      Thanks for the revelation on this bogus VSO!

    • That is a disgraceful way to run an organization, and shows a complete lack of leadership skills when he thinks fear and intimidation need to be used against employees.

      Why not change their name by dropping the IA and they can be exactly like those other corrupt bastards.

      Corruption in any charity pisses me off. In a veterans charity even more so. They smear us all.

  6. To all,
    If you’re interested, tonight on “the Sean Hannity Show” the head of “Project Veritas” will be talking about the “hundreds of hours” of videos he took of a major MSM.

    Many believe it’s about CNN.
    It’s the one President Trump complains about.

    If you’re not familiar with “Project Veritas”, they were the “undercover group” who took down “Planned Parenthood” and other groups.

    I hope they would go after some of our elected officials! Especially, “Songbird McCain” and the “Three Stooges” – Warren, Pelosi and that other crazed left-wing idiot! Can’t remember her name right now.

      • Thanks, namnibor.
        My brain ain’t working this early.
        Oh, here’s an article out from:
        “Military.com/Daily News”
        Titled;

        “American Legion Wants To Grill Shulkin on VA Privatization”

        23 Feb. 2017 | by Hope Hodge Seck.

        Looks like they want that “gravy train” to continue.
        VSO’s should have there Congressional Charters stripped!

      • namnibor,
        The Legion and McCain want that $10 BILLION left from the “Choice Program” to be siphoned back into the VA!
        What a crock of shit they’re playing on veterans healthcare!

      • @Crazy elf and All: Anyone notice that Senator McCain went entirely rogue and just took a trip over to Syria/Afghanistan/Iraq to meddle with Pres. Trump’s and his General’s plans to fight and beat ISIS? WTF? It’s almost like the fat swamp beasts are worried that the wars are going to end so they have to go over and poke hot pokers at the angry animals.
        Perhaps McCain should be more concerned about the VAMC in his home State of Arizona and how they are treated AFTER exiting the meat grinder instead of shoveling more coal into the meat grinder engines? WTF? Retire Already!! (McCain did NOT tell Pres. Trump he was doing this, FYI)

      • McCain also is the one that is constantly wanting to whittle away at CHAMPVA and Veteran benefits. I know between McCain and Graham, they were primarily responsible for CHAMPVA Premiums and Copays to increase. I often wonder if their perspectives would dramatically differ IF they HAD to utilize the VA for their healthcare? As it is, the congress critters even made themselves exempt from Obamacare….I am hoping THIS time around, Pres. Trump’s team suggests ALL congress critters to start using their individual state’s VAMC’s ONLY for theirs and their family’s healthcare and a living breathing accountability litmus test of the system…and every congress critter is responsible for the fraud and waste and abuse that takes place in their state’s VAMC’s….a bunch of congress critters just shat their pants in lockstep! 🙂 🙂 (not even Benjamin Franklin could anticipate the Lockstep Shat Response (LSR).

      • Hey, namnibor,
        Did you see the video on where the Navy opened up McCain’s records?
        If not, google this;

        “Navy Releases McCain’s Records”

        It’s from:
        “End Times Prophecy News”
        Feb. 22, 2017 (8:08 min. long)

        After you’ve watched it, you’ll understand why so many Navy personnel HATE “SONGBIRD McCain”!
        It wasn’t just because of what that reprobate, asswipe, cockbite, sob did as a POW, there’s much more to the story!
        If it weren’t for his dad, and other high ranking asswipes, he’d still be in prison!

      • @Crazy elf– Yes, I did and I was enlightened by that plane crash and horrible fire…and had no idea McCain’s daddy was his “cleaner” of the event…people got hurt badly…McCain has never been far from that silver entitlement spoon then he married into a family with Platinum Spoons and Beer. It’s really no wonder why McCain ONLY brandishes his Military Svc. and War “hero” Status when he wants reelected but is totally clueless about the ground zero scandal with the VA in his own freaking state of AZ…I will ***never*** understand this. It simply does not compute in my head that someone could be so self-serving, arrogant, and oblivious AND A VETERAN. Sorry, McCain gets my blood boiling and not in a healthy way.

        We are still in-part in this terrible mess in Middle East because of McCain’s meddling with foreign affairs. Stupid meddling kids. Rut-Row! Time for a Scooby Snack! 🙂

      • @ Crazy elf, i had no idea that McCain was in charge of the uss forrestal. The worst naval accident in naval history. Your post had me looking. I cannot believe this scandal exists and seemed to be hidden from the public. He is a self serving ego maniac that does not take responsibility for any of his **** ups. He has the political influence to get himself out of any serious accountability. Makes me sick.

  7. 30 years ago I worked contractally for a non profit.

    I learned 30 years ago I would never donate money again to a non profit.

    I am not saying they are all the same but how can you tell?

  8. My views on IAVA are the exact same views on ANY organization that accepts charitable contributions for a defined and highly specific subset of Americans. Furthermore, to single out within America veterans a specific set of conflicts whilst simultaneously dismissing the idea that injustice done to one is injustice done to all is a HUGE red flag to me in America. IAVA fights injustice done to vets, but only those vets deemd worthy by its corporate charter.

    IAVA and the others who single out a subset of veterans not based on physical impairment will ALWAYS fail and historically has always failed America. Why! Because humans are competitors. Its how we go about getting food to eat and finding a mate. It is in our nature.

    Once a group leader perceives that he is the Chief of a tribe and that the tribe is not called “America” he or she (mostly he) immediately assumes the human role of competitor. IAVA competes for funds that meant to assist veterans in general. More impotantly once a man takes on role of “Chief” the veterans themselves compete with HIM for money (doesn’t all the gold belong to the King in the first place after all?) Think of the sporting events you have seen. Now ask yourself this; in ANY competitive sport have you ever seen a complete game played where at least one player willfully violating the rules?

    In basketball they call it a technical foul (elbow smash to the face). In boxing it is called hitting below the belt (aiming for a glorious nut shot). In ice hockey, willfull violations of the rules happen so often they built a box and make players go stand in it while they watch their teams struggle without them. Meanwhile the guys whose teeth litter the ice rink because of him plays on…In baseball a pitcher can be ejected from the game for throwing a bean ball (the bean being your head he aims at with a 90mph rock covered in leather).

    IAVA and all the other cozy, aren’t-we-extra-special organizations that ostensibly are there to help vets, are really only there to help CERTAIN vets at the expense of those they exclude irregardless of need. Now toss in the fact that us military types have had our competitive nature tatooed into our skulls (we are fighters), and you have what IAVA and the others always become. Fighters want to win and sports show us nearly all are willing to break the rules to do it.

    Why does IAVA, VFW, and all of the others become corrupted and dysfunctional? Because of human nature. Deception is the underlying and guiding principle in Tsun Tsu’s, The Art of War. Why would IAVA engage in deception? Duh. They are warriors and competitors and they want to win – and it is a tactic straight out of the book. It works until you get sent to the penalty box.

  9. I want to announce a brand new veteran organization; “Left Handed Vets Of Domestic Violence”. For a small $374 donation, you can become a “ring finger” member (renewed yearly and fullfilled by Amazon dot com). For a $427 donation your can become an “index ringer” member and as a bonus we will send you a set of left-handed Ginsu Knives. For a donation exceeding $1000 you become a full fledged charter “middle finger” member and recieve a commemorative thank you and a musical wazoo instrument. Up in the wazoo you will find a special gift…

    Our members are happy. The word “member” is no reference to the male reproductive organ commonly associated with the word, but rather refers to an actual person (at least on paper) who recognizes the unique needs of left handed impairment. Our members all stand up proud and are what makes the LHVODV the pillar of honesty we are erected upon. Donate today. (affiliated with AFL/CIO)

    • Larger question for this pending membership to the “Left Handed Vets Of Domestic Violence”; Let’s just suppose that this pending member has -2- middle fingers on his left hand, does that mean my dues are now $2000 or more a year or will this veteran have to additionally join the “Double Middle Fingered Left Handed Vets Of Domestic Violence”? Same address but they DO seem like different groups. What’s that fine print about needing to go to Walmart and procure a Green Dot Money Load Card and call the charity on a burner phone? (no refund for the burner phone, what’s up with that?)

      • Hey Ben. I heard trump’s VA Sec Shulkin held a town hall meeting with the entire VA. Lots of docs, comp people etc. A doc asked old Shithead Shulkin if he was going to review doing away with unemployablity because in his opinion “it just removes the incentive for these young Iraq veterans to work.” Shithead said IU and other benefits were on the agenda for consideration for “changes.” Some comp people argued it allowed the vets time to get their shit together after horrible experiences especially if it is not P&T with a 5 yr future exam. Shulkin still said it would be reviewed. My VA employee friend was generally horrified by the tone of the town hall. It did not speak to vet suicides , wait times or any of the other major veterans concerns.

      • I can only see that happening if some greedy bastards in Congress force it so they can spend that money elsewhere.

        And I can only see them forcing it by sneaking it into a big package of must sign legislation.

      • “[…A doc asked old Shithead Shulkin if he was going to review doing away with unemployablity because in his opinion “it just removes the incentive for these young Iraq veterans to work…]”

        THAT reads just like what some West Point bean-counter would say as I recall one such ring-knocker that would come on time to time in past, and he even stated that VA Disability Compensation was bad for Veterans…(paraphrased) and I kind of want to think his name was Dan Gade but do not quote me on that, foggy memory of that but anyway, I do not see them now start chopping away at Veteran Comp. in form of Individual Unemployability, because Pres. Trump and all soon to go through their own election hell congress critters would not dare screw Vets further when we are already not far from the organized pitchforks and flamethrowers, err, torches phase of activism as veterans, all that would do is make us Vets erupt and drain the swamp for them. Sounds just like something Insane McCain would try to do. Insane McCain, kind of has a ring to it. 🙂
        Congress critters have all the $$$ they need to be saved from what’s wasted within the VA/VHA/SES side of things, no need to fuck with BVA.

  10. Scandals, scandals, everywhere. Of course there are going to be less controls on monies, when an organization uses one large account for said monies, and then there are no designated controls on the monies that have been received, and then said organization uses shoddy allocation accountability measures when the monies are distributed. Therefore, turning the account into one big slush fund. A no brainer from my point of view.

    I’m not surprised at all when I hear about the mismanagement of money. Why? To begin with, there is a lot of monies involved in the area of helping Veterans, and less controls of managing this money. There needs to be more measures implemented to make sure that the monies are used appropriately, and according to what is directly beneficial in helping the lives of Veterans.

    Executive Officers of organizations that aren’t trustworthy, are having a field day in using monies for their greedy purposes that only benefit themselves. Does this type of behavior remind you of a certain Federal agency that has an accountability problem? Doesn’t matter if they are a non-profit or not. From my point of view, this is a no brainer.

    And, Veterans are getting tired of their military service being used, to benefit the lives of others who are officers of organizations or agencies, that collect monies on behalf of helping Veterans that are in need. Shameful, and absolutely no integrity.

  11. Hope you get to feeling better soon Ben, and I am sorry for your loss.

    As for the story, as one who ran a veterans non profit for several years, this is blatant fraud, and if it is this obvious, the IRS will likely be knocking soon on IAVAs door. But, they may not do anything until a donor complains, and a donor may not complain if they accept excuses from Reickhoff, and/or he agrees to return the grant.

    It depends on how blatant the evidence is. IAVAs problem is what WWP and Burchs slush fund look like.

    I think another problem is for any IAVA board members if they signed off on any reports back to the donor, whether they are aware of any fraud or not, I believe they are still liable.

    Long ago, IAVA wanted me to join. I got their emails for a long time, then they dropped off unless they were fundraising or were pushing some issue.

    I never joined because they always skirted the edge of partisan politics. Not as blatant as the VoteVets hacks, but they were politically left enough that I didn’t want to be involved with them.

  12. Two articles of interest from:
    “The Horn News”
    Dated: 23 Feb. 2017
    Titled:
    “[CPAC] Hannity to conservatives: Trump needs our help!”

    by: “The Horn Editorial Team”

    #2)
    Titled:

    “Illegal Immigrants are STEALING Social Security Payments!”

    by: “The Horn Editorial Team”
    Quote from article;
    “Still don’t think we need to build a wall?”
    This is the “WHY”, we on Social Security, aren’t seeing a raise!

  13. Hello Ben,

    Although we have never met in person I wanted to express my condolences on the loss of your mom. Having experienced same situation many years ago I know it stays with you for a long time and a mom is always a mom.

    I’m very sorry for your loss and want you to know that as a combat disabled Vietnam veteran I truly appreciate the work you’re doing

  14. Ben, great article! I’ve always wondered why there are so many different charities that claim to help vets but not once have I ever read anything that has actually helped, sick, homeless vets and their families. I think that most Americans have a very soft heart when we hear the word Vet, we think of the fighting, bloodshed, leaving their families to serve our country and feel obligated to give to these various charities! So much corruption, so sad!

    Ps., Ben I am sorry for your family’s loss.

  15. This article brings back a memory. It had to do with President Trump and the $6 million (approx.) he raised last year for veterans organizations.
    Remember how the news medias, especially the MSM’s, “dogged and harassed” him over WHEN he was going to give it out?
    His response still is in my head. He “…wanted to ‘vet’ them!” Remember that???? He had a perfect right to be pissed that day. When he spoke to the news medias!
    Some on here, not to mention names, were upset (using the term loosely) over why he wasn’t keeping his promise!
    What I now say is this;
    Well, we had Burch’s little scam going on! Now we have IAVA’s little scam going on! When will the next VSO be found scamming people and veterans out of money? What’s the next fucking scam we’re going to hear about?

    • And, as far as McCain is concerned, google this;

      “Navy Releases McCain’s Records”

      From:
      “End Times Prophecy News”
      22 Feb. 2017
      Find out for yourselves why John “SONGBIRD” McCain is so fucking hated. Especially within the Navy!
      Yesterday, I told y’all how Navy personnel hated his ass. Now, you’ll all understand. It wasn’t all due to what he did as a POW!

    • Good point about vetting groups.

      I doubt many in the media thought beyond wondering why the VFW, DAV or Legion would need to be vetted though.

      • @91Veteran,
        That’s because the asswipes in the “Far Left Wing Nut Liberal News Network Medias” don’t give a rats ass about veterans! Or how VSO’s are ripping off the American People!

      • It’s those damn hats, I’m telling you! Put any silly hat on a VSO and they somehow are immediately as trustworthy as the usher at the church passing the tithe collection plate with a five-finger discount.
        Hats with tassels seem to be the secret. Worked for monkeys and organ grinders too. 🙂

    • I predict the next scam to be when America learns that the label “Vienna Sausages” was invented soley because “Soylent Green” became simply unmarketable after Charlten Heston spilled the beans about it. Off topic maybe, but I wanted to be informative in responding to your question.

  16. First, let me offer my condolences to Ben and his family. Second, (My disclaimer) I shouldn’t be anywhere near a financial statement. Although I did reviewed the 990’s submitted for years 2010-2014 and I wouldn’t have donated to IAVA. My rule of thumb is, if a charity spends more than 30% of its annual take on operating costs then it’s a no go for me. In year 2014, Rieckhoff’s salary increased to over $100k while total revenue increase by approximately $1.3 million.. IAVA claims 80% or more goes to their programs. How can that be if in 2013 total revenue was $6.2 million and just salaries and employee benefits alone cost $3.8 million. In 2014 revenue was $7.5 million and salaries and benefits totaled $4.5 million. (Rounded#’s) Maybe someone who has an interest and is experienced in finance can take a look and better explain it. I would think IRS 990 for 2015 would be filed by now but I can’t seem to locate it on Charity Watch or the IRS site. I think “Whistle-blowing” should be recognized as a profession and every charity and governmental organization should have a few because without them we wouldn’t have know about IAVA internal misdeeds or the unbelievable VA practices. As always, I enjoy your newsletter.

    • jay,

      It is impossible for a large scale organization to pass along much more than about five percent of total revenues to the destination groups. I remember years ago the fraud in Salvation Army. Remember the luxury yacht(s) available for “free” use of their officers? At that time they successfully argued that 5% to the destination was a generous effort in light of the “honest” expenses needed to maintain a high quality executive staff (sound familiar VA?).

      Truth is that they are correct. It is enormously expensive to maintain a large scale operation. Years ago as a control systems engineer I was sent to a factory called Blount Inc. in Portland to help them incorporate robotic sharpening equipment into their production line. They market under the brand name “Oregon Chainsaw”. The company sharpens about a million chainsaw cutters a day, and they are huge. I learned a surprising fact; within any large scale organization like that, if a single worker was not able to be put to work in a fashion that earned the company a gross revenue of at least $100,000 per year then the company would lose money. They invested nothing in any new position that could not be shown on paper to be capable of this.

      This is actually also a low end figure for most jobs but I am talking their bare bones minimum for even deciding to try a new position. I also learned a bit about why and it makes sense when you figure all the expenses involved with keeping another human gainfully employed inside of an air conditioned factory. Heck, even just sending an invoice for payment after computing all the folks that deal with just the invoice, was figured to cost large companies over $17 per invoice at that time.

      Factor into that the fact that product loyalty, unlike Oregon Chainsaw, in a charity is 100% based on your marketing effort vs. any actual product you produce and the cost skyrockets. Marketing is a 100% perishable item and is hugely expensive.

      Charities simply cannot afford to pass along much more than five percent while employing a full time organization that produces no actual product for resale. They actually “earn” nothing through their labor and the only thing they honestly can ever bring to the table is marketing expenses. They add no value to any product. When you donate to any charity you are donating to clear blue sky and nothing more. At least with chainsaw you can cut down the godamn trees blocking your view of the city skyline… (Oregon logger attitude)

  17. ben outstanding article carpal motor nerves really bad today dennis makes great points concerning charities as do 91veteran anuttervet and others i sent iava my potus letter over a year ago they did not deem it worthy enough to even read it occurs to me that were i head of a vso i would want my organization to help all veterans i as the head of the org would only take salary and bennies equal to that of an e9 in the military and i would use the military pay scales as a guideline for paying the employees i would only hire vets to work for me and wuld never endorse any political candidate having served our nation in the way we did as veterans is supposed to be above politics and the only way it ever will is if enough people like ben and others on this board start to really begin holding these dishonest assholes to a higher standard the general attitude i see is that most decent folk are semi grateful for our service and really do want us taken care of in a proper manner yet do not really know the details of what goes on behind the scenes that is why i share posts etc on facebook and other media i want people to know just how corrupt the whole damn stinking system is i did find a way to contribute a very small amount to bens war chest and was glad to do so because there is zero question of bens integrity i wish we had ten thousand more like him fighting for us i will be getting new voice recognition software within next sixty days so expect me to become a regular bucket mouth then thank you all for your support and to those of you who have been corresponding with me privately and telephoning i really appreciate it stay strong keep fighting the good fight worn out for the day we will see you all later

    • @disgruntled veteran– Glad to see you here again. Take the time to properly ‘train’ that new voice recognition software and report back on how it works out for you please? I am embarking on writing a manuscript and am considering a voice recognition software eventually, but am still on the outline stage at this point. It’s a cathartic process in and of itself. Too private to do some word press blog and also I do not trust the rat bastards at the VA…kind of a given. (BTW, a while back I only looked into Dragon Naturally Speaking software…a few years ago)

      Again, good to see you here!!

      • always here nam i read every article and comment thanks for your response i had dragon but quit working when forced windoze 10 upgrade that was how i would draft my posts then copy paste into ben web form yes it does require training but much easier and more efficient for me back commenting on daily basis asap

      • I have purposefully remained in Windoze 7, mainly because most of the audio editors and programs I have are not fully supported or not at all on Win10, and I also do not like the user interface of Win10. Not afraid of change, just if I wanted a laptop that looked like a phone, I’d use a big phone. Also, it’s important for me that the voice recognition software will allow me to use MS Word. it’s what I like and am used to. Neuropathy and capacitive touch screens are not a great marriage…they tend to freak out with my electric fingers…I could easily work in a circus freak show. LOL.

      • I honestly remember mastering the slide rule in eight grade to do all the basic math operations lolz. Not ONCE did my slide rule ever lock up or stop working! And they all said technology would set us free? Bah!

      • @Disgruntled Veteran- Hey Brother, good to hear from you. I can remember the frustrations that I experienced, and still do, when we first so called “upgraded” to Win 10. We were running Win 7 then went to 8.0, and then to Win 10. What a mess. And, like Nam, I sometimes wish we stayed with Win 7.

        From my experience in learning the interface of Win 10, this will take a little time. But, with your background, this should be no big problem for you. Just grab onto your patience. MS has many in the same situation. I have often shared with my wife, that I still don’t see why MS made the Win 10 version. May be its me, but I doubt it, I’m still not totally sold on this “upgrade.”

        Good luck with your voice recognition software. I’ve seen many individuals with Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, and it can be very debilitating at times. Online, there are many reverse movement exercises that may be of some help. Get well. Later, Nutter

  18. 02/23/2017

    Re: IAVA Corruption

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    Why am I not surprised at this event?

    Why am I not surprised at the bailout/buyout of the University [80%]?

    Why am I not surprised at the silence in this city?

    Why am I not surprised at the “citizens” saying Trump is not their President?

    How long are your readers going to wait until their country is gone?

    Sincerely,

    Don Karg

    • Answer to

      Question 1) because you see the world as doomed.
      Question 2) because you were educated in public school.
      Question 3) because your hearing aid batteries are dead.
      Question 4) because you speak spanish.
      Question 5) after you are gone.

      Keep the questions rolling in!

  19. Aren’t these the same guys that refused any money from Trump when he did that benefit during the campaign instead of participating in that one debate? Maybe, just maybe, they were worried about a large donation and how it would be tracked? Just sayin.

  20. It looks like the Federal Government is going to do something about people receiving “medical Marijuana” – and it doesn’t look good!
    I’ll post something on as soon as I can!

    • @Crazy elf – I was just waiting for someone, like you, to post information about Medical Marijuana. I’m a strong proponent offering this as an alternative, compared to lining the pockets of big Pharma only. The other area for treating pain, PTSD, anxiety, etc., is occurring as I write this post. This has to do with the many Veterans stuck in the upside down pyramid of prescribing pharmaceuticals. As you’re aware, the VA has been implanting a drastic change, they will be prescribing anti-depressants for their new treatment modalities, and other medications that doesn’t have an addiction component to it.

      It doesn’t matter if you’ve had a certain medication in the past, and it was effective, plus you didn’t have any side effects from taking the medication. If the DEA states that the medication can be or is addictive, you can bet that the VA is going to review your prescribed formulary list.

      Be prepared for your medications to be reviewed. And, if you’re seeing a physician in the private sector as well as the VA, the VA will more than likely review your treatment records from the physician(s). Plus, give you a drug test. Now that we Veterans are aware of the drug problems within the VA, we should ask that all medical staff be drug tested as well. After all, its for our safety too.

      • Ohio’s new law that will not be up and running until end of 2018, is the most restrictive in USA. Just read the PDF notes and each caregiver/Dr. in Ohio is ONLY ALLOWED to have -2- Medical MJ patients registered at ANY SINGLE TIME, and that can only be appealed if and when a patient is in hospice AND they have to have confirmation they only have 6 MONTHS to live…and only 2 caregivers/dr’s can be associated with any 1 patient at any time and only 1 of those caregivers can prescribe…HELL WITH this…definitely moving to a greener state in a few years. I knew Ohio’s was going to restrictive and even one of my Specialists scoffed and told me they ONLY made it a law in Ohio to prevent full legalization…she was certainly correct. Well, it’s either Maine, Colorado or Pacific Northwest for me…very much a colder weather person here. Counting beans until then.

      • @Namnibor – There are so many restrictions in Ohio that you can’t even understand it. They will waste money trying to make sure that all prescribers abide by the State’s policies. I’d say, it might as well be a good idea to make the move. Watch your beans. If they can, they’ll take those as well.

      • Further reading of PDF of notes of Feb. meetings, there’s stipulation and requirement of a Veteran to show their DD214 as also extra enticement, the lucky Veteran (remember only 2 MMJ patients per living breathing Dr.), as a Veteran you can “apply” to have the yearly MMJ Card Fee waived, and you are allowing the Veteran Affairs to review all prescribing…yep, it’s in the nitty gritty…nowhere that the VA would actually prescribe, just a way of tracking we Veterans as you know, non-human test subjects and more than likely so when the Veteran dies all the lazy VA morgue hacks have to do is see the checkmark that the Vet was a LUCKY MMJ patient, then fleece the dead vet’s pockets for his stash. 🙂

        Yeah, definitely doing stage 2 of my downsizing of my life this year and hope to make the move in two years, providing of course, I am still alive and kicking. I probably will be, hell, who would feed my dog-sized cat? 🙂

    • Correction;
      It wasn’t about “medical marijuana” Sean Spicer, White House Spokesperson, was asked about. It was “Recreational Users” of pot!
      From;
      “End Times Prophecy News”
      Brother Jim reporting.
      Titled:

      “Uh oh! Marijuana users could be in trouble!”

      23 Feb. 2017 (10:58 min. long)

      I agree. “Medical Marijuana” should be an alternative for chronic pain! Also, for those with “terminal illnesses”!
      Can anyone see the “benefits” of “recreational marijuana use”?

      Lastly, I didn’t mean to start a ‘firestorm” over this!

      • @Crazy elf – No firestorm. Like you stated, there is a big difference between recreational use and for medical purposes. I don’t totally agree with the recreational use policies. Sorry for helping to rock the boat. LOL Cough, cough.

      • @ANutterVet,
        I also agree with you on use of medical marijuana for a host of other medical problems civilians AND veterans face every day!
        I believe there is evidence that medical marijuana DOES in fact help those inflicted with PTSD!

        Of course, the VA will not allow veterans that choice. Because, the federal law prohibits any form of marijuana to be used!
        This will be the biggest hurdle for this administration!

      • The benefits of ending prohibition of marijuanna are well documented.
        Prohibition of pot in America was never a reality until the thirties and it has been a ghastly expense to America trying to enforce the restriction of a weed that grows easily in any pot under the sun.

        I worked at an airport as a young pilot that fuelled the helicopter the government had contracted to “sniff” out marijuanna patches from the sky using thermal heat signatures. The government (i.e. US Taxpayers) paid $3000 for every hour the rotor blades were spinning. That is just one single airport in Oregon. Tally up the cost of incarceration, a vast network of inter-agency police, and the enormous burden on the criminal justice system and prisons overloaded with violent criminals and you will have your answer in part why prohibition hurts everyone.

        Now tally up the deaths from drunk driving for people who seek anxiety relief but must seek alcohol because of prohibition of marijuanna. Tally up the liver transplants and medical damage from alcohol that otherwise would not be used if another drug was available. We know with certainty that people seek relief from stress. My parents ran a bar in a desolate and lonely place in the High Desert. People with almost no money made sure they had enough for the beer Dad poured. I remember the bus ride to school 22 miles away and the cars and pickups off the side of the road from the patrons that didn’t make it home. Marijuanna simply does not boast the cruel and deadly consequences of alcohol.

        Finally, marijuanna prohibition was sold to America on the notion that the drug itself triggered mental illness. As final proof that marijuanna prohibition was a horrible idea to begin with I suggest you go to Netflix and search for “Reefer Madness” and watch it. If you can sit through the whole thing without feeling silly and stupid about it then maybe I will try to watch it again but brother to date I can’t.

        May, GET ME ANOTHER REEFER! NOW!

  21. Benbo, Be careful. This is just exactly like my foray into the Wounded Wallet Program’s “Benefits Sharing Program among the hierarchy”. Be sure you use words like “reputed, alleged, rumored and purported” in touching on facts cited. They walloped both Dean Graham up in Indiana as well as me. I heard tell they dinked some others over name similarity. If IAVA is descending into the maelstrom of public rebuke, ol’ Lt. Paul might go NASDAQ and start tossing lawsuit grenades as diversions. Diarrhea of the mouth and sarcastic humor bit me.

    • Grenades are indiscriminate. Tossing one might just bite the tosser. I am sure that a lawyer like Ben appreciates the grammar citations, but I have to wonder who would be stupid enough to try to lob a random grenade at Ben’s foxhole? Let us take inventory – Ben has directly aided over 25,000 veterans, has a national internet audience that likes and supports him, has direct and personal contact with high ranking government officials, and he himself is a lawyer and a warrior.

      Tell me exactly who is going to bare fangs at Ben without intending to back the bark up with some very serious bite and funding to back em up? Very serious funding. Who wants to hang their ass over the line because of ego like that! Just a hunch, but Ben would not be the target of choice to try to intimidate over the excersize of the First Ammendment.

      • Egos and Asses get confused all the time but their locality on the body remains consistent in such egomaniacs that are smooth operators in raising that cash…imagine Benjamin would win blindfolded & hog-tied. 🙂

  22. glad you are back Ben, sorry about wife’s Mom. Again, Veterans and those who support Veterans, are being scammed again. What happened with the Wounded warrior scheme? I’m embarrassed by it. I take this personal.

  23. Am hoping things will go better with you and family, Mr Ben Krause.
    I enjoy your posts, articles and all the articulate matters and responses that fuels the follow up conversations.
    I attempted several volunteer positions, one with veterans, and realized that so much time and energy went into serving that I had no time nor energy left to take care of my home and those at home.
    For me, serving just one vet on a daily basis was/is my job. One of these days I’m going to need someone taking care of me– and I hope there will be that one person who is ready, able and willing to do the job. Maybe we can all try to reach out to those we can, when we can.
    You/y’all are so prolific that it is difficult sometimes to keep up with all the posts.
    Thanks 🙂

  24. Has anyone noticed the updated OIG site as of February 9th, 2017?

    I am liking the new VAOIG reward program.

    “Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General – Release 20170209-01”
    “OIG Rewards Program”
    “Conscientious citizens, Veterans, VA employees and contractors:

    “The OIG Rewards Program includes OIG Investigations Rewards and OIG Hotline Rewards. OIG Investigations Rewards of up to $10,000 may be provided for disclosing criminal or unlawful activity to the VA OIG. Information concerning these activities involving VA programs and personnel that leads to a felony charge or a substantial civil monetary recovery may result in a reward. In exceptional cases, a reward greater than $10,000 may be authorized. In addition, OIG Hotline Rewards are provided for Hotline complaints that result in significant improvements to, or savings in, VA operations and programs.”

    “Read all the details of the Rewards Program.”
    “https://www.va.gov/oig/rewards-details.asp”

    Source: “https://www.va.gov/oig/rewards.asp”

    • Given the Grant money used in the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) fraud come from the Veterans Administration. It seems like Paul Reickhoff, IAVA CEO pissed off the wrong people and now has his fraud exposed.

      Let’s see if the OIG is worth anything and follows up on his VA Program Fraud. Or are they going to break out the blinder glasses and buckets of whitewash as normal.

      • @ Seymore Klearly, i dealt with some vaoig agents and they were not worth a damn. The pick and choose if they want to prosecute or not prosecute. In my experience It didn’t matter loss of life, loss of medical center equipment in the millions, loss of funding. It is a 9 to 5 bad joke with benefits. They are as disgusting as the criminals that commit the crimes because they allow these crimes to go on and on. They physically make me sick. Protect the directors, service line chiefs and doctors who collaborate and protect the crime riddled system of scheduling schemes, denial of access and abuses to a Veterans life. Their jobs are worth more than a Veterans life. Sorry Seymore hate to be so damn negative. I know this stuff i reported still presently occurs with basically the same people.

    • Seymore, I commented on suggesting the IG doing exactly this some time ago.

      I may have also commented on how other agencies implemented this some time ago, but it seemed from the news articles I read about this, the agencies involved typically worked with some high dollar defense contracts.
      Civilians were collecting many thousands of dollars in rewards by reporting fraud.

      I see no reason why this should not have been implemented in the VA long ago.

      Imagine how much corruption could be rooted out if every single employee or veteran could get a few thousand for reporting it.

      If I recall the news articles I read some years ago, this is a program where those reporting the fraud, waste or abuse can receive a percentage of whatever is saved. If it’s only limited to $10k, then the program has been changed. The articles I read about involved a few million in fraud, and whoever reported it gained well over $10000 after reporting it.

      • 91Veteran,

        I recall you mentioning it some time ago.

        Also I believe that it may have been used by the Army Corp of Engineers at the money pit in Aurora. It was when contractors turned in info on the VA ordering $10 million on Brazilian stone to be used in the pit. The stone was then purchased from a contractor in Colorado for a price of $2 Million. The contractor who turned it in got 30 percent of the money saved.

        “http://denver.cbslocal.com/2016/06/29/lavish-features-cut-from-over-budget-aurora-va-hospital/”

        “Lavish Features Cut From Over-Budget Aurora VA hospital”
        June 29, 2016

    • @Seymore, 91Veteran, et al–

      I am pretty sure I read over at hadit dot com or similar in which the fear is the VA will decide to follow their own rules as they go along, if and when, specifically, a Veteran that currently collects VA Svc. Connected Disability and were to win a “reward $$” for being a Whistleblower successfully exposing fraud & waste, that the VA would more than likely go as far as no longer paying that Veteran’s Disability Comp., dollar for dollar of said award until “repaid”…so I recall specifically someone had jested that the VA would go that far but do not have any facts that support that as far as BVA rules & Title 38.
      Because since this IS the VA after all, it might be worth checking-out where such a Veteran stands, as I would put nothing past these rat bastards. However, that still should not dissuade VA employees and Veterans alike to report these rat bastards…then sort out the award $$ later in court, if necessary. Oh, but if you want to move your lesbian lover to your new location and create elaborate moving and job trading schemes, you cam make a TON of money…ask Diane Rubens.
      Not following orders going back to and beyond 2009 for the VA to pay freaking service connected emergency medical care at a private hospital….so, the VA goes and pencil-whips what they now consider “service connection” in order to try to weasel out of paying, while Veterans have collection agencies with a vengeance harassing calls, to even home foreclosures, credit and families disrupted, ruined…all because the f^cking VA would rather spend $10 Million additionally for Brazilian Stone and all the other things the circus of fools do? WTF?
      No, I do not trust these bastards. Not one bit.

      • @Namnibor – In the VA Rewards Program “https://www.va.gov/oig/rewards-details.asp,” the VA OIG if requested by the source, is to NOT release identifiable information about the source. Also, the monies received by the source, will be counted as income. Although, any award is totally at the discretion of the VA OIG. Like you, I don’t trust them neither. Below are sections E and F for your review.

        E. Reward Presentation

        The source will be contacted to determine if he/she wishes to have a public or private reward presentation. The source’s request for a private presentation takes precedence over the public relations value of a public ceremony. The source is to be informed that such compensation must be reported as income when filing Federal income tax forms or other appropriate tax forms. The identity of any person who receives a reward under this program shall remain confidential at that person’s request. Although the names of reward recipients will not be released without their consent, the Inspector General will as appropriate disseminate information within VA and to the public regarding the number and amount of rewards, recoveries, and a synopsis of actions taken because of the disclosures.

        F. Anonymous Sources

        A person can provide information anonymously through VA OIG Hotline and still be eligible for the OIG reward program if the complaint resulted in a felony charge or substantial monetary recovery. The person would need to contact the VA OIG Hotline and provide sufficient information (e.g. method of submission, date of submission, details of the submission) regarding the complaint to identify them as the originating source. However, prior to actually receiving a reward, the individual would have to identify himself or herself in order for the Inspector General to complete the evaluation of the reward prerequisites. Identification would also be necessary for reward payment and tax records.

      • Do you guys have any idea how new that VA rewards page is?

        I ask because it seems like such a drastic change under that worthless Griffin, and equally worthless McDonald.

        It makes me think the IG will be getting serious about their job again.

        It also makes me doubt that IG complaints from employees will be returned to their supervisors to handle.

      • @Namnibor – Thanks for bringing this up. I was going to ask the same thing because the page was not dated. Question slipped my mind, too many things happening.

      • Nam, I truly believe the VA would not be able to go after a vets disability if the vet was awarded a percentage of savings from reporting fraud.

        I can’t put my finger on it, but I thought this program was actually a change in IG law passed by congress.

        Would that stop the VA from making your life difficult in other ways? Probably not.

      • @91Veteran– Reason also I asked, as ANuttervet posted above in sections E & F, any award money must be counted as “income”…devil in details there is if you are a 100% Svc. Connected Compensated Disabled Veteran, which is tax exempt, like Social Security is as well, UNTIL you suddenly have a windfall of taxable income…that’s where someone needs to look closely is all I was suggesting because just as a Vet suddenly inherits some stock and land from a deceased parent or other and that Vet happens to be receiving Disability Comp., that sudden “taxable income” sets in-motion dollar for dollar displacement for instance, SSDI, and would imagine VA Comp. would be another hairy mess…and as Disabled Veterans, I think this blog of Ben’s is ideal place to bring this into question since we are not quite sure what kind of f^ckery the VA would unleash.
        Instead, what I foresee is AFGE greedy rats setting people up in order to eventually go whistleblower then split the award with all involved, repeat another location, total abuse of what VA Whistleblower Policy was intended for…the VA should never eventually be allowed to have an outer space VHA Space Hospital because the VA would find a way to corrupt space and be found to be withholding oxygen from astronauts and then selling that same oxygen back to them for a premium…on a lighter note, heavy storms heading through my area tonight and I am up to enjoy them. Yes, I love storms.

      • @Namnibor- I never thought about how VA greedy dogs would set up a scam like you described. If we knew the loopholes in the system, we would have a better understanding of the possibilities of their scams. And, like you, the rewards system has me a little suspicious, due to the VA OIG having so much authority and power. Who keeps this individual the VO OIG in check?

        Unless I know that I’m directly effected by a scam, I’m very concerned even about filing if I ran across such. Why? You never know who is going to be effected up and down the line with your whistleblowing, and who does the VA OIG know?

        And, you know what, its a shame that I even feel this way. Why? Its the trust factor again. The VA has completely lost me in the area of trust.

      • @ANutterVet– I’ve been known to be excessively paranoid at times in life but I call it intuition because it has mostly served me well in life. 🙂

      • @Namnibor- Nam, thanks Brother for the confirmation. I too have felt the same way many times. That intuition, that gut feeling, something just didn’t click or sound kosher, has saved me from many unpleasant things that I may have been forced to go through unless I backed out, got away, shoved them away, or stood my ground and said, “come on MF’er I’m right here.” Your posts have given me much laughter, during our off the wall comments on life science topics. Its good to know that there is another Veteran on this planet, who is also a non-threatening sick-o, that is willing to stretch the imagination in order to cause some stress relieving chuckles. Brother, I’ve got your six. And, I know that you and many others have mine as well. I honor and respect that so very much. Thanks Nam.

      • @Namnibor- The wife and I were just discussing our conversation of the VA OIG. I didn’t think about this, but pertaining to the Rewards Program, “Why doesn’t a whistleblower automatically become confidential and private, unless the source states that their identity can be revealed?” The wife and I agreed that this would be more comforting and trustworthy for the Veteran to be right of the bat: protected. What do you think?

      • Hey 91Veteran,

        You asked: “Do you guys have any idea how new that VA rewards page is?”.

        Not sure of how new the page is but noted that the footer on the page states; Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General – Release 20170209-01.

        Also I do recall seeing that the page did display the statement of last updated 02/09/2017 yesterday. But that seems to be missing today.

        Also I note that when the number 20170209-01 is Googled. It leads to another listing of the Immediate Office of the Inspector General Organizational Chart.

        Something else that is interesting about the Organizational Chart is that there is a position titled “Chief of Staff for Healthcare Oversight Integrations”. I do not ever remember hearing that title before. So I Googled it and found that it is not a new position.

        The Current VAOIG Chief of Staff for Healthcare Oversight Integrations is Andrea Buck. She holds an expired Medical license from the state of Tenn. She has also been in a leadership position at the VA for since about 2001. Kind of like helping to drive a car as it crashes into a brick wall. McDonald appointed her to her current position.

      • Good work Seymore. I appreciate the info.

        It tells me the VA IG is finally getting on board with other federal agencies, and hopefully means that entire office once again starts functioning as an IG office should.

        …and it shows just how fucked up it was while Obama was in office with his worthless agency heads like McDonald.

        I’m guessing Mizz Buck is going to have to decide whether she really wants to do her job, or float along collecting her paycheck while warming a chair.

        If I am not mistaken, an agency IG has to report to congress how much they pay out in those reward programs. It will be interesting to see the stats in their next report.

        The question now is, how many veterans should start reporting their Choice experience as the colossal waste of money it is?

      • @91Veteran, @Seymore Klearly – When I was receiving services via Choice, the VA didn’t even have a current list of providers that accepted the program. Many outside providers were at first participating, but then refused to work with the VA, due to less monies paid for services, and lengthy times to receive payment for such services.

        I’m basically uninformed about Choice, because Choice was never totally described to me by my VA PCP. And, I was never made aware of the different services that were covered in the Choice Program. I don’t know, but may be they are taking advantage of me, because they know that I’ve been having a very hard time dealing with my medical issues. But the VA would never do that would they? All they ever did was say, “Hey Mr. Veteran, we can offer you outside services for such and such, are you interested?” Then the search started in finding a suitable provider.

        Are we Veterans going to have to keep our eyes open to notice the changes, or do you think the VA should openly come out and tell us, “Hey, here are the problems that is occurring and they are unacceptable, and here is what we are doing about it, and we need the Veterans input in order to evaluate if the new changes are working?” I may have missed something in the previous posts. And, lets say that the VA is making changes, what is the mechanism for feedback of how the new changes are working? Just sayin.

        My thinking may be a little foggy today, I didn’t get a solid nights sleep for the past few days.

      • ANutterVet, the Choice program is simply for vets who cannot get care at their local VA within 30 days. Even then, the VA may not refer you if the appointment is within 35 to 40 days, unless a veteran pushes for it.

        I suspect if a veteran pushes for it, the VA will then become incompetent at processing that bill, and the Choice provider will turn it over to collections.

        The other way Choice is used is if the VA does not have a specialist on staff. They will then refer you to someone in the private sector.
        I was referred to a Neurosurgeon last year, and it took 57 days of calling before the appointment happened.
        This year, I have been referred to neurology for a problem I have been service connected for since the mid 1990s. My PCP asked about that problem a couple weeks ago, which is the first I have been asked about it in over 10 years.

        Feb 6 I was referred. Within a few days, I got a letter from the VA saying I had been referred and I would get a call from Choice within a week. On day 9, I got an automated voice mail telling me to call Choice. I did, verified my information, and they said they would contact the provider. They first asked where I lived, and were asking questions about accepting appointments from other providers. I said I could not do that since the VA referred me to a specific provider. Choice said they would have to call that provider to make sure he even still participated.

        I suspect many providers have been dropping out of Choice because the bills are not paid, are paid below Medicare rates, or they no longer want to put up with the hassle of trying to get paid.

        I have heard nothing since.

        When Senator Bennets office called a couple weeks ago, I said I was not going to spend days calling those buffoons trying to get an appointment using the disaster created by politicians.

        I will give it a couple more weeks, then call the provider to see if Choice has even bothered calling them. If not, I will write a letter to Senator Bennets office explaining what has happened, and what I think of Choice and the VA.

      • @91Veteran- My goodness. Why even put a Veteran through a process like your experiencing? The VA implements programs, but never flow chart what the process will entail. Thus, the Veterans gets discouraged because of all the additional circle jerking. For me, it very frustrating. Someone needs to be in charge that can really make things work. And if it does, I’m quite sure that many Veterans would be letting everyone know that the said changes are really working. These people wouldn’t know if common sense introduced itself to them, and smacked them on the their head. May be I’m being sarcastic, but Choice should be making things run smoother for Veterans to get the care they need.

      • Another interesting point about Andrea Buck is that she did leave the VA and was in charge of the implementation of Obama Care. She then returned to the VA in 2014 and was appointed to her current position.

      • Interesting Seymore. She does not disclose that little fact on her LinkedIn profile…just that she returned to the VA in 2014.

        She makes $174,000 a year, and has been in the middle of many veterans exposed to diseases from the VAs sloppy sterilization of medical equipment, including at Murfreesburo, TN.

        Given the VA has had such a problem with that over the past several years, just exactly what the hell was she doing other than collecting a paycheck?

        Her profile lists her as both a doctor and an attorney.

      • With Obama Care being the Train wreck that it is one could say that Dr. Buck was also helping to drive the Train into the Train Wreck that it is.

        Also with the failure of the Choice programs being the meltdown that it is. You could also say that Dr. Buck was helping to direct the Nuclear Reactor into it’s meltdown.

        Given her title “Chief of Staff for Healthcare Oversight Integrations”. She certainly has had a lot of experience in the crash and burn department.

      • I would like to know how much she was involved in deflecting attention away from, or deflecting any investigation in to things like the Candyland at Tomah since the IG declined to see anything their initially.

        Or the dental problem there.

        Or the problem of unqualified hacks doing TBI exams.

        One would think she had knowledge of all of them.

        Or she chose not to oversee anything.

  25. I truly hope things could get better, i just don’t see it because they don’t want it to. Throw more money at it and they will continue to mismanage it because that is all they know how to do. They lack a backbone and creative solutions. It is more like horse blinders on and know only how to set the pace for the rest of the horses.

  26. Forget it,,,being a viet naum vet I have been on my own,,, all this so called funding is a joke,, and health care for PTSD,,, has been nothing but ,,, I have read commets on this site,,, as I told my Doctor back in the 90s when they finally looked at PTSD without the law they followed and killed us faster then the war did,, I ask one question all are screaming at the health care,,, okay lets fix that then what,, the disability compensation isn’t enough but to just find a low income rent and maybe a few extras if your careful,,, THEN YOU GET TO SIT AND STARE OUT THE WINDOW OR WALL,,, then go back to a 2 week of brain adjustment then back to your cage,,, does anybody think of this,,, some of us still have a intrest NOT MUCH but would like to hold onto it before it is all gone,,,,

    • @steeven g larson: I really do understand what your talking about. Also about having an interest before it is all gone. I cook, i garden, not just for me, but to feed veterans as well, I also shoot everything under the sun, with an acute interest in extreme long distance shooting. The last listed will be the first to go, with failing eyesight.
      It is also my greatest passion. I have a shoot planned for this summer, and I believe it will be my last. Time to turn most of my firearms over to my son. With the amount of pain being increased each year, gardening will be the next to go. At that point I will be boxed in so to speak. I do get what you mean. Your not alone, most of us may not be in the same cage, but we most certainly occupy the same zoo.

      • trying to rember when I sold all my arms,, didn’t trust myself think it was in the 80s,,,, It has just been in the last 4 years I bought or reloaded,,, back but just have them for shooting coyotes skunks badgers,,, the ones that invade my garden or house,, or my animals,,, been working like a turtle on my house,,,sometime a couple of minutes and sometimes I even eek out a hour or so,,, and what really helps my over ride my brain taken off I turn my stereo up,, and play Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels or Cheer or the oldes of the 60s and blast out life,,,, Once I had or loved playing in my band for a whole $25 a gig,, that was long ago,,, loved fishing,,can’t even get a intrest,,, I use to hunt all day,,, actually just walked from sun up to sun down,,, I Loved my work in Architect,, again lost it,,, I have a talent in many things,,, actually I was blessed with a gift to be able to pick up about anything and excel in it,,, I was a person that nothing stopped me from creating or solving,,, I couldn’t even wait for the next day,,, now I can’t even sleep,,, not for the next day just PTSD ,,, I have 15 acres of a wonderful place,,, but all I have today had nothing to do with the VA,,, For the last two years I have had a what ever it can be called a drive of splitting the property and building a new mostly in the ground home,, facing east and south on the southern end of my property,, with deepening the two slews to hold trout and perch,,, my wife who is almost or should be in a wheel chair,, doesn’t think I’m nuts,, but questions if I can handle neighbors ,, probally the biggest question,,,, Can I do it ,,, oh I’m Able but This thing called Wreck my life disorder,,,comes into the picture also,,,, am I rich NOT do I have CREDIT nope,,, does that matter NOPE,,, only other Man can stop me,,, I’m here for GODs help and from my upbringing,,, remember I was raised from a Dad who got shot in the head with an 8th grade education and was Paralized on his whole right side and had to learn and teach his left side to do it all,,, and he farmed till I was out of colledge,,, he brain washed us kids there nothing you can’t do,,,,, He outfarmed all around in bushels of wheat, etc,,, actually he could out run us kids,, in a running match try that with with one leg and the other dragging,,,, he could out shoot most hunters,,, hell he could go out and get his deer the first day of hunting,, while all others he had to go and help get one,,, One time I out gunned him on some ducks ONE TIME,,, He was strick,,, We never used the words IF MAYBE COULD OF CAN”T etc in the house,,, and here I am today fighting these words,,, well anyway ,,,really Like I said have learned to live within my PTSD and not to push it,,,,Your fortunate I have three kids two from first one from second and grandchildren but only no some of there names ONLY,,, havn’t even seen them Christopher mom told me ha is a major in the Air Force know he has over 20 years in,,, Pam lives in ND were I live today ,,,and Blair lives In Rochester MN,,, but that all I know oh yea Christopher ran the marathon and took second place,,, I heard,,, Shit I never could run do to my youth problems of my legs and muscle development today still can’t run ,,,, also have ADHD,,, Life really could be a lot worst,,,, just hard very very hard to live with what I know I could do but this crap puts a total stop in it,,, I remember it was slow on how PTSD would ruin things I would do,,, great lengths of time would go by before it would cut me down,,, and as the year went by it attacked faster,, and today I just do what I can,,, CHEERS,,,, I keep praying for a fix an answer a break,, not only for my self but for all others who are trapped in this life,,, glad to hear from someone,, For I do know the VA has so many wrongs,,,, but one thing I make clear don’t try to fix me if you can’t solve the other problem called finace,,,or you will just keep getting back what you sent out,,, and finally like 5 of my friend who help me killed themselves,,,, I’ve tried two planned and one Unplanned, the unplanned did kill me but they brought me back to life NOT THE VA,,, the private sector,,, don’t remember nothing,,, just that I was watch tv one night and that all,,, and woke up with tubes in the hospital in me,,,, actually that’s the way to go for suicide,, no pain,,, okay enough of that crap,,, another night wonder if I will fall to sleep befor 3am or up all night,,, hmmmm

      • @steven g larson: Steven, I see where your coming from. You definately have a good head on your shoulders, and doesn’t sound like your the type that would let anything, or anyone get in your way of completing what your doing. Shure working on the house takes a lot longer, your not 20 anymore. Sounds like you have a few big projects going, that’s good. I think you will finish them too. You got it going on, listening to your favorite music, working at your own pace, taking the time to smell the rosses. Sorry you went through those really rough times, and tried to end it all. It sounds like you have a new outlook on everything. You been through a lot in your life, and you have a lot left to go. Sounds like your kids and grand kids are all doing great. You have a lot to be proud of. Hope you sleep well Steven, have a great night.

      • @ANutterVet: No snow storm, but great storm lastnight. Sent you an email. Was feeling sick earlier, ok now. Sad day today with Bens loss.

      • @cj – I think there was a snow storm may be west of your then? I sent you a response to the same email account. Good your feeling better. Do you have a touch of a bug, or upset stomach from meds. I get upset stomach sometimes from the meds. Yeah, I really feel for Ben. I didn’t know that his daughters mom was going through that. The VA needs to really start to own up to this stuff, burning pits, other syndromes. I personally know how a loss effects you. They need to grieve and heal, in order to get strong while they hold unto their memories.

      • @ANutterVet:We are suppose to get a very small amount of snow in the morning. Yes the meds, most days feel like crap, like getting eatten up on the insides. Then the Morphine kicks in and all is good.

        These losses are getting harder and harder. Even tho I didn’t personally know this young woman, it hurts all the same. The younger they are the harder it is. I am so tired of losing veterans, I take if very personal. I believe 91 Veteran has issues stemming from the burn pits as well. He can correct me if I am wrong. It wouldn’t surprise me if I was wrong considering my mind is shot.

      • No cj, my exposures were to depleted uranium and whatever toxic soup Saddam had for chemical weapons that were blown up at the start of the air war, and the oil smoke that made it look like night at noon.

        We had a burn pit while over there, but nothing more toxic than leftover medical supplies I couldn’t take with were burned, and the pit was quite a ways outside our camp. That was burned shortly before we left there so the Bedouins wouldn’t get it. Even with that, there were still a older female Bedouin and 2 kids trying to get stuff after the burning started…until an aerosol can blew up. That was enough to get them running the other direction to their vehicle, and they left.

        The only other burning anyone did was burning shit barrels.

        My only connection to Burn Pit veterans is knowing the BS excuses the VA will tell veterans for years while those same veterans are dying right and left. Telling them there is no evidence X condition is related to Y exposure. Telling them there is no medical research showing your severe medical condition is related to X exposure…while ignoring tons of civilian research showing the opposite, ignoring their own research when needed and ignoring any military regulation that might say otherwise.

        I can still picture the first chest med doctor I saw at the VA in OKC in 1992. Dr. O’dell. She was telling me “we have no idea what will happen to you guys and your lungs from the oil smoke”.

        I never saw her again, but for about a year, every time I had a VA appointment for anything, a chest xray was required until I asked why.

        The chest xrays stopped, an no mention of any medical condition related to oil smoke was ever mentioned again by anyone I’ve seen in the VA.
        Same with depleted uranium after I tested positive for that.
        Nothing has ever been said about chemical agent exposure.
        Nothing has ever been said about the experimental vaccines we were given.

      • @91 Veteran: Sorry 91, for the mix-up, it’s part of what’s going on in my head. I am never sure who told me what, or where. I even had your location mixed up with Ex va. It is just the world I live in. As far as Shulkin is concerned, if he thinks it’s time the va, stops getting beat up, then I am looking forward to him removing all the quacks they use to deny claims. I will be looking forward to him replacing er doctors that make over 200,000.00 per year to work only on union business. Gosh………….it is going to be such a great new va system when he gets done replacing all the incompetent boobs, NO DISRESPECT TO REAL BOOBS……I love them all. Why…….it sounds like Shulkin is going to become superman…………….I am such a sarcastical bastard at times.

      • No worries cj. I lose track of things all the time.

        Good point about Shulkin removing union doctors. How he reacts to the union will determine how badly he continues to get beaten.

      • @cj – Yeah, I get tired of hearing about the passing of our Brothers and Sisters. My wife is getting a good taste of all this stuff as well. VA is huge monster that needs to be caged. They seem to have less heart as time goes on. HORROR stories. Yeah, I’ve been dealing with this for the past 1 1/2 months. Been keeping it quite, but it ticks me off because this is not me. I think you get the gist. Did you get to go the doctor about your digestion issues? I’m trying to type fast but having a hard time.

      • @ANutterVet: No not yet, I will soon. I need to find a better GI doc. Why are you having trouble putting things together in your mind, and trouble typing? How is your concentration? Or are you just feeling the effects of the meds and generally tired being the end of a busy week?

      • @cj – Its called the effects of long term use of taking opiate pain medication. You’re experiencing the same I believe. And, yes, it does effect my concentration. The other thing, is that the VA stopped prescribing Clonazepam if you’re prescribed opiates. Behavioral Health gave me Hydroxinen [spelling, to dark to see] for anxiety and sleep.

      • @cj – I know that nerve. You said it right, “a place we are suppose to feel safe and trust.” This is my whole dam struggle with the VA. Its frigging scary. And, most individuals don’t know what to say, because they don’t frigging know what to say. I hope the last sentence made sense. I’ve noticed a difference, negatively, since I went back to the VA around 1999-00. Compared to now, and with the med changes that is going on. I don’t know what to expect, only suspicious feelings, worse than my ex-wife. And, I don’t want to go through that shit again either. That is another thing, the wife and I were talking about tonight. The VA has NEVER asked me how my medical condition, plus taking the meds, if and how it is effecting my marriage. DUM ASSES. And, how many Veterans does each facility treat on a daily basis?

      • @ANutterVet: I think we talked about this before, or maybe I am confused between Bens blog and a veteran friend. The past 8 years have been the absolute worse that I can remember. Your exactly right, not even a how are you feeling from a damn va doctor. You can clearly tell, they could give a shit less about any veterans. I bet in their own minds they think they are doing good by us. In reality I get the distinct feeling that they are just watching the clock, and can’t wait to get home. Then to find out the kind of money they are making? I didn’t need to know that……………….now I am even more pissed off than before. 1/4 of a mil per year for an er doc that spend ALL of his time on union business? From the very va I go too? Outrageous.

        What would be the difference if we saw a va doctor, or a ticket taker at a bad movie? we get the same service for each.

      • @cj – Your right. They are watching that clock. When I have an appointment, they always remind me of the time. Never mind if we didn’t cover everything, its the time. They don’t probe you with questions. No medical detective work. I get really stressed, before, during, and after I see them. cj, I’m getting to that time. Finga slippin, and i’m really getting tired. My mind is trying to grab for words that I can’t put together. You have a good evening, de-stress, and hope you have a less of a pain free sleep. I know I need one. Good night my Brother, and God bless you and your family.

      • @cj – Good night. And, you’re right, it should be to much of a difference getting our medical care at the VA compared to the private sector. At least we came to this conclusion tonight. Even though we both already know this. Good night cj. Try to get some good sleep.

      • @cj – No I just feel off. That’s how I roll. Lately, I’ve been sort of struggling putting words together in my mind. And, I took my meds at 10:30pm, so I’m heading towards the sleeping zone.

      • @91 Veteran: I gotta tell you, I have read your post over more than a few times. Each time, I can feel more and more, the pure evil we call the va, experimental vacines, the sneaky way they gather data on conditions they refuse to admitt even exsist. Then when you ask a simple question, it all suddenly stops. This is the fucked up kind of shit I use to read about coming out of area51, not your local damn va. It is exactly how they treated the AO veterans as well, not from personal knowledge, but from friends. I hope you live a very long life……………..fuck those bastards, who don’t even pretend to care anymore. I also hope that anyone who knowingly, refuses to admit a veteran has an illness due to serving in a war zone, ends up with a terminal disease. I am sorry for wishing such a horrific thing, but I am in ernest, that they reap what they sow.

  27. @ANutterVet: After reading all these comments about the va. This is food for thought, and it hits the same screwed up nerve. The va, of all places is a place we are supose to feel safe and trust. It is the complete opposite of that. You and namnibor are correct, I too feel almost paranoid when deaiing with the va in any manner. 40+ years of going to the va, nobody is ever going to convince me anything is getting better, it is getting worse. It is getting worse at a far faster pace than before as well. There is just so much info, and so much you can be forced to put up with. Civilian have no clue whats going on, if they did? they would be calling for someones head on a platter.

    • If you read the latest Military times article, Shulkin says it’s time the VA stop getting beat up.

      He must be feeling some heat from the WH since Isaakson only cares if he falls on his ass.

      I got news for Shulkin. Every time another corrupt VA hack is found, every time another veteran is treated like shit, and every time another veteran is harmed, he is going to hear about it.

      His job is to hear the bad news and fix the problems.

      He better put on his big girl panties and get to work.

      “http://www.militarytimes.com/articles/shulkin-va-berating-trump-narrative”

      • @91 Veteran: Thank you, I will read that article as soon as I am updating. Another note, isn’t it funny they want more money to reduce the backlog of apeals, that they created by using quacks to deny claims so they could get paid bonus’s? Do they even know how rediculous they sound?

      • @ 91Veteran, shulkin is tired of the va getting beat up? I don’t feel there has been enough done against the crimes that are committed against Veterans. Shulkin will find no sympathy here. He needs to do real work at correcting real problems. If he can’t stand the heat he needs to get out of the kitchen.

  28. @cj – I hope you find a doc that works well in diagnosing you. If the pain meds is taking away the pain, that’s good, but there still is a problem if you feel it when the med wears off. Pain meds play with your mind, and you pay less attention to things compared to when you didn’t take the med. Know what I mean?

    • @ANutterVet: Yes, I know what you mean. Also, they already tried to screw with me on the Morphine and Clonazepam, saying no doctor would ever script them together. I said really? well my last va pcp did just that. Then I infomed him I only get Morphine from the va, and all other meds are handled by my private pcp. I don’t go to behavior medicine, I think I would refuse to do so, I just don’t trust the va with the kind of info they would excise from me…………..hell I wouldn’t tell them shit………………ever.

      • @cj – I know, hopefully in a few months, I may be able to get out of this trap. Getting really tire my friend. Gonna say goodnight. And, I’m concerned about you GI. cj, if you still feel pain after the meds wear off, pls get checked out.

  29. @ANutterVet: On Thursdays I see my tbi doctors, They are welcoming, friendly, genuinly caring, and proffesional. If I could spend the entire day with them I would. I look forward to that appointment all week. All but one of my private doctors, I feel the same way. Why is it that now a single doctor at the va can make a vet feel this comfortable? Something is very very wrong with the va system period.

    • @Ex va – Hey Brother, wanted to say hi. Really beat tonight. Hope the temp goes up and the humidity goes down to give you better relief. I’ve got to hit the hay, finga and mind slipping. Good night, and God bless you and your family.

  30. @ cj, a lot of pain in the back. Temps dropped 20 degrees. I took all my meds don’t seem to help much tonight. Weather too unstable. Are you doing ok with your pain level?

      • @Ex va: I have them knock me out when they scope. I am due for one. Yikes at getting gal bladder removed. Glad you had proffesonals remove it. The va probably would have just turned around and sold it to someone else lol.

      • @ cj, no i do not trust the va for surgeries with what happened down here and i know a little about their credentialing and priveledging process, so i know they can injure Veterans.

  31. @ cj, i don’t know about that you had a very serious injury to your back. I have the bone erosion and joint disease i wish i could get into some kind remission. I think when your sick the depression goes with it. You been cooking much? I did get some taxes done. Happy about that. I have more paperwork to work on.

    • @Ex va: That is true, but I have been living with it since I was just 17, so to me it is normal. My tolerance for pain is very high. In 2007 I was riding a dirt bike, I turned my head to see what was going on behind me, when I looked forward, my son was stopped dead in his tracks. I hit his dirt bike with my right knee, and shattered it into 12 pieces. I rolled around on the ground for about 3 minutes holding my knee and yelling FUCK, over and over again LOL. Then I got up and rode for another hour. Wasn’t feeling any pain, then the next morning when I woke up my knee was the size of a cantelope. Couldn’t have surgery because I just had a heart attack 2 weeks before and was on blood thinners. By the time I could have surgery……..I was already walking like nothing happened.

      • @cj, you have been thru the wringer with some of these injuries. You are a tough one! You kept riding with a shattered knee!! Wow and no pain? Good for you.

        You had a Heart attack? Sorry to hear. Was that related to stress? I believe that the body can heal itself. I also believe God can heal. I have known people stage 4 and then cancer free. It is amazing what the body can do sometimes. I would say your knee healed itself. The wind has been blowing hard today and we also had some thunderstorms. Weird this early.

  32. @ cj, do you think an acid reducer would help your gi tract? I started taking it for the heart burn and acid reflux, it has helped a lot.

  33. @Ex va: yes a very bad hear attack, I died 3 times. Then after a couple of weeks of being treated like a baby, I had enough, and jumped on the bike and took off. The wife sent my son after me. If they all had just let me be, I would have been fine. Good storms here lastnight. Your right, the knee healed itself. Hey are you going to be awake for a while?

  34. @Ex va: I am on the max amounts of propranolol, even then I often have to make a cocktail of baking soda/water for breakthrough heartburn.

  35. @ cj, i think my meds tear my gi tract up too. I take ranitidine and seems like it helps some. Do you understand the ph levels? I would drink lemonade and it has helped with the acidity. I know that doesn’t make sense.

    • @ cj, i use the wheelchairs and scooters in stores. I can’t walk too far. Pain gets me. I have a walker and canes. If i have a lot of pain i get stuck in bed. I am thinking about trying some new biologics in a couple of months. I have had times when i was bed ridden. Too sick, weak and pain from the diseases. Joints swell up sometimes can’t use them.

      • @ cj, like humira, except that one almost killed me. I might try a different one. It target the cells blocks the process that is wrong with the cells that cause them to attack your joints. It can also attack organs too. The cells live to long and decide the joints or tissue is the enemy and attack it. Causes the inflammation and erosion of the joints. Or with organs can cause chronic inflammation and destroy tissue. The biologics are like an immune suppressants. Immune system is overactive and cells produce do not have the correct life cycle and cause damage by being alive to long. I don’t really like taking the meds but i would like to get into a remission.

  36. With all the VA and it’s ventures into to Cloud computing just wanted to point out the unthinkable that has just occurred with Cloud Computing.

    “Google Just Discovered A Massive Web Leak… And You Might Want To Change All Your Passwords”, Thomas Brewster, Forbes Mag, 02/24/2017

    “https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewster/2017/02/24/google-just-discovered-a-massive-web-leak-and-you-might-want-to-change-all-your-passwords/”

    The Cloud has been bleeding information on everything for a while now. They call it Cloudbleed.

    • @Seymore Klearly: I never trusted Cloud computing, not even from the begining. I think anything web based is a security risk. Even the tor network. talk about a conspiracy, check into that whole mess and who is paying who etc. You will never trust anything again. Your right tho people should heed your warning.

      • 1) I never liked idea of likes of facebook, twitter, when released into the wild. Although I definitely foresaw the positive benefits of same, on the paper I long ago wrote about, I also foresaw criminals using social media to lure victims in as bait, I was even scoffed at as delusional when I suggested thugs will even be so stupid in the “SEE ME GENERATION” to not only video themselves WHILE doing home invasions or robberies, or even rapes, but they will then be brazen enough to post videos of them with the very loot spread out on a bed or sink with obvious illegal powerful assault weapons that facilitate their capture but not after lives are seriously f^cked with, but I could not have foresaw what I saw on my local news that made it nationally a few weeks ago when a mother posted live on FB with her little son completely duct taped to the way and joking about it, then after being investigated by local TV station, the same mother, with even more duct tape on her kid taped to the wall like some alien spider web, she posts she does not want the kid anyway and for child svcs to just come and get “it”…yes, she reduced her own son to “it”…kid was removed,
        2) May be unjustified in the extreme, but one of the handful of best friend now-dead veteran friends of mine that killed himself a few years back was told by his VA wacko witch psych dr. hack that if he can use social media, then he obviously has no PTSD or social anxiety issues and benefits would be reviewed…I know the VA was f^cking with him and guess what, it worked, he indeed eventually killed himself…I never joined Face Book or Twitter for those reasons and also, am a private person other than what I may share on here…I now realize that was over the top and unjustified fear of social media because of the VA fucking with Veteran’s mind…but I guess when my buddy killed himself over the fuckery they dished out, it kind of killed a part of me that has any ounce of trust for anything with two legs, unless of course, I adopted a two-legged cat or dog in future…so yeah, it’s very hard now for me to trust other human beings after all been through in my half+ century on this earth.
        3) I do not trust my own use of filters and boundaries to idiots on social media and care not to have a swat team launched on me for my humor.

        4) For all the reasons above, I never liked nor use any Cloud Computing, and even on my iPhone5s, I do not allow the iCloud to place anything there I do not want, and only use it for transferring or storing samples recorded with aps…nothing freaking exciting to anyone but my nerdy hobbyist musical endeavors…no banking or even storage of emails.
        However, one has absolutely NO control over Medical/Hospitals in how they store our sensitive and supposedly PRIVATE medical records, *BUT* I would think from a security point of view, The CLOUD or warehouses of massive servers in higher altitude for efficient cooling and in isolated places, seem to fall short of HIPPA when they are so easily hacked we are finding.
        5) Hacking and Identity Theft. Just plain old more fuckery from humans.
        6) If there IS alien life, it would not surprise me if they consider us AS a virus and rather eat us with a side of fava beans than have us as pets that may steal, murder, rape and mayhem…yes, we humans are indeed a virus.
        7) Even God Himself had to wipe the code of the Humanity Virus the first time around with a flood.
        8) God said next time will be cleansing with fire and Satan will be let out of his cage for a bit…I think the VA personifies this nicely.
        9) Rant Out. Humans can suck, but I love you all with reservation. 🙂
        10) Now, get the fuck off my lawn! 🙂

      • @namnibor:That is a horrible strory about the woman and child. Likewise, a horrible story of your friend, I am sorry for both the loss of your friend and another veteran. This is becomming far to often of an event, and needs to stop. Most of my friends are on facebook etc. I refuse to do the social media thing. My best friend since 5 years old will email me and tell my he has posted all his new pictures of his granddaughter on his “page’, to which I email back and say, can’t you just email them to me? to this day I have never seen his childered or grand childeren. Alll of your preminitions about social medea have indeed come to fruition.
        TRUST…..that is entirely a wole nother matter. I also trust very few. I have been screwed over every whitch way to Sunday, by people who I considered to be close friends. The last time was the worse costing me over 1/4 of a mil dollars………….yes you read that right, that I did not have……..forcing me into ch7. that was in 06, and I am still not “over” it. People do suck. So I don’t think your mis trust, is mis placed. I do trust veterans, more than I do others, with the exception of a Somolian King who would love to send me a fortune but alas, I do not do the social media thing,………my loss. I do understand the lack of trust, and I do not think it is mis placed. Too many shady people out there, you NEED to protect yourself at all costs. I to……rant out.

        P.S. Either the internet is acting up again, or all of my browsers are crashing for no reason. I haven’t been able to figure this one out yet. Disabledveterans.org tab has crashed at least 20 times while trying to type this comment.

      • @namnibor: Sorry for so many posts, it’s that pesky tbi thing I trust the veterans on this blog, I don’t know why, I trust alll of you, I just do. I don’t think I have ever been to a forum, blog, chat….whatever you want to call this, where I genuinly felt at ease, and at home. Even though I feel like I don’t really belong here, for a handfull of reasons, such as not being able to comprehend the subject matter, not being a combat veteran, and others. I still ‘feel” like I am with good people here. I may not comment everyday, but I do read every post. I am sure there are a lot of people that do exactly the same thing, read all the posts but do not comment.
        I lost my train of thought…………rant out.

      • @ cj, @ namnibor, i understand you both on social media. I don’t trust it and some of the people using it are criminals and that is where i see the problem. I trust Veterans and i am not saying everyone of them are perfect because i know i am not.

        The comradeship that we have is why i trust you all here on this blog. Ben is of excellent character and there are many others of the same fabric who care what is being done to are brothers and sisters involving the va and other organizations that have the intent of harming a Veteran. That is the common ground we share unfortunately and sometimes just the misfortunes of living in this demented world.

        Cj, your posts are sincere don’t apologize, i am guilty of going on a rant too, so is namnibor! LOL! I love the sincerity of it because it is real thoughts and expressions. Good or bad it is life. I of course try to pray for the good for everyone here and family and friends. I believe prayers work, sometimes not what we want, it could be something we need to experience and i hate the bad experiences. The hell i have been living these last 10 years i don’t understand but i have to trust God. I try to read every article and every post too and look up references, sometimes i can do it other times i cannot. I didn’t post for years, now i do it frequently.

        The obituary made me cry like a baby. I believe she probably helped provide evidence of these damn burn pits because she was there. Otherwise, bottom line that could be something they could deny and the truth may have never got out. An individual who loved and was so loved is such a great loss. I have family that was there also and they suffer with health problems and i worry about them. I have been praying a lot and i think that helps me.

      • @Ex va: Ex va, hope you slept well. Yeah I think that obit got to most of us. Still having trouble with this damn browser. It’s a head scratcher. Can’t tell if it’s my system, the internet, google, gmail, ……………the neighbors cat……..

      • @ cj, i did get 5 hours sleep, i feel almost human again. I can go a couple of days with little to no sleep, the third day i start acting bad. Fourth and fifth don’t make a lot of sense. Lol! My browser is acting better today. Maybe it is your neighbors cat. I shut down everything and rebooted, dropped cookies seems to acting better. This cold weather has me hurting again.

    • @namnibor: One more thing, I am using Arch linux, Ex va, is using ios on an ipad, ANutterVet is using windows 10, and all of us have been having trouble posting, getting responces, etc so I am not sure that it is just my machine. I believe when Obama gave control of the internet away, it was not a good thing. We probably are just now experiencing what that decision has caused………stay tunned for even more poor internet service.

  37. I just had the craziest thought run through my head……….I pictured a place like nyc, remember the ticker tape parades they showed when wwll ended? Okay imagine instead of soldiers, it was these damn protesters. They marching up the street, the cops line the streets with squad cars, and over the loudspeakers they have playing Suzie Snowflake, and crowds of people on the rooftops, are droping boxes of white confetti on top of them. Of course getting laughed out of town. Then no matter where they go, or what they do, there is always Suzie Snowflake playing. They can’t hide from it, like a bad outer limits movie. ” here comes suzie snowflake”

    • Little cupcakes with sprinkles, or fucking fairy dust, with little sails sticking out of the tops. A cool breeze floating them across the rainwater, kerplunk one by one down the sewer they go.

      • @Ex va, @ANutterVet: Glad you liked that image, i couldn’t just have it haunting my head so I shared. I think your right, it is the browser. Took about 15 minutes to bleachbit the damn thing. Now all seems good. Only problem now is my fingers aren’t working too good from all the typing, troubleshooting. I will be gone till later tonight, have company coming over for diner. Will talk then.

      • Watch out, some of those cupcakes are actually urinal cakes with frosting and sprinkles, and the more you ‘sprinkle’ them the more they melt. 🙂

    • @cj – Trying to get over a painful stress migraine of some sort. Throbbing from neck to forehead, and light sensitivity, with small bout of nausea. Hard to be in front of screen. I’m going to relax for a bit. Wife will be getting up soon. I had an appointment with a Home Care Nurse. He retired from the VA. With all the things that is happening with my healthcare from the VA, I definitely know now that what I see, is what it is. And, he personally knows my PCP. We talked for about 2 hours. This is what set me off. I’ll try a bit later.

      • @ANutterVet: Yes get some rest, light sensitivity is terrible for a headach. Hope you feel better soon. Don’t reply, Will talk when you feel better.

      • @Ex va: Yes, once you sign up with them, log in, and then you will see a ‘buddy finder” you can locate the people you served with, and send them a message. If they are interested in contacting you back I imagine a message will be sent to your email address. I looked up my old unit, and saw a few of the guys listed so sent them messages buit never heard back. I think sometimes people go and list themselves and move on to other things. I don’t know, maybe they just didn’t recognize the name, or were not interested in staying in touch.

      • @ cj, how are you doing tonight? Did you get some sleep? I did. ANutterVet sounds like he has been going thru a lot of stuff over his care that is not necessary. That is why the va makes me angry. When you take meds and/or sick you don’t need to be harassed about it. I trust my doctors i see now. I have had some bad doctors in past and will not go to va anymore. I can’t trust them.

      • @Ex va: Good to hear you finally got some sleep. I did’t get all the sleep I wanted, being a weekend. Yes, how unfortunate he gets a nurse that personally knows his pcp. Crap, I don’t know what I would do in that circumstance. I sure wouldn’t trust him with any information. Geez

  38. @Ex va: For a friend I located a few people he served with in VietNam, I was able to get all their info, and he was able to reach them after all these years. Unfortunately, for me, I can’t recall most of the names of the people I served with. Some have odd names, so maybe I am just spelling them wrong, or I am mixed up as to where they said they were from. I wouldn’t be surprised if I have been putting the wrong first name with the wrong last name. These are the kind of things that confuse me the most. I bet I even searched for people in the military that were never in the military, but we were in school together. And they wonder why I have anger issues. How are you tonight Ex va?

    • @ cj, that is me too, i see high school friends and it is like they can remember everyone’s name. I can’t and i get people confused too. It sucks. It makes me think i am stupid or something. It frustrates me. I searched for a few people i knew in high school and the military with not much success either. I talk to a couple of people from high school maybe a few times a year. LOL! Not really social except family stuff, sometimes church activities on rare occasions.

      • @Ex va; Your far from being stupid Ex va. It is the accident you were in. I think you got more than a cuncusion.
        Hey, I read today that half the people in China have catarax………………the other half have rinkin continentals.

      • @ cj, LOL! Rinkin continentals?? I do feel sorry for some of the people in china, they are one of the most polluted countries. Mexico might be the worst in the world. We have our problems here, it could be a lot worse i think. If there was accountability it would be so different in the US.

      • @Ex va: Ex va, I am going to have to say goodnight, can barely read the screen, my vision is acting up, everything is blurry. I hate when this happens. Hope you sleep well again tonight. Will talk soon. If you see ANutrerVet let him know I won’t be back tonight.

      • @ cj, sorry you having vision problems. I hope you feel better soon. I hope you get some good rest and if i see ANutterVet i will let him know. Take care God Bless you. Goodnight.

      • @Ex va: I need to see an opthamologist, don’t know if that is spelled right. I get blurry vision, and then double verticle vision, like a preasure building up behind my eyes. If I am driving at night, the street lights look like not just one light but a stack of lights going up and down. Even with an eye closed. It is the craziest thing. I did look it up and I guess they can fix it. I got bored with all the technical words so didn’t finish reading about it lol………….okay goodnight and God bless you and your family too. will talk soon.

  39. For anyone who’s computer screen bothers them, or gives them headaches. There are some free programs for your os to help, they work great in most cases. For linux look for either xflux, or redshift. For windows, Mac, android, Ipads, look for flux. You enter your zipcode and it takes care of the lighting for you depending on the time of day.

      • @Ex va:Hey ex va, your the first person i have seen here all day. I was beginning to wonder if something was broke. I am okay, How are you?

      • @ cj, no one is responding on the obit article page out of respect for the family. No one is talking much on this page that i can tell. I tried looking for new posts didn’t see anything. I could have missed something. I have to admit i was looking for trolls because i was in a rare mood. I am glad no one is being disrespectful, the family does not need that kinda hassle right now. Ben has probably got his hands full as it is.

      • @Ex va: I am glad there is no dis respect going on, I think probably every singel person here would let them have it with both barrels. There are lines people shouldn’t cross, and that is one of them.

      • @ cj, you got that right! I am glad there has been no trolling or stupid kid stuff going on the posts. I have been in a intolerable mood. Lol!

    • @ cj, i think i had been hacked because there was some weird stuff popping up. Like my password to iTunes??? Yeah, i listen to my johnny cash. Rofl.

      • @Ex va: Same here seems to be working okay now. Hey you like different music? Check this out?
        “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZQrt4BOCZc&list=PLijTPm-t-vwy9QZEVJbsh9YoxAgqq4IMg”

    • @ cj, that is so good music! Yes, he is great!
      The pain has been really bad and this cough thing has been going on and off for weeks. Tired of the pain, hard to get ahead of it at times.

      I think the va messed up ANuttersVets’ meds and that kinda pisses me off. He’s a good guy and doesn’t need that bs done to him. He’s disabled so help him. Bastards.

      Me it same stuff. If i felt better i would be doing things. The same stuff everyone kinda deals with here on this blog. Just gets me sometimes.

      • @Ex va: I hear ya, gotta put it out of your mind sometimes. For me I just try not to pay attention to it. I tweaked my back bad today, I feel it all the way down to my ankles. Llike I said it is normal for me, so the hell with it, I just don’t think about it. I know, easy for me to say lol, You guys are in much more pain than I am. I do know if your alone, and all your thinking about is your pain, it can take on a life of it’s own and really get bad. Same day if you were not alone, or your mind was occupied, still the same amount of pain, but it effects you much less. At times it can be a mind game, specially when you have no choice.

      • @ cj, i try to do that and you are right you can ignore some pain at times. You have to occupy the brain at all times, it is best that way, i know what you are talking about. I think our weaknesses sometimes makes us fall into traps we don’t recognize at times. I know i have issues and fall for some of that stuff, but i try to be vigilant and look ahead before something can really get to me or i just back off. Sometimes i rant too. LOL!
        How is your vision tonight? Does your meds cause that? One of the meds i take can cause me vision problems.

      • @Ex va: not sure what is going on with the vision, I looked up double verticle vision, and both benzoids and opiods can cause it, so can brain tumors, strokes, anurisims etc, really need an opthomologist to look at it. It can also be the reason for my dizzy spells, and losing ballance. What a wonderful world.

      • @ cj, I fell a couple of weeks ago. Don’t fall, that can really mess you up. You are smart you know if something gets broken at our age it takes so much longer to heal. I had a ct and MRI of the brain. I have one. Lol! That has been 5 years ago.

        If you changed dosages the side effects can last 7-10 days. After that it may be something else. Blood sugar, loss of weight, gaining weight can throw chemicals off in brain. I get hypoglycemia (not enough blood sugar). Double vertical vision, i will have to look that up too. Damn that sucks.

        I take same kinda meds too. Not morphine but an opioid for the pain.

    • @ cj, i am listening still to school days. He definitely has talent. That music transcends from generation to generation. I love music like that. Old rock, country, orchestra, some pop. A hundred years from now someone will be listening to it. I wish i was musical, i have no talent in that. Lol!

  40. @Ex va: I installed xfux on my system and it helps alot with looking at the computer screen at night.
    On your ipad I think there is a setting for the same thing. Look through your settings.

  41. @Ex va: Sorry I have been silent, was looking at a wikipedia page, and got a warning about the cupcake in the rain LOL So I was just trying to figure out why they called it “Vandalism” I guess they can”t understand A. a person with thin skin can be refered to as a cupcake. B. anti Trumpers obviously feel like they have been left in the rain. and C. A+B=cupcake in the rain.

    • @ cj, the posting was to describe the word”snowflake” super sensitivity, term cupcake also used. I do not see how any of this could be described as vandalism. Strange

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