Trump Hiring Freeze

Despite the lifting of the Trump hiring freeze, the Department of Veterans Affairs will not fill 4,000 vacant positions previously created.

According to The Associated Press, VA has chosen to leave 4,000 vacant positions unfilled. The agency says it needs to create a “leaner VA” as it develops a longer-term plan. That plan is aimed at allowing more veterans to seek private sector medical care.

Approximately 4,000 of the positions are attributable to the Veterans Health Administration. The other positions are allocated as following:

  • 200 Veterans Benefits Administration
  • 400 VA Information Technology (IT)
  • 100 Human Resources

It is important to note the Government Accountability Office has admonished VA for its failure to appropriately staff positions in IT and human resources.

The move is an apparent drawdown of the workforce, and positions will only be filled if approved by top VA leadership where an “absolute critical need” is identified.

The nature of the plan is described in an April 14 memorandum obtained by The Associated Press.

Is this a sign VA is implementing a Trump directive to reduce its workforce, which will have a negative impact on benefits allocations and usage by veterans?

While VA is one of three agencies slated for a budget increase, is the agency also gearing up for long-term cutbacks that will ultimately reduce benefits payouts in the near future?

I called out the federal government and VA on April 6 following insider reports that the agency was working with The Big Six veteran organizations to draw down VA by up to 20 percent. Allegedly, a deal was struck behind the scenes to make it happen with little resistance from The Big Six.

RELATED: Lawyers, Veterans Should Be Nervous About Upcoming VA Cuts

One of the many mechanisms to cut an agency’s budget is to reduce the workforce or refuse to hire new staff to fill positions. Another is to reduce overtime. And still another is to gum up a process using bureaucratic maneuvering to wrongfully deny claims.

My point is that there are many ways to skin a cat, and if the ultimate goal is to draw down the size of the federal government, the goal can be accomplished through employment.

Two weeks ago, Fox News reported the White House demanded that all agencies draw down their size (whatever that means). Instead of using a hiring freeze to reduce the size of the federal government, the White House now simply demands cutbacks to include hiring.

It sounds like VA was not excused from that process by at least drawing down the size of its workforce.

So, even though the hiring freeze was lifted, was it really lifted? How will VA’s refusal to fill key positions help it do its job?

Or, is the move aimed at forcing the federal government to fail in key areas to then justify further privatization including within VA?

Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/thousands-jobs-remain-unfilled-trump-va-article-1.3103936

125 COMMENTS

  1. Seems fairly easy to me. We, as veterans of our nation’s wars – – – currently have FAR LESS privileges and legal rights and protections than the average illegal immigrant. We are about to take it in the shorts again.

    That is how it will play out over time.

    Really want to fix the VA, and give veterans who have honorably served their just due, Mr. President?

    Here is a 7-Step program to accomplish that:

    1. Expedite implementing the HOLMAN RULE.

    2. Recognize the problems inherent in the VA are SYSTEM-WIDE, not just limited to a few locations.

    3. Fire all the Lazy No Good Workers. Fire EVERY single AFGE/SES Employee.

    4. Sell off all the VA facilities. Alternatively, they may be converted into housing for homeless veterans.

    5. Issue all veterans a card that allows them to choose their own doctors within their community that they can TRUST.

    6. The United States Government will PAY those doctors promptly for the care they provide veterans.

    7. Completely ELIMINATE the “Federal Protection” Umbrella for incompetent QUACKS that the VA sends to other states to practice other than their own. Gonna practice in Hawaii? You need to be LICENSED in Hawaii. Same applies to all other states.

    Shouldn’t take more than about six months to implement. We’ve invaded foreign countries in FAR less time. And the Butthurt VA Big Wigs should be DENIED their “Right to Sue” just as veterans are.

    That will fix the Veterans Healthcare situation.

    • Trump has an opportunity to pull a Reagan when he fired the Air Traffic Controllers union, e.g. de-certify the AFGE union. But that only happens if he truly wants to fix the VA. But, it looks like he’s headed toward giving it all to Pig Pharma and Pig Med. Those mortar forkers nearly drove uninsurable me bankrupt, so I trundled into the loving arms of VA HealthCare…. I also tried to hide from the draft by enlisting.

      • @Windguy – – – Agreed. I was a draft dodger as well. I earned the title Marine in order to avoid the draft. Later I became a sailor. Was having so much fun – – – I woke up one day and realized that I was just about to begin my retirement enlistment . . .

        Had we the mobile video technology back in the ’70’s and ’80’s – – – I would be doing “Bizarre Foods”. Cause Zimmern ain’t ate anything I did not eat 25 years before he was around . . .

        Peace.

  2. Let me see if I got this straight.

    The VA is to reduce it’s workforce.

    Yet, is receiving MORE taxpayers monies for this year!

    Can anyone see the illogicality of this?
    I see bonuses in the very near future for all VA employees! I also see where the additional monies will be possibly going into upper management’s pockets! Could this “increase of taxpayers monies” make its way into AFGE’s reprobates pockets? They are the most corrupt union in the United States right now!

    This is just another reason for veterans to NOT TRUST THIS MOST CORRUPT GOVERNMENT AGENCY!

  3. Pig Pharma and Pig Med have arisen. The gates to unlimited billing have been opened, and the path sprinkled with rose petals and ten million more “accounts”. Give them five years and the costs to government will be too high, and we’ll have to pay monthly premiums and higher deductibles. Just watch. The money changers have spoken.

  4. For me, I have responded to many of these stories and my answer is always the same, though not in so many words. This time, i’ll be blunt and go for the jugular:

    THE VA IS A CRIMINAL ORGANIZATION, THOUGH NOT AT ALL ORGANIZED. SHUT THE VA DOWN. AND RESTART IT USING ENLISTED MILITARY VETERANS TO RUN THE VA IN ITS ENTIRETY. PUTTING NAMED SOLDIERS, SAILORS, AIRMEN, AND MARINES IN SENIOR POSITION AS BEING FORMER OFFICERS HAS PROVEN TO BE BAD, UNPROFESSIONAL, CRIMINALLY DEVIANT, AND LIARS NOT TO MENTION POLITICALLY CORRECT. PEOPLE AT THE VA MAY OR MAY NOT KNOW MY FACE, BUT WHEN I SPIT ON ITS GROUND, THEY’LL KNOW I AM A RETIRED ENLISTED SOLDIER WHO HAS HAD ENOUGH, IS PISSED, AND WHO WILL CARRY ON WITHOUT THE VA.

    And so the VA is not part of the story, those two pathetic, womb rejected pieces of human inconvenience who literally murdered that poor dog tied to a tree with bullets must not be given any leniency because of PTSD which is only an excuse to get away with it. I have PTSD and one thing I can be sure of, animals are my best friend unlke these filthy two legged garbage cans who killed that dog.

    • @SillyMe – – – Agreed 100%. As former career enlisted who was cheated out of their retirement due to a clerical error – – – then forced by the VA to pay back my Disability Severance Pay, while being denied my PROPER EARNED benefits – – – I have some tried and true methods that will get the Honolulu VA squared away in record time.

      Many of the current employees will be in a state of MCRD “Yellow-Footprint” shock. One or two will try to test me and my hand-picked team of Instructors. After I beat the first one to death, the rest will EXPEDITE falling in line. Then we can begin to unfuck that mess.

      This is not a drill. This is not a joke.

      • Well – – – We start by ignoring “Troll Questions”. There have been many posters, not to mention Big Ben himself who have put forth many ideas that would work. This is how we unfuck the VHA side of things. Pay attention.

        1. Expedite implementing the HOLMAN RULE.

        2. Recognize the problems inherent in the VA are SYSTEM-WIDE, not just limited to a few locations.

        3. Fire all the Lazy No Good Workers. Fire EVERY single AFGE/SES Employee.

        4. Sell off all the VA facilities. Alternatively, they may be converted into housing for homeless veterans.

        5. Issue all veterans a card that allows them to choose their own doctors within their community that they can TRUST.

        6. The United States Government will PAY those doctors promptly for the care they provide veterans.

        7. Completely ELIMINATE the “Federal Protection” Umbrella for incompetent QUACKS that the VA sends to other states to practice other than their own. Gonna practice in Hawaii? You need to be LICENSED in Hawaii. Same applies to all other states.

        THESE are the broad strokes. They will work. Fine details later. I am also working on my plan to fix the VBA, and eleiminate the nepotism within the VA. These I am detailing in a letter to POTUS Trump. After I get that letter in the mail, I will post it publicly – – – then anyone who wishes to will be able to download it and read it.

  5. Well the GOP/Bush/Cheney KBR/Black Water set up the Privatizing of the Military where you have for example Private soldiers Protecting Diplomats, Privatizing Dining Facilities, Privatizing Laundry Svc, Privatizing Transportation, Privatizing Intel, Privatizing Communications, etc. Now, here comes Trump led by hand-picked Board Members of the Koch Bros. w/ BVA who are pushing Privatizing MORE of the VA by Using the Cut Backs as a reason to Give the Poor Vets more Options= more Confusion when it comes to the VA.
    That Crime syndicate (the VA) will never change been Rotten since inception Every Slimy Azz Politrickian/President has been complicit in its operation and we keep falling for and taken Advantage of like Blind sheep headed to slaughter….and Gullible like Dumb Down Americans and Fall for this BS and name call over How one’s going to treat the Vets better this time than the last just because they say so. We need to put pressure on those So-called Vet Organizations who don’t say or do a damn thing call them on their BULLSHIT AND DONT STOP….

  6. Let’s see what the options are here…

    First of all vets are getting maimed, experimented on, retaliated against, wrongfully denied property owed, neglected, and mistreated by an out of control federal agency called VA. This has been documented for several lifetimes of men, multiple presidencies, and uncountable tales of misconduct and malpractice.

    We can either hire more folks to perpetrate and strengthen the organization as it is thereby not allowing it to wilt on the vine, OR we can stop hiring in more folks to perpetrate what should never have been.

    Meanwhile vets continue to die, be retaliated against, and neglected by an out of control federal agency put in place to help them in the times of their most dire need. The corpses of dead vets rot unburied in VA morgues, and the headline is a hiring freeze. Vets are being infected without recourse by countless tales of filthy surgical instruments and knowingly at the hands of VA employees, and the headline wonders if we should fill in key positions at VA.

    Vets are being shut out of the lives that we owe them in return for the sacrifices they made for us, and the headline today speaks to a draw down of manpower within VA ranks.

    Ben, the headline today is about a hiring freeze for an agency that willfully leaves our honored vets out in the cold, and treats them like vermin. I challenge therefor a basic precept to the article – I challenge the idea that such an agency has even ONE postition that is the key to veteran survival and good health and has proven it through their actions.

    Where is the data to support such a notion?

  7. @Crazy elf, It’s like a big F**k You to everyone, we will do like we’ve always done. It’s, “that”, action that’s killing veterans. They received the millions of dollars to hire and blatantly they put it in their pockets. We all see the problems. See if Murphy will do us a freebie, and deliver a letter from Ben to the press. The right ones in office don’t hear us, or they do. Guess I will try to find an ear. Senator Shelby, said he was on Veteran’s oversight committee. I will ask if I can find out what the VA plans to do with the millions they didn’t need because that money was designated for three positions not being hired. His only answer to any requests, was canned. He did say he’d keep me in his heart. Uh uh….

  8. The VA maintains a broken system with tons of $$$$ in order to keep the $$$$$ for their own means, not the very Veterans they are supposedly there to serve and assist.

    Serve and Assist. Self-serving with assistance of forklifts to move an engorged purple team member from one hallway to another after greasing-up the hallways.

    The VA has belligerently and obstinately refused to hire the VA Human Resources [ersonnel that would potentially in-turn hire the rest of the pack of engorged purple team members, so again, the VA is maintaining the broken system in a very codependent and petulant child way. Manipulating the very gates to work at a VHA by simply refusing to hire the guards at the gates or the wielders to cut the locks…letting the VA Systemic mess rust in-place like those locks…

    Oh…WTF happened to all those BILLIONS in IT “FIXES”? One would THINK in order to FIX that system, you would NEED (let me think a minute….)…..IT WORKERS!

    Rat bastards…

    “The VA, where we create world class problems as fixes for even more future problems”.

    The VA would GIVE Veterans tetanus or MRSA just to be able to ask for $$$ for the medicine and then spend it on damn artwork…I like artwork and culture, but the only culture at the VA belongs at the CDC under nitrogen cryogenics or blasted into the heart of the Sun.

    Rant Out.

    Not really…AUDIT THE HELL OUT OF THE VA!!!!!!!!!! (I am really starting to actually believe our Gov’t WANTS the VA broken JUST as it exists. WHY? One BIG SLUSH FUND! While making ‘traction’ over Veterans….that traction is the steel plates of the meat grinder’s bulldozer crawler).

    Now, rant out!

  9. I’m reposting this again because I want to get the message out to as many people as possible about the discriminatory Disney resort that is shades of green.

    Off topic but important..

    So there is a military ran Disney resort I discovered while searching for a summer vacation to take my family to. It’s called shades of green. I was really excited about it until I read into it further. There website states that you are only eligible if you are active duty retired or 100% disabled vet. Non retired vets can only visit during the months of January and September. WTF kind of a “spit in the face” is that?! I am a 15 year hurricane Katrina, OEF, and OIF combat vet who is partially disabled “got f***ed up a few times during my army time” with 3 combat MOS’s under my belt. But I am not good enough to go to your resort! FU shades of green! Change your policy so that all veterans are treated equally not just the select few.

    • I know how you feel W2. Had a place where I use to go and bring others to forget there troubles and commune with nature. It provided easy access for anyone disabled to fish and always filled a stringer every time I went. I brought other veterans and people who, like myself, were disabled. It was truly amazing to see the change in people each time I took them there, usually in a group of four or less. For most it was always a fishing experience of a lifetime with guaranteed success.

      Word got out about my fishing hole. Some of the people I shared the experience with made the mistake of spreading the word at the VFWs post in my area. Right away the leadership at the VFWs in the area had a brain storm to build a site there to make it more accessible to more Veterans. They “Claimed” the site would only be used for Veterans primarily disabled Veterans to get away and commune with nature. The funding came from grants and donations to Veterans.

      I stopped going to the site because the fish population died off from over fishing and the peace and quit turned to spoiled kids and fake ass Veterans. This small fishing hole through grants and donations to help poor disabled Veterans like myself has been turned into a VFW resort. Complete with Bingo, Gambling machines, bar, restaurant, RV park, Trailer park and no-more peace and quite.

      Here are a few articles which chronicles the history of the changes.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~
      “Outdoor veteran’s retreat breaks ground”, Aug 16, 2012
      “http://www.presspubs.com/burnett/news/article_7769d24c-e721-11e1-9e69-001a4bcf887a.html”

      DAIRYLAND—While a lone eagle soared overhead, a large crowd stood at attention while the VFW District 10 Honor Guards posted the colors at the future site of the Dairyland Outdoor Veterans Retreat (DOVR) Campground near Radigan Dam on Saturday.
      Present were members of the VFW New Richmond Post 10818, Superior Post 1091 and Post 5729 from Medford. At the podium were Senator Bob Jauch, State of Wisconsin Veterans Affairs Officer Nathaniel Nez, Douglas County Board Chairman Doug Finn, 21st District Supervisor Mary Bergman and Brandon Allen of Dairyland. Also present was Tom Nimsgern the Staff Assistant from Congressman Sean Duffy’s Superior Office.
      “This is an exciting day for the DOVR Board and the Dairyland community,” commented Senator Jauch, “never be surprised what a small group can do.”
      Looking around at the serene and scenic lakeside site Jauch added “This project combines the best of our natural environment and the peace in the human spirit; the location touches us where life matters most — the heart.”
      Jauch said this is a project that will take many small steps and this groundbreaking was a huge leap for a small community with a big heart for veterans.
      “In the past the Veterans Administration focused on the individual veteran, but now there’s been a shift and the State and Federal Veterans Affairs officers are focusing more on veteran family care.” Nathaniel Nez explained.
      Nez presented the DOVR board with a certificate from the Department of Military Affairs, signed by Gov. Scott Walker and Secretary John Scocos. Both Walker and Scocos signed a Certificate of Recognition saying “On behalf of the State of Wisconsin, we offer our deepest appreciation of your efforts to build a veterans retreat where veterans and their families can relax and reconnect. Your commitment to this vision will help those who have served and sacrificed find peace and healing.” Nez is the Tribal/Regional Coordinator for the Wisconsin Dept. of Military Affairs based in Park Falls.

      ~~~~~~~
      “Veterans helping vets”, By Shelley Nelson on Apr 5, 2016
      “http://www.superiortelegram.com/news/douglas-county/4001706-veterans-helping-vets”

      Over the last few years, volunteers have been hard at work turning a 14-acre parcel of land in Dairyland from a wooded area to a retreat where veterans can relax in the outdoors.
      They’ve managed to get a well in, cleared land and moved a lot of dirt, constructed a pavilion, and shower and storage building, developed 12 recreational vehicle sites, and even erected a flagpole, donated in honor of fallen Marine Sgt. Chad Allen whose parents, Steve and Deb Allen, lived in Dairyland when he was killed in Iraq in 2007.
      But there’s more work to be done.
      Now four organizations that support veterans are coming together to help. The Superior Elks Lodge 403 in cooperation with the American Legion Richard I. Bong Post 435, Submarine Veterans Western Superior Base and the Retired Enlisted Association Superior Chapter 119 are hosting a spaghetti dinner fundraiser Friday to help pay for construction costs. The dinner runs 5-8 p.m. at the Elks Lodge, 1503 Belknap St.
      “The union plumbers are coming down,” said Rod Wilson, director of the Dairyland Outdoor Veterans Retreat on County Road TT at the Radigan Dam waterway. “We’ve had so much luck with the unions up here. The union carpenters built this,” he said, pointing to a photograph of the shower house and storage building on the site. “We sided it, but they built it and roofed it up. We’ve got 12 RV sites ready to go for the May 7 fishing opener. Our grand opening is June 3-4, and everyone who knows about this is invited.”
      The retreat is a nonprofit campground serving veterans, but the project has a way to go, Wilson said.
      “It’s approved for seven cabins and 25 trailer sites,” Wilson said, which haven’t been built yet.
      Wilson said the organization has been applying for grants, and five years into the project they are discovering that’s what it takes to get attention from grantors.
      “They don’t want any fly-by-nighters,” Wilson said. He said the organization has applied for a $700,000 grant through Anderson Windows, as well as others in the ongoing effort to build a retreat where veterans can enjoy the outdoors in northern Wisconsin.
      And helping the retreat reach its goal inspired the organizations to come together to raise money for the project.
      “I guess it started with the Elks,” said member Troy Magnuson. “We tried to get as many organizations involved as possible so we’d get the word out and get more people involved. We’re all trying to help veterans out so why not do one big project.”
      The dinner includes the usual fair — spaghetti, garlic bread sticks and all the fixings. In addition, there will be a two raffles with drawings to take place at a later date, three 50/50 drawings and a silent auction with proceeds going to the Dairyland Outdoor Veterans Retreat
      “It’s for veterans,” said Butch Liebaert of the Retired Enlisted Association.
      “We give all our money away one way or another,” said Dennis Bee of the American Legion Richard I. Bong Post 435. He said they’ve been looking for new ways to help veterans because some ideas haven’t worked as well as others.
      However, they have found success when it comes to helping other veterans.
      “We always donate to the veterans home up on the shore, and they are always very, very appreciative,” Bee said.
      So when the opportunity to help the veterans retreat presented itself, they decided to get involved.
      Magnuson said they also got the submarine veterans involved, which includes about 30 members in the area.
      “It’s something different for the organization,” Magnuson said.
      Wilson said in addition to grant-writing and the fundraiser next week — and donations and in-kind contributions from nearly 70 organizations throughout northern Wisconsin and Minnesota, the retreat is selling pavers to memorialize veterans in a planned memorial garden.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      “Veterans Retreat opens”, by Robin Blomberg, Jun 12, 2016
      “http://www.burnettcountysentinel.com/news/veterans-retreat-opens/article_3a14d2c2-2f2d-11e6-b208-d7cd5e92c6ec.html”

      “DAIRYLAND—On Saturday, June 4, Dairyland Outdoor Veterans Retreat (DOVR) held its official grand opening, complete with an honor guard and several speakers including American Legion Chaplain Butch Liebert from Superior.
      Raffles, food sales and other fundraising activities were held throughout the weekend.
      At the ceremony, keynote speaker State Senator Bob Jauch shared stories of his personal history and affection for Radigan Dam and Reservoir, the location of this new campground to benefit veterans.
      Radigan Dam is 18 miles north of Danbury and 37 miles south of Superior, just off State Hwy. 35.
      A lovely pavilion overlooks the reservoir. Adjacent is a flagpole which flies “Old Glory.” This is where the honor guard ceremony, paying tribute to veterans, was held. The flagpole will soon be surrounded by a memorial garden featuring personalized pavers.
      More information on DOVR, including how to contact V.P. Becky Sanford to order a paver to personally and permanently honor a veteran, can be obtained by visiting “http://www.dovr.org.”
      This season, DOVR expects to begin construction on at least two of the seven planned cabins.
      The campground retreat is intended to provide free, temporary accommodations for veterans and immediate family members, and will be open to the public on a fee-for-service basis.
      DOVR President Ron Deyo said donated use of earthmoving equipment will help them complete much of the landscaping this summer.
      A ceremony highlight was an $8,600 donation from Superior Elks Club.
      Ground-breaking was on July 11, 2012. Effective May 24, 2016, DOVR received its campground operator’s license and can now accept campers.
      When completed, it will feature seven two-bedroom cabins, 25 concrete pads for campers/travel trailers and 20 or more tent camping sites. The multipurpose building is now complete. It includes an office, maintenance area, restroom and shower facilities.
      DOVR is a not-for-profit operation and relies heavily on donated materials and labor.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      From the articles above.
      “Wilson said the organization has been applying for grants, and five years into the project they are discovering that’s what it takes to get attention from grantors.
      “They don’t want any fly-by-nighters,” Wilson said. He said the organization has applied for a $700,000 grant through Anderson Windows, as well as others in the ongoing effort to build a retreat where veterans can enjoy the outdoors in northern Wisconsin.”
      “At the ceremony, keynote speaker State Senator Bob Jauch shared stories of his personal history and affection for Radigan Dam and Reservoir, the location of this new campground to benefit veterans.”
      “The campground retreat is intended to provide free, temporary accommodations for veterans and immediate family members, and will be open to the public on a fee-for-service basis.”
      “The multipurpose building is now complete. It includes an office, maintenance area, restroom and shower facilities.”
      “They’ve managed to get a well in, cleared land and moved a lot of dirt, constructed a pavilion, and shower and storage building”

      ~~~~~~~
      A few pics posted on FaceBook showing the inside of the “multipurpose building” / “storage building” when it comes to Appling for the grants at this resort to help Veterans commune with nature.

      The Bingo hall.

      “https://www.facebook.com/DOVRWI/photos/pcb.1339406542795723/1339406359462408/?type=3&theater”
      “https://www.facebook.com/DOVRWI/photos/pcb.1339406542795723/1339406362795741/?type=3&theater”

      Bar & Restaurant
      “https://www.facebook.com/DOVRWI/photos/pb.140724272663962.-2207520000.1493210699./1339406419462402/?type=3&theater”

      “https://www.facebook.com/DOVRWI/photos/pcb.1339406542795723/1339406356129075/?type=3&theater”

      “https://www.facebook.com/DOVRWI/photos/pcb.1339406542795723/1339406362795741/?type=3&theater”

      • In other words they took about a $1.5 Million county park and turned it into another for profit business for the VFWs as a Camping and resort built and funded through grants and donations claiming it was to be used to assist Veterans.

        Another Fricken rip-off claiming to help veterans.
        The VFWs just built a new post with taxpayer and donor money in the name of Veterans.

        Needless to say I don’t show anyone my other fishing holes.

  10. I asked a guy I know about this, and he said when Trumps hiring freeze was lifted, it was lifted for almost all positions other than some clerical people, but even that has since been lifted.

    Without seeing more detail on the positions not being filled, I can’t tell whether these positions need to be filled or if there is some other reason for not filling them…such as drawing down a federal agency as you said Ben.

    200 Veterans Benefits Administration

    Which positions are not being filled in VBA? Claims processors would hurt veterans, but mid-level flunkies that are simply worthless bureaucrats would not be missed.

    400 VA Information Technology (IT)

    This one is interesting given how often the VA has talked about upgrading their IT. So they can get all the whiz-bang IT devices possible, but without IT, who keeps them operating? Or will this be turned over to a contractor, and then called a cut in the work force as was done during Clinton-Gore?

    100 Human Resources

    This seems more in line with Trumps original freeze, but I thought even the freeze on clerical was lifted. Does this matter much if those processes can be centralized like the VA is doing everything else? That often seems to be an excuse at a local hospital…that they cannot do something because a process has been centralized and is taken care of in another state.

    Given the number of quacks and swamp rats that need to be fired from the VA, perhaps Shulkin should be re-thinking this and hiring more than 100 in Human Resources.

    What’s also interesting about this number is when the freeze was first put in place, the VA whined loudly about only doctors and nurses not being hired.

    Did the VA leave these positions open so long they decided they no longer needed them anyway? I mean, I’m sure there are plenty of flunkies looking at the money they save by not hiring these people that can be spent on their bonus.

    The only way to really know is if one of your inside sources provides some details, or another VA insider comments here.

    • The reason i saw the upper/mid managers of service lines not fill positions is so they could have the unspent salary dollars to spend on anything allegedly linked to Veterans/patient care and that was a subjective decision. That could be a $200.00 lamp for their desks made of solid cherry, conference education weekends, and themselves. Educational trips to improve or accentuate their education/degrees. They didn’t want to hire more doctors/ pa’s/np’s/providers. That was my experience.

  11. Off topic, but did anyone else see this story about a female Army vet tying her service dog to a tree and shooting him 5 times while her and her active duty Army boyfriend video taped it?

    This article seems to have the most detail on what happened:

    “http://popularmilitary.com/exclusive-owner-dog-slain-veteran-soldier-speaks-really-happened/”

    While most of the other articles hit some of the details.

    “https://www.armytimes.com/articles/army-vet-and-special-ops-soldier-boyfriend-charged-with-shooting-her-service-dog”

    Most of the articles I see seem to highlight she was an Army vet with PTSD…which I believe is misleading.

    I truly understand those who love animals, especially dogs. What is stunning to me is this getting world-wide media attention while a veteran setting himself on fire outside a friggin VA hospital barely gets mentioned in the local news.

    “http://popularmilitary.com/police-release-dash-cam-footage-of-veteran-setting-himself-on-fire-outside-va/”

    • Those Veterans need to each be adorned with some of Lady Gaga’s meat dresses and dropped into a pen with a -5- of salivating canines. A canine for each bullet.

      Humans can be such horrific animals, Veterans aside, PTSD or not, that’s sociopathic/borderline personality disorder, the ingredients of some of the best serial killers.

      People can really suck. This dog story tragedy raised the hair on my back. (sasquatch siting) 🙂

      • Seymore, the only way I can see her having PTSD was if she was sexually assaulted while on her tour in Korea as a Multimedia Illustrator.

        But then her history of domestic violence before joining the Army suggests she had mental health problems before joining.

        One article I read said she was separated from the military administratively, another said she was medically retired.

        Another article said she received 80% disability for her PTSD, without saying if that was military or VA.

        One combat veteran commenting on one of those articles said he had at least one if not two combat tours (i don’t recall which) and the VA would only give him 20% for PTSD.

    • Let me have the two of them. I promise I can re-habili….oh who am I kidding? I just want to try out my new ball peen hammer.

      • I’d also like to see if my dad’s sledge hammers are still accurate in their terminal velocity. 🙂 *PEEN* **SLEDGE** *PEEN* **SLEDGE** ~WHACK~

    • The VA will use any video or article to show how veterans are sick deranged individuals, when given the opportunity!
      On the other hand, any video or article that will show the VA in a bad light is always “censored”!

      We all know this is true!

      The question is, “How can this be turned around in the veterans favor?

      • Hey Elf,

        You asked a very important question.

        “The question is, “How can this be turned around in the veterans favor?”

        The simple answer is truth.

        Each and every week day that Ben post a new article we come here and discuss it in the comment section. We also share sometimes totally unrelated info about things going on in the Veterans world.

        Also each day in the following us section you can see the numbers grow as to the number of people who are following Ben’s articles and their comment sections on both Face Book and Twitter.

        So Elf each day more and more Veterans are being presented with the Truth.

        So each day Elf and everyone else keep presenting the truth people are listening.

        Know that you are part of an organized effort to present the truth about what is really happening to Veterans. Also know that Ben and this Blog have done more for Veterans in the last several years than all of the, so called, Big Six VSOs combined have done in the last 15 years.

        Each and everyone posting here is a part of that. Keep up the Great Work Elf.

  12. Let’s see; VA offers budget. Were these 4,000 jobs in the budget? That’s upward of, thirty million dollars. How much of what the VHA asks for, goes to what they ask for? The entire VA is so broken. All I can do anymore when I read VA crap is bow my head and find a moment of silence.

  13. Honestly with Shulkin’s hiring, firing and promotion practices, I believe the hiring freeze is a good thing. His hiring practices show a willfulness to hire people who are wholly inadequate to do the jobs they are hired for and in some cases the people hired have their own agendas that include failure of programs at the VA. His promotion practices show a clear “planned path to failure” within departments. His firing practices show a clear targeting of whistle blowers and people who are actually trying to do their jobs at the VA.
    Last Fridays White House release of Shulkin’s Personal Finance File and Ethics agreement show just how unethical and uncaring about patients care Shulkin is. After his being hired as President of the Atlantic Health System Shulkin accepted paid positions as a member of the Board at 15 different Vendors supplying the health care system. A glaring conflict of interest at all 15 of them. Although, not known for sure, he was likely making $50,000 per year or more in each of these board positions and receiving stock incentives. In plain English Shulkin was being paid at least $750,000 each year to make decisions at Atalantic Health care favorable to these 15 different corporations.
    That doesn’t include the numerous paid positions he then accepted as a Professor of Medicine at numerous Medical schools while being the President of the Atlantic Health Care system. Insuring the medical schools controlled the hiring, and Research, at the Atlantic Health System. While Shulkin enriched himself at patients’ expense. All while being paid as a Professor of Medicine from at least 3 separate Medical Schools who hired him while he was the Pres of Atlantic Health Care. The average pay of a professor of Medicine is between $129,271-$202,697 per year. Again, in plain English he was being paid at least $387,813 to $608,091 plus bonuses to make decisions at Atlantic Health to benefit the Medical Schools.
    Before they do anymore hiring they need to fire that walking talking unethical self-enriching conflict of interest chasing Shulkin.

    Sources:
    2017 Personal Finances File For: Shulkin, David J

    at: “http://pfds.opensecrets.org.s3.amazonaws.com/N99999872_2016_Nom.pdf”

  14. @SeymoreKlearly, think I finally spelled name right. You’ve always posted very accurately. I’m not a leader. Y’all are easier to learn from than any other sites. So, bottom line is, Shulkin’s self serving, Isaacson is just loud, Senate can’t gather support, Trump’s influence is questionable, and then, the VA won’t follow the law anyway. Sounds like the VA is getting worse. Oh well, another promise. I’m sorry for what so many Veterans who bear the suffering and pain and the ones that die so the Shulkins of the world can sleep at night. God Bless the Veterans and their families.

  15. Hire more and compitent people to work on the Appeals backlog and regional offices on remand’s .Damn 9 years on a claim ? Three years since remand from court of veterans Appeals ?

  16. As VA and VHA, as a part of VA, has proven it cannot or will not provide minimally adequate care for veterans, I think this reduction is good. I believe VA is incapable of performing its mission due to an immutable unethical culture. Putting more people into into a badly led/managed organization only creates a larger badly led/managed organization. Dissolution is the only solution.

  17. Today, 27 Apr 2017, POTUS will sign the “executive order” – (trying to) “hold VA employees accountable and protecting Whistleblowers!” (paraphrasing)!

    From: “Military.com/Daily News”
    dated: 27 April 2017
    Titled;

    “Trump to Sign Order Creating Accountability Office at VA”

    Associated Press | by Darlene Superville.

    From the article: Quote; “Shulkin said the purpose is to help identify “barriers” that make it difficult to fire or reassign employees deemed unfit to work at the department and serve veterans!”

    The only “barriers” I see – is the corrupt AFGE union!
    Get rid of the union and it will make it extremely easy to fire a MAJORITY of incompetent (and those criminal) employees! (I believe the union has around 220,000 dues paying members in the VA!)
    I’m not sure of how he’ll get rid of the upper management employees, (SES’rs and Directors) ! Those reprobates need “special attention” when it comes to being fired and held accountable!

    Does anyone accept this bullshit from “Shulkin”? All I see from “Shulkin” is a bunch of “Smoke and Mirrors!”

    POTUS needs to “Get Tough on VA” and fulfill his promise to Veterans!
    Did you get the memo President Trump?

  18. Agitated, trust factor with people hard to measure, suspicious of others and their intentions, losing more sleep, loud noises makes me jump and causes a rush of adrenaline, housebound and feel like a pent up animal, can’t get refreshed, body aches with deep soreness from muscle spasms, lack of concentration, hard to think of the words to clearly express the thoughts that are in my mind, myself, feeling weak and at times struggling to be balanced, low cravings from favorite food groups or types, body feels like its toxic, no consistent backup from local or distant family members, no local friends call to check up on me, life is not like it use to be, and I don’t feel the same anymore.

    You let your local family and friends know that you’re in a jam like you’ve never been before, share with them that you’re concerned about your health and life, and due to your ailments and the way that you feel, you ask them to contact you to see how you’re doing with your battle, and as you look at the phone, you’re thinking that the ringer doesn’t work.

    Oh, and the VA? Well, recently they just started to call supposedly out of concern, you let them know how you feel and what you need help with, they take their time, and I don’t hold my breath while waiting for a call back on the issues that I previously made them aware of. WTF.

    Then you say to yourself, society sucks, and your love ones could care less. And my dog, . . . well, he should be emotionally attached to me, but due to the VA’s lack of fucking backup and understanding, they totally fucked up the possibility of a special bond between a Veteran and his meant to be Buddy. What do I do, put the dog up for adoption, and try to bond with a new canine?

    For the VA not to help a Veteran to bond with his Buddy, is totally inhumane. The Veteran depends on his K9 Service Dog, the dog is a part of himself, and extension so to speak. Specific VA employees should be exposed, investigated, arrested, charged, and restricted from treating Veterans.

    I don’t know where I can find anymore to give so that it can be trampled upon. I withdrawal and draw my boundaries. The suspicions come reeling back like thunder that pierces your body. Its happening all over again. Do I cancel my phone service? Do I cancel my . . . ? WTF. A vicious physical, psychiatric, and emotional roller coaster, and I willing didn’t purchase a ticket. WTF.

    • @Stuck In T he Middle By Myself- You are NOT alone, brother/sister/survivor. I am in basically the same shoes with indifferent family and my Veteran best friends have been more or less killed-off by the VA’s direct or indirect negligence, all in last 7 years or so, but I do have a cat…maybe not the same as an official service dog, but I suggest you adopt a shelter pet, engage in hobbies, music, journal, whatever you enjoyed in past but no longer do….but wanted you to know you can do this if I can with my particular shit sandwich life squeezed out for me. 🙂

      You have more than kinship here, and welcome to the pack.

    • Stuck,

      You need to seek help outside of the VA.

      Also if you are physically able you need to get out and walk your dog for an hour each and every day.

      The VA meds are your ticket to Bye Bye land. You need to seek help outside of the VA and get you off those meds.

    • @”Stuck”
      Seymore and namnibor gave some really great suggestions.
      Here’s something I find helps. Especially when I’m in that “Cabin Fever” mode.
      Do you live in an area where there’s NO ONE close to you?
      #1.) If yes, go outside and scream – let your aggressions go!
      #2.) If NO, when you walk your “service dog”, find a secluded area and use suggestion #1 as a “release of anger and frustrations!”

      I do this a few times a month. It helps me. Could only help – not hurt!

    • Stuck in the Middle with Myself, Its difficult to learn how to live with yourself but it can be done. Figure out if your canine will work for treats or toys or plain affection. Sadly you’re not alone, Hang in there.

    • @Stuck in the Middle with Myself, sorry you are suffering. I can feel your pain and frustration in what you wrote. The other Veterans gave you some good advice and you are not alone. I have felt that same frustration dealing with the va, society and my family. I came to realize that I cannot solve my problems all at once and can only deal with them one at a time.

      Do not lump all your problems into a pile and expect to resolve them. Do not overwhelm yourself. Choose your battles. These problems didn’t happen all at once, they happened over time. This is how you resolve problems is with a little time. Concerning the va, get on choice or another health care avenue if you are being poorly treated. Take action, talk to a patient advocate, write letters, try to get out of the system if you can.

      Your family and friends probably do not understand the pain that you are suffering in and pain is a difficult subject that people tend not to discuss. Give them some time. My family had a difficult time understanding all things that caused me pain. Your family loves and cares about you and maybe do not know how to help you. If you need something, specifically tell them what you need. If they don’t call give them a call and ask them how they are doing. Interact with them.

      You need to try to get yourself on a schedule of being active (small steps), regular eating and sleeping. Lack of sleep can distort things and make everything look and feel worse than what is actually happening. Your brain cannot process and download if you do not sleep. Tell your healthcare providers of your not sleeping, it can cause more pain and more confusion.

      Please don’t give up on your service dog. They need you and have feelings. They need us as much or more than we need them sometimes. My dog knows when i am in pain, frustrated and do not sleep. She actually gets nervous when i am not sleeping because she knows i am having problems. She helps me keep a schedule and will let me know when i need to rest if i am too agitated. She is just a mut and was a rescue but became attached to me for some reason.

      Just remember that you are not alone and are important to others. People need each other and our pets need us to survive as well. If you have to talk come back here and talk. There are Veterans who would be more than willing to talk to you.

    • @Stuck in the Middle with Myself – – – I have a veteran buddy who has a lot in common with you. I am going to e-mail him, and steer him to your posting. We’ll see what he has to say . . . I think the two of you could help each other.

      Welcome Aboard. There are many on this board that will offer suggestions. Seymore, Namnibor, Jo3n, Ex va, cj, Crazy elf, and Dennis are all worth listening to. As are others. Take all their suggestions and try them. If something works for you, keep it. If something does not work for you – – – discard it, then move on to try the next suggestion.

    • @Stuck

      Lolz I think I have cancelled my phone number four times in as many years. I simply never got the knack of enjoying myself around people. In small doses it works out ok, but severe PTSD is not just a name for a mythical dilemna. It is a set of symptoms that take it or leave it has been guiding my path for decades. Even after decades I also still feel stuck in moments long past that force their way into my head.

      It took a while to get comfortable with living as a hermit inside society, but like you I discovered that people suck to be around for very long. I find it helps to vape marijuanna extracts and take long walks (in either order lol). Never underestimate the power of a good long walk – move a muscle and change a thought.

      There is no trick to living with PTSD. Just do the best you can as you define it for yourself. If you need to seek something and aren’t sure what it is then try to seek your calling. Trying to find your self assigned mission in life, then carrying out that mission may well be the road to a life you can choose to live with. Find your calling and you find your way.

      No fear. No shame. Semper Fi.

      Good luck my friend.

  19. Sherman Gillums April 6, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    I guess I understand the meaning of “fake news” after reading this article. Under no circumstance did Paralyzed Veterans of America — nor would we — negotiate budget cuts in VA. In fact, we’ve staunchly advocated for an increase in clinical staff, infrastructure repairs at spinal cord injury centers, expansion of benefits for caregivers, and accessible travel options for our members, all of which require more money, not less. To cite rumors that are circulating around Capitol Hill as the gospel is tabloid journalism, at best……………………..
    I wonder what old SHERMAN would say about his comment now. I bet he’s reading this now

    • @OLDMARINE – – – He must be “New Corps” AKA “Spin Corps”. You and I came up through the “Old Corps” AKA the “Thanks, Sir” or “Guilty As Charged. No excuse, Sir – – Corps.

      Then we learned quickly from our mistakes – – – took our punishments – – and moved on.

      Semper Fi to you, Sir.

      • and Semper Fi to you, also Sir. and never give up the battle until your dead.. its to easy just to give up

  20. No need to hire VA can get free labor from the high schools & train them the way they want them. Have you seen this: called Secondary Options sent out by Palo Alto VA today. High school students with special needs get to gain work experience in various areas of the hospital in positions under IT, clinical services, research labs, tracking the weight of Veterans for the Home Telehealth program etc…. Who else is enthusiastically working for VA we have No Clue about.
    “https://www.paloalto.va.gov/PALOALTO/features/secondaryoptions.asp”

  21. @Ben: >> Another is to reduce overtime. And still another is to gum up a process using bureaucratic maneuvering to wrongfully deny claims.

    VA has taught & rewarded their employees to be specialists at “wrongfully denying claims”. they pride themselves on it. their lawyers at Central Office used to brag about it openly.

    VA will control the purse to pay civilian doctors thereby controlling what that doctor can and cannot write on reports i suspect. for many of us, it was by stepping outside the VA as a last resort, when we woke up so to speak, that we got correct diagnosis. in my case no VA doctor would acknowledge it and thus i had to secure a lawyer to file that claim just so VA would recognize the service-connected injury & illness.

    @Ben: >>Or, is the move aimed at forcing the federal government to fail in key areas to then justify further privatization including within VA?

    we all saw and heard shulkin on tv the other night, fox news, say VA was not going way of privatization. who can believe what he says.

    at this rate, Americans should just form a private contractor military or citizen military, obtain some form of good health insurance under a federal umbrella like fed employees have to conver disability/illness. why not, VA hasn’t in decades fixed much regarding the blatant denying of benefits via any means necessary, legal or not. and Congress/WH hasn’t helped much or held anyone accountable.

    since 1990 and especially post-9/11 look at all the online veteran websites dedicated to the veteran community and their ongoing struggles with VA & disability compensation. it is mindblowing & disturbing to say the least.

    back in 2013 didn’t VA urge veterans “with combat-related disabilities to seek the help of accredited claims preparers, rather than file benefits claims themselves directly to the VA.”

    “The VA says the practice will help cut its nationwide backlog of benefits claims. Veterans advocates, however, say the request by the VA only confirms how onerous the claims process has become. And the advocates worry that paperwork and filing delays will leave veterans seeking benefits for disabilities …”

    like we all say and know, nothing has changed. Congress and VA has gotten sneakier and better at smoke-n-mirrors, that is all that has changed. oh, except VA keeps getting mo money from taxpayers and i suspect some in Congress are getting kickbacks from this too. for if the powers that be really and truly wanted to fix VA it would have been.

  22. Here is an interesting article from the Washington Examiner:
    “http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/veterans-affairs-has-346-workers-who-do-only-union-work/article/2621385”

    Of course, we all knew or suspected this – – – but I am surprised that the number is so low.

    • Disgruntled Veteran
      That number could be just in that one district.
      I would guarantee you that number is significantly higher!

      • @elf – – – Yeah. I had that thought as well. After my first two weeks of reading this blog, not too much surprises me anymore. But I must say THAT number did. I was thinking possibly a misprint? System-wide, 39,600 would seem to me to be a more viable number . . .

      • Shit Sandwich is still pretty steamy. Thanks for asking. It’s social gatherings such as that I attended for a couple days that remind me why I really rather keep my distance from other humans, or most humans. Not for my protection…theirs. 🙂

      • @Nam – – – I understand “self-imposed” hermitacy for others protection. Been practicing that policy pretty much for years. Once or twice yearly, we have a Vet hermit party here in the islands. We all get together at the beach for a few hours, share food and whatnot.

        After that, all our yearly communication done electronically. We stay out of each others way unless a crisis occurs – – – then EVERYONE makes their resources available in order to help take care of the problem. Works well for me.

        The VA labels it “Anti-social” behavior. It is not. It is behavior to PROTECT the General Public. And my being Alone DOES NOT MEAN I am lonely. My Girlies (dogs), Wife, Books, and you wonderful folks help and allow me to live my life just fine.

        You would think someone with a PhD in Psychology who runs our VA PTSD Program might be able to recognize that. Sadly they seem incapable of doing so. Even when you tell them that directly.

      • Yeah, my Maine Coon Cat mix of 10 years is larger and as smart as a dog and has a very high learning aptitude…in like a Las Vegas cat show runaway in another life type of twilight zone cat….but my cat, and laugh as anyone may, he quickly adopted the full role of my therapy animal, without certification, but am thinking I will do just like the VA and “self-certify” and SHAM WOW….my cat is now a therapy animal.
        Actually does remind me at same times when I take important meds….it’s all about repetition with cats and consistency, and I even had to place duct tape over the printer/scanner power button because he’s always had it in for that printer and he learns by observing and repeating…he was turning the damn printer on and then waiting for the thing to spit out meow mix. 🙂

        Oh, he’s been sticking to me like glue since all this and he’s usually as aloof as I…no coincident.
        In case anyone was wondering, people still suck. (that’s when you take pointers from your pet on strategic silent but very deadly blast from your intestinal past farts to dissipate the assholes) 🙂

        Speaking of assholes, I made the grave mistake of while driving 3 hours, munching on wasabi peas and am seriously thinking of calling the local fire dept to hose my ass with aloe vera and mint. I have Johnny’s “Ring of Fire”…it burns, burns, burns, the ring of fire…”! 🙂

        🙂

      • nam I have 2 dogs and a cat. the black lab and cat stay outside and don’t even like being indoors and are best of friends they even sleep together in the dog house the cat was the runt of the litter. mother cat when the runt was born kept pushing it away from the teat but i made sure she ate and lived and that was the only one i kept.and that cat will not eat cat food prefers what the dog eats.. i have a neighbor with a duck and he comes over every day to visit and all three sit on the grass what a sight to see….the lab was the last of the litter nobody wanted at first i didn’t think she bonded well with me but now she follows me into the woods and doesn’t return home until i do…..I JUST LOVE MY LITTLE REJECTS… and the little guy i have inside i got at the dog pound he is 10 lbs a Maltese there excuse at the pound from the person who put him in there was they couldn’t afford to feed him any more so SITMWM- just give that dog some time

      • I ate a 2 LB bag of them so I am looking at all levels of hell.

        The VA would treat this by having a stainless steel cart they pour liquid nitrogen on to make it cryo cold and suggest the Veteran to tame the burn by sitting bareassed pucker to stainless steel, which would cause another problem like in movie “Joe Dirt” where his dog’s balls froze to the porch and he had to use a spatula to free him…replace dog with Veteran.

      • @Nam – – – Never seen the movie “Joe Dirt” but get the picture. 0.908 Kg of Wasabi Peas in 3 hours? You are lucky to not be in an ICU. Definitely some Aloe applied topically to the affected area will help to ease the burning and itching. Drink plenty water.

        And next time – – – if you gonna munch that much when you drive – – – may I recommend Chex Mix?

  23. @Stuck, as long as you can read and write, you are not alone. The people on this site may not save your life, they will suffer through the VA life with you. You will be heard. At this point, being heard by Veterans is one of few things Veterans have. The VA, VHA, no longer have Veterans interest at heart, or even on their minds. They are out to kill Veterans, or at least make our lives as miserable as they can. Why not the audit? Looks like accountability is up to them, not Veterans. The back log is a crime. Like one Veteran said before, how do you unfuck something? God Bless you, Stuck, and live in spite of the VA.

  24. thankx all for your suggests. been a long, dirty, dusty, bumpy, rocky road gettin no substantial help from va. feel like a burden, people tired of hearin the same story of what i’m dealin with. I’ve tried what most have listed. some I cant do, if i did some others, va would definitely be summoned, and at this point, i’d sacrifice any va hiree that touched me.

    i made va aware of my health in detail. and, let va know on more than once about how my i feel, body areas that should be evaluated more thoroughly, deep body pain, spasms, unstability, no sleep, agitation, lack of appetite, no interests, hyperviligence, low hormone, and more. va knows all of my concerns. i enlisted as a young healthy energetic stupid teen with ambitions and dreams, only to get fucked by the ugly, dam fed protected, non brain, script writing, no listen, dumb, dried vaginal quacks at the va.

    i have watched my body break down, let others know i’m in a jam, and no human movement. you can’t call person when you in pain, you can’t think clearly to talk. hard to put in words, thoughts and feelings rushing in my mind. va is a big mistake. filled with stinky ass whores welcoming in new bonuses. i’m a paycheck for them, not a vet patient that is saying, “hey, need help here, this isn’t right. body and thinkin changing. can you send me someone to check me out?” va say, “no money for that, sir.”

    been a long day, with shitty resultz. concern list is most likely longer than hours in a day. thankx for help. then va wonders why vets treat themselves. i see through their smokescreens. only a show, look good to the public, elected peeps know what is going on inside va, that keeps the lies a flaring out to the ears of vets, if new hires aren’t corrupted they will corrupt them in time.

    what a joke. deny, deny, then i cry, as i role over and disperse a clear and heavy burning fume, that stings their fuckin throat as they gag for fresh air with phlegm dripping off their chins, and liquid snot flows south into their lying crusty mouths, that are full of pellets of impacted poop. va, surprise to you to.

    look at dr. dow in united airlines mishap. i bet he received $millions for his pain and suffering. me, i let va know well ahed of time, that my health is gettin worse, then what? nothin. more sufferin. what happens when there is no more to give?

    fuck the va, they were never there in the beginning of all this mess. hopefully someone with authority, integrity, and power will take these asswipes and flush em into the sewers of no more cocka. va employees are legally treatin vets as they walk to the edge panels of the fed umbrella boardwalk, and toss vets into the sea you, no more. thankx for your service.

    • @Stuck. Seems to me you belong with us – – – the Outcasts and VA “DBC Club” Life Members. We have all paid our dues. Questions you ask are the same ones many of us have, and continue – – – to ask.

      One thing I have noticed among the folk here is that many have NEVER forgotten that “we leave no one behind”. Stick around, you’ll see it too.

      Can’t promise you solutions to your individual medical problems stemming from your service to our nation. We all have them. Some of us talk about them here in detail, while others choose (mostly) to bear them in silence. But everyone here REACHES OUT and helps their fellows and fellowettes as much as they possibly can.

      I can promise you that if you stick around – – – you’ll soon see that you are in the right place.

  25. @SITMWM, Your anger is duly noted and is shared by most of the Veterans on this site. I wish I could say something positive, perhaps others can. I can say don’t give up. That and God I will never give up on. The VA has chosen to trap me in the VA’S unlawful and dangerous to Veterans system. The Administration, year after year after year, tie the Veterans hands and feet. I wish I saw something that may change, I just wish…..

  26. above is why some vets self medicate. va scratches their heads, va informs public that they don’t know why vets act in certain manners. va knows whats happening, its all a scam. don’t be fooled by their bullshit. plenty of data on file, many decades of collecting information, observation. va has the answers, but they don’t want to implement solutions that work. if va truly makes things work and get desired results, that means that the va will receive less advanced allocated monies in their yearly budget.

    va advanced allocated monies in their yearly budget = more bonuses = more parties = more stupid programs that don’t work = more appointment shuffling = more of no follow up calls = more falsifying med records = generic drugs, cheap med supplies that are of low quality = more vet deaths = more main stream media articles about possible va problems = more anxiety with the money changers = more insignificant remarks by va leader and associates; Shulkin’s Shystering Skin heads = more va PR work = more transfers = greedy, corrupted vicious cycle starts all over again = . . . = . . . = etc.

    i realize that i’m missing some parts of the lengthy equation above, but you get what i’m sayin. one day, a vet is going to get mad, and like a young horny dog, mark the territory with its spray. i hope something like this never happens, but the way va acts, don’t be surprised.

    • I’ve tried therapy at the VA and in 6 months I felt like I was talking to a statue every two weeks. I know more about my problems and how to handle them than the VA. Problem is I have to keep going to therapy so I won’t be called a fraud.

  27. I was thinking of trying vocational rehab to get a job in IT, but I think the VA would try and reduce my compensation. I know a woman who’s husband did one semester of college on vocational rehabilitation and the VA sent him a proposal to reduce his compensation. He had to fight it and he won. I bet the same would happen to me and they would probably try to make me work at the VA.

  28. @ Ex VA:Ex I lost. Internet while we were talking. Not only that, I was updating when it happened. My laptop is really messed up, I can’t find a solution online, don’t know how long it will take to fix. Will let you know.

    • -.-. .—, sorry about your computer problems, been having problems with all these storms and satellite signal. Glad your doing ok. Talk sometimes when you get up and running. Take care.

  29. This is my plan outline that I sent to President Trump twice, but I haven’t received a response. Reagan responded to me when I wrote to him. But I digress… Please feel free to critique it.

    Regarding your direction to re-imagine the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), I would like to make the following suggestions. First, I enclosed my resume to provide my bona fides. I left the Department of Defense (DoD) after over 26 years in August 2014 to work for VA Central Office in DC after congressional hearings revealed corruption in VA, particularly in the VA hospital in Phoenix, where my father, an atomic and Vietnam Veteran, died without being able to receive treatment at the VA hospital. The hospital saw him to research the long term effects of radiation exposure but would not treat his service-related maladies. Working within VA, I have identified the causes of VA problems and how to resolve them.

    I respectfully suggest transferring VA functions to other federal and industry organizations that perform the same functions as outlined herein.

    Have DoD perform evaluations to determine service-related disability. This will provide greater control over false claims, as DoD possesses the service records to show whether one was injured in a particular incident.

    Add disabled veterans to the categories of those eligible for Medicare.

    Have VA work with private industry (Kaiser, HealthSouth, etc.) to sell VA hospitals to industry, which will yield earnings, savings, and additional tax revenue.

    Eliminate the Veterans’ Benefits Administration and continue the mission through the Social Security Administration, which currently administers benefits to disabled Americans. Currently, some veterans double or triple dip by obtaining disability benefits from both the SSA and VA and sometimes through Workers’ Compensation as well. No system exists to control this. Each agency has no visibility into the other agencies’ compensation systems.

    Put the National Cemetery Administration under the Department of the Interior or let it remain as its own administration rather than a cabinet level department.

    Eliminate the VA Central Office in DC (where I work) and support offices, which will eliminate space requirements, one Cabinet-level position, and numerous Senior Executive Service, General Service, and Wage Grade positions. These actions would reduce overhead costs. The gaining administrations would have to grow by a far smaller margin than would result from the elimination of VA. Most important to American values, veterans would receive superior care.

    I am volunteering to be part of the solution and work with your team to implement this solution if that would please you.

    Very respectfully,

    • @Dawn, what is it to you if a Veteran double or triple dips as you define it?

      Do you understand that the benefits a Veterans receives is at the poverty level or a little above it? Veterans pay into social security and are entitled to receive it.

      A Veteran receives a pension because they earned it, they served their country and received benefits for their service.

      If a Veteran receives compensation it is for injuries or disabilities they fell victim to it and are entitled to receive those benefits.

      Most Veterans i know have difficulties making their monthly expenses with their social security and pensions. You call this double or triple dipping. You will be double dipping on your federal pension and social security. Why don’t you eliminate those for yourself? Or you could volunteer not to draw your federal pension. What about doing yourself and the Veterans a favor and keep your volunteering to yourself because you are clueless to what the real problems are in the va system.

      • @Ex va – – – Well stated. I completely agree with you. Dawn has an unusual way of looking for a job. She is completely clueless as to what the real needs of current day veterans are. She did say she worked in the VA Central Office which helps to explain a lot.

        Should not the VA Central Office have immediately JUMPED on the Phoenix problem instead of letting it fester until it became a national embarrassment?

        She wants to have DOD perform disability assessments? The same DOD that discharges many veterans on their retirement enlistments? Then recoups their Disability Severance Pay when they go to the VA? Leaving the poor veteran broke and in financial debt to their government for getting fucked up in the service of our nation. THAT DOD?

        Methinks NOT.

      • Disgruntled Vet, did you catch the insinuation that DOD would do a better job of weeding out fraud by doing C&Ps?

        Like they do such a good job of weeding out those with PTSD when they give Dishonorable or less than honorable discharges?

      • When I had my last C&P two NP did the examination. And they said their office was set up to do military boards also. So I expect the lack of using qualified physicians has caused a cancellation of that privatized contract.

        So the game is obviously in flux. I still haven’t been rescheduled and the BVA hasn’t remanded. Just got some forms to fill out but doesn’t indicate there will be a new examination. I think they are going to try to give me TDIU from 2009. I’m try to get it from 1985, my last full time employment.

      • @91Veteran – – – Sure did. Hence my last para regarding DOD. Pretty much briefly covered it all quite briefly. Think Veterans Healthcare is a CLUSTERFUCK now – – – just wait until today’s professional “Military Management Team” begins assigning broken servicemen/women their Disability Ratings. Sweet fuckin’ Chutney on a Shit Sandwich . . .

        Led by General “I oughta’ be in jail with Hillary Mickey Flynn . . .”

      • To clarify valid critiques– I don’t intend that Vets not get any social security benefits and disability pay simultaneously. I’ll edit that to better clarify. I mean that some people apply for disability pay under different systems, illegally, and no system exists that controls for that. Some people apply for multiple sources of disability pay when only one is legal. Some non-vets apply for and receive VA benefits. This all takes money from those who need it.

        How do you think C&Ps should be managed if not by VA, SSA, or DOD upon departure? Offer a solution.

        I’m certainly not looking for a job. I don’t need a job. I don’t suggest someone else work and not offer to help. My father taught me never to be idle while someone else is working.

      • Dawn, I suggest SSA is best equipped and does the best investigations. Therefore one system that sorts out your entitlements. For example, State Disabilites, usually one year then SSI, (SSI just brings your income up to a minimum so any concurrent income like VA comp is deducted), SSDI is paid in addition to other entitlements but is deducted from SSI payments if your SSDI is too low, etc. All of these government entitlements are best sorted out on one computer system.

        You are on the right track. Some scammers used to be able to get SSI from multiple counties as well as state unemployment disability payments etc. But the system is catching up.

      • Thank you for the productive contribution, Lem. I was thinking DOD, because vets on this site complained about SSA, and getting DOD to document the incident before you retire is most effective to get VA to recognize an illness as service-related. But I could go with SSA. Also, given that SSA is essentially set up to do these already, it would have the same practical effect on the SSA as it would have on DOD.

      • My SSA investigation was very complete. The physicians were more complete in their reports. There were no WNL on radiographic reports of old injuries. There was no WNL or ultra sounds of the scaring from injuries to my left kidney.

        Additional the SSA investigator actually made and recorded calls to witnesses including former employers. The VA sent me forms which it takes time for employers to fill out and then some risk in signing them. The VA and military were basically the same in their investigation focusing on “in line of duty”, and other “denial means” without assessing the facts but rather looking for evidence of misbehavior.

      • Lem, Do you think SSA would be even more efficient for vets than DOD is? I’m thinking DOD facilities in some areas are slower than others.

      • My experience with DOD was incomplete examinations. No complete neurological exam with the presentation of subtle signs and a history of delayed unconsciousness for 56 hours. Of course that experience is over 40 years old.

        DOD’s focus is saving DOD and VA compensation expenses. SSA focuses on can the individual be expected to perform for an employer and if not the costs that places upon society if they don’t compensate. Homeless monitoring etc.

    • @Dawn-

      Any Veteran that is 100% Service Connected P&T and that is also FULLY VESTED in Social Security, and is determined Disabled as well by Social Security, can indeed collect BOTH….LEGALLY, bitch!

      It’s not “double dipping” as you cluelessly called it. Also, very FEW Veterans are dually qualified as such and with Social Security it’s either you are 100% Disabled or NOT, no percentages whereas the VA makes that even more diced-up mess.

      This is in the SSA regulations and again, it is NOT double dipping but seems you Dawn, have a case of double dip diphead.

      ~~~GURGLE~~~

      • A Veteran that is not 100% Disabled Veteran as determined by the VA can only receive a paltry SSI payment, which is completely different from SSDI because SSI is used instead when any person is NOT FULLY VESTED WITH SSA, meaning having a solid 10 years worth of work credits to be vested.

        These things are so easy to look-up as well on SSA website. The only “Double Dips” I see at the VA are the dips working there at all levels.

      • I wonder what Dawn would say about Shulkins unethical double dipping prior to coming to work at the VA, or his current double dipping.

        Or Sinazis double dipping by conducting research on the Hep C medicine then dipping in for a multi billion dollar pay off.

      • I like the misogyny. That’s exactly what I’ll get from VA when they see this. I’m not being sarcastic.

      • 91Veteran: I disapprove of unethical behavior in general. Integrity is the most important value to me.

      • Dawn, your statement means zero to anyone who sees there is ZERO ethical behavior among your co workers, in addition to zero integrity.

        Don’t blow smoke up my ass. It makes me question your ethics and integrity.

      • When you talk about someone else, especially someone you don’t know, you are only showing who you are, not who they are.

      • If my statement would mean zero, why would you wonder what I would say? Wonder about things that mean something to you.

    • And studying is much easier than doing a job at a functional level. You can get an A from class and flunk on the job. From experience.

      • Lem, Hope you don’t mind if I use that. I was making the same argument to my bosses, and they didn’t understand.

      • Dawn, please do use it. Two areas immediately come to mind that are the cause. PTSD and temporal lobe seizures. Enervations are the result of both and if not caught during exams leave you swinging in the wind. It is not difficult to pump up the adrenalin and make it through a 2 hour class. Not the same with an 8 hour per day 5 day a week job.

      • Thank you. I didn’t know that. I was arguing that voc rehab/training/education is different in nature. Work involves much more pressure, confrontation, and/or otherwise negative human interactions and reactions. Voc rehab require less adrenaline and stress than a job. In training/education you learn, listen, take notes, interact in a positive way, practice; little is demanded.

      • @Seymore Clearly,@91Veteran: It looks like this VA troll favours Chinese food. Sure sounds like she saved up a stockpile of fortune cookies, to use as arguments. Proof of how the VA only hires the finest, and needs more money, to pay out bonuses, to retain…….. You can’t make this shit up.

      • I am the real Seymore Klearly and yes I did post “Troll!!!!” under the trolls post. Also I did not post the comment at 1:01 pm saying “I didn’t post that.” Clearly it was the troll using my name. Note her post at 12:59 then posting with my name at 1:01 and she also comments in Ben’s Rug Rat article at 1:49 pm “How many Seymore Klearlys are on this site? You can tell be the posts that they are not written by the same person.”

        So to be clear I did write: “Troll!!!!!” at : “http://www.disabledveterans.org/2017/04/26/trump-hiring-freeze-lifted-but-va-will-not-fill-4000-new-positions/#comment-64347”

        The troll caller its self dawn wrote the post

        “Seymore Klearly April 29, 2017 at 1:01 pm
        I didn’t post that.”

  30. @Dawn: Dawn, I went back and read your previous posts. I am wondering, it would look like you posted some really good comments earlier. Why do these recent posts differ so greatly? I am including those posted as Tony, as well. Not understanding the change, and I am not talking about the name.

    • I don’t know. You would know me regardless of my name, because my manner of self-expression is consistent. It appears this site is not well controlled and rife with trolls. I’m going to switch to the Veterans for Common Sense site. It appears more informative and serious. Come with me real Lem and real 91veteran and real Seymour (not Seymour 2, 3, 4…), please. You’ll recognize me by what a pain in the neck I am. Now you see why VA has been trying to destroy my career and life for the past two years.

      Trolls: If you’re only here to rant about politics and conspiracy theories, and/or just babble, you shouldn’t be on a site for disabled veterans. It’s too easy to criticize the man in the arena. With the time you spend on this site, you could be trolling Berniecrats and Russian trolls, please. It’s easy to troll Berniecrats and Russian trolls, because they are both ignorant and the Russian trolls’ English is so poor, and the words and phrases they use are so obviously not American English.

  31. @Seymore Klearly. There is an imposter? WTF? Not in the least bit funny. Disturbing, is what it is!!!! Now we all have to clarify, when we didn’t post?

  32. I am now thinking this VA troll, is also a criminal c+p examiner, worried about losing her job and bonuses, due to the new EO. Why else would she bring up double dipping? And suggest idiotic shit, like let the DOD decide, after all if it was in the veterans record, then there would be no problem? Go to jail asswipe!!!

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