Next Phase Of ‘Fired’ VA Directors

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Fired VA Directors

Benjamin KrauseNews media recently reported the next round of ‘fired’ VA directors of VA medical centers across the country. By ‘fired’ I mean ‘allowed to retire’ per the new VA definition.

For the past two weeks, Secretary McDonald received a lot of heat for his Meet the Press interview claim that 60 VA employees were fired who were linked to wait list manipulations. McDonald included in his number numerous employees who were allowed to retire or admonished in some other way.

Let’s see if you can figure out which directors below are ‘fired’ or actually retiring soon. Here is a list of the potentially ‘fired’ VA directors:

  • Lynette Roff – VA director of Denver VA Medical Center
  • Mark Enderle – VA director of Ozarks Health Care System
  • John Ginnity – Acting director of VA Montana Health Care System
  • Stephen DiStasio – VA director of Black Hills Health Care System

Lynnette Roff – Denver VA Medical Center

Roff is set to retire at the end of this month. Her facility was linked to the wait list scandal and cost overruns related to a new $1 billion facility that is $400 million over budget. Congressman Mike Coffman was pleased by her announced departure:

“The men and women who have served our nation in uniform and sacrificed so much for our freedom deserve better than director Roff’s leadership,” said Coffman, who heads the subcommittee overseeing the VA in the House Committee on Veterans Affairs. “She did the right thing by leaving. The veterans of this nation are desperate for leadership in the VA that will challenge its culture of bureaucratic corruption. The VA needs new leadership at every level.”

Was director Lynette Roff fired?

Source: https://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_27450619/veterans-affairs-chief-denver-retiring

Dr. Mark Enderle – Ozarks VA Health Care System

Enderle will retire at the end of March. No replacement has been found and Mark Worley, chief of staff of the system, is anticipated to take over in the interim. Enderle is stepping down shortly after the retirement of Dr. Michael Winn, the former head of Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System.

Was director Mark Enderle fired?

Source: https://www.nwaonline.com/news/2015/feb/25/va-director-for-ozarks-system-to-retire/

John Ginnity – Montana VA Health Care System

Ginnity, the acting director, will step down now that Trena Bonde is named the new acting director of the facility. Apparently, Federal law restricts the number of days an acting director can serve to 120 days with only one extension of an additional 120 days in the event the facility cannot find a permanent replacement. Ginnity will stay on as associate director.

John Ginnity was clearly not fired.

Source: https://www.krtv.com/story/28190987/bonde-named-as-acting-director-of-va-montana-health-care-system

Stephen DiStasio – VA Black Hills Health Care System

Yesterday, DiStasio suddenly announced he was retiring at the end of this month. VA has no replacement but has named Jo-Ann Ginsburg as the acting director until a full time replacement can be found. The article does not mention much else.

Was director Stephen DiStasio fired?

Source: https://www.newscenter1.tv/news/local/Veterans-Affairs-Black-Hills-Health-Care-System-Director-Retires-293929961.html

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56 Comments

  1. At the top of the list is our own (Colorado’s) lovely Lynette Roff. Being in this healthcare system, I’m pretty sure she was “fired”, although she wouldn’t spin it that way. She was put under some pressure from local legislators to step up and do a better job for the veterans. I know a former VA Dr. who doesn’t like her much, who has since left the VA. I never met her personally, but her reputation for management was to deny vet procedures and referrals at every turn.

  2. In my case, I was told , Director if AMC retired,
    Nope. Working at another AMC.
    Chief Privacy Officer resigned. I do not think so.
    My Privacy Invasion was supposed to be sent ti CENTRAL. NEVER HEARD FROM THEM.

  3. I want to know when they are going to get around to the Fayetteville, NC VAMC, director. The ER have been shut down. She lied to protect her staff and joined in on the character assassination, to cover the “wait list” issue with my husband. But how do you allow your ER to be closed due to no doctors to cover shifts. There are enough doctors to rotate on an additional 4 hours if you know how to do your job. Oh, you are too busy getting bonuses for yourself and your buddies to have doctors do overtime. That would mean they had to actually work to earn their keep.

    • I too wonder when the Fayetteville VAMC director will be fired, as do not only patient but also employees. I’ve had personal contact with her several times and when she finally couldn’t lie anymore she chose not respond to me anymore. After my PC doctor retired I was stuck with a woman that I honestly can’t believe ever went to medical school. She is determined to treat me in a way that will eventually kill me, and I have had enough. I have been trying to get assigned a new PC doc for the past 4 months, but so far no one returns my calls or emails. Frustrated does not even begin to explain how I feel. I have a feeling I’m going to have to switch to the Durham VAMC to get the proper treatment, which is 90 miles away. It will be worth the drive, I’m thinking. So sad things have gotten so bad here. I’m tired of being angry and even a little afraid. Not giving up yet. We’ll see.

  4. Tomah VA director? St Louis VA director ? PITTSBURGH VA director? BUFFALO VA director? Syracuse VA director? Tampa VA director? Orlando VA director ? RALEIGH VA DIRECTOR? CLEVELAND VA DIRECTOR?

    • VA DEATHCARE ONE BIG BIG FEDERAL RICO CRIME RACKET RUN BY THE AFGE UNION CONTRACTS AGIN VETS YO ARE SO SCREWED BY VA DEATHCARE FROM AFGE UNION CONTRACTS HELL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Why? why? why? Are we even talking about BONUS’ ?
    There is just something wrong with that picture!
    Remove ALL bonus schedules, and see if folks aren’t forced to just “Do their Jobs”. They receive a salary for crying out loud, and for some it’s a fat salary at that.
    Why were financial incentives even ever considered, let alone incentive to hold back care from veterans?

  6. Cincinnati VA Director, Linda Smith – also retired on ‘short notice’ right here in the home town of the new VA Administrator. “Fired” or allowed to retire? I bet forced to retire before she became a public relations nightmare here and the skeletons fell out of the closet on her watch too.

  7. I don’t think Mr. McDonald can clean up the VA all by himself. Nor do I believe that’s what his true intentions are. The system is corrupt throughout and that corruption has been allowed to permeate and go on for decades to where it’s become a criminal enterprise or something. If Mr. McDonald was serious about issues of transparency and accountability he would go to Congress and ask for assistance for the Justice Dept.to come in and investigate the VA top to bottom and root out corrupt officials and put them in jail. Including those currently in retirement!

  8. I go to VA clinic in Ft.Worth,Tx. Seems to me there is some tension there lately about the system in dis-array. There seems to be improvement since VA built and opened this new facility about 5yrs ago. The ‘shrink’ who did my P/C was an a$$ho.,very smug and talked down to me,,took him about 5 minutes, about 20 questions, had a prepared list of questions and wanted an immediate response but did thank me for my service and rushed me out the door. NOT very professional in my opinion. I since have been seeing another dr. there who has over-ruled the diagnosis other one did. VA in Waco,Tx. has denied ALL my claims. So the Texas Vets. Commission has filed an appeal as per VA Waco’s letter. Nothing from them since,,no use calling or writing them,,same-o same-o bs., run-around double talk. VFW, AM and DAV is of no use in my opinion. I persevere,,no a quitter, not giving up on my claim status. Next step,,I may go to local tv and newspaper to tell of my experiences and how I’ve been treated by VAMC North Texas. here. Have to be careful,,,big bro is monitoring social groups. Carry on!!!

  9. Slightly off topic, but the email address for Robert McDonald provided here in another thread is not correct. It goes to another Robert McDonald writhing the VA. If you copy Allison Hickey on any email, that address appears to work.

  10. Michael Stephens the benefits director in Indianapolis. needs to go sell used cars for a living. Along with just about EVERONE under him. We had a DRO hearing Tuesday that lasted four hours…only the DRO forgot to turn on the recorder for the first half! Only the tip of the incompetence I have seen to the top of the Indianapolis benefits section.

    I have heard that Tom Mattice the Indy medical center’s director is retiring. He is a good man and tries. We have had great medical care there and when a problem did come up he met with us and fixed it right away.

    Nothing runs at 100% that big. The crime is in the cover-up and Mattice believes in fixing it not covering it up. Stephens I can’t decide if he is just so incompetent of a leader no one listens to him under him or he is a full blown sociopath that can look you right in the eyes while lying.

    And, Willie Clark, BG Hickey, and Robert McDonald have all been notified of it and sent me emails they are on it so let’s see if they can help. They certainly can’t say they didn’t know at this point.

    • Interesting to read you had a hearing that lasted 4 hours. When I had a hearing before the DRO in 1997 in Milwaukee, I was given 1 hour and that was it. At 1 hour it was ended, although I was not finished. It didn’t matter. Maybe rules have changed since then.

      • Robin, I agree with you about Michael Stevens. He and I have talked about my situation and his response to me was for me to drop my appeal. He told me that I would most likely get a reduction in my rating because of the VA changing my coding. I feel as if he did not want to deal with me and this was an easy way to get out of helping the very person he is supposed to help. Don’t hold your breath waiting for help from the others you have e-mailed. I emailed them about my care at the Indy VA and it fell on deaf ears. I tried to contact Tom Mattice and never got to talk to him and had to deal with someone else who did not want to help me with my concern. I keep hoping that one day it will get better but that hope is fading.

  11. I think it is absolutely ridiculous to think that having the headlines read, “Look who’s fired”, is going to actually help the VA. Come on guys. We can’t bite this bait.

    I won’t go into my “VA screwed me” credentials, but rest assured I am Voc rehab and college educated without a job, and doing my 2nd Voc rehab training program after winning a 2nd Voc rehab training program after my appeal went to Washington.

    I’ve fought the good fight with what you might call some success (not without its scars, however).

    In my experience the VA is used only as a political tool. The Republicans and the Democrats can always dig something up at the VA to make the other group look bad. Then, they use the news media to blast the other guy. Some people get fired. News headlines “set the world right”, then its back to business as usual for the VA.

    Firing people doesn’t fix anything. Demonizing folks who couldn’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear is hardly the answer to the VA’s problems.

    I’m no head hunter and I’m not out for blood. Can we get some real issues resolved at the VA please?

    I’d much rather hear how they figured out where the problems were, they are sorry, and are actively fixing it, than see someone’s head on a stake.

    This is absolute political maneuvering, and when the cameras and media go away, the VA will still be the VA, as jacked up as ever……….

    just with a new batch of bureaucratic scapegoats waiting for their turn to get blamed when the politics of the moment require.

    We, as Veterans, are being used. Our organization is a political tool, and only cares about us when it is convenient and/or their heads are on the chopping block. When that chopping block (the media attention) is gone, so is the VA’s concern for Vets. These firings and and retirements have done nothing to change that. They have just spun the wheel to a new set of bureaucratic pencil pushers.

    In a few years we’ll be blaming them for the next group of victimized Vets that makes it into the news when the politicians need a sure fire way to hurt the other guy.

    The way they have handled this doesn’t even begin to put a chip in the problems at the VA. Nothing has changed!! Its just a bunch of new faces, doing the same thing. Don’t believe me? Wait and see.

    • So is what you are saying is this ?? Lets privatize the VA and give everyone a full blown insurance card of their choice to cover all services of the VA?? I agree with you then 100% Then we need to contact Concerned Veterans of America and join as they want privitaization.

      The facts are this one can never advocate for veterans when you take money from the VA itself or have VA programs You cant even have a neutral outlook at the VA if you run programs from VA money or take VA money/grants. Traditional veterans groups have failed its base membership. Have they ever asked veterans what they think of privatizing VA services vis giving veterans full blown insurance cards. Then veterans have choices . The answer is no survey was down until Concerned Veterans of America’s survey stating 88% of all vets would prefer private care.

      Why? Because the traditional veterans groups and the VA have a dependency relationship Veterans groups who represent veterans for claims get money or have grants from the VA, etc etc .. In addition , if
      privatization were to occur then groups like DAV, VVA, VFW, etc would all be out of business losing many jobs and losing their power. Its why as when I have talked with the policy/legislative directors and others in these organizations policy comes from the top not from their members via surveys , polls, etc In addition they have clearly stated they are against privatization and in fact were very reluctant to back the Chpoice program. In fact they allowed so many strings and bureaucrat regulations into the Choice Act to insure veterans did not get private care since the traditional veterans groups aim is to insure continuation of the VA THis has been done before Vietnam now for over 50 +++ years with no results.

      Its time for a change to privatization and allowing veterans a choice without strings If wars have no costs then the best quality care has no cost for our veterans and those who have fought to defend this country.

      Lee Horowitz, M.Ed, CAGS
      US Navy Veteran , Disabled Vietnam Era Veteran
      Veteran Advocate/Veterans

      • FYI Lee Horowitz almost 20 years ago you saved my life and made a great impact on my life. Upon being discharged from Marine Corps and being physically abused in the Marine Corps, I did not know how to handle my PTSD or the mental anguish I had suffered along with putting my family through (both my children) because of my PTSD. My life was wreck and beholds God sent Lee Horowitz into my life. I enrolled into the University of Pennsylvania Upward Bound Program in Philadelphia and Lee was the only instructor who believed in me and said to our class that in the near future that the VA will become an enemy and leave veterans in the cold. 20 years later Lee was correct, the VA are playing a dangerous game with our lives and we are becoming homeless and dying at an alarming rate, without any help from the VA.

        The VA in Philadelphia, Coatesville and Durham NC under the leaderships of , the following (Daniel D. Hendee, Gary W. Devansky, and DeAnne Seekins) and under their leaderships, I have witnessed VA Employees from all three VAMC’s curse at Veterans, disrespect Veterans and Lie on Veterans, only to avoid the truth which are veterans are not being taken care of. The reason the VAMC’s are reporting to Sec McDonald that the wait times are shorter is because they are “Triaging” Veterans in the ER but making Veterans sit back in the “Triage” area, until called into the back or fast track waiting 3-4 hours for service with a Physician Assistant or a Medical Intern.

        Again, I served my country honorably but the same country I served does not serve Veterans well. Maybe we need to take a page out of Canada’s free health care system for Veterans only.

        I believe that the above three amigos should be fired as Directors or should I say let retire and receive their pensions.

  12. The Buffalo VA denied my claims for compensation right up to December 2013. The Buffalo VA denied my claims because the Buffalo VA claimed that it could not find of government records, including the Buffalo VA’s INtraNet of my service in Vietnam exposed to herbicides (etc.). However, I found on the INterNET DVA’s January 2010 Compensation & Pension Bulletin Policy (211) Information on Vietnam Naval Operations… provides the presumption of exposure to the crew of ships that operated on “RIVERS” and “DELTAS”; The history of the USS Newport News CA-148 includes operations in the Vinh Binh Province in the Mekong “DELTA” December 1968. The June 2010 Compensation & Pension Bulletin Policy (2010) ADDITIONAL Information on Vietnam Naval operations…ships list …Received by the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs …lists the USS Newport News CA-148 for operations: Cua Viet River April 1969. Of early 2013, I sent the Buffalo VA a list of ships that operated on the Mekong “Delta” and/or the Cua Viet “RIVER”. The USS Newport News appeared on the VA ships list July 2013 for operations of the Vinh Binh Province in the Mekong “DELTA” December 1968, ONLY ! Yet, as of December 2013 , the Buffalo VA denied my claims for compensation and to paid health care. What happened to listing to include the USS NEWPORT NEWS for operations of the Cua Viet “RIVER” on the so-called 2015 up-to-date VA ships list? Yes, between December 1968 and March 1969, certain crew members may have left the ship and others may have come aboard. While my claim has made significant progress, The Buffalo VA did not rate my aneurysms: one upper large artery; one lower large artery. My diabetes was listed as controlled with metformin; my medical records indicates my sugar levels are Uncontrolled. My erectile dysfunction can be traced back to at least 1994, was only listed secondary to diabetes. However, of the Buffalo VA Examination /Medical Records “REVIEW” April 2015, The Buffalo VA Decision of June 05, 2015 clearly states that the Buffalo VA Examiner diagnosed my…ischemic heart disease to as early as 2000: not listed, secondary to ischemic heart disease is anxiety, depression, weakness of legs, and lack of blood flow “IMPOTENCE”. The Nehmer Court Order ( Nehmer Training Guide (211A) Feb. 2011 Revised / yes 2011 ) clearly indicates/ infers that the Buffalo VA must award RETRO compensation within 21 days following the Buffalo VA’s June 2014 Decision. Of non-compliance by the Buffalo VA, I wrote 3 times, over many months, to DVA- Compensation & Pension Service (211A) Attn: Nehmer Working Group- 810 Vermont Ave NW- Washington DC 20420. I have not had a direct reply. Instead, my claim was sent to the Department of Veterans Affairs Appeals Board. The Nehmer Court Order gives priority to Nehmer claims. I’m told that The Board of Veterans Appeal (board) is back-logged to 2012.The Information Office at the Board of Veterans Appeals indicated that my claim is not docketed a Nehmer Claim. And, to seek priority the priority of a Nehmer Claim, the Information office claims that I have to write a letter.; yet, my appeal is to have my claims / appeal processed to the Nehmer Court Order! The Nehmer Court Order clearly dictates that the (Buffalo) VA must check it’s records to find eligible claimants and award benefits…without any action required on the claimants part! The Nehmer Court Order states: VA compensates class counsel for all of it’s work done on Nehmer claims. Hence, I should not have to get a lawyer ( or group of lawyers) to enforce the already laid down and laid out (Nehmer) Court Order: The Nehmer Training Guide (211) Feb. 2011 Revised (yes, 2011). Please also read ( be instructed by) Congressional Research Services/ Statutory Presumptions ( by law clerk Nichols October 2010 / yes 2010)… to include incubation period(s). The Nehmer Court Order indicates sanctions against the VA for failing strict compliance to the Nehmer Court Order. What form do I fill out to file against the Buffalo VA and connecting VA “TORTS”

  13. Veterans were poisoned by their own country, left to suffer, and abandoned. Such creates / created perhaps the worst kind of PTSD imaginable. Please note that dates of my past comments of months in 2015 that hasn’t arrived yet should be 2014.

  14. Useless! Without breaking the unions and the special interest groups, attacking the civil service salary and retirement system, and refortifying the IG system without tying it to the VA Directors, nothing will change. Tear it down and start from the ground up.

      • Then I hope you enjoy living under communist dictatorship, because that’s where you’re headed.

      • What needs to be done is to downsize the VA drastically There are parts that could be kept like nursing home and minor departments and then give veterans a full choice of fully covered services insurance cards the same as the finest care our President, Senators and Congressmen and staff have . Such would save money in the long run Now what do we do with all the VA building shutdowns in the Us Very easy form transitional living facilities for homeless veterans , disabled veterans from nursing home care or VA hospital care to possibly leading and independent life in the community as we have done with persons with disability in the Centers for Idepednt Living across this country run by persons with disabilities. Instead of paying for private care nursing homes use the Va building space as well for more nursing home care, etc I am willing to take it on as I did in Pennsylvania with person with disabilities and the independent living movement run by and with persons with disabilities . Transitional Living facilities, attendant care/homemaker services programs for all persons with disabilities ages 18-60, The state funded versus federal funded Centers for Independent Living for persons with disabilities, Advocy Counseling, Disabilites Counseling, Vocational /Rehabilitation Educational Counseling and State Vocation Rehabilitation programs , Trasnsportation programs for persons with disabilities,Independent Living Skills Training- managing money , budgeting, etc and much more !!

        All Centers for Independent Living are accepting and want all disabled veterans to be a part of their movement with persons with disabilities . Within it we encourage true grass roots as well as policy for disabled veterans versus the VA in advocacy and need all disabled veterans to join in the Centers for Independent Living and National and State Councils on Independent Living… Its time veterans joined the Centers for Independent Living now also run by disabled veterans !!

        Lee Horowitz, M.Ed, CAGS
        US Navy Disabled Vietnam Era Veteran
        Veterans Advocate/Veterasn Civil Rights Advocate
        [email protected]

      • @Glen-
        I hope you realize that you are “talking down to people”, very much like a VA Dr. or Psych. Dr. does and it’s a bit disconcerting when a fellow Veteran does the same thing. Everyone is allowed in this free Country to have whatever point of view and belief that they want…kind of what Freedom is all about.

  15. Don’t know who you are Glen, but stick it. I’ve every right to believe what I want, and just because you don’t agree doesn’t mean you’re right.

  16. Daniel Hendee, Robin Warren-Aube needs to go, under the auspices of VISN 4 Regional Counsel who are the most corrupt group of veteran haters there is. Robin Warren who claims to be attached to the 82nd Airborne , uses her “I am a veteran too” as it gives her some special power. The Wilmington VA needs to be shut down with a 20 bed facility and close to 900 employees. A foremost is the Office of the Inspector General, a complete shame, comprised of Agents under sworn oath who lie and use veterans medical records against them to place behavioral flags against veterans who speak up. The VA system needs to close, incorporate benefit claims into the social security offices and send veterans to regular hospitals and clinics. If the staff nurses and doctors want jobs, let the government give the hospitals and clinics tax breaks to absorb the loss of jobs that the status quo Congress states will loses jobs. It is the special interest groups such as the unions and VFW, American Legion and so on that are part of the corruption. I have met commanders that have scamming tales of how to get benefits that seem very shady

  17. Do anyone feel like we as veterans should start to have our own March on Washington? If we get together and demand to be heard we can make a difference. We have to be veterans demanding the thins we want and deserve.

    So do we have Ben help us to reach out to the media and let the world know we have a different agenda then the people who have been and continue to use us? From wars to the claims’ process we are being screwed. It’s time to get together and start a movement.

    • Carolyn, don’t know if a march would actually do anything. The world is not the same as it was. We, as a nation, have such a problem with long term memory because of our technology. We don’t need to remember because we can Google (or another search engine) what we need to know about something that happened a month, six months, or a yr. or longer. In the short term it will bring awareness to our problem however in the long run, I don’t think it will make that much of a difference.
      Just look at the Phoenix problem, it is no longer in the news, the civilian population doesn’t remember anything about it as they have so many other things currently going on that they have pushed this out of their memory, and they don’t care because the VAOIG “investigated” it and could find nothing wrong. The appointment waitlist was “fixed” by the issuance of the “(no) choice card” and again the general population was told that this would allow the vet to seek HealthCare outside the VA if they could not get an appointment within a reasonable amount of time. The general population accepted that as the problem was fixed and again the problem was pushed out of their memory. We vets know that neither of the problems was actually taken care of and the VA put on a show for the public to put out the fire and to get away with the problem without taking any blame.
      Having said that, I would be there with everyone else who wanted to march because we do need to do something and this would be a start. I could be completely wrong (I would be glad to say I was wrong on this) and something good could come out if it and the public could see what we have to deal with on a daily basis. A march may be the start of something good and we might get something done.

      • Maybe a town hall meeting with “ALL” the powers that be. At a place that will accommodate as many veterans as it will hold. It worked for others!

        We never thought the Civil Rights movement would get much done. ..But…. Here we are and still the fight goes on…

    • Carolyn and all my fellow veterans,

      As a former director of a Center for Independent Living for people with disabilities I cannot express to you the advocacy counseling and advocacy work done by people with disabilities in terms of their civil rights across this country We were successful here in Pennsylvania in the 1980’s in getting 18 new state funded centers for independent living across Pennsylvania CIL. The National Council on Independent Living has a disabled veterans committee. Your state may have a council on Independent Living as well. The CIL”s are consumer run and consumer directed . We were also successful in Pennsylvania in getting the Pa Attendant Care/Homemaker Services program for persons with disability ages 18-60

      Persons with disabilities have been at the format of demonstrations, protest, advocacy work, letter writing , legislation and enact ion of new laws and protections as well as new programs for all persons with disabilities We welcome hand in hand for all disabled veterans to join in and work together against the VA and government in establishing the highest quality of care for all veterans in health and as well for disability. You need and all veterans need to join this movement by going down to their local CIL and joining and forming disabled veterans advocacy groups. Demonstrations, protests, sit ins, etc are all methods of advocacy and the CIL is for all persons for disabilities.

      It is time for all veterans to demonstrate, picket, sit in, etc I suggest very one read a book called “Up against the Brass” by Andy Stapp of ASU – American Servicemen’s Union-ASU- who tried to protect the civil rights of enlisted military persons during Vietnam Era and the demonstrations, sit ins which in fact gave publicity and helped change how enlisted persons were looked at . It is only through this , things will be done.

      Now have you seen in 60 years protests, demonstrations, sit ins, , etc ever sponsored by any traditional veterans groups for veterans and disabled veterans by DAV, VFW, VVA, etc Why because they ghet paid money by the VA for each disability claim they do and are in bed with the veterans administration These groups are totally against privatization of the VA or even the Choice program in which they purposely allowed so many restrictions so that the Choice program would fail since they are in bed with the VA Privitiozation of any kind means less power, less positions, less money for these traditional veteran groups they do no veterans advocacy As an exampe, our commander of VVA here told us we are not to politicize which is a violation of civlil rights as long as the name of the organization is not used. They say this is not how we help veterans. I say bull;shit , Thy would rather march in Parades, set up bingo or lay wreaths which yes is very admirable but lets honor the living veterans and deaths and malpractice for the living veteran all caused by the VA !!

      You should organize via Centers for Independent Living Centers where you are for persons with disability They want all all disabled veterans and welcome us as brothers !!

      Lee Horowitz, M.Ed, CAGS
      US Navy- Disabled Vietnam Era Veteran
      Veterans Advocate/Veterans Civil Rights Advocate
      [email protected]

      • Mr. Horowitz,
        if the DAV (and others) get paid for submitting service connected claims for Vets, then why did the DAV just ask me for $230 for membership?
        Do they really need my money, as well as VA funds?

      • I am a former Executive Director of a CIL . a non profit for people with disabilities including disabled veterans we encourage to join for advocacy
        work . Yes we are demonstrating in Washington DC this year and its what disabled people do for their civil rights . I have also been involved for many years with veteran organizations such as the Philadelphia Veterans Multi Service Center in Philadelphia Pa a non profit run by and for veterans .
        Have you seen DAV. VVA, VFW ask veterans to demonstrate , sit in, or even do much polling if any as to what grassroots veterans want?? The policy and legislation efforts are formed and carried out by a select few at National DAV for example or VVA or VFW In fact my chapter of VVA here has told us VVA is here to serve veterans but we are not to politicize . That means we should not be calling or be active in veteran civil rights issues. I think if you look that is a violation of our constitutional civil rights of an issue . One can “politicize” all one want as long as you dont use DAV or VVA name or unless they give you such permission to use their name .

        In fact that is the problem at DAV. VVA and VFW and all the traditional veterans groups – They have not surveyed nor polled their members . They dont use their members nor even encourage them to call their congressmen or write them in droves nor in fact encourage members to meet together for advocacy work as the Centers for Indepedent living and disabled persons do How do you think persons with disabilities got their civil rights ??? How do you think the gay civil rights movement got their civil rights?? Its a lesson we need to do via the advocacy work of CIL’s across this country who want disabled veterans to join them as brothers.

        DAV, VVW, VFW gets money from the VA for the disability claims they submit . AAS Dan Toliver has stated their is no advantage of you submitting a disability claim verus an attorney but the attorney has law training and should know VA law inside and out I cant say such for very or all DAV, VVA, VFW service officers. Many are also volunteers so you take it form there. As Ben has stated to you , the person who cares more for you , is you or should be you !! Be educated to your claim and the VA claim system as well as the law . Its why people respect Ben and respect Dan Toliver who is now an MSW and has worked in the VA system and who has testified in front of congress to help us all !!

        DAV, VVA, VFW dont just get money from memberships or donations . They would never exist or grow. They receive money from disability claims and other endeavors/servics/projects a dan s well get money from fundraisers as well Just as the Philadelphia Veterans Multi Service Center gets money from the VA and US government for its homeless veteran project for years … However once you take Veteran -VA grants, project money or are a service provider of the VA in manny cases such as our traditional veterans organizations , as the saying goes” you cant bite the hand that feeds you”

        Thus its what you see going on with traditional veterans groups an why they will never ever support privatization or allow mass amounts of veterans to seek and be paid for by the VA It would put all traditional veterans organizations out of business !! The choice program was down with so many rules and strings to make it in fact fail or show that veterans are not interested This was down with the blessings of all the traditional veterans groups who would be put out of business if very little of the VA existed and there was privatization They would loose many jobs and many members !!

        In fact ask Ben to publish the latest DAV survey You will see by the survey the real position of DAV towards the VA and privatization Th survey appears to be down in-house and is a invalid and was sent to all DAV members They and other traditional groups hate Concerned Veterans of America and bash them because Concerned Veterans wants total privatization of the VA as per their survey You will here well The Hunt Brothers and thus concerned eternal of America are political wings of the republican party or this or that or because the Hunt Brothers fund Concerned Veterans of America the Hunt b rot hers want to get the private health care contracts or insurance contracts that would come Bull crap. Do what is best for veterans!! Give us a fully covered health care card and let us go where we want with choices over what insurance coverage carrier. WE should have the best quality of care like out President, our Senators and staff, and our Congressmen and Staff with private insurance full coverage.

        Ben has not received answers from DAV about its survey and veterans and DAV members have the right to such answers from DAV if they have nothing to hide.

        Lee Horowitz, M.Ed, CAGS
        US Navy , Disabled Vietnam Era Veteran
        Veterans Advocate/ Veterans civil rights advocate
        [email protected]

      • Lee, very well said and reported. I am afraid that the DAV and the VA are pretty much one and the same. One organization is condescending to veterans while the other is hypocritical to their mission.

    • The other thing I strongly suggest but we need a veterans lawyer is file with the United Nations Commission on Human Rights civil rights violations against our government and the VA in a class action as well as taking the violations of our civil rights by the VA and our government to the World Court Such publicity would force our government and VA to change as well as the rulings of the court and the UN Commission on Human/Civil Rights !!

      Lee Horowitz, M.Ed, CAGS
      US Navy, Disabled Vietnam Era Veteran
      [email protected]

    • It just will not work. It ain’t like the old days where we all banded together againt the Vietnam War. Everything is splintered into hundreds of complaints against our government now and focus will not take shape on veterans that will amount to anything. People will acknowledge what we are trying to get across, be it won’t have momentum needed to amount to much. Sorry.

  18. “Thank you for your service”……… When I think of all the “thank you’s” I get it reminds me of the thank you Elmo dolls… You pull the string and it sez,”thank you for your service”.
    You could still buy the dolls, or, just take a walk through a VAMC, the sincerity is about the same.

  19. Norme E Browne, former Director at the Albuquerque around 12 years ago was “Fired” after he was found to be cheating the VA Health Care system with a buddy by overcharging to the tune of 1 Million dollars. He was given a “job” at the University of New Mexico right after that dismissal here in Albuquerque but keeps out of sight.

  20. There is considerable work to be done at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center. Secretary McDonald’s settlement with the ACLU regarding homeless Veterans and the VA’s misuse of the land generously granted in 1888 for a Veterans Home, was a positive step forward.

  21. McDonald also claimed to be In Special Forces after a man said that he had been. Just curious but did anyone interview that man who claimed he was Special Forces? If true that man should contact the Special Forces Organization for assistance, they are a tight group and maybe it could find him a Job.

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