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At OSC, Do Gay Rights Come Ahead Of Veteran Deaths?

OSC Office of Special Counsel

Benjamin KrauseLast month, in a case of misguided focus, the OSC let gay rights come ahead of veterans deaths caused by the wait list and incompetent health care by numerous VA doctors.

The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) helped Dr. Patricia Kinne receive justice following disparaging treatment from management based on her sexuality as a lesbian, while OSC repeatedly lacks resources to help sort out dead veterans from the wait list fraud.

Apparently, the message is, “Kill a vet, it’s all good, we will get around to it. Discriminate against a lesbian, and justice will be swift!”

I am happy for Dr. Kinne, but I am disappointed about this focus given how difficult it seems for veterans to get justice via the OSC investigation of whistleblower claims about the fraudulent wait list scandal and veteran deaths.

Will we ever see full justice in Phoenix and other affected areas?

On this subject, my theory is simple. Any focus on anything other than VA employee fraud resulting in veteran deaths is misguided since it is less important and a misallocation of limited resources. When investigating VA, why are veteran deaths not the leading priority? Yet, after more than a year, the wait list is lingering and whistleblowers are still getting hammered by the agency.

How is it that this subject of sexuality was able to rise so quickly to a focal point for justice versus killing veterans?

For years, the OSC has battled against numerous agencies refusing to hold their employees accountable. We know that no agency has been more culpable in this refusal than the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

In light of all this, I was disappointed to see Human Rights Campaign highlight a recent “win” by the OSC for gay rights for a VA doctor instead of something more relevant to the issue at hand — at least from my perspective — that issue being no justice for veterans harmed by doctors and administrators killing them. These poor veterans were killed by doctors and administrators exploiting bureaucratic glitches to improve bonus numbers while letting veterans died.

Where is the outrage following more than one year of zero substantive accountability? Why did Human Rights Campaign not highlight this apparent discrepancy in its article at least?

I appreciate that someone received justice. I wish that person were a veteran rather than an employee of Veterans Affairs. Maybe I’m being selfish?

According to the Human Rights Campaign blog:

Yesterday the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) announced that it has facilitated a settlement agreement with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) following a complaint by a VA psychiatrist that she had been discriminated against by managers at a VA facility because she was a lesbian.

According to the OSC, managers at a VA medical center in Louisville threatened to remove Dr. Patricia Kinne based on patient complaints about her sexual orientation.  The patients cited her sexual orientation as the basis for requesting to be served by a different psychiatrist.  However, upon investigation, the OSC determined that such complaints against Dr. Kinne were far from common and the treatment she received was harsher than that received by other doctors.  In fact, out of several hundred “change-of-provider” requests from patients being served by psychiatrists at the medical center, only the two requests referencing Dr. Kinne’s sexual orientation were considered as potential corrective or disciplinary issues.  Dr. Kinne also had no other reported performance or conduct issues, and was actually commended by the VA previously for have few patient complaints.

As a result of the settlement, the VA has agreed to provide full relief to Dr. Kinne and to provide training to managers and human resources staff at the Louisville medical center.  The VA will also notify staff that they are not required to conceal their sexual orientation when working with patients.

Is this a sham and a kick in the teeth for veterans and whistleblowers supporting veterans who are still waiting for justice?

In my mind, this perversion of priority seems endemic within our current governmental structure, focusing on more ancillary matters instead of fixing problems that result in the loss of human life.

Should being killed and attempts to cover-up that fraudulent and illegal behavior matter more that most other issues like gay rights? I think so. I have covered numerous examples of whistleblowers being hammered by the agency, lives ruined, to help veterans get justice and avoid getting killed by improper care. It is a shame OSC seems unable to ensure justice for those VA employees.

All rhetoric aside, I am glad Dr. Kinne got justice. I am pissed that veterans and their families have still gone without justice for years while whistleblowers standing up for us get shafted by the system.

What about you? Could our government do better by focusing on saving lives?

Source: https://www.hrc.org/blog/entry/osc-facilitates-settlement-with-department-of-veterans-affairs

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53 thoughts on “At OSC, Do Gay Rights Come Ahead Of Veteran Deaths?”

  1. Ben, any kind of adverse action or event against a member of a protected class could result in tons of negative press, and negative actions taken against an agency by members of that protected class. Cake bakers, photographers and pizza makers come to mind.
    Dead veterans? Pffft.

  2. Ben, thanks for keeping Veterans issues in the forefront. I guess that there are some who do not appreciate what you do. Keep up the good work!

    A disabled Viet Nam Veteran

  3. There was another story here in Montana last week that dovetails with this one. The VA at Fort Harrison came under fire for displaying an LGBT flag last week. Although the official spin on this was that this was a “banner” commemorating a national observance, this is the first time any such banner has been displayed in this fashion.

    My personal take on this is that the VA is a place to honor ALL veterans. In the Army, we used to say that we were all green. No group deserves any more credit or attention than another. I find it offensive that the VA pays so much attention to being PC when its efforts would be better focused on improving its generally miserable performance.

  4. Firstly, I am glad she received ‘justice’ for her discrimination.

    I must agree with Ben in that regardless of injustice that female VA Dr. was enduring, it *appears* the VA is MORE concerned about their own *employees* than the very Veterans they are there to supposedly serve.
    I have no quibbles about sexuality issues….none at all.

    What I DO have a huge problem with is as Ben has highlighted, to date, we have NOT seen the SAME kind of REAL JUSTICE for veteran’s lives lost by the VA just so they can fudge their numbers as to NOT hurt their precious bonuses.

    The VA has simply lost its way and has unfortunately, historically, been screwing over Veterans for well over 100 years now and no end in site nor justice served with iron bars. The VA continues to choose slap on hand administrative leave with pay and move employees around policy…and screwing the tax payers all the way to the bank, never mind stepping on Veterans on way to said bank.

    I honestly think the ONLY reason this female VA Dr. won her case was she more than likely had all the AFGE Attorneys backing a suit against the VA….whereas we Veterans only have so-called Veteran Service Org’s, whom happen to be bedfellows WITH the VA, which means as veterans, we are totally screwed when the VA places more worth on their employees, regardless of the circumstance, than actually serving the VERY people the VA is **supposed** to exist for…Veterans!

    Not trying to be a pessimist here but am really starting to believe nothing is ever going to change! Our own President has full faith in the VA “to do the right thing”, he has full faith in the VA Secretary and the whole VA OIG…as long as this “convenient blindness to veteran’s being treated as things exist”, it is almost like the very definition of insanity in beating one’s head against the wall, expecting a different outcome each time the head hits the wall.

    I now even question the genuineness of the Congressional Committee on Veteran’s Affairs…why is it all talk but never any concrete actions?

    As long as things are in place as they exist, the VA has absolutely no fear nor respect for anyone as long as they keep receiving Billions in tax payer money. They are simply in it for the cash, not Vets…it’s that simple.

    1. Namnibor, you have the same thoughts as I. I also feel you say it more eloquently than I.
      I sure would like one thing for the American Public to do, that is to get off their butts and converge on Washington. They, with millions of veterans, would be a formidable foe. It would let our elected and appointed officials “enough is enough!!!” Theres only one problem, how would this get started?

      1. buddy, read the whole thing, there were only “2” complains about her sexuality, in 2013 she was actually recognized by the VA for being a psychiatrist with the least amount of people wanting to change a psychiatrist.

        Ben, you might want to fully attached why she won against the VA so everyone has an actual place to fight the facts.

      2. She’ll get “justice” someday only it won’t be the kind of justice she might want. Homosexuality is not a “right” It’s a wrong and all the civic laws in the world are not going to change that. And for her whims to take precedence over veteran’s health needs is a double sin!!!

    1. Very easy that can be fixed, If you are a straight male willing to do a sex change and dress as a woman and say that you are doing it because no attention is being given to veterans that have died thru the VA, then the media will switch the focus onto you, I am not saying that is correct, nor should be something that should be needed to fix the problem of Veterans, but unfortunately that is what people crave, that is what makes things go viral and make a lot more people aware of the problem.

      Is no longer about having power, but about people noticing the problem, yes, we can complain all we want, but if Bruce Jenner was bringing up the issue of VA Problems, a lot more people will be made aware since people love gossip.

      BTW, the idiot Bruce Jenner is getting more attention and getting paid for it because he knows and his people know how to use our weak society, so you might want to learn about how media works and what is worth for them to call “NEWS”.

      1. @CorpsmanuP! – you are what we call wannabe Marine, I don’t care what you have done you do not hold the title of United States Marine, a corspman is not a Devil Dog, you must earn the title buddy just like I did!

      1. Believe me, I am not here to claim gay rights, but this really got my attention because i know what im going thru, not only physically but mentally, something that has gotten me questioning is it worth defending a nation that is not willing to defend you?

  5. To all, this story was about one individual winning a suit, and receiving a monetary award, from the VA. I’m happy for her. She proved discrimination in the workplace.
    The problem I have with this is; it has been proven the VA
    has done many horrible ,horrific and horrendous atrocities against veterans starting at its inception. Yet, very little to nothing had happened to the individuals responsible!
    These people get away with ,murder, literally. WHY? Now, in my opinion, the OSC should be held accountable. Buy, we all know that ain’t gonna happen… and then a few on here get upset over the issue of what Ben writes. I’m sorry if I upset the few who don’t want to come to the realization that a Lesbian, in my opinion, received special treatment from an organization which should have ‘gone after’ the individuals responsible for the deaths of veterans….. instead of someone because of her “sexual orientation”!
    Again, in my opinion, WHY??? Am I missing something here? I thought ‘criminal acts’ would supersede a ‘civil suit’? Yes, what happened to that lady was wrong. Yet, what had happened to thousands and thousands of veterans is reprehensible…. the VA has yet to be brought to trial over this issue!
    Thats all I have to say for now.
    A Vietnam Veteran and proud American!

    1. Eric, I wasn’t referencing you. I just reviewed the comments from two agitators and realized they came from potentially fake locations. This was not about you. I put the comments into “awaiting moderation” so I can look into it further. As a result, all other comments on the same thread get taken down.

  6. Just an FYI – if you are a troll coming to post about this topic using a fake name or a something like Mail2Tor, I will delete your post unless I verify you are real. Only real people can post on my website. Thanks.

  7. Hmmm… looking around, what I see from MY point of view is this: people are scared for what ever reason. That is their right to do so, within limits that DOES NOT INJURE a person mentally, physically, emotionally, financially etc. That being said, that does NOT give said person(s)the right to the “YOU WILL LIKE ME, YOU WILL EMBRACE MY LIFE STYLE WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT OR ILL TAKE YOU TO COURT” attitude. When I was stationed in Hawaii in the late 80’s to early 90’s there were many reports of servicemen getting abducted/kidnapped/coheres/tricked ect; into the life style. That is/was one of many reasons why there is a stigma of fear/ misunderstanding among the “straight” population. I mean look at it this way, there’s even a urban dictionary term for this:

    https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=predatory%20gay

    predatory gay

    The winning-est type of gay there is. One who turns seemingly straight individuals gay or bi-sexual by pursuing them fiercely.

    So by that very definition, straight people have a reason to be concerned to say the least. But does not give anyone the right to demean them in ANY way. That is MY OPINION.

  8. Very disappointed on this article, not only because I purchased your program a while back, but now I don’t trust your organization that is supposed to help “Disabled Veterans”.

    It is very unfortunate but this is what makes LGBT Veterans very reluctant to seek the benefits they earned, which has nothing to do with homosexuality.

    22 Veterans die every day due to suicide, if you research the studies done about LGBT Veterans you might discover that there is a probability that a lot of those dying are from the LGBT Community, which after reading this post it seems like is something that you are probably glad is happening since the LGBT Veteran community have to wait to take their number to get their rights recognized.
    I was Honorably Discharged from the Marines, but thanks to someone like you that out me I have “Homosexual” on my DD214 on the description, but they knew there was no way they could question the character of my service so they gave me an Honorable Discharge.

    I been dealing with this for the last fifteen years, I have done my own claims since organizations like yours the moment they get my DD214 turn around and stop helping me based on my sexuality, yet my injuries were still service connected.

    Took me a while, but I am 100% service connected disabled veteran. I would love to see how comfortable anyone would be to read on their medical records “Homosexual male with headache, does not seem sign of HIV infection” not once, but multiple times. Yet I have never told them my sexuality, and can guarantee you that you would not know I was gay. Even If my sexuality was revealed, does everyone get addressed by straight? Or do they assume you have a disease when no testing has been done?.

    I have written to the VA “new” minority department in regards to my situation, and why I feel very uncomfortable to seek treatment for my service connected disabilities, is been over two years and no response.
    In a way, I feel that you are just trying to take advantage on what is currently going on with Bruce Jenner, you know is something fresh in people’s minds and of course would help get your numbers up since you know will cause controversy.

    Thank you brother, just know that in a war or peace, I would never leave you behind no matter how much you are repulsed by my sexual preference.

    1. @DVet, I think you misread what I wrote. I am glad the VA doctor who happens to be LGBT got justice. I am disappointed OSC is still failing to hold VA accountable for killing veterans regardless of each veteran’s sexuality.

      This article (and the OSC investigation) literally has nothing to do with how LGBT veterans are treated, but I think the subject is certainly worth exploring. I know VA is still touchy about the issue and many veterans who are LGBT still feel discriminated against when it comes to getting health care. I wish OGC would focus more on VA employees harming and killing veterans that it currently does… and when I say “focus” I mean actually resolve issues where evil doers are held accountable.

      1. I am sorry but “At OSC, Do Gay Rights Come Ahead Of Veteran Deaths?” well human lives are being lost here just for that reason also, if the courts stopped all the cases and focus on just one, then what kind of justice is that? no one is arguing that it is an important issue that must be addressed, but if anything, don’t try to make other issues less important when both are killing human beings.

        In regards to your post:

        “Just an FYI – if you are a troll coming to post about this topic using a fake name or a something like Mail2Tor, I will delete your post. Only real people can post on my website. Thanks.”

        I am very surprised you are actually going against what you preach of government spying, if i am using the Mail2Tor service is because the last thing I want is to be ashamed about my sexuality – or better yet, be flagged by the VA since i have a few open cases with them. Either way there is no reason for you to be looking for my location, when I am not doing anything wrong but exposing the reality that many want to think does not exist.

        I am a real person, and the email provided is a real email that you can use to contact me. So this will tell me if you are here to approve only what goes with your point of view.

      2. There is a difference when Ben protects his property interest from hackers and intellectual property rights. You don’t have to be an IT professonal to track the location of a posting user. The terms an agreement is listed via the means you sign onto this website. The government has ethical standards and the CONSTITUTION which trumps any user agreement. Slander is slander , especially if you were put on notice and do not retract your statements. A complaint and jury demand is all that’s needed read up on it.

  9. You should have seen all of the emails we recieved at the VA following the Gay Marraige decision. The email contained all of the new rules and was obviously prepared in advance. It was the VERY NEXT DAY! So they can act quickly when it comes to political correctness.

  10. EXACTLY RIGHT
    I was assaulted by my lead supervisor, attacke by a lunatic co-worker and much, much more, not to mention the fact that I was charged with a reprimand for telling him not to do it again.
    You folks that work at the VA will know that, while this sounds insane, crazier things have happened at the VA.

    I got into trouble several times for trying to help the elderly Veterans also.

    I finally contacted some attorneys to try and get this problem fixed, and the first thing they wanted to know is my sexual preference, and race. Since I did not fall into either catagory, they wanted nothing to do with my case-no matter how much evidence I had.

    I also contacte the OSC with several outragous and true complaints, but both departments that I filed claims with discounted my statements and evidence and basically told me in attorney term, sorry, can’t help you.
    They did not even talk to one employee about my true accusations. If they did, it was only the corrupt and disfunctional management at the VA.

  11. The author is kind of a piece of shit. There’s no reason to conflate different issues. Would the chubby writer say, “Black rights before vet deaths?” or “Why are Jews more important than Vets?” Its all the same crap. We should be proud that gay rights are at the forefront of issues since they affect tens of millions of people, including children. Of course vets should be taken care of-and they will, but lets not conflate unrelated issues. Keep your anti-gay religious nonsense to yourself, Bubba! Thank you!

    1. “Of course vets should be taken care of-and they will,” REALLY???? What are U smoking/ I want some!!! didnt you read the DECADES of incompatence and BLATANT disregard for the well being of vets?? Are YOU a vet// I am. And I have been fighting the VA for 23 YEARS to get what I KNOW i deserve!!! Me and millions of other vets sacrificed YEARS of our lives so you can spew you BS!!! Unless you served, STFU!!!!!

      1. Thank you for your service Eric. This guy might be some of the cronies VA inserts into forums on what vets are discussing.Just be careful what you say to some of these posers because VA will try to use it against you if you are service connected or ties. I have a friend that had a behavioral flag placed in his record, just on false hearsay alone. The VA has a MOU with DOJ regarding notifications related to firearm registries that they are using to retaliate against veterans. Hand salute to you and again . Thank you for your service! Semper Fi!

    2. @ Norman D. Interesting use of pejorative to make ad hominem attacks against me rather than discussing the points of the article within your comment calling me a “shit head” and “chubby”. Good job keeping things professional. It appears to me you conflating two issues here. OSC does not investigate “Jews” or other people groups. They investigate how Federal agencies treat humans, including veterans killed by VA fraud.

      Oddly, on my second read of what I wrote, I did not notice anything religious or anti-gay as you incorrectly indicate. Perhaps you were reading something on a different website and came here to post about it? My article was a critique of how OSC investigates the Department of Veterans Affairs and how OSC utilizes its finite resources. As for your apparent “I’ve been hiding under a rock for the past 10 years” comment claiming veterans will get taken care of… you are clearly not paying attention to the news. How did you even find this website?

      I understand that you want “gay rights” to be at the forefront of America’s most pressing issues. However, I am disappointed whenever I see signs that “veterans issues” are not considered important enough to be at the forefront, as you indicate. This lack of focus on veterans lives is why I wrote the article in the first place critiquing OSC…

      But luckily for us veterans, according to you “vets should be taken care of – and they will…” So maybe we disabled veterans have nothing to worry about and should turn our attention on other things beyond how negligent health care at VA hospitals are killing us?

      1. Isnt Norman doing SLANDER???? ” Interesting use of pejorative to make ad hominem attacks against me rather than discussing the points of the article within your comment calling me a “shit head” and “chubby”.

    3. What are you trying to spread? I’m a combat veteran of Vietnam and have been treated like a piece of sh#t since 1969 by the veterans administration.
      Whatever your trying to pull won’t go over with the veterans on this or any other site!!!!

    4. Your comment is a perfect example of why the OSC acted as it did and so fast while ignoring dead veterans…of any sexual orientation. OSC knew if they didn’t act immediately, LGBT and other groups would immediately mount a campaign against the OSC and VA. If you could put aside your hate for a minute and re-read Ben’s article, you would realize he is advocating for veterans of any stripe. Nowhere did he say he is only advocating for straight dead veterans.

  12. I personally don’t know how serious Global Warming is,however,it seems to be a lot more important(to the Gov.,DoD,or VA)than Warming up to the VETERANS who have,are,and will continue protect their collective rear ends !!!

  13. Here ya go:

    Scandal, controversy and veterans care in the United States have gone hand-in-hand for virtually as long as there’s been a republic.

    After the Revolutionary War, for instance, payments promised by Congress to disabled veterans were left up to the states, and only a few thousand of those who served ever received anything, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Here’s a time line of the many scandals the department and its predecessors have faced: (that we KNOW OF!!!!)

    1921 — Congress creates the Veterans Bureau to administer assistance to World War I veterans. It quickly devolves into corruption, and is abolished nine years later under a cloud of scandal.

    1930 — The Veterans Administration is established to replace the troubled Veterans Bureau and two other agencies involved in veterans’ care.

    1932 — Thousands of World War I veterans and their families march on Washington to demand payment of promised war bonuses. In an embarrassing spectacle, federal troops forcibly remove veterans who refuse to end their protest.

    In 1932, 10,000 WWI veterans, many unemployed, protest over pay.

    1945 — President Harry Truman accepts the resignation of VA Administrator Frank Hines after a series of news reports detailing shoddy care in VA-run hospitals, according to a 2010 history produced by the Independent Institute.

    1946 — The American Legion leads the charge seeking the ouster of VA Administrator Gen. Omar Bradley, citing an ongoing lack of facilities, troubles faced by hundreds of thousands of veterans in getting services and a proposal to limit access to services for some combat veterans, according to the 2010 history.
    VA head Gen. Omar Bradley at a congressional hearing in 1945 asking for the creation of VA Medical Corps.
    VA head Gen. Omar Bradley at a congressional hearing in 1945 asking for the creation of VA Medical Corps.

    1947 — A government commission on reforming government uncovers enormous waste, duplication and inadequate care in the VA system and calls for wholesale changes in the agency’s structure.

    1955 — A second government reform commission again finds widespread instances of waste and poor care in the VA system, according to the Independent Institute.

    1970s — Veterans grow increasingly frustrated with the VA for failing to better fund treatment and assistance programs, and later to recognize exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange by troops in Vietnam as the cause for numerous medical problems among veterans.

    1972 — Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic, the subject of the book and movie, “Born on the Fouth of July,” interrupts Richard Nixon’s GOP presidential nomination acceptance speech, saying, according to his biography, “I’m a Vietnam veteran. I gave America my all, and the leaders of this government threw me and others away to rot in their VA hospitals.”
    A VA patient wheeled into an outpatient clinic in Boston in 1961. The American Medical Association said vets should be treated in private hospitals
    A VA patient wheeled into an outpatient clinic in Boston in 1961. The American Medical Association said vets should be treated in private hospitals

    1974 — Kovic leads a 19-day hunger strike at a federal building in Los Angeles to protest poor treatment of veterans in VA hospitals. He and fellow veterans demand to meet with VA Director Donald Johnson. The embattled director eventually flies to California to meet with the activists, but leaves after they reject his demand to meet in the VA’s office in the building, according to Johnson’s 1999 Los Angeles Times obituary. The ensuing uproar results in widespread criticism of Johnson. A few weeks later, Johnson resigns after President Richard Nixon announces an investigation into VA operations.

    1976 — A General Accounting Office investigation into Denver’s VA hospital finds numerous shortcomings in patient care, including veterans whose surgical dressings are rarely changed. The GAO also looked at the New Orleans VA hospital, and found ever-increasing patient loads were contributing to a decline in the quality of care there, as well.
    President Jimmy Carter after signing the 1980 Veterans Rehabilitation and Education Amendment, which increased job training and educational benefits for vets.
    President Jimmy Carter after signing the 1980 Veterans Rehabilitation and Education Amendment, which increased job training and educational benefits for vets.

    1981 — Veterans camp out in front of the Wadsworth Veterans Medical Center in Los Angeles after the suicide of a former Marine who had rammed the hospital’s lobby with his Jeep and fired shots into the wall after claiming the VA had failed to attend to his service-related disabilities, the New York Times reported at the time.

    1982 — Controversial VA director Robert Nimmo, who once described symptoms of exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange during the Vietnam war as little more than “teenage acne,” resigns under pressure from veteran’s groups. Nimmo was criticized for wasteful spending, including use of a chauffeured car and an expensive office redecorating project, according to a 1983 GAO investigation. The same year, the agency issues a report supporting veterans’ claims that the VA had failed to provide them with enough information and assistance about Agent Orange exposure.

    1984 — Congressional investigators find evidence that VA officials had diverted or refused to spend more than $40 million that Congress approved to help Vietnam veterans with readjustment problems, the Washington Post reports at the time.

    1986 — The VA’s Inspector General’s office finds 93 physicians working for the agency have sanctions against their medical licenses, including suspensions and revocations, according to a 1988 GAO report.
    Air Force veteran Joseph Parnell Sr., visits the grave of his son, Joseph Parnell Jr., at Fort Logan National Cemetery.
    Air Force veteran Joseph Parnell Sr., visits the grave of his son, Joseph Parnell Jr., at Fort Logan National Cemetery.

    1989 — President Ronald Reagan signs legislation elevating the Veterans Administration to Cabinet status, creating the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    1991 — The Chicago Tribune reports that doctors at the VA’s North Chicago hospital sometimes ignored test results, failed to treat patients in a timely manner and conducted unnecessary surgery. The agency later takes responsibility for the deaths of eight patients, leading to the suspension of most surgery at the center, the newspaper reported.

    1993 — VA Deputy Undersecretary of Benefits R.J. Vogel testifies to Congress that a growing backlog of appeals from veterans denied benefits is due to a federal court established in 1988 to oversee the claims process, the Washington Post reports. The VA, Vogel tells the lawmakers, is “reeling under this judicial review thing.”

    1999 — Lawmakers open an investigation into widespread problems with clinical research procedures at the VA West Los Angeles Healthcare Center. The investigation followed years of problems at the hospital, including ethical violations by hospital researchers that included failing to get consent from some patients before conducting research involving them, according to the Los Angeles Times.

    2000 — The GAO finds “substantial problems” with the VA’s handling of research trials involving human subjects.

    2001 — Despite a 1995 goal to reduce waiting times for primary care and specialty appointments to less than 30 days, the GAO finds that veterans still often wait more than two months for appointments.

    2003 — A commission appointed by President George W. Bush reports that as of January 2003, some 236,000 veterans had been waiting six months or more for initial or follow-up visits, “a clear indication,” the commission said, “of lack of sufficient capacity or, at a minimum, a lack of adequate resources to provide the required care.”
    Walter Reed Army Medical Center was consolidated with another facility in 2005 and renamed Walter Reed National Medical Center.
    Walter Reed Army Medical Center was consolidated with another facility in 2005 and renamed Walter Reed National Medical Center.

    2005 — An anonymous tip leads to revelations of “significant problems with the quality of care” for surgical patients at the VA’s Salisbury, North Carolina, hospital, according to congressional testimony. One veteran who sought treatment for a toenail injury died of heart failure after doctors failed to take account of his enlarged heart, according to testimony.

    2006 — Sensitive records containing the names, Social Security numbers and birth dates of 26.5 million veterans are stolen from the home of a VA employee who did not have authority to take the materials. VA officials think the incident was a random burglary and not a targeted theft.

    2007 — Outrage erupts after documents released to CNN show some senior VA officials received bonuses of up to $33,000 despite a backlog of hundreds of thousands of benefits cases and an internal review that found numerous problems, some of them critical, at VA facilities across the nation.

    2009 — The VA discloses that than 10,000 veterans who underwent colonoscopies in Tennessee, Georgia and Florida were exposed to potential viral infections due to poorly disinfected equipment. Thirty-seven tested positive for two forms of hepatitis and six tested positive for HIV. VA Director Eric Shinseki initiates disciplinary actions and requires hospital directors to provide written verification of compliance with VA operating procedures. The head of the Miami VA hospital is removed as a result, the Miami Herald reports.

    2011 — Nine Ohio veterans test positive for hepatitis after routine dental work at a VA clinic in Dayton, Ohio. A dentist at the VA medical center there acknowledged not washing his hands or even changing gloves between patients for 18 years.

    2011 — An outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease begins at the VA hospital in Oakland, Pennsylvania, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. At least five veterans die of the disease over the next two years. In 2013, the newspaper discloses VA records showed evidence of widespread contamination of the facility dating back to 2007.

    2012 — The VA finds that the graves of at least 120 veterans in agency-run cemeteries are misidentified. The audit comes in the wake of a scandal at the Army’s Arlington National Cemetery involving unmarked graves and incorrectly placed burials.

    2013 — The former director of Veteran Affairs facilities in Ohio, William Montague, is indicted on charges he took bribes and kickbacks to steer VA contracts to a company that does business with the agency nationwide.
    Double amputee Bradley Walker goes through physical therapy to get used to a computerized prosthetic leg.
    Double amputee Bradley Walker goes through physical therapy to get used to a computerized prosthetic leg.

    January 2014 — CNN reports that at least 19 veterans died at VA hospitals in 2010 and 2011 because of delays in diagnosis and treatment.

    April 9 — Lawmakers excoriate VA officials at a hearing. “This is an outrage! This is an American disaster!” says Rep. Jackie Walorski.

    April 23 — At least 40 veterans died while waiting for appointments to see a doctor at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system, CNN reports. The patients were on a secret list designed to hide lengthy delays from VA officials in Washington, according to a recently retired VA doctor and several high-level sources.

    April 28 — President Barack Obama calls for an investigation into the situation in Phoenix.

    April 30 — Top officials at the Phoenix VA deny the existence of a secret appointment waiting list.

    May 1 — Shinseki places the director of the Phoenix VA and two aides on administrative leave pending the investigation into the veterans’ deaths.

    May 5 — Veterans groups call for Shinseki’s resignation. American Legion National Commander Daniel Dillinger says the deaths reported by CNN appear to be part of a “pattern of scandals that has infected the entire system.”

    May 6 — Despite the clamor for Shinseki’s ouster, White House spokesman Jay Carney says Obama “remains confident in Secretary Shinseki’s ability to lead the department and take appropriate action.” Shinseki tells the Wall Street Journal he will not resign.

    May 8 — The House Veterans Affairs Committee votes to subpoena Shinseki and others in relation to the Phoenix scandal.

    May 9 — The scheduling scandal widens as a Cheyenne, Wyoming, VA employee is placed on administrative leave after an email surfaces in which the employee discusses “gaming the system a bit” to manipulate waiting times. The suspension comes a day after a scheduling clerk in San Antonio admitted to “cooking the books” to shorten apparent waiting times. Three days later, two employees in Durham, North Carolina, are placed on leave over similar allegations.

    May 15 — Shinseki testifies before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. “Any allegation, any adverse incident like this makes me mad as hell,” he says. At the same hearing, acting Inspector General Richard Griffin tells lawmakers that federal prosecutors are working with his office looking into allegations veterans died while waiting for appointments.

    May 19 — Three supervisors at the Gainesville, Florida, VA hospital are placed on paid leave after investigators find a list of patients requiring follow-up care kept on paper, not in the VA’s computerized scheduling system.

    May 20 — The VA’s Office of Inspector General says it is investigating 26 agency facilities for allegations of doctored waiting times.

    May 21 — Obama says he “will not stand” for misconduct at VA hospitals, but asks for time to allow the investigation to run its course. The same day, Shinseki rescinds Phoenix VA director Sharon Helman’s $8,495 bonus. Helman got the bonus in April, even as agency investigators were looking into allegations at the facility.

    May 22 — The chairman of the House Veteran Affairs Committee says his group has received information “that will make what has already come out look like kindergarten stuff.” He does not elaborate.

    May 28 — A preliminary report from the VA inspector general’s office finds systemic problems at health facilities nationwide, and serious management and scheduling issues in Phoenix.

    May 29 — Political pressure mounts from Senate Democrats and others for Shinseki to go.

    May 30 — President Barack Obama accepts Eric Shinseki’s resignation. Obama says he did so with regret, and said that Shinseki offered to step down at a White House meeting with the President so as not to be a distraction going forward. Obama said that Deputy VA Secretary Sloan Gibson will temporarily fill Shinseki’s role as the search is launched for a permanent replacement.

    1. Finally, someone put the corrupt history of the VA on here!
      Eric, you only went to 30 May, 2014. Since then, its gotten far worse. More and more negative publicity has surfaced. Has anything been done? Has the Justice Department brought any charges against the many who have caused this problem? They can go after a soccer corruption scandal, but not after the criminal activity of VA scum who have not only killed veterans, but have screwed the American Taxpayers!
      Does anyone see the futility of trying to correct the Broken Veterans Administration? It will NEVER change. I believe even a “Class-Action Lawsuit ” would be futile, because they would keep the suit in limbo for decades. I believe that the VA Medical side of the VA needs to be DONE AWAY WITH!
      Of course, because of the way or “World Society” is evolving negatively, I see another (world) war on the horizon. I truly hope I’m wrong. Because the next one will/might be the last one!
      Shades of George Orwell….

  14. This doesn’t surprise me in the least. I have yet to find anyone who cares or even thinks enough about veterans to take the VA on and try to change things for the betterment of veterans. We as veterans have been condemned to an endless cycle of official and public apathy. Veterans are always having to take a backseat to everyone. Why? Because we are still treated like expendables or as throwaways. The VA lets veterans die and the OSC doesn’t give a damn!

  15. Unfortunately, veterans have been the scourge of the government since Day1 – just look at our history. I understand your frustration – I have been a disabled vet since 1977 – but getting one for our side is important if not just as a collateral victory. The Psychiatrist may now be able to feel vindicated, and those so vindicated may find a fresh zeal to work with so they can help in their own individual ways. To me it is not gay versus dead veterans – it about all of us being treated with dignity – and failing that, just having the VBA follow the law and throw out the perfidies that continue to kill untold numbers of us every day, and deprive the rest of us of benefits described under the law.

    1. Great Response. Have you Googled the (corruption) history of the veterans administration? It should amaze you how they have been doing the same thing for so many decades (actually since its inception)!

  16. Ben, a Mr. Wallace left a ‘comment’ on the ‘page’ concerning the $900k (false) recording page you posted. Have you read it? And more importantly, have you spoken to him? I, in my opinion, believe much of what he says. Esp. when it comes to the MANY veterans organizations.
    I also believe, until we veterans and taxpayers converge upon Washington D. C., NOTHING will happen !!!!
    I have done many things to help veterans receive the benefits they deserve. Yet it took years. I, to this day, don’t understand why! I felt it was/is because the va was/is overworked. Wow, was I naive!
    I also, now believe the many veterans organizations ARE “in bed” with the va. Therefore, very little to nothing will change the mindset of the va!
    Sorry, if I repeat myself!

    1. @crazyelf,,,I have someone trying to help me get a DIC and any accrued befits ,but the VA keeps getting in the way,Why ,? this woman used to help a lot of veterans ,not its hard for her to even get a call back from the VA ,I appointed her POA. Was this change ,that came about on march 24 ,right after my husband death,have anything to do with it? My husband deserved better ,I think they even held back, telling him he had cancer ,till it was too late ,We just weren’t smart enough to stay above the curve

      1. Every time you change something, your files go to the bottom of the stack.
        I’m sorry i can’t be more help. I’ve been out of the loop for some time. I’ve tried to help some on small issues, but have seen many fall into the wait crack! I would suggest finding an attorney from around your area. Don’t be discouraged, I’m sure someone will help you!!!!
        Good luck in your endeavor!!!!

    2. DAV I am a life member but returned my card after being told the service person was too busy for me.

      They are never too busy to ask for money, once a week.

      1. Magickian, here’s a great site to visit ; DAVREFORM
        Then click onto the ‘comments’ section. You will see what the DAV is really about!
        I hope this helps.

  17. I believe VA will never be held accountable because no attorney, not including you Ben, is willing to stand up for veterans, walk into the muck and the mire that VA generates as a waste product and file a single class action lawsuit for mis-administration of the VA against the US. VA knows this and uses it to their advantage. Openly acknowledging the rights of an employee who is gay just protects VA from a suit that would have been far easier to complete and works in VA’s favor to make them look like they are concerned with the human condition. Until someone is willing to file that 6 million person class action lawsuit, the VA will never change because they have no reason to do so and change might be inconvenient for it’s current cash business model.

    Someone needs to stand up and file that paper. But I know it is almost impossible find an attorney willing to take that task on. Be safe!

    1. WOW!!! THIS Just blows me away! Everyone is entitled know you know view. Ben has been very INTRINSIC AND what and truthfully be your beliefs and Veterans like humans! Maybe I am too altered by Ben ( remember we are one huge family everywhere! We are VETERANS! What better ways you are suggesting or intimidating? As I stated “WE ARE VETERANS FIRST HE HAS DONE, THE OLD SAYING SOME MAJOR THINGS? SO AGREE TO DISAGREE AND AGREE, OR DISAGREE BUT YOU CANNOT JUST DO A DAY JOB GO TO THIS SITE AND I SWEAR HE MUST BE UP SOME PLACE INFORMATIVE SITE AS I KNOW YEAH OKAY I REALLY KNOW AND “GET IT!” BECAUSE MYSELF SAYING “YOUNGER IF DISAGREE ALWAYS AGREE! BEN DOES DESERVE SOME SLEEP!
      I REMEMBER READING HOW HE TOOK HIS OWN AWARD SO VETS HELP VETS HE DOES! THINK ON IT THIS WAY, HE COULD WORK WITH A FIRM WHICH THEY ADVERTISE HIS SHINGLE, HECK COULD CREATE A FIRM SOLEY TO HELPING YOU, AND YES HE WORD DESERVE IT, BUT YOU KNOW “HE MADE A CHOICE TO HELP VETERANS AND HE IS DOING IT INBHIS STATE, HEY I TRIED ONE DAY AND THEY MAKE NON-APPOINTMENT BASIS AND LETS FACE IT, “HE IS BEING TO SERVICE TO ALL VETERANS!” (SHH ITS A BIG SECRET, HE COULD HAVE MADE
      WAY MORE MONEY, BUT NOPE THE VA!
      “I ALWAYS ADMIRE SOME OF THE VERY ASSISTANCE I GOT WITH HICKEY AND WAS ANNOYED NOTHING WAS BEING DONE CORRECTLY! WITH. IN FACT SHE REALLY PRETTY RUDE, SO AFTER WRITING TO OBAMA FOR TWO YEARS AND PROBABLY TO SHUT ME UP, ( IT WON’T WORK, IF GIVE IN OR GO AFTER HER IN MY BAT MOBILE FROM MY HIDDEN CAVE! PERSONALLY, AND STILL LOVE TO KNOW WHO TOOK OUT OF MY RESERVES MEDICAL RECORDS! BUT WHEN I GOT A COPY OF MY ACTIVE DUTY RECORDS AND IT IS MAKING SOME REALLY STUPID WAY WHEN SHE STATES HELP YOU? OH, AND LYING!!! MY MOM DID NOT TAKE THAT TOO WELL AND IF HICKEY HAD MY MOM? YOU LIE ONCE, BECAUSE LYING DRIVES HER INTO “BAT SHIT CRAZY!” MY C&P SECONG G&P EXAMINATION I WANTEDA PERSON ONALMOST LOOKS AS IF IT WAS PRE-SCRIPTED AND REOPEN THE CASE ALL I CAN SAY AND TORTURED. MYSELF WITH PAIN. ( ITS GOING TO BE TWO DUCKS NOT JUST THESE TWO!
      “THANK YOU BEN, BECAUSE YOUR EXPERIENCES YOU HAD MADE UP YOUR MIND AND I SHALL SAY IT,” YOU TRULY ARE EXPOSING THE VA QUAGMIRE THAT HAS A PLETHORA OF ISSUES AND I AM PRETTY SURE THE QUAGMIRE WILL TAKE YEARS TO FIX IF IT EVER COULD BE OR EVEN SHOULD BE.” CHANGE ONLY HAPPEN YOU EXPOSE THE REAL NOT SOME PERVERTED DOCTORS OR ANY OTHER SERVICE TO BE IN THE HUMAN WELL BEING SYSTEM. BODY, THEN MIND. I HOPE I WILL FIND A GREAT DOCTOR AND PLEASE GET RID OF THE PAIN!!! I WANTED TO JOIN TEAM RUBICON AND CONTINUE ON WITH MY PLAN THAT I AIN’T SHARING BECAUSE WE SHALL SEE IF I GET A CHOICE CARD “AS SOMEONE IN THE TAX PAYERS WHITE HOUSE GAVE ME, HOPEFULLY SO, BUT I THINK IF THAT WILL FLOAT HER BOAT-YEAH IT COULD, I HAVE A THE NEED FOR SERVICES BUT I ALSO STATED THE TRUTH! ONE LIES HAS ME TOSSED LIKE A RAG DOLL, OH AND GEE, AS STATED THAT DAMN BACK! (INDIVIDUAL UNEMPLOYABILITY-A HOPE A PRAYER AS WELL AS A POSITIVE ATTITUDE I HAVE A CHANCE TO BE BETTER OR A WHEEL CHAIR. ( GRANDMA WANTED TO PLAY DISNEY ON HER CELLO AND OF COURSE JUST HAVING FUN WITH MY GRANDCHILD. I GUESS I SHALL DO A REPEAT OF MY MOM; “THE ROAD TO HELL IS PAVED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS!”

  18. I am happy that someone finally received justice in the veterans administration. Only this is, in my opinion, a travesty concerning the multiple amounts of justice not being served to the whistleblowers and veterans.
    I believe nothing will occur until VA employees
    from the highest to the lowest are held accountable.
    I don’t know much about the OSC. Or what their job is. But from what I have read, they are misguided in their direction.
    Maybe it’s because the VA has been so corrupt for so long, no one is, or will, do the right thing.
    Here are two sites one should Google, corruption graft greed in the veterans administration, and history of corruption in the veterans administration. They show this has been going on longer than all of us have been alive!
    I’m not trying to be a “kill joy” here, it’s just that I feel all needs to the history behind the VA.
    Have fun searching!

  19. Well, let me tell you about the OSC,

    Their FOIA office openly stated that my request is 162 on the list , and have politely put it in writing that I will gladly forward along with other documents that the investigators stated we only will accept novel cases and that discrimination is not our purview and is handled by the EEOC, yes I have plenty of documents including a case where the OSC USERRA unit, held onto a vets complaint for approximately 8 months later making excuses for that Red Flag system stating that it is not in their jurisdiction. A flag in your veteran record affects veteran preference rights if you are seeking employment and have this flag that was placed in your record illegaly. These flags should be appealed at the MSPB, but it won’t happen. they are all connected and should be closed down. Congress should just appropriate a whistleblower fund where outside lawyers represent whistleblowers. The OSC is illegal and is not following the law. Some of their disclosures were never made public and I have proof and their FOIA office needs to be put in check.

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