Controversial ‘VA is Lying’ Billboards Come To Chicago

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VA is Lying

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Kevin Michael Phelps
Kevin Michael Phelps

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

William
William

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

namnibor
namnibor

Great!

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

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

pat fero
pat fero

No, when interviewed last week by Rachel Maddow, the last question Rachel asked was about the mess at the VA. Rachel asked Hillary to explain it.. Hillary said she did not understand. Then she clarified the two biggest issues…wait times on disability and the quality of care. She went on to say she would take swat team in there to clean up the mess. Now, you might believe that is all talk, but as Sec of State, she did more cleaning up and patching up than she will ever say. (Tube MSNBC Rachel Meadow Hillary Clinton interview….last Q. ) My father was a mistreated WWII vet. He died when he was 58. He got jackshit from the VA. I am now way over that hill and I have been watching this mega institution spin out of control. BTW, VA is LYING is striking a nerve somewhere and that is demonstrated by the numbers of members close to 21,000, I think. They give out valid help information. Please read the post at the top first.

crazyelf
crazyelf

On the “Diana Rubins Mocks Congress” blog. “Just another Jarhead in SJ” asks,
“Why hasn’t anyone been prosecuted or gone to jail” (paraphrasing)?
I’m asking that question again. Why?
There’s been more than enough evidence to throw half, if not more, of these retrobates in prison!

Hillary is completely disconnected from reality over her “comments” on MSNBC last Friday.

These “Veterans Committees” in Washington seems to NOT be getting the job done. The job they were elected to do, by the way! They, in my opinion, seem to be missing the point. VA’ers come in front of them, lie, ask for more taxpayers monies, usually receive it, go back to where they come from and continue to waste the taxpayers monies.
When these retrobates go back, they make life a living HELL for those who work below them. And the worst part is the Veterans for whom they are “mandated” to serve, get treated like shit!!!!

How many more negative news articles are going to surface, before something is done? How many more politicians are going to “gloss over” what’s really happening? How many more times is McDonald (and the rest of his cronies) going to lie, cheat and steal and get away with it, before he, and they, get “called out on the carpet”?

I once said, wouldn’t it be glorious IF say, 50% to 80%, of VA’s workforce were to “picket” VA’s across this nation. McDonald can’t and wouldn’t be able to fire all of them. How many veterans/patients do you believe would join them? I would. It would be done in conjunction with the union. And during one entire week.
If a vet has an emergency, one VA’r would send him/her to the nearest civilian medical facility. VA would pay!

Right now VA can’t get great qualified physicians, nurses and other caregivers to work for them. Why do y’all suppose that is? I’ll leave that as it is. We all know why. We don’t have to spell it out for VA.

How many more veterans are going to have to DIE Mr. McDonald, before you do something right???

Just thoughts
Just thoughts

While I do not disagree with much of what you say I feel I must point out that Shimkus (?) the previous VA Director tried on several occasions to make congress aware that staffing and funding of many VA facilities was inadequate and that it would only get worse as a growing number of Veterans from two ill conceived wars who would soon me flooding these facilities. While I am ashamed of the care and treatment provided to the Veterans at some of these facilities and am even more ashamed of the manner in which the whistleblowers are treated for trying to bring these problems to light. But then what can you expect from a system that makes a condition of your bonus the amount of wait time a patient has to go through to be seen at the facility?

Just thoughts
Just thoughts

Not Shimkus….Shinseki.

William
William

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

crazyelf
crazyelf

@Just thoughts.

There’s been more than enough news articles, with evidence, concerning everything I’ve stated.
So, again,
“Why hasn’t any of the VA ingrates been jailed?”

As far as Congress and the Senate goes, they were elected to do a job. So far, they have not only let veterans down. They’ve also let the American People & Taxpayer down on a number of MANY issues!

Lastly, As far as “VA not being adequately staffed”, a news reporter here in Central Florida said it best. After a scathing “story” aired on Channel 6, WKMG, late last year, he stated,
“Who would want to work for the VA?”

Here’s a question to you.
If you were a great medical provider, knowing what you know about VA, would you want to take the chance and be hired? And, if you did, would you want to become a whistleblower and maybe have your life and career ruined like many others have had done to them?

crazyelf
crazyelf

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

91Veteran
91Veteran

I don’t buy the lack of funding claim. How much money would be enough to prevent a VA doctor from acting like a medical professional and not cutting off a veterans pain medicine cold turkey without a sound medical basis? Or any other medication where withdrawals may be an issue? I take no pain or other medicine stronger than Tylenol, but what these doctors are doing is unprofessional at a minimum and unethical.
How much money spent on furnishings or art work would help a veteran get the proper appointment in a timely manner? I am aware that Congress likely dictates how much is budgeted for facilities and other VA operations, but no amount of money should prevent a VA doctor from providing professional, ethical and most of all HUMANE care to veterans. I’m thinking about all the comments I have read over just the past two months of veterans going to the VA, I can only conclude pets are treated much more humanely. Hell, look at the outrage over Cecile the lion, and the deaths of 40 minimum at Phoenix for comparison.

James
James

Also those who falsely the veterans records, I was shot in the head point blank, region office told me over and over my records were burned in the st Louis fire, when I was discharged after the fire!

Hired an attorney, majic happened and my records all of a sudden showed up!

Obtained 100 percent after they were found, turned down for migraine headaches and traumatic brain injury for a (Gun) shot point blank! Do not know what callaber!

Just got off the phone asked why I was turned down for both!

Explanation: records for c AND P, Shows you were hit in the head with a tear gas CAN!
Advised employee no I was shot in the head point blank!
Not hit in the head with a can!

Got the same response, ok will send you out new paper work and make it a new claim for the tbi and migraines!

Asked about CUE, ok will send out paperwork to fill out! For me to tell them I was shot in the head, which caused the tbi and migraines!

I have told them about me being shot in the head back in 1973, when I was discharged!

And many times after that!

Want me to make a new claim! Why a new claim?

91Veteran
91Veteran

James, it is likely they want a new claim because the date you submit it would be your effective date. Much cheaper than them paying you disability back to 1973. VSOs used to be helpful in not only getting you a rating, but in making it retroactive depending on the condition. Wouldn’t they be shocked if you provided military paperwork showing you were treated in the military for that wound? You should contact Coffmans office, ask for a case file to be opened and request he assist you in getting those records. The VA obviously hasn’t bothered in their “duty to assist”.

James
James

They have it, the c and p stated I was shot with a tear gas bullet ! How do you get shot with a tear gas bullet!

All I know is, I seen a (gun) pistol pointed one foot from my head, heard it go off!

The next thing I knew, was waking up in a German car, covered up with a blanket over my head (shrouded) and could hear someone speaking in a foreign language!

Various thoughts, what’s happening, I know I was shot, why am I covered up, why am I in a car? What are these people going to do with me (kill me) !!!….

I just sat listening fearing if I moved, they would shoot me again. I decided ok once they uncover you, hit the first person you see and run!

Sounded good at the time and I let them carry me out of the car! (Heart racing) knowing either I get away or I dead!

When I was uncovered, I did hit the first person I seen and people jumped on me and told IN english, no no you are at a doctor!

Don’t remember what happened after that! Records indicate I was driven to a German hospital and then seen by doctors at an American hospital!

I do not remember any of this and did not know it caused me a traumatic brain injury!

Just did what I was told and went back to work and was able to honor my enlistment of three years!

Started having sleeping problems, headaches, mistrust to the point I knew I had to see someone!

I was transferred back to fort Carson and seen I guess a psychological doctor, who called me a faker and milingier and gave me a diagnose of neurosis!

I was demoted to pfc for not showing up to work! Don’t remember why I didn’t show up, I never missed work unless I was sick!

The rest of the next fourty years was spent filings for disability and none ever came! As you had to be service connected in order to qualify for mental health care!

The last fourty years before getting treatment were a living hell! Without treatment I was forced to self medicate!

Alcohol was my medication and that medication sent me into severe depression!

And everything that comes with drinking! Nothing but trouble if you know what I mean!

During treatment for alcohol and drug abuse, a doctor wrote into my medical chart!

Mr. G is not to be punished for his willful drinking, as he was only medicating himself from lack of treatment!

Even though the VA denighed me the treatment I needed! I didn’t sit back and sulk, I wanted to help others!

So I started working for the department of veterans affairs and I felt that if I would treat veterans with respect, other employees would see they really do appreciate it, when someone actually listen to them!

I completed about 25 years with the VA and no one would belittle a veteran In front of me, as they knew that I would report them so fast their head would spin!

I knew what it felt like and feels like, not having anyone believe you, when you know the truth!

I got along with most, did my job and raised my kids the best I could!

Really don’t know what can be done, unless or until every employee is told to respect veterans and if they don’t (goodbye) your fired!

I guess I have made an enemy for me being so straight forward and that employee was successful in retaliation against me, once I was eligible for treatment, she falsely accused me of disruptive behavior and higher management let her do so!

Without her having to produce any proof of the allegations, so I’m still being attacked for my loyalty to myself and my fellow veterans!

I would do it all over again, if I thought someone really cared about the truth!

Sorry I had to relieve some tension!

James
James

Who is Coffman and how do I contact him!

James
James

What I would like to know how many men work in management and how many women!

What positions and military time they served!

How many employees are men vs women period and how many of them joined the service!

I’ll bet women hold more vital positions than men!

How many women do veterans ratings and did any of them serve!

Their maybe a gender gap and more females are being hired over qualified men!

At one time women were fighting for equality are they now turning the table on men and now proving their power over men!

Not just any man, the strongest and best! You may have been a warrior strong and proud, times have changed and now we’re in charge and now you have no say!

Most veterans are men, what better place to attract men and denigh them the benefits they deserved!

I’ve been married for forty years, have two daughters and have reinforced that all people are created equal and they should never do anything to another person that would cause harm to that person knowing it’s wrong!

I think this should be looked into the proportion of federal workers in the VA system!

If we do have people that would hurt another person because of gender! Would answer a lot of questions as to what is happening!

Women have every right to work, but if they don’t want men working for them, they should not be able to punish men for what happened in the past!

And veterans to boot!

crazyelf
crazyelf

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

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

James
James

Women should be made to serve, maybe then they will realize that all those veterans they say are faking their claims and are facing the real world, where mommy and daddy can’t get them out and they see for themselves!

Veterans don’t have a desk job! They are the front lines defending this country and our veterans are faking!

And when they see a person getting blown up or have hundreds of the enemy attack at the same time!

Many veterans will not tell what they have seen! Or what they had to do to another human being!

And why would they, the department of veterans affairs, uses that information to say the veterans are a dangerous bunch!

And commit you, fill you with heavy narcotics! And god forbid if the veteran is having a bad day, remembering what they have seen and the anger and pain gets to them and a VA employee, instead of helping him, reports the veteran as being disruptive and have him attacked. by security!

The employee should not label the veteran as disruptive! The employee should of showed compassion towards the veteran!

The department of veterans affairs and their telling employees, IF a veteran speaks out, call the police or local police and have him arrested.

These false rumors that veterans are dangerous and thus look at every veteran as a threat!

When in fact the veteran is only seeking care and does have problems and when you label a veteran as possibly dangerous, the veteran will always have it the back of their mind! Why are these employees treating me like I have a terrible disease!

Management as insteeled into the employees mind, treat every veteran as the enemy and dangerous, so don’t try to help the veteran get the help he needs!

Call the police and accuse him of disruptive behavior and banish them from all care.

Stop the VA from putting fear into its employees, it does nobody any good and destroys the veterans confidence in the VA employees and puts everyone guard!

Trust, respect, devotion, healing are being thrown out the window!

baciasbits
baciasbits

@James…

While I understand you are frustrated, turning this into a gender war is not beneficial to anyone.

To answer some of your hypothetical questions, though, I WAS a rater at VA for a little over three years. I served four years honorably in the US Air Force from 1990-1994, you know Desert Storm era. I have a BS in Nuclear Medicine Technology and I previously worked in the legal field. I far exceeded the production standards VA puts on its employees both in quality and quantity. I was highly qualified for the job I performed serving fellow veterans. My being female was irrelevant to my job performance.

To answer an unasked question, I was essentially forced to resign my position after reporting unethical behavior, which bordered on illegal, by a coworker because management turned on me. I was harassed, shunned, and vilified by coworkers for being a “rat” and was even harassed at my home after management released selective bits of what I reported and put a spin on it to make it look like I was settling a personal vendetta. Management is very adept at getting rid of employees who rock the boat.

So, this is NOT about how many women vs men work for VA. This is strictly about how many people (men and women) land these jobs from which they cannot be fired unless they are found guilty of literal, hands-on murder and then run wild.

Please do not divide us by declaring a baseless gender war.

crazyelf
crazyelf

@namnibor, great idea for a calendar. Bet Ben could sell them for a reasonable price, too. That would also be a great way to raise money to defeat VA.

Clinton is so far outta touch with reality, it’s pathetic. In my opinion, she’s just like most politicians, using veterans (not knowing thousands are dead) to get elected. Only, this time I’d bet this one’s going to backfire on her!
My wife and I have already Tweeted it. My wife’s already got over 550 followers. And one is a vet who has over 560 followers. namnibor, from what my wife says, and I agree, the people out there “retweeting” these things, grows exponentially. Who knows how many have watched Clinton’s video on MSNBC because of this “tweet”?
The “Word” is getting out there. Not only about Clinton, but the VA as well…..

Lastly, I hope we don’t get a “troll alert” today.

91Veteran
91Veteran

I wish I had your confidence in anyone caring about what Hillary said. Far too many are more than willing to overlook dead vets because they support her blindly for other reasons. I don’t recall the year, 1994, 95, but a huge number of Gulf War vets thought she was going to do something for veterans back then. So many of us were trying to get proper care through the VA, and they kept claiming they couldn’t diagnose the problems. Anyway, Hillary made a show of showing up at a House or Senate VA committee hearing. The media fawned over her suggesting she was so concerned over vets health care. What they didn’t show was her behind a roped off area where no vet could even get close enough to ask questions. After that single soundbite, I don’t recall her saying another word about Gulf War or any other veterans.

ronald
ronald

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

James
James

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

crazyelf
crazyelf

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

James
James

Thanks

Seymour Klearly
Seymour Klearly

James,

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

James
James

Thanks

Shmoo_usn
Shmoo_usn

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

Dennis Fitzgerald
Dennis Fitzgerald

I’ve been a member of VA is lying Facebook group for quite a while, Mr. Nesler has done a very good job of projecting this issue into the mainstream.
There is always some good information for veterans on there on a regular basis, he is to me doing more than just talking the talk, he has acquired the knowledge to know what he is speaking of and has put himself out there with this issue.
One may ask isn’t “VA is Lying” a rather brash and harsh adverserial position to take:
Well, how brash is violating the laws, and how is stealing badly needed benefits from veterans for brash and harsh?
I for one am in support of his actions to bring this into the spotlight! And thanks Ron Nesler, for you time, money and efforts (dedication) to this cause!
Sincerely,
Dennis Fitzgerald

James
James

This is the only way to let the people know there are big problems and the billboard will last more than five minutes of news yearly?

I just hope they care enough to join and insist on our law makers to investigate and in force the laws we have now!

The disruptive committee has to go! No oversight at all and they can hurt any veteran they choose to and you can’t do! ‘?:!: about it!

This is a Que to inform all staff that it’s ok to hurt you and nothing will be done to the employees!

Many employees see the red flag and its open season on that veteran!

This committee needs to be forced to provide the information used to punish the veterans and keep hearsay out!

If they have no proof of the allegations, If a veteran is punished by the VA, without evidence!

Every employee involved should eather be fired, a letter placed into their personal file, that the employees have been found guilty of falsely accusing a veteran of disruptive behavior! So everyone will know what they have done and capable of doing!

Management should be ashamed letting an employee pull the wool over their eyes!
And for covering it up, knowing the employee was falsely accusing the veteran by lack of evidence!

CorpsmanuP! (@Tang1967)
CorpsmanuP! (@Tang1967)

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

crazyelf
crazyelf

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

Eric Rolston
Eric Rolston

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

crazyelf
crazyelf

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

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

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

Stephen LeMaster
Stephen LeMaster

I absolutely agree with the message, but I have to ask the question: Are these billboards doing any good? I have to think that if the majority of Americans knew the truth about the VA, lawmakers would be rushing to toss VA execs under the bus.

The problem I see is that these billboards are such a 20th Century medium. I would imagine that the only meaningful metric would be the growth on the FB group. How much has the FB group grown since these billboards went up? You could also measure how many interviews the group’s officers have given. There’s an analysis tool most marketers use — cost of acquisition (of a customer). If you take the amount of money spent on these and divide by the number of new members, how much will it take to get one new member?

The real issue is getting people to pay attention to the daily horror show at the VA. I’m not sure how we do that after all the stories that have popped up on places like FoxNews and a myriad of Internet sources. The reason this mess has gotten so bad is because of ignorance and/or apathy on the part of the public at-large.

It’s like the old joke — What’s worse, ignorance or apathy? Answer — I don’t know. and I don’t care. Corny, yes, but it does seem to sum up the general public’s attitude toward the VA.

namnibor
namnibor

Agree, especially with the “Apathy Problem” and very short attention pans and weird-ass priorities of interests.
I say that because it still burns my ass that a cocaine’d and prostitute ranched-out basketball star and his still married to a freaking Kardasian…totally blankets the news while blatant fraud is being exposed and even the Under Secretary resigning…but no…it would literally take a Kardashian to be in a war zone and shot in the ass trying to get plastic surgery from the VA…I am being a tad flippant here, yeah, but you know what I mean!?!! What more raw evidence is needed to make it a National Priority to make the VA Great?
Do they even really want it to be as Great…as the VA so often claims to be?
I think the Apathy is also in Congress. They have had plenty of opportunities.

namnibor
namnibor

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

91Veteran
91Veteran

Yes…apathy fits. As long as people are not personally affected, as long as their paychecks come in, as long as Dancing with the Stars is not interrupted, not many give a damn about what might be happening to others. Congress is as bad. As long as they can fly under the radar, no heavy work has to be done. I commented here long ago when they quickly gave the VA billions more for the lack of Choice program that some serious and on-going oversight needed to be done. We see what happens when they make a big show of giving them billions without oversight. It makes for good headlines for a few days, then it’s back to business as usual. The lack of Choice program is a disaster for most, and Congress won’t do anything about it now. To do so would show it was poorly thought out, rushed through, with no oversight or accountability. Same with wait lists. Its still ongoing, yet Congress will ignore it until the next scandal hits, then they will harrumph for a couple days before hitting the snooze button again. It used to be I could name the House and Senate VA committee chairmen and who the Ranking Members were. I can only think of Miller now, and only because he was harrumphing before the media a couple days ago.

91Veteran
91Veteran

James, I wrote a lengthy reply to your question about who Coffman is, but it appears to have not made it to the site.
I will try again. I believe he is on the House VA Committee. He is an Army/Marine veteran.

Coffman is Congressman Mike Coffman. If you Google him, you can find contact information for his Aurora office. I assume you live in his district. Call his office and ask them to help you get your military medical treatment records. Explain you need to get them in order to receive proper medical care from the VA, and that they are denying it without the records.

In addition to that, send a Freedom of Information Act request to the Denver VARO. If you go to FOIA dot gov, you can find information on how to do this, or you can write:

Denver VARO
Address

This is a Freedom of Information Act request.

My name is James xxxxxx, social security number yyyyy. I am requesting copies of any medical records used in the decision denying my claim for service connection of ZZZZZ. I have a decision letter from the Denver VARO dated, xxyyzz. That decision states XXXX and states I was shot with a tear gas round.

I understand you have 20 days to provide the records requested. I also understand you can request from me an additional 10 days to provide these records.

In order to seek proper medical care for this condition, I am asking that this request be expedited.

James xxxxx
Address of where you want them mailed.

James
James

I will try anything and will continue to contact anyone who will listen to the whole story!

And just pray they won’t thrown it in the trash!

Or just send a letter to the VA and not require them to provide them and myself with the proof they used to punish me!

They will (VA) will not do so, because there is nothing period that they can produce, because they have none, because it never happened in the first place!

Hearsay, is just that and not legal to accuse someone of something and not provide any proof!

VA truth tellers, need to be thanked for standing up against veterans abuse, no matter what form of abuse!

So thank you, for caring about our veterans, who don’t deserve retaliation from former VA coworkers!

Two wrongs don’t make a right!

91Veteran
91Veteran

James, One thing to keep in mind that I learned long ago…do not confuse the issue with too many details. What is frustrating for many veterans is that their medical problems are sometimes complex, but dealing with the VA makes them incredibly complicated. I learned long ago that when talking to someone who is not a veteran getting care at the VA that if you get too detailed in what you are talking to them about,..their eyes glaze over quickly and they don’t hear much of what you are saying.

I found that keeping things simple tends to get better results. If you talk to Coffman’s office, keep your request as simple as possible so you will have a better chance of getting action. Same with your FOIA request to the VA. Keep it simple, or they will find a reason to deny it.

The same pretty much applies when talking to the media. They like short soundbites because their eyes glaze over even faster if you get too detailed.

James
James

You may be right, but the truth does hurt and some people can’t handle the truth and it sounds like I said something wrong !

Maybe my tbi, is taking it’s toal! Wish I’d had therapy those many years ago and just maybe, the PTSD program in Topeka Kansas was very good with veterans who wanted to understand what is happening due to the service! They had very well planned the class’s and counseling sessions to help the veteran cope with their disability! So I’m trying!

91Veteran
91Veteran

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

Good luck on getting your records.

DL
DL

Be careful about the FOIA. If you have more than 100 pages, they can charge you for copies and send you a bill. If there are a lot of records to be copied, the VA has to give you a free copy of your medical records once every couple of years, so use that to get your records, not a FOIA per se, they might charge you because they are buttheads and why pay when you are able to get a copy for free. They respond to lawyers requests even though you already got a free one yourself. Hope this helps.

91Veteran
91Veteran

Years ago I submitted a FOIA to a federal agency that would require gathering documents from several installations around the country. I was called by their HQ FOIA officer and asked if I wanted to go forward with the request since the bill would be about $3000.00. It was clearly an effort to intimidate and not have to provide the information requested, I said I stated in my request that I asked for the fees to be waived because I was going to provide them to other veterans as an educational tool possibly pertaining to their health, and in getting proper medical treatment. They ignored that and said they would bill anyway. I then asked for their fax number, and said I wanted to fax them a press release stating a federal agency wanted to bill veterans for access to information that was pertinent to their health problems and might result in not getting proper care. I got over 20,000 pages. For free.
I would not hesitate to do the same here. A press release stating the VA is billing for access to my records they used in denying benefits and proper medical care.

Al Winston
Al Winston

Oh, there is a serious overlooking of facts here. There is a major reason why the VA is stretched thin, and this website and all its posts ignore it, quite conveniently. No doubt because it undermines the whole “VA is in the wrong” theory.

I signed up with the VA as a doc within the past year. The #1 reason for backlogs: Abuse of health care resources in the VA by a small minority of veterans. By clogging up primary care and specialty visits by their demands for repeated visits and tests, veterans who are in true need of help get put on a waitlist until they are in dire straights. Further, there is a minority with real medical problems who utterly ignore the directions given to them, resulting in complications that again consume resources needed to help other veterans who want to participate in their care. Lastly, how about the not insignificant number of veterans WHO DON’T WANT to get better?

Wait, what? Why wouldn’t a diabetic want their numbers to improve?

Because if they do, then their compensation and pension payments that they get every month are slashed. Not only is there no motivation to take care of themselves, but there’s a DISincentive to follow doctors’ orders.

Now, let’s propose the stupid solution others have suggested: Privatize the VA system. Sure, I’m positive that all the vets would love to pay copays, like Medicare and private insurance. I’m sure they’d love to be paying the insurance rates that the “free” Obamacare offers (to the tune of thousands per year). I’m sure they’d love the denial of care from insurance companies that private sector patients see regularly because a treatment is ‘experimental’, even though it’s commonly used.

How about some fair balance here? Yes, there are lazy, corrupt people within the VA, although so far, I’ve not seen them at the one I’m at. Plenty of docs, nurses, techs, pharmacists and ADMINISTRATORS are staying ‘way late and on weekends. And they earn a FRACTION of the multimillions earned by private “nonprofit” hospital administrators.

Again, to the guy running this site: FAIR BALANCE please.

James
James

You state veterans not wanting to get better! You state the VA will take away their benefits IF they get better!

Why is the VA so intent in taking away a veteran disability because he gets better! Are you kidding, veterans want to be whole and would like to get better!

Quit trying to take away a veterans disability, you said it yourself, the VA treats veterans only to punish them for getting better!

This is a lame excuse, ALL you are doing is confirming VA is out to take their disability payments away, so there is more money for the employees bonuses!

How about keeping your eyes and ears open and you would see for yourself, how veterans are being treated like Criminals!

I bet the VA told you how to treat a veteran if they ask questions you don’t like or what to hear!

We veterans need doctors who will listen and not judge us! That is not why you were hired!

Think about it, thousands of veterans can’t be lying!