Lockheed Martin Cashes In On VA Health Care IT Fix

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Lockheed Martin Post-9-11 GI Bill

Benjamin KrauseA company owned by Lockheed Martin was one of the 21 companies selected to score a bite of the huge $22 billion Veterans Health Administration IT contract T4NG.

That is right. Now, Lockheed is not only making money hand over fist by selling weapons that kill and maim soldiers – sometimes our own soldiers – but they are cashing in on the back end by creating “solutions” for health care systems.

The Lockheed company is called Systems Made Simple. That acronym, T4NG, is short for Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology Next Generation. The contract spans 10 years and was awarded to 21 awardees.

To remind readers, Systems Made Simple was the Lockheed company working on the GI Bill system that was supposed to help improve processing. At the time, VA failed to provide a solution to process GI Bill claims in a timely manner. Instead, it funded an IT contract that never was fully finished while still cost taxpayers almost twice the original projected cost. Systems Made Simple was supposed to “fix” that fix.

Regarding that project in 2013, it was originally supposed to cost $160 million-ish. Instead, it cost $263 at the halfway completion point. When the IT debacle hit under Roger Baker, then CIO of VA, the GI Bill system was only functioning at full capacity half the time. Congress was pissed but that obviously did not stop VA from making similar choices in the future.

Now, Systems Made Simple will fix VA health care IT and garner the profit to Lockheed Martin.

How do you think this project will work out? Will it be a great fix or more like putting lipstick on a pig?

RELATED: Lockheed Company To Update GI Bill

Lockheed says the “contract vehicle is designed to promote the seamless integration of health information technology, information technology (IT) and telecommunication solutions to better serve Veterans’ health needs.”

Is it just me or do contractors and VA make ready practice of always throwing that ringer into all press releases following explaining some form of fleecing of American taxpayers?

So long as they remind us that “it’s for the vets” somehow no one realizes the scheme of VA never seems to get fixed no matter how much money we allocation. I have an idea, let’s just light the money on fire? Would we notice a difference?

After that brief explanation in the press release I quoted, I found myself being more confused about what precisely my tax dollars are funding.

What exactly will these companies be paid for? What exactly will American taxpayers get for their $22.3 billion investment into a broken VA system that refuses to follow basic laws and ethics?

LOCKHEED MARTIN PRESS RELEASE

After reading Lockheed’s press release about the contract, I had more questions than answers. Here is what Lockheed says about the contract:

“T4NG is essential as the VA continues its business transformation toward a Veteran-centric, results-driven and forward-looking organization,” said Horace Blackman, vice president health and life sciences at Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions. “We look forward to providing our IT and health expertise to deliver the right solutions to meet these goals and ultimately improve Veterans health and benefits experiences.”

Apparently VA was not “Veteran-centric” before? Now we need to spend another $22 billion to get our software solutions closer to that goal?

The Lockheed company in question, Systems Made Simple, supported VA in its previous version of the same type of contract called T4 over the past five years. That contract was worth $12 billion and was split amongst similar companies.

I guess they did such a bang up job that VA decided to award it and other companies like it another $22.3 billion.

I now wonder why I went to law school and why I spend my time writing on this website when all I needed to do was found an IT company that never delivers solutions while getting paid billions.

Is this capitalism or another example of corporate handouts to companies who cannot stand on their own two feet without the silver spoon of the American taxpayer hanging out of their over-privileged mouths?

Perhaps this is the type of socialism American’s should really be concerned about? Corporate handouts to dependent companies who are unable to fully deliver seems like more of an entitlement program than most others.

Source: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/systems-made-simple-a-lockheed-martin-company-awarded-department-of-veterans-affairs-health-it-contract-300241761.html

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

History repeats itself. Trhat Roger Baker was the one who relied on a bogus IG report in 2011 see VA v. Martinez MSPB google search

Reuben Castro Acosta
Reuben Castro Acosta

AGIN VETS VA IS A FEDERAL RICO CRIME RACKET RUN BY #@ FOR THE AFGE UNION CONTRACTS SO SCREW THE VETS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

namnibor
namnibor

“Systems Made SIMPLE”— Any IT ‘fix’ for the VA in which they can ‘dumb-down’ and upgrade the bean counters to using abacus with beans instead would be appropriate for VA so they can acquire yet another future ‘IT fix’ to upgrade those beans on abacus to a larger bean.
“Define abacus: a device used for counting and calculating by sliding small balls or beads along rods or in grooves—abacus in a sentence.”

Would it surprise anyone to find out that the MOST up-to-date Technology at VA is software that takes damn good care of VA Employees and Union Members, all THEIR pay and benefits, while the VA “Veteran part” still sits at best, 1985 technology? The other most up-to-date area of VA would be the VA Spin Machine, which requires the equivalent of a Zero-Gravity-Centrifuge Pilot Simulator running nonstop, especially of late.

I say this because it just astounds me that it’s 2016 and the VA and Lockheed (aka; Systems Made Simple) just more or less publically admitted the VA has NOT been “Veteran-centric” up to this point. What has the VA been “centric about” all this time seeing how the word “VETERAN” is the first word in the Veteran’s Administration all this time? VA Employees “centric” is the appropriate answer, and glaringly obvious

I would rather see $1 Billion spent on one massively huge independent AUDIT to follow the money trail then pop popcorn and wait for the rats to start jumping off the VA ship like ‘lemmings’.
Similarly, I would rather see $1 Billion spent on Veteran Suicide Prevention and Veteran Homelessness. THAT would be more “Veteran-Centric” in making the VA System one in which we Vets and future Vets can be proud of and use.

Will Lockheed be also provided a contract for the nails in Veteran coffins, or is that basically the same thing, catching Vets coming and going in this life?

Julia
Julia

well, folks, I’d like to say that since the middle of Wednesday morning, you have been prevented from benefitting, or not, from my take on the development, because Ben has my posts “on moderation” and won’t let them be visible to the entire community, unless he feels like it. I suspect this might be the last REPLY I am ever allowed to lodge, either, but at present it’s only new Posted Comments he censors, not my responses to you. I worked for an IT company that was in the political side of the federal coffers, and it became acquired by Lockheed Martin, and all I wrote about was that it wasn’t a brand new coalition of 28 contractors with all sorts of tangled layers involved, and I hadn’t ever learned how a LM project had harmed beneficiaries of the GI Bill so badly. But MY experience was that it was a seamless turnover from the customers’ point of view. so I was hoping we might give this a chance to prove itself as awful or great, rather than all the emotional suppositions. Thank you. And, so you know, for a couple of years, Ben has been getting a monthly contribution from me to make this website run, but I’ve never had fair treatment here, or where he is a co-admin on the big FB group with the billboards If you leave me a reply, how about suggesting somewhere else for my monthly generosity to benefit, starting next month.

91Veteran
91Veteran

Emotional suppositions? So veterans should just be good little rubes while waiting months for an appointment and watching $35 billion pissed away and not have a reaction?

I don’t give a tinkers damn what kind of seamless bells and whistles Lockheed can deliver, until it translates into something honestly measurable in improvement for veterans, we have every right to react. When I am told I cannot get a machine for physical therapy after surgery because it costs too much, I am going to react. When I see veterans given $90,000+ bills for private medical care because another “seamless” improvement in Veterans Choice cannot pay the damn bills, veterans are going to react.
I don’t give a shit if you think my reaction is emotional supposition or not. Wasting $35 billion in improving IT when veterans are not provided timely care for serious medical issues is wrong.

No need to piss on veterans reactions when you feel your gravy train threatened.

crazy elf
crazy elf

IMHO,
The Congress, DOD, VA (in Washington), other government entities and POTUS all know what’s happening.
That is: The taxpayer’s monies are being utilized for something other than what it was intended;
ie; Veterans Healthcare, Education, Homelessness, Suicide Prevention, etc., etc.! They basically are throwing us, the veterans and taxpayers they “Are Mandated To Serve”, a “bone!”

I believe our country is moving more toward “a Communist State”! Where the “elite”, the top 1 or 2% who run the country, own the country, (their belief, not mine. And it shouldn’t be yours)!
Our National Debt, or Deficit, stands at around $19+ TRILLION to around $20+ TRILLION! And it’s growing every second of every minute of every day.
Yet, it’s been reported by the “former Comptroller of the U.S.”, (until Obama fired him), our “debt to other countries” stands closer to $90 TRILLION! We owe the Saudi’s, Chinese and a few other countries so damn much. Our childrens, childrens children can’t pay it off in their lifetimes! It’s also been reported, and confirmed, our POTUS has accumulated more debt than everyone prior to him COMBINED! Fact: when Bush (jr.) left office, our “countries debt was at a little over $5 TRILLION!” Due mainly over the two wars, Afghanistan and Iraq, he involved us in.

To prove my point with just a few examples:
Obama just made a trip to Cuba. Then off to Argentina. Both countries are “communist controlled”! Why did he go to Argentina? Was it bacause of NAFTA or his wanting TTP to succeed?
Argentina wants control back of the Faulklins. Obama, if you’ll remember, sent a “Bust of Churchill back to England” (in 2011, I believe), which was a ‘gift’ to the Bush family to display in the White House. Why did he return it?
Because of our support to England over the Faulklins??

Here’s additional info y’all may have forgotten.
Before Obama was re-elected, he was caught, unintentionally on open mic, whispering to the Soviet Ambassador how he will “be in talks” with Putin AFTER he’s re-elected! He also confirmed he “…would be in a better position!” WHAT those “talks” would encompass is not being transmitted by our “government controlled medias!”
Secondly, his “ANTI- belief in Colonialism” is strong! He learned this from his father. It’s in his book, “Dreams From My Father!” If y’all will notice, he uses the ‘word’ “FROM”! A “telling of his mindset”! Kenya was a colony until after he was born! As was Indonesia while he lived there as a young impressionable boy!

There are many examples of OUR government’s betrayal of its citizens. “Career Dinosaur Politicians” promising to set our country on the right path during the last election cycle (was a ruse IMO). That “path” was supposed to be a “Return to our Roots!” A return to WHAT our country was founded on –
“A Constitutional Republic!”
They failed us. Was it by accident? Or was it “by design?”

I feel many of us are a modern day “Thomas Paine!” He was a man “unwilling to give up a few rights to secure a little liberty!” As were other’s living under the “Colonial Rule of Great Britain!” This isn’t what our Founding Fathers would want from us.
We were designed, by GOD, to be FREE MEN AND WOMEN!
Throughout all of history, from the beginning of time until now, this has been the stuggle of all Humankind!

crazy elf
crazy elf

Here’s some additional (factual) information for everyone. Please read and listen to this 17 minute dialog.
A.)
“The Deadly Secrets the Elite Are Hiding- The Serial Adulteries of Cruz Are a Distraction”
From: Dave Hodges of “The Common Sense Show”
What the elite wants to get your minds off of;
1.) “The Lose of American Jobs”, due to NAFTA and other bad deals made by the elite. Our unemployment rate is rising because of companies and corporations leaving America.
2.) “illegal immigration” and the “non vetting of refugees”. Those who are being brought into America, are not all from Syria! It’s been estimated 10% are already “radicalized!” Source; NSA, FBI and other security agencies!
3.) There’s one part y’all must pay close attention to.
“Just for sake of argument!” It is a “foreword” to #5.
4.) the value of our dollar is now at .03 cents! All through the 19th Century, our dollar was worth a dollar. Now, begin the 20th century. It’s been taking a beating since. Why? It’s explained in these two articles, A + B!
5.) The head of the RNC says “our vote, (the people’s vote), means nothing!” “We the People” have NO SAY in who is elected President of the United States! He came in National Television and stated that! The “interviewer” asked, “Then why do we hold elections?” His response was, “Exactly!”

Also, I respectfully request y’all read this from “Dave Hodges” of “The Common Sense Show”.
titled;
B.)
“The Undeniable Reasons Why Civil War is Near!”

=======================

P.S. in my previous “comment”, I stated we “owe $90 TRILLION” to other countries. I was a bit off. Our “Credit Card Debt”, to foreign countries, now stands at approximately $220 TRILLION. This does not iclude our “National Deficit of $19+ TRILLION!

Also, under the last Bush Administration, I said our “National Deficit was at $5 TRILLION!” Again, I was only “speaking” of what he raised the deficit. Before Bush took over, the deficit stood at approximately $3+ TRILLION. Add his $5+ TRILLION to that. So, the total deficit stood at approximately $8+ TRILLION at the end of his “Reign” due to the wars!
Since Obama took over, he’s not only raised our deficit by an alarming rate of over $11 TRILLION. It’s possibly going to go over the $22+ TRILLION mark by the time he “exits the White House”!

namnibor
namnibor

What gets me is the fact the our great USA has “forgiven” quite a bit of Foreign Nation’s Debt owed to US, but pretty sure there’s still debt owed to the USA. With all the “Nation Building” and such, why does it NEVER work the other way around and those Nations WE owe huge debts “Forgive Our Debt”? It never or very rarely works this way.
It’s high time we take care of the USA’s finance situation because the “Budgetary Sequester” has definitely not stopped HUGE VA Contracts such as today’s article depict and many more, then VA Upper Management proposal to double their freaking salaries….what’s wrong with this picture?
It’s irresponsible and Americans have not really had to make ANY drastic sacrifices for this duration of 15+ years of solid WARS and even longer if you go back to 1991 which ALL led-up to where we are today.
No rationing, no ration stamp books, no Auto Manufacturing Co.’s ceasing producing cars and doing the War Machine, as has happened back in previous Wars to WWII.

I believe we need a strict businessman such as a Trump, to clean house because it totally boggles my mind how everyone is seeing things through rose tinted glasses, at a time of a War that’s more volatile than the American Taxpayers really know.

The whole refugee situation and terrorism and non-vetted ‘political refugees’ and ALL the $$$$ and entitlements given and projected to give….meanwhile, the UK is seriously talking about pulling away from the EU because of these damn terrorist mingled in with refugees and France and others are talking about reconsidering stature on refugees.’
With that said, WHY is this POTUS ignoring the blatant obvious that any Veteran or our current FBI Director or other affected Countries of recent terror? I just do not get it?
Rant out. Fed-Up.

crazy elf
crazy elf

@namnibor
Here’s an interesting article I just this morning received through the “NRA 1776” email.
It’s about a “D.C. attorney, who “…formerly represented a D.C. Madam”. He “…wants to release ALL the names, dates, phone numbers, etc., …” of everyone who “…used her services!” Seems he’s been denied this “…since 2007″, basically he’s under a ‘gag order’ of sorts!” Now he’s asking the Supreme Court to make a decision! He feels because it’s an election year, the people have a right to know who used her services! I hope they say “YES!”
BTW, The “comments” section is lit up!!!! I only read a few. Yet every comment I did read said, yes! One person even went so far as to say “We the People” have the right to know how their getting away with this “…on our dime!” (paraphrasing her). I agree. “We the People” pay those decrepit individuals, therefore “We the People” should be informed on HOW they spend OUR MONEY!

The whole damn government should be audited! Let the chips fall where they lay. This way “We the People” will know WHO to NOT VOTE FOR NEXT TIME!

Don
Don

How long will it be before a supplemental contract will be awarded to “FIX” this contracts system when it fails. Not only are the initial contracts lucrative but the back end “FIX” awards are additionally lucrative. Vets continue to kept waiting for substandard medical and dental care.

Hondo
Hondo

This is from the nytimes.com under the heading U.S.
Why isn’t tax money being spent to fix this problem???????????

Joshua Bunn was a rifleman in one of the bloodiest valleys in Afghanistan, where his infantry unit killed hundreds of enemy fighters and lost more comrades than any other battalion in the Marine Corps in 2009.

“We were so far out in Taliban country we rarely got resupply,” Mr. Bunn, 27, said in an interview from his apartment in Jonesboro, Ark. “We just got rockets and small-arms fire every day.”

After deployment, Mr. Bunn, suicidal and haunted by nightmares, went absent without leave. The Marine Corps charged him with misconduct and gave him an other-than-honorable discharge.

As a consequence, the Department of Veterans Affairs does not technically consider Mr. Bunn a veteran and has denied him permanent heath care, disability pay and job training intended to ease his return to civilian life. According to a new report, he is one of a growing number of veterans ruled ineligible for benefits because of less-than-honorable discharges.

Former members of the military like Mr. Bunn are being refused benefits at the highest rate since the system was created at the end of World War II, the report said. More than 125,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have what are known as “bad paper” discharges that preclude them from receiving care, said the report, released Wednesday by the veterans advocacy group Swords to Plowshares.

The report for the first time compared 70 years of data from the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. It found that veterans who served after 2001 were nearly twice as likely as those who served during Vietnam to be barred from benefits, and four times as likely as men and women who served during World War II.

“We separate people for misconduct that is actually a symptom of the very reason they need health care,” said Coco Culhane, a lawyer who works with veterans at the Urban Justice Center in New York.

About 6.5 percent of all Iraq and Afghanistan troops have bad paper discharges, the report said. The highest rate is found in the Marine Corps, where one in 10 is now ineligible for benefits.

“It has gotten worse with every generation, and it appears to hit the veterans Congress intended to protect,” said Bradford Adams, a lawyer and an author of the report. “They knew these folks had been through combat, and wanted to make sure they had help. The V.A. doesn’t seem to be doing that.”

Specifically who is eligible for veterans benefits was detailed in the original Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, also known as the G. I. Bill. The law barred troops with dishonorable discharges — those convicted at court-martial of serious crimes — as well as spies, deserters and a few others considered particularly heinous. To allow leeway for less serious misconduct that might result from combat, Congress left open the door to benefits for a spectrum of discharges between honorable and dishonorable, including “undesirable” and “other than honorable.”
Photo
Joshua Bunn, a veteran whose category of discharge precludes him from getting various
V.A. services, walks to and from work despite the injury to his legs and back that makes it painful for him to do so. Credit Andrea Morales for The New York Times

“We are trying to give the veteran the benefit of the doubt, for we think he is entitled to it,” Harry W. Colmery, a World War I veteran who wrote most of the G. I. Bill, told Congress at a hearing in 1944 before the bill was passed.

The rising proportion of ineligible veterans is largely due to the military’s increasing reliance on other-than-honorable discharges, which have been used as a quick way to dismiss troubled men and women who might otherwise qualify for time-consuming and expensive medical discharges.

The G. I. Bill instructed the veterans agency to care for veterans if their service was “other than dishonorable.” The agency interpreted this as excluding “other than honorable” discharges.

Though veterans can apply for a category upgrade, the process is confusing, inconsistent and slow, Mr. Adams said.

Only 10 percent of veterans are successful; a decision takes, on average, four years, the report said. In some regions, all requests are rejected.

In a statement, the deputy secretary of veterans affairs, Sloan D. Gibson, said he welcomed the report’s findings. “Where we can better advocate for and serve veterans within the law and regulation, we will look to do so as much as possible,” he said.

Research has shown that veterans with bad paper discharges may be more likely to commit suicide. Those with untreated post-traumatic stress disorder are at higher risk of drug abuse and incarceration.

Ted Wilson, a Vietnam veteran in Concord, Calif., was hospitalized in 1966 in Okinawa, Japan, for a suicide attempt days after he participated what he called a “village massacre.” When the Marine Corps sent him back to combat, he went AWOL and got an undesirable discharge in 1968.

He fell into a drug abuse and crime and spent years in prison. “I had to deal with everything myself,” he said. “Maybe having help would have made a difference.”

Mr. Bunn feels the same. He was hospitalized for slashing his wrists when he got home from Afghanistan. He then became a target of abuse in his platoon and was denied help, he said, so he ran away from his base in California. When he was caught in 2010, he said, he was told that a medical discharge would take years, and that he would be better off voluntarily taking an other-than-honorable discharge.

Now he works part time as a dishwasher but finds it hard to keep a job, he said. He has been in and out of jail. He has five years of health care given to all combat veterans, which is set to run out this year.

“I really don’t know what I’m going to do,” he said. “Afghanistan happened, and I’m a whole different person. But no one really wants to hear that.”

A version of this article appears in print on March 30, 2016, on page A14 of the New York edition with the headline: Report Finds Sharp Increase in Veterans Denied V.A. Benefits.

namnibor
namnibor

@Hondo-

In all due respect, one EARNS that benefit of the VA, Education, et al, by serving honorably throughout one’s enlistment/career, and an Honorable Discharge is the ticket to said earned benefits.
Now, ANY Veteran that chooses to can go through proper channels and appeal to have one’s Other Than Honorable, General Discharge upgraded to Honorable providing the proper supporting evidence/documentation shows clearly it was NOT a fault of the Veteran, but of their Branch of Service.
With that said, we ALL went into military with the clear understanding that we would fight if called/ordered to do so, and as much as I DO have empathy for the crappy “fog of war”, I find it incredibly hard to surmise that every member of the military is entitled to said benefits if they indeed went AWOL…war or no war. I certainly would not want someone supposedly having my six that’s planning to high tail it when things get ugly, so I have a bit of hardline stance of agreeing that Veteran Benefits should be for those that indeed served Honorably.
Sure, there’s some questionable discharge decisions when a Military Member may have tried to commit suicide because of what they have/are ordered to do, BUT that’s exactly what the process is intended for in trying to get one’s Discharge upgraded, if warranted. Info on appealing said lessor than Honorable Discharge can be found on VA websites and also do a search on hadit dot com, as it’s there and many other places. That article should have given said info.
I guess I am a hardcore when it comes to following orders and serving Honorably.
Note: I am not “barking at you”, but rather, just stating how it is and the VA would be a lager mess if every soldier without an Honorable Discharge was at the VA simply because their “feet hurt marching”, or crapola akin to that.
Peace, Always.

Hondo
Hondo

nam,

I agree with what you say. What I took from the article was the fact that people who were suffering from the effects of psychological trauma experienced from combat were given bad paper instead of the mental help they needed. I think the article sums that up very well. It’s easier for the government to hand out bad paper discharges then take the time to give the troops medical retirements, we saw a lot of that when Vietnam started to wind down.

A deserter is a deserter, a sick combat warrior deserves help………….my opinion.

namnibor
namnibor

Hondo-
I agree entirely about a “sick Veteran deserves proper medical/mental health”, and would agree as far as the crappy ‘fog of war’ stuff…but it also requires a Vet to “help him or herself” in getting said Discharges overturned, if warranted. If so-called VSO’s refuse to properly help or not at all with this, then a Vet must take those boots another ten miles and make it happen.

I have really strong faith in the UCMJ and it’s exactly what the VA needs or a heavy dose of it.
Peace.

namnibor
namnibor

This is not ‘war-related’ but definitely Active Duty related in that I fully recall someone I played in a cover band with while Active Duty that went through crappy discharge back in the early 80’s. He was one of a multitude of military members that even though the military was NOT testing their blood supplies, as only Red Cross had started thereafter, for HIV, and the military en masse granted General Discharges to those folk out of ignorance…and same discharged members had absolutely no health benefits and in that time frame of the AIDS epidemic, everyone died and quick, before the mega expensive ‘Drug Cocktails’ were developed…on the very backs of those infected prior solid 20+ years and the military discharged them because they did not want to “deal with it”…and coincidentally, the VA is pretty backwardassed and good 10 years behind the First World Medicine on this and does not have all those life-saving drugs on the “VA Formulary”. –That was a non-war injustice and there’s many more.

There a MANY activated Nat’l Guard that during these current wars were called BACK DAYS before they would have served Active Duty for min. req. of 24 months before ANY benefits are allowed, regardless of eventual discharge. So, I see your point.

Note: I tend to take ANYTHING the “Urban League” says with a mouthful of salt.

namnibor
namnibor

Let me qualify that in where that article “Adams” claims it takes 4 years to have a discharge reviewed/upgraded…totally false. Six months to a year at best, and that’s if a Vet is not able to show-up to the Review Board and they even mail you a form in which you do not have to be present as long as one’s documentation proves without a doubt said discharge was in gross error.
Now, with SKYPE, a Vet can virtually be there and not even have to travel to D.C. if it was needed. I just wanted to point out some glaring false info that article spewed-out. Also, it’s a known fact that right after 9/11 the recruitment standards were significantly lowered with Combat Infantry Troops and MANY urban gang members, affiliates, got their training, fought, discharged and now using that training to pillage our urban cities.

Just saying there’s always a flip side to every story and sometimes that’s where the beef of the truth may lie…not always, but in that article, amongst some truths there’s false or stretched facts.

91Veteran
91Veteran

I see both sides of this argument nam. I believe the NY Times picked a poor example to use to report. Honorably discharged and disabled veterans could just as easily have been reported on as being denied care, and what I originally thought the article was about until I read it.
I agree veterans should serve honorably, but I don’t want to second guess the frame of mind of a veteran with severe PTSD. Yes there are procedures to upgrade their OTH discharge, but the process is long as the story points out, and I can’t believe many veterans in a frame of mind bad enough to go AWOL has the ability to go through that. While waiting, the VA happily denies them treatment.
Also as the story states, this vet was told a medical discharge would take a very long time. I would not doubt he may have been told an OTH would not be that bad, or could be easily upgraded. In the state of mind they are in, I could see them willingly taking what they think is the easy way out.
I saw quite a number of soldiers shoved out the door and off of active duty after the Gulf War. They had honorable discharges, but injuries that required care, and shoving them out the door and into the VA was a way for the Army to save lots of money.
Don’t get me wrong, I despise someone volunteering for the military then refusing to do their duty, but a combat vet with PTSD from that duty is not in the same class in my opinion.

Julia
Julia

thank you for making us aware of this sad tale. btw, have you lived in Hondo, TX? If so, it’s my old stomping grounds.

Hondo
Hondo

never had the pleasure, will put it on my bucket list to visit. I used to fly into Dallas and El paso, had a great time love Texas……

Gordon M. Rainer
Gordon M. Rainer

I know the area, too, Hondo. Just SW of San Antonio, maybe 110 miles N of border at Laredo. The town used to be extraordinarily famous because of a billboard that went up in the early 1960s and has stayed into perpetuity. These words weren’t utilized on signs back then: “This is God’s country.Please don’t drive through it like hell.” Just been a source of grins, like a private joke, because the entire nation ended up hearing about it’s icebreaking copy, advertisers all over the nation loosened up a bit, and hardly anyone was ever going to figure out WHERE it had first appeared.
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.

James
James

I am tired of the way these veterans and active duty are being treated or not treated. our Government is sending these guys not on 0ne (1) tour but many more 4. 5 and don’t think problems will arise that’s insane. my stomach turns when I see this happening, I understand how this effects the psychic when something happens during active duty and the VA or the military hide the facts of what happened to a service member like being shot in the head and they hide my records.

Going with out treatment only benefits the VA, not the soldier who had to live the trauma. I was not authorized treatment until after I hired a lawyer and he is Kenneth Carpenter out of Topeka Kansas and he not only found out they were lieing about my records destroyed, he was able to get me my disability at 100% disabled, which I have been since I was shot.

Forty years with out treatment for PTSD and a Traumatic Brain Injury, treated myself with Alcohol, guess what that got me, divorce, DUI, divorce, DUI, fights and jail. I know the VA wished I had been killed by the gun shot one less veteran to take care of. Well I could have killed myself those many years ago and if I had, I would have missed out on my Children and now their children.

But doing this to you guys is high treason in my book, veterans like these guys should have been treated before they were discharged or sent to a VA PTSD program, I met active duty while attending the PTSD program. these people are paper pushers and I bet never had to see what those guys had to see.

So I’m giving you two names to call one Kenneth carpenter Topeka Kansas 785-357-5251 he can help or call Shana Dunn law office 1-800-219-1745 ask them to handle their or you case, every minute you delay is money and care you are missing out on.

Bottom line Never Ever give up.

God Bless all you guys, one day we all will be vindicated !

merri busch
merri busch

http://www.benefits.va.gov/benefits/character_of_discharge.asp I think you are mischaracterizing what kind of discharge gets no VA benefits. Here is the up to date information.

James
James

VA has the last word denied

Timothy
Timothy

Remember when we were all talking about Golden Parachutes on Wall Street, now we have companies so thick into the VA it is no longer about the Veteran, but the money. Just another way to bailout or butter up people with blessed money through Veteran affairs, I say blessed money as no one questions it, as public just says it is for Veterans and no more questions. I wish they knew where all the money actually went.

91Veteran
91Veteran

You reminded me of a comment I wanted to make.

As I said, this is nothing more that blatant looting of the Treasury with the full agreement of Congress, or Congress is claiming the money is going to the VA when they are actually spending it somewhere else.

$35 billion For the GI Bill IT work and this latest lunacy.
Meanwhile the Utah Data Center for the NSA cost under $6 billion.

But hey! It’s for veterans! So the public will not question their bullshit numbers or where it’s wasted.

crazy elf
crazy elf

@91Veteran
My comment below starts out with “IMHO”– on what I believe all monies the government spends is NOT going for “…what it was intended for!”
There’s just too damn much being spread around. They’ve made it so convoluted, I believe no one could trace it in a short period of time. I believe it would have to be many auditors working many months to get to a conclusion!

———————————————-

On a side note. I do believe this is going to be —
“One Very LONG HOT SUMMER!”

Julia
Julia

Yes, Ben, you’re right. They do fleece the System and their crapola which fits into their PR announcements is like a broken record. Thank you for telling us about this being the same lead contractor that fouled up the GI Bill program’s functionality.

On the other hand, I do have to say that I used to work on the Hill, for a contractor that provided the software that dominates the market for elected officials managing their constituent contacts for both legislative and case issues, tracking of pending legislation, scheduling, etc. It was Intelligent Systems when I was hired, there was an key employee buyout shortly after I came in (Senior Technical Trainer) and it became Desktop Solutions, Inc. and then in 2005 Lockheed Martin took us over, now called Lockheed Martin Desktop Solutions Inc. (trades as DSI). It was a good acquisition from the inside, looking out. My job was stable, we moved across town and modernized, etc., but from the viewpoint of the Seargant at Arms of the Senate’s Technology Development Services and HIR (House Information Resources) it was pretty seamless. Members are allowed to buy any software they want, but they still hold 52% market share of Senators systems.
So, this was a clean acquisition of one company and one type of product with four target markets, Congress being one of them, not a “fix” like describes, and layer upon layer of contracts garbled all together, but I would say give it a chance. http://www.thestreet.com/story/13508684/1/systems-made-simple-a-lockheed-martin-company-awarded-department-of-veterans-affairs-health-it-contract.html

Lee Wilkerson
Lee Wilkerson

This 500 Kiloton avalanche is gaining speed and momentum with each word I write. I am absolutely and irrevocably FED UP with the (non)representatives in DC who are every single one in the same bed of corruption, immorality, deceit, greed, indifference, and absolute and abject hatred for every thing and everyone whom we all hold dear to our hearts. I defy anyone to find me one single person in DC who is not covered by that statement. They are all spiritually bankrupt from the greatest to the least.
They will never relinquish power nor the amassing of wealth at our expense as long as they are still in office.
WE the PEOPLE have an obligation and duty to our children, our grandchildren, and our great grandchildren to take back our power and freedom from these intolerable tyrants.

crazy elf
crazy elf

@Lee Wilkerson
Many on here feel the same as you. As we see the corruption, waste, fraud and abuse going on from “local government’s to the federal levels”, we haven’t yet figured out HOW to combat it!?
I believe it was Franklin who said, “Those who are willing to give up a little freedom to gain a little liberty. Deserve niether liberty nor freedom!” I may not have the “saying” completely correct. Yet, I’m pretty damn close!

91Veteran
91Veteran

I agree. If they want to spend money on IT, have enough sense to make the numbers realistic. $35 billion for IT in an agency that can’t manage building a hospital is BS.

I wonder if a FOIA for this contract would be ignored or blocked outright.

This is nothing more than looting of the Treasury with Congressional approval. Congress is most certainly in on this thieving because the VA cannot award a contract like this without Congress agreeing to fund it.

Hondo
Hondo

A lot of guys who got funny discharges had Army psychologists who said they had a personality disorder that was there before service and therefore could be discharged on less than honorable status. If that’s so, why didn’t they have a way of diagnosing that before they got in the service. That’s my bias. When you are appealing and running up against a great big system, they have all the money and time in the world to wear you down. You are one person. So maybe there are a lot of people who don’t deserve those benefits, but I have a hard time believing it is twice as many (percent wise) as served in Vietnam, where you had a lot of draftees that didn’t want to be there.

James Hall
James Hall

Most personality disorders were thrown out of the DSM V. as garbage. The ones still there can be service connected. If you can go to a library and get the DSM V. That might set you on the path to what you need. Most of the BS personality disorder discharges have been replaced with other more sound medical dianostics

James
James

After being shot in the head while in the military and me going to a shrink, they said the same thing and after I was discharged and finding out I also had a Traumatic Brain Injury and the Army coded a diagnosis of Neurosis !

This was rated at 0 percent, when I applied for disability they denied me. The VA stated they did not even know what Neurosis meant, well if you look it up, its a term they used to describe PTSD. So I had to pay by having to suffer with PTSD and a TBI, because they did not know what they were doing. Or maybe they did and were told to deny my claim and told to tell me my records were destroyed in the saint louis fire, so they would not have to pay for my disability.

After hiring a lawyer, like magic my records were like the Phoenix bird and returned right of the Ashes (miracle)
and now 100%, which I feel I should have been from the first time I applied. I am now getting all my records and have found a lawyer who is willing to look at everything and hopefully, find in the mess a clear and unmistakable error on the VA’s part and get me the back pay, I deserve.

I will not hold my Breath, but I’m the type of person who will fight to the end, when I know I’m Right !

who knows the lawyer may win, she was a former claims person.

James Hall
James Hall

I do not remember what year that the elite made corporations ‘PEOPLE’!!!. Yes they are the only people in America that count, not you not me. And people can pick up and go where they wish taking all of there wealth with them. they can even give up there citizenship. you can not nationalize them or make the give up there rights just like me and you. it is the biggest treason yet. And still I see people almost praying to them like. Gods. Sorry till they bring back the jobs I shop at stores that support the Disabled, Vet thrift stores, Sheriffs youth ranch, Hospice, ect. I might not dress always with the latest and greatest but it works for me. But I sill buy my undershorts and socks, at K-mart. Corporations as people who thought.