Both Parties Agree, VA Should Answer Phones For Suicidal Veterans

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suicidal veterans

Our impotent and ineffective Congress did agree on at least one thing post-election, VA should answer the phone when suicidal veterans call the crisis hotline.

That is correct. Many common sense solutions have evaded this Congress when it comes to veterans. Access to Veterans Choice was a hard sell. Treatment for Hepatitis C was also not easy to drag through. But Congress does agree that VA should answer the phone for suicidal veterans in crisis.

Gee wiz, at least they figured one thing out. Good job.

According to a Washington Times article:

The Department of Veterans Affairs would have to ensure that all telephone calls and messages received by a crisis hotline are answered in a timely manner under a bill on its way to the president.

The Senate on Wednesday gave final legislative approval to the measure. It comes after a report that more than one-third of calls to a hotline for troubled veterans are not being answered by front-line staffers because of poor work habits and other problems.

The hotline’s former director says calls frequently roll over to back-up centers where workers have less training to deal with veterans’ problems.

Republican Rep. David Young of Iowa sponsored the bill, saying “a veteran in need cannot wait for help.”

The toll-free hotline number is 800-273-8255.

Just remember. This is reportedly the same number outsourced to lesser qualified operators when VA counselors are not willing to pick up the phone.

During the summer, one veteran’s call even bounced over to India. VA denied the allegation, but VA failed to substantiate its claim.

Source: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/nov/16/congress-backs-bill-requiring-timely-answers-at-va/

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64 Comments

  1. The VA medical centers fail the Veterans on so many levels. Scheduling managers do not hire adequate staffing to answer phones in mental health service areas. These managers receive bonuses for not hiring staff to answer phones or efficient scheduling. The scheduling is not done efficiently or effectively and it is set up for the benefits of the providers. The providers of health care to Veterans do not give continuity of care (regular visits because they do not want to treat Veterans) so a Veteran who is unstable cannot be stable for a better quality of life because they cannot get access to medications that would save their lives. Where i worked the prescribers saw an average of two Veterans a week. They create the waitlists. Veterans with failed suicide attempts are not placed in crisis units they are sent to the VA and after a visit they are sent back home. If someone who is from the civilian community who has failed a suicide attempt they will be sent to a crisis center in the community. This saves lives because they can get stable on their medications and get treatment. The VA closed inpatient beds because of costs throughout the nation in the medical centers.

  2. Captain Obvious to VA: Answer your damn crisis phone lines and do not send a suicide by cop via the big red button from India.
    What’s next? A Congressional Mandate that the VA Employees should really wash their hands after wiping their collective asses before returning to work and touching Veterans in a medical environment?
    What else? Read all instructions how to sterilize surgical equipment?
    Maybe a Congressional Mandate that orders the VA Dr.’s to actually check one’s blood type before ordering a blood transfusion?
    Yeah, all equally ridiculous!!!!!!!! Pretty freaking sad so-called medical professionals have to have a limp stick shaken at them to actually act like they care about treating Veterans!!!!! This is called malpractice outside of 3rd World Medicine.

    Captain Obvious to VA employees: RAT BASTARDS!

    • VETS GET OFF YOUR JACK DANIELS @ COLD BREWS THE VA CRISISA CRAP LINE TO VETS IS RUN BY DR WIFREDO PIGION CALL HIM AT 1 800 273 8255 THE SEWAGE RATS AT VA CRUISIS LINE DONT GIVE A RATS ASS ABOUT VET DELAY DENEY @ DIE IS THE MANTRA OF VA SEWAGE RATS FROM AFGE UNION CONTRACTS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!IS

  3. So, Congress agreed on this one issue plaguing VHA, how convenient!
    Here in Florida, the “message” a veteran receives when calling into any VHA, for any reason, is as follows;
    1) if you need medical “…call 911!”
    2.) “If you have thoughts of harming yourself…” push extension “…#7!”
    You can see they’ve changed the format down here.
    I don’t know anything about the “suicide prevention” in VHA. Because I’ve never used it.
    Plus, I’ve never met anyone who has used it.
    Does it work? I don’t have any experience in this field. If it’s as broken as what’s been reported, then, Congress better get off their “LAME DUCK” ASS and fix it.

    • I have. If you follow the links to the next “operator” you finally get to a person within 500 miles who can’t do anything because there are no neurobehavioral beds available at VA Medical Centers, not because the physical beds aren’t there, but because there are not enough staff members to cover them. And the choice program doesn’t cover. If you go to the VA Medical Center you’ll get a outsourced private contractor who is limited to a 3 day turn around. So suicides are up among veterans! What else is new?

    • By the way the bill from Lutheran Hospital in Westminster, CO was over $12,000 for those 3 days. I saw one physician and about 3 PAs. On the bill were over 8 physicians? I sent a copy to OIG and never heard anything.

  4. When it is being handled by private contractors, why is anyone surprised that the expensive culturally knowledgeable front line therapists are taken off the payroll in favor of phone banks in India and the Philippines that cost a whole lot less?

    More of “The Choice Program” with the same effect.

  5. I live in a very dark place most if the time. I do not want to say anything disparaging anything that may be out there that might help us with head problems. I do not want anyone not seek any and all help available because of my words.

    I do think any progress in this process whether perceived or real is A VERY GOOD THING.

    We can only trt to force those people in this process to do their damn job and stop paying lip service to us ir we will force changes including their jobs by our votes as we just did.

    These people do not take us seriously please remember we are some tough bastards. We live with horrors most peoples nightmares dont even approch.

    Please get help, demand that you are being treated fairly and professionally. When I was once told “why are you complaning? This medical treatment is free” I had to remind them when I was 18 years old I paid my insurance premiums for life in full, I then asked this “person”, so what we’re doing when you were 18.

    Stand up for yourself and never take 2nd rate medical treatment as the norm.

    • Yes, seeing some progress is better than none, but we have rammed our heads against this wall too many times before, it’s band aid on a leaky artery that has a bunch of blood-soaked band aids from previous ‘fixes’.

      The point is, VA employees disregard any of these mandates and guarantee you we will be back to this issue again in near future because the VA will find a way to redefine what answering a crisis line means to the VA. Phone banks may be set-up in a zoo’s primate cage and as long as those primates pick-up the phone more than at a 33% rate when it rings to get their bananas, err, assist Vets; then by golly, that’s answering a crisis line now to the VA.
      If a private mental health or otherwise crisis line, esp. a suicide crisis line were to be ignored or half-assed done, it would have a pack of ravenous, foaming at the mouth ambulance chasing attorneys wanting to “assist” you in a massive malpractice suit.
      There’s no fear of any accountability or ramifications for doing half-ass so well as the VA does. The VA spares no expense at half-ass.
      Lovely to see attention brought on this but I see no heads rolling so we will be back to this, wait for it…

    • @Bill,
      Great advice. I’ve also noticed many VBA and VHA employees never served one day of military service. I’ve also noticed many, who did serve, never were sent to any combat unit. Most just stayed in CONUS. I’m not trying to take away from them their service. Yet, they really don’t understand the trauma we have gone through.
      I also believe those who did serve, in CONUS only, have met fellow service members which were effected by combat. Thereby seeing what our daily lives are like.
      I also believe there are SOME VHA employees who do want to help. The only problem being is they’re not being trained. Therefore, they become lazy or they are being told to “stand down”! As was once said by a (VA employee) “commenter” some months ago. I remember that “nurse” received a backlash from us all. She deserved everything she received.
      No one should ever be told we, combat soldiers, should ever be told to “Stand Down”!!!!!

  6. Here’s an article, originally out from “Task & Purpose”, by way of “Military.com” and the “Daily News”, titled;
    “Dear Trump, The Military Community Wants You to Address These Issues”

    Great input from active military, spouses of active duty and veterans from all walks of life.
    Great insight from a lot of great people! Well worth the read!

  7. I will never ever forget ,,,a veteran in Wisconsin rapids, had enough,,The Tomah V.A. bullcrap,,had taken away his MEDICINE for physical pain,,,and he was completely disabled in a wheel chair from war injuries,,,He called his nurses to thank them,,,,and I called the suicide prevention hotline,,,PUT ON [email protected],,20 MINUTES LATER I WAS TRANSFERD TO ANOTHER DEPARTMENT,put on hold again,,,at this point my call waiting bleep thru,,,it was his nurse,,they found him dead,,a single gunshot under his chin,,,This is why,,,the freedom of all American Adults,,to decide their own treatment in regards to physical pain ,,,since it is factually impossible for anyone to physically feel the physical pain of another from any medical condition,,NO-ONE,, has a rite to decide who suffers in physical pain or how much they should suffer,,,Forced endurement of physical pain from a medical condition is defined as torture,,and death to a group of people,,,ie the chronic pain communities ,,who’s suicides have skyrockets as a result of forced endurement of physical pain due to medical conditions,,,,is call genocide,,,and lately many arrogant people think they have this rite to decide who suffers in physical pain ad who does not,,,jmo,,I think it is a bit psychotic to forced anyone w/a medical condition that is physically painful,,because they think it their rite to decide who suffer and who does not,,like it or not,,,THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT HAS HAPPEN’D,,,,,,,,,, this klondydne from the cdc,own all the rehabs,,he simply wanted his rehab full for the monies,,,,,,under the rues of addiction,,,its all been 1 big lie,,this addiction theory,,these so0called numbers is all been propaganda,,heck they don’t even differentiate in autopsy from a heroin and prescribe opiates,,since they both show up on blood testing simple as a opiate or morphine,,,,not as heroin,,,,,,,thus every piece of data on prescribed MEDICINES being demonized,witch hunted,,,,is a lie,,propaganda,,,to take away our freedom as adults to decide our own pain management,,,,our founding father would be rolling over in their graves,,,to bad the Declaration Of Independence isn’t legal law,,,,,for idioms like klondyne would be arrested,,,mary

  8. Here’s great news from “Fox News” this morning. Mr. Brian Mast, (Republican), “…a double amputee of the Afghanistan war…”, was just elected to Congress by fellow Floridians.
    Titled;
    “Double Amputee Veteran Heading to Capital Hill”

    He speaks about the veterans administration, and how they are failing in their mission to serve veterans.
    He agrees with “Draining the Swamp!”

  9. My granddaughter father was deployed 4 times to Iraq , he committed suicide in July this year. He was Medical discharged due to War injuries. Until today we fighting with the VA to get her DIC. The paperwork is someone desk. She lost her father due to the sorry care that he received he was 30 years old.

    • I am sorry to hear this Sona. I would suggest contacting your congressman for help, and going to the media.
      Take your granddaughter with. It will show all these whiny snowflakes there are things bigger than an election.
      When you go to the media, they might make a big issue of it and try attack Trump for not moving fast enough to fix the VA. Never mind he’s not even in office yet.

  10. Let me tell you how rhe suicide line works; Vet calls. Answering person continually steers the subject to, “Are you feeling like hurting yourself?” Vet, who calls to find out where he can get help does not realize that the casual chit chat that ensues is to give local police time to apprehend vet.

    Local police take vet into custody and transport vet without delay to the nearest Emergency Room which is not VA. Sometimes the transport is miles. Police drop off vet at hospital and go away. Since police have released custody, if a local doctor does not accept custody pending evaluation vet is free to leave. Even if doc does accept custody unless there is blood squirting out they do not have room. Vet is released even if they beg to stay, into the streets to find his way home.

    The vet has a VERY long time to think about America on his way home, miles and in the winter without a jacket. Civilian hospital does the least they can because the suicide hotline bypasses the mandate that such protective custody patients must be referred by county MH officials and the evidence required to apprehend a VA caller is zilch – hospitals do not touch vet for fear of illegal imprisonment charges which are absolutely valid if the county has not initiated police protection.

    …and the vet just needed to know somebody cared and where to go to talk.

    You all go ahead and paint lipstick on a pig if you want. VHA will continue to kill so long as they have charge of protecting and caring for vets. The above example is from personal history and mirrors hundreds of like stories – just who the hell do you think they are gonna drop all these vets off too??? The hospitals catagorically wash their hands of this stuff unless blood is gushing and then the contracts they have with VHA penalize them for treating instead of trying to ship you to a VA holding ward.

    This is the America Trump has inherited. A nation that simply has no room for suicidal vets.

  11. The was a famous study once which became famous for what they did not anticipate – and for truth it revealled.

    A psychology professer wanted to know why prisons, despite a multitude of reforms, continued to be places of extreme violence. Evidence showed that the phenomena prevailled at all locations. So he paid a groip of students for a study. Finish the study and you get paid.

    He set up a prison in the basement and randomly divided the group into prisoners and guards, and himself the warden. Within 36 hours the first prisoner quit the experiement, citing that he was “burning up” inside. Within 48 hours the guards became convinced that the prisoners were plotting an escape. Lock down measures were implemented. Within 72 hour the professor himself called the local police to report his suspicions that the “prisoners” were planning an escape.

    It was at this point the professor realized the xperiment had gone horribly wrong and later wrote about it. The kids were normal kids and yet when put into the same environment as hardened criminals each side began to assume the roles. The guards became sadistic and the prisoners began to become aggressive and mean.

    As a people we learned that creating an environment that holds one class of humanity in contempt over another and is then put into contact with them that tyranny ensued within three days – and this was just mock up anxiety. With no natural outlet for tension between humans, the humans themselves became twisted and it had nothing to do with quality of service intended.

    VA holds veterans in contempt. My proof is three letters; “DBC”

    They paint smiles on their faces but the very fact that this agency alone out of hundreds of federal agencies has fought for inclusion of “Disruptive Behavior Committees” despite blood curdling evidence of the horrific consequences proves that they are no different than the sadistic student guards. Moreover, the DBC serves to convince the veteran that the game is rigged, like in prison and human nature eventually boils up which only reinforces the VA employees (sadistic guards) commitment to further restrain and punish.

    Now, what single characteristic do those sadisitic student guards and every single VA employee have in common? Simple – they operate inside a system that bypasses all Constitutional protections for those in their charge. Many are not from this country.

    Answer all the phones you want. Employ more guards. Put on extra wardens. Paint the damn place in Faiery Dust, and it will still be a pit of vipers that operates outside the Constitution – and the next generation of vets die, the next generation of VA justifies sadistic behavior, and Congress?

    ..they argue over who answers the phone. afk now to vomit.

    • I see only one way to fix this. Get rid of the VHAs as soon as possible. I never want to go back. Inever will trust them again and eventually they’ll figure out a way to kill me (They have already killed me 3 times). You see my friends, brothers and sisters, I was willing to go to war and, if need be, die for my country. But I swore to myself that, if I should happen to die, I would do so on a big pile of my enemies. Got that VA, GOOD!

  12. Here is some information concerning Veterans on the Choice program concerning Medication. The VA use to have veterans that have a prescription written by a private doctor, take that prescription to their local VA or clinic and they would rewrite the prescription to say Safeway to be filled.

    I told you about me going to my local CBOC and they took my vitals and that’s it and told me they would advise the PA, how they said I could come in for a Strep test, But since Veterans day was the next day, They could not get the test to the Denver VAMC until Monday.

    I had a sore throat and congested and it was hard to Breath, Nothing further was done no X-ray, Labs

    I had to go to the Emergency room and diagnosed with Acute Bronchitis, Upper Respiratory infection, Bronchospasm, Was given a breathing treatment, Antibiotic, an Inhaler, Did Labs and X-ray. Four day supply of the Antibiotic and told to follow up with my doctor 4 days later.

    I was seen by my Choice doctor and he wrote 2 two prescriptions to fight the infection. I took the medication request to the Pueblo CBOC and told the clerk, that I needed the prescriptions rewritten so Safeway could fill them. That CBOC did not have a pharmacy and the clerk told me they do not fill or rewrite outside prescription and handed me a piece of paper with the following instructions.

    Prescriptions written by providers OUTSIDE the VA

    Prescriptions obtained from a VA Choice Visit:
    VA primary care providers DO NOT fill Choice prescriptions.

    You may submit the RX to a VA dispensing pharmacy; the nearest one to pueblo is in Colorado Springs. Most VA formulary medications are available; Please call the pharmacy to make sure the medication you need is carried there.

    You may purchase the RX using your own funding and the submit the receipt for reimbursement to the VA Choice team. Make sure the medication is on the VA formulary.

    Denver VA Medical Center 1055 Clernont st, Mail stop A3-136c ATTN: Choice (Champions) Denver, Co

    The Choice provider can fax the prescription to the Denver VA pharmacy 303 393 5161. The prescription will be mailed to you.

    Here’s the rest: Prescriptions obtained from a medical visit not authorized by the VA:
    Outside prescriptions are handled differently by (each) primary care provider. Each provider may or may not choose to fill the medicine thru VA, Here are some guidelines:
    If the prescription is from a hospital discharge, please fill out an Ambulatory Care Triage Form.

    Controlled substances will not be filled, i.e. Ativan, Morphine, Vicodin, ect.

    The VA provider may require you to obtain and furnish exam notes from the outside visit, along with the prescription.

    The provider may choose not to fill the medication, (even) if the exam notes and the prescription are provided.

    The provider may need to see you for a (scheduled) appointment to determine if the medicine will be filled. The provider may still (NOT CHOOSE TO HONOR) the outside prescription thru the VA.

    Some medications are non-formulary and cannot be filled at the VA.

    Now I have a lung infection and needed it filled ASAP, Told to call Choice at the Denver VAMC, Called Denver Choice and was told the following, The doctor needs to fax the medication request to Denver and we will mail it out or you can pay for it and ask to be reimbursed.

    I advised them that I did not have the funds to buy it, clerk then if you want it, you will have to drive to Denver to pick it up, told the clerk if I had the money to travel 200 miles one way, I would pay for the medication, I don’t have the money. Clerks response, well those are your two choices, like it or not.
    Told the clerk so you guys would let me die, if I cant afford the medication. Clerk its up to you.

    Told the clerk that I will be calling my Congressman and called Doug Laborns office and advised his office that I felt the VA, was punishing Veterans that choose to use the Choice program, by using this tactic and Veterans lives could be effected when the medication is needed to cure them and without the medication they could lose their lives..

    I feel that the VA is using this Tactic as a retaliatory move against veterans who choose to use the choice program as Authorized by Law, What I remember is that Veterans can use the VA if they want, Even if they use Choice

    Another way to let Veterans Die, By making it harder and harder to receive care and the VA caring less.

    Its nothing Retaliation against Veterans, choosing not to go to the VA for what ever reason !

    What do you think ?

    • @ James look up form VA form 10-3542. Make copies and fill out with a patient advocate or service officer. You are entitled to travel pay in emergent circumstances. Trying to help.

      • problem, I know they pay travel and they send it to the bank. Problem I did not have the money for the gas at this time. The problem is veterans in my situation, the VA is there to help veterans, not to make it harder. How hard would it be, to rewrite a prescription.

        why should a veteran have to depend on an emergency room to care for a veteran, when the VA clinic is in the same building. management should figure ways to make it easier for veterans, not finds ways to make it harder. Think !

        I’m a former VA employee worked in outpatient as an Administrator, If This would have crossed my desk, I would have tried to stop it, We must stop trying to make veterans jump through hoops, its just plain wrong, some employees forget why they are there.

    • This gives a clear view of the lunatics setting policy at the VA.
      If you work through the red tape, you can see a Choice doctor for possibly lifesaving care, but we won’t write the prescriptions to save your life once that doctor diagnoses you.

    • Wish you lick with this one. Just want to point out that the VA is so proud of themselves for now being able to claim that within 10 days after getting a scrip they can have it mailed out.

      • That’s only if the ‘as the crow flies’ can actually locate you and deliver said meds and also assuming the crows have not been compromised and consume all the meds in-transit. If the latter should occur, the VA OIG and The Rand Corporation recommend affected Vets to EAT THE CROW, because the crow has all the meds within it, better have lots of ketchup.

    • Pretty much the same experience. If you take Choice you cannot get VA appts. But you can’t get lab or pharmacy from anywhere but the VA without approval.

  13. 11/17/2016

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    The headline should read:
    Both Parties Should Agree, They Should Answer Phones For Suicidal Veterans.

    They created the mess–they should hear what it sounds like.

    Benjamin Krause there are 293 dead since 2014 and another report of 200 in early October, I used my skills in Math and realized that the 500 figure should be around 1200 to 1100, for Phoenix. The VA, the Media, and Congress is simple lying to the American Public.

    Please use your math skills and test out the “official figures” on Wait times and Deaths.

    http://dailycaller.com/2015/07/14/almost-a-third-of-veterans-on-the-847000-long-waitlist-have-died-without-va-care/
    “There are a total of 847,822 veterans on the enrollment waitlist, meaning a third have been declared deceased while in line for care, The Huffington Post reports.”

    847,822 on waitlists/3=282,607 deaths
    282,607 /14.49=19500 confirmed victims of gross wanton negligence per year
    Phoenix 6712/3=2237/14.49=154

    154 x 8 years=1235 total dead [the other number in a different mathematical approach was 1090].

    Prescott
    634/3=211/14.49=15
    15 x 8 years = 116
    [the other number was 102 ]

    Tucson
    640/3=213/14.49=15

    15 x 8 years = 116
    [the other number was 104]

    See what you get,

    Sincerely,

    Don Karg

  14. Here’s some good news.
    From: “GOPtheDailyDose.com”

    “Bikers for Trump ROLLING on Washington D.C.”

    They want to make sure his inauguration goes without incident!
    Check it out!

    • All those bikers and cycles may cause childhood flashbacks in the butt hurt cupcakes not getting their sprinkles on their cupcakes just the way they are used to. (they all always wanted a shiny bike, too)
      The butt hurt cupcakes have announced they too will be out in force, all riding their Segway’s and Pitt Bulls. (more Pitt Bulls than Segway’s).
      Anderson Cooper will be leading them on his rainbow & fairy dust shooting unicorn. 🙂

  15. I think what amazes me most , is that it’s taking Congress to teach the VA how to answer a phone . I’ll tell you right now, this choice card thing doesn’t work for me at all . I had a veteran friend tried to contact the hotline using his laptop , and he couldn’t get through it all . If Congress is going to have to make them answer the phone, then maybe they could add a couple other things to that bill . Like maybe holding them responsible ?

  16. Who cares? This is not a callous or heartless response. On the contrary, it is probative and demanding. Probative to see who will get involved and do the “grunt work” and demanding to require someone take responsibility for the ineptitude and inaction of those not doing their job to support the veterans.

  17. I care. By the way, I noticed that everybody that can hurt a veteran in the VA gets a bonus for it. Does anybody in the VA get a bonus for helping a veteran ?

    • Jo3n, as a veteran I care as well. Here is my point. It does not matter the Dems and Repubs recognize there is a problem with VA, what matters is that someone in a position of authority actually does something. That’s what really matters. Who cares they’ve identified the problem? Thousands of us, veterans, have been saying for years, VA doesn’t work to help Vets.

      Now on the subject of bonuses. That’s total hogwash that they are given merit pay increases as well. I’ve been trying to get my Voc Rehab paperwork process for over 60 days and still no closer to getting an answer on them helping me.

  18. Yeah, the same thing comes to my mind as every other. They have to pass a law to make sure these hacks do their jobs?
    WTF?
    Which should lead to more questions like:
    1. How do they determine they are or are not doing their jobs? Waiting for another suicide? Waiting for hundreds of reports from vets? Or will Congress just accept whatever the VA says?
    2. Even if Congress managed to put some way of measuring this into the law, what exactly will they do if they find the VA refused to answer the phone?
    We’ve seen over and over how ripping off veterans with scam charities, beating a veteran to death, committing blatant fraud for bonuses, committing travel fraud, killing a veteran with drug toxicity, killing veterans by malpractice, etc., results in little or no punishment, so what the hell makes Congress think we should all be excited about them doing anything to the VA when they don’t answer the fucking phone?

    So they answer the phone and tell the vet to piss off, the vet commits suicide and then Congress will get really…..concerned?

    By the way, that nitwit McDonald claimed a while ago this problem was going away because they were opening new call centers…yet Congress passed a law anyway?

  19. I wonder how fast the VA would fix the problem if one of the Veterans who decided to end it all, also decided to take a few VA employees with for the ride.

    Most likely the entire VA would have the problem fixed that same day via AFGE. Then they would not need a new law requiring VA employees to actually do their jobs.

    • I disagree. If a vet took a few with them, these jackasses would go to the other extreme. At a minimum they would likely require every vet to call ahead for appointments, even those hospitalized, then they would greatly expand their police force into a version of TSA. All vets, including Wheelchair bound vets would be made to stand for a generous patdown and cavity search outside the hospital, then escorted everywhere they go after they give a finger print and are allowed to enter.
      Quad amputees would no longer be allowed to enter.
      A tent in the parking lot will be used for them.

    • I also disagree, strongly. Just as 01Veteran stated, they would go to opposite extremes just as they did with the Tomah Candyman “custom drug cocktails”, where instead of addressing the real problem, no accountability until media shines daylight on them, they go and remove almost all Vet’s pain meds and even some Psych Drugs, with no proper titrating off, leaving a lot of Vets in serious dilemmas, and am quite sure some Vets took their lives as a result.
      These people at VA can be incredibly passive-aggressive in the very best PsyOps kind of ways. Also, a butt hurt cupcake out there could say they read on this very blog the idea to do such a violent act, bringing all Vets down…not good. Nope.

      Violence is never the proper means if you want to retain some measure of dignity…not to mention sanity. No violence. Just the disinfecting qualities of sunlight…it’s amazingly powerful. We just need more focused beams.

      • Note that I am far from a passivism fan, but when dealing with the VA one really needs to approach with much trepidation. They have Homeland Security ties, after all…I never knew that until this Burch affair and his various “positions held”. DBC Stormtroopers.

    • We cannot fix a Constitutional problem by violating it. The oath to uphold and defend the Constitution cuts both ways. Whacking some RN or Doc legally would be a damn fine idea for a Constitutional ammendment but we must use the document as a binging guide for ourselves first if we are to honor the oath.

      Until the required number of states ratify a “shoot VA at will” ammendment, they are safe from me even if the worms do claim I am a threat to them. Oddly, if somebody did come into my clinic plugging people I believe I would lay my life down to defend the VA worms.

      I am a Marine after all, and we do things like that.

    • I still have to disagree with all of you on this one. I am certain that if a Veteran who was committing suicide also took out a couple of VA employees while doing it. The VA would see to it that those phones are answered.

      Whether it is right or wrong it would make the VA require that those phones are answered. No doubt it would take less than 24 hours for the VA to see to it.

      Even with the corrupt Robert McDonald running the VA into the ground as he has. There is the fact that the AFGE could and would insure those phones are answered. The change would take less than 24 hour to be put into effect.

      This political bullshit of trying to look good by passing a bill that requires employees to actually do their jobs is just that total utter bullshit. If the Congress and the Senate really wanted to ensure the phones are answered all they would need to do is impeach McDonald.

      I am in no way supporting some one taking this action I am only state what I consider to be a fact.

      As for the VA adding security and making life tougher for Veterans. We are already beyond acceptable limits on that.

      • Lets be honest here, 90 percent of the problems with the VA could easily be corrected under proper leadership using the rules and laws already written.

        If the rules and laws governing the VA are followed there wouldn’t be the problems we have today.

        With the corrupt pieces of garbage that have been placed in charge of the VA fighting to change, ignore, defeat and work around the laws and regulations established to protect Veterans. It would only take proper management willing to follow the laws and regulations to transform the VA into what it is suppose to be instead of the Veteran death trap that it has become.

      • That I would agreed with. But that would have to come from Congress putting some serious heat on the VA, and so far they haven’t.
        There is no reason whatsoever for them not demanding an appearance before their committee the very first time a call went to India, and setting specific times to have it fixed, or the firings start.
        You let shit roll down hill a little and maybe something gets done when the first supervisor is fired. Screw up again and that supervisor gets fired, along with their supervisor.
        You start working your way up the chain, and something finally gets done.
        You fire a regional manager, but the same crap below them are still not answering calls, because that firing didn’t affect them.
        This all started going down hill fast when the VA decided they didn’t need to fire anyone at any level for bad behavior.

      • I do agree with you in-part on this one 91Veteran.

        But when you consider that there are more than 20 Veterans per day ending their lives and the fact that the Corrupt Ass Clown McDonald could in fact make one phone call and make sure those phones are answered but hasn’t. Instead it has been allowed to fester and cost even more Veterans their lives every day.

        One phone call from that Ass-Clown and those phones would be answered. But no he has to allow it to fester and make political hay for the politicians to feed off of and look good. As if they are taking a stand for Veterans.

        Just like when a company goes bankrupt you start your firing at the top. In McDonalds case, they would need to impeach him and replace him with someone willing to follow the rules and regulations governing the Veterans Administration.

        The first thing that new person in charge needs to do is cut the corrupted dead weight very publicly starting at the SES level and working down. Gibson, Missal both fired and all others who have ignored, defeat and worked around the laws and regulations established to protect Veterans at the VA.

        You don’t stop there and fire anyone who has acted against Veterans. Whether it be falsifying medical records, put a Veteran on an illegal wait list, stolen from the VA or from Veterans. All fired period.

        If the AFGE wants to fight it let them hire the attorneys that it will take to defend the 10s of thousands of VA employees fired. If they want to call a strike. Fire anyone who does not show up for work.

        Also, replace every Chief of Staff that is also employed by the Research College that is running the VA medical Facilities they are attached to immediately.

        Replace every head of security at every VA facility immedately. Clearly none of them have been doing the job they are being paid for.

        While firing all the dead weight prosecute every one where a clear crime has been committed.

        Until the dead corrupt weight at the VA is removed it will continue to keep morphing back into what it is today. With the never-ending problems, continually be used as nothing more than political hay. While Veterans suffer, and die.

        These are the articles from today on the VA when will the bullshit end. The repeated crimes at the VA the deaths of Veterans caused by the care received at the VA and the total lack of leadership at the VA. Will it only end when the last Veterans die?

        ~~
        “Veterans Affairs whistleblower resigns, citing retaliation”, By Associated Press | November 17, 2016

        “http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20161117/NEWS/161119919”

        ~~
        “Top executive at Grand Rapids Home for Veterans resigns for personal reasons”

        The 13 Watchdog team has been following issues at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans for more than a year now. The facility has struggled to properly take care of veterans because of long-term under staffing issues.

        “http://www.wzzm13.com/news/investigations/13-on-your-side/watchdog/top-executive-at-grand-rapids-home-for-veterans-resigns-for-personal-reasons/353546634”

        ~~
        “Pictures from inside Providence VA hospital show dust, grime and rodent droppings”, By Walt Buteau, November 17, 2016

        “http://wpri.com/2016/11/17/pictures-from-inside-providence-va-hospital-show-dust-grime-and-rodent-droppings/”

        ~~
        “Whistleblower: VA rearranging deck chairs on Titanic”, By M.D. Kittle, November 17, 2016

        “http://watchdog.org/282156/va-ryan-honl-whistleblower/”

        ~~
        “Illinois Lottery Unveils Newest Game to benefit Veterans”, By Alton Telegraph, November 17, 2016

        “The Veterans Cash Lottery ticket is a critical component for our support to Veterans’ organizations across the state”, Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Erica Jeffries said.

        In other words, the VSOs that have been making out big time using the word Veteran will be making even more now. After all it’s not like they are actually spending any of the money to help Veterans

        “http://thetelegraph.com/news/92447/illinois-lottery-unveils-newest-game-to-benefit-veterans”

        ~~
        “Veterans Administration Revoking Gun Rights Of Vets”, by Marshall Lewin – Thursday, November 17, 2016

        “https://www.americas1stfreedom.org/articles/2016/11/17/veterans-administration-revoking-gun-rights-of-vets/”

        ~~
        “VA Execs Block FOIA Requests By Charging Thousands For ‘Easy To Find’ Documents”, by Luke Rosiak, The Daily Caller, 11/15/2016

        “http://dailycaller.com/2016/11/15/va-execs-block-foia-requests-by-charging-thousands-for-easy-to-find-documents/”

  20. I have known for a LONG time after sitting in months then years of help groups what the essential element is that is needed for suicidal vets and precisely why the VHA cannot provide it.

    I remember one vet in particular that is representative of so,many it makes me cry to remember them all. He was a young seargent with severe PTSD like me and he just couldn’t find a way to forget what he needed to forget. I am much older than the others in those rooms and somehow the younger vets seemed to gravitate to gray hair. This young seargent had gotten into the habit of practicing the trigger pull on his sidearm without bullets as he held the weapon to his head.

    He said softly in group one day, “I wonder if I will hear the hammer fall?” I guess I told him that he already had, that he already knew what it sounded like. The hardened warrior got up came over to me and grasped me in a bear hug and started crying. He said, “How do YOU do it man? How do you keep on going?” I told him I started by not practicing the trigger pull anymore. I did not tell him that it was men like him that kept me going which was the real truth.

    Arguably one of the most bad ass Marines I had ever met with a deadly service record proving his courage and worth to America as a battle hardened vet – and here he was crying in an old mans arms. Here he was, a man that we could all learn so much from crying my arms asking for help with his soul.

    This disease is thrust upon men and women who cannot understand what is happening to the soul sitting inside cold government rooms surrounded by cold hearted people drawing diagrams on the chalkboard teaching a battle hardened vets how to choose life. Vets who have been taught how to take it and did a very good job of it.

    They draw diagrams on the board that talk about happiness for vets who have needed to smear the life out of another human to keep their own life intact. They put up notes describing anxiety to vets who have seen their own friends get smeared into nothing and can’t remember the reason for it all?They teach vets like the seargent that we just need to retrain our thoughts in order to see the world again as it was before war tore us apart.

    Yet the only healing I saw in those rooms had nothing to do with scribbles on a board. It was the human touch that mattered. The VA cannot address the real issue. The VA cannot help this seargent or any other vet with his soul. They prescribe pills to sleep, pills for nightmares when sleep comes, pills for anxiety when the nigthmare jolt us awake, and pills to deal with the horrible depression when those intrusive memories called flashbacks come to haunt one more time.

    …and America sees vets dying in droves with bellies full of pills. VA cannot heal what it does not posess or understand – they cannot heal the soul.

    There is truth and there is fantasy. The VA has been forking fantasy into America’s gut like a farmer slopping the pigs.

    I suggest we shit can that stupid phone system and immediately open in every single city a room off of VA property that cannot be touched by DBC mandate that is open to every vet irregardless of what some jerkwad thinks on the DBC. That sergeant didn’t need somebody in Arkansas answering the damn phone – he needed a man to hold onto tight that was not going to push him away. He needed me and I needed him and we both needed the VA to get the hell out of the way. We both needed a safe place to go and we needed each other – not some social worker in Kmart clothes singing Walt Disney music.

    And then I got tagged by DBC and after all those months and all that emotion and all that time I spent with my own people I lost this. I have been banned from that group since I stood up against VA oppression their first line of defense was to remove my group from me. The enotre group disbanded on their own after that. It was a nightmare that can only be created by a soulless machine called VA.

    I will never know if the sergeant heard the hammer fall or not, because I have not heard from him since.

    • I can’t speak for all veterans with PTSD, but I believe vets talking to vets is the best therapy there is.
      Any smart VA MH clinician would recognize this and encourage using groups.
      Which makes me wonder, what ever happened to VetCenters? Has the VA completely taken them over and ruined them too?
      Vet centers were fully funded by the VA, but separate from them and used by veterans who didn’t or couldn’t go to the VA. They were set up around the Vietnam era and actually fiercly independent of the VA, but helpful.

      I know they still exist since I worked with a female vet who got her degree and is now working at a vet center counseling vets.

      I’m just curious if they are still used quite a bit, or if the VA saw a chance to cut funding.

      • Vet Centers are still up and running and are fully staffed by VA employees. Here is a link to page showing the Vet Centers for the state of Wisconsin.

        “https://www.va.gov/directory/guide/state.asp?STATE=WI&dnum=ALL”

        I know the Vet Center they opened near my home is headed up by a very Corrupt individual that is employed by the VA.

  21. I would say no one, of significance, from the organization reads this site or these posts, because if they did, they would realize there’s a problem.

    I would recommend that those of us who must use VA go to the Clinic Administrator every single time we have a problem i.e., your PCP asks you, what kind of medication would like or a specialist spends more times telling you about their problem and how yours really isn’t that bad.

    I agree, violence is not the answer and it is disconcerting to know that VA is pushing so many Vets to think that way.

    • Oh! there are people getting paid to watch this site. Have no doubt! That’s why I use my real name. I’ve been dead 3 times, I FEAR NOTHING! Violence may not be the answer, but it can be the solution.

  22. I believe I left Vietnam angry . The VA just hasn’t helped me get better or less anger . The VA antagonizes me every time I see them . They are late on mail medications at least every other month . It appears to me the VA has been there most of my adult life for one purpose , and that’s to keep me angry . I consider the VA just could be the source of most of my violent attitudes .

    • @Jo3n,
      You, me and a whole host of Vietnam Vets.
      That seems to be their agenda. Keep us pissed, to where they can control us!

      An old Asian, or Confucius, Philosophy is;
      “He who makes you angry, controls you!”
      If you think about this, it’s true!

  23. Here’s a new article out from “WisconsinWatchdog.org” today.
    Looks like Mr. Ryan Honl is back in the news.
    This article is what’s occurring and has occurred with Tomah’s incompetent leadership.
    Titled;

    “Whistleblower: VA rearranging deck chairs on Titanic”

    by: M.D. Little / Nov. 17, 2016
    If y’all don’t get emails from “WisconsinWatchdog.org”, I suggest doing so.

    • I hope President Elect Trump (PET) realizes that when draining the swamp, the persistent floaters will be of the VA variety and if I were Trump, I would flat-out ask Paul Ryan what the hell? Same with McCain, newly reelected yet again McCain…what the hell? These are your States and Federal Property or not…your paycheck is Federal so get to work!
      What I am saying is some of those floaters in the swamp may remain in Trump’s periphery because it’s high time our representatives did just that. If there’s a rat’s nest in your State, Federal or local, clean it up and State Laws, if broken, also apply.
      This swamp draining will have to be encompassing or your only skimming the cesspool with a broken net.
      Peace.

      • Let me go as far as we should have an immigration policy that for each and every incoming immigrant/refugee, an equal # of members of swamp need exported to G-Bay, Cuba.

      • Namnibor, not only do the Republicans own both houses, they own a majority, even though slim, of the states, (governors). Which could allow an ‘Article 5’ change to the Constitution. I believe it would be a way to insure the corruption in Washington and all States would come to an abrupt end!
        This is, in my opinion, what President Elect Trump had in mind all along.
        All he needed was for the “WE THE PEOPLE” to stand up beside him. Which was done in record numbers this election cycle. Never before has the Nation come together in such a way. Never again will we be silent or apathetic to our country! Never again will we allow the country to go down a path of what has happened during our lifetime!
        This is historic!
        But, the job is not done. President Elect Trump still need to be inaugurated on Jan 20, 2017!
        This is why “BIKERS FOR TRUMP” is headed to Washington DC. They are there to ensure, as does the “Patriot Guard”, nothing stands in the way of President Elect Mr. Trump!

  24. I’m an honorably discharged Vietnam combat veteran with a Purple Heart and a 70% disability rating from the VA for PTSD. My wife of 46 years divorced me in Jan. ’16. She was the only support system I had. Now I have to pay her $645/month until I die. I now live alone in a small house that needs many repairs that I can’t do myself nor can I afford to have them done. The repairs are just too expensive, and I can’t find any help. My VA counselor tells me I have severe depression, my PTSD is again in charge, and I feel intense anxiety every day. I now understand, in part, why so many veterans are taking their lives. I’m thinking of doing the same. My life just doesn’t seem worth living anymore, but I gave life a good try.

    • John H., I am not a grief counselor, just a soldier, honorably discharged with 15 1/2 years of active duty sservice. I do not know you of all that you have experienced in your life, but I do know this. You were trained to not give up, no matter how tough the situation got. Life in itself can be like combat at times and we get wounded but we don’t stop. If you are able and willing, would you share your experience of how you got wounded and overcame it?

      John, I know what it’s like to experience depression, after working for the 34 years I was injured earlier this year causing me to lose my job because of it, along with my home and many of our possesions. Now at 50, with a 50% disability rating, deteriorating knees and back conditions, I have to start all over again, but I refuse to give up. Infantry basic instilled me a deserve to perserve even though the odds were against me. Too small, too short, under weight out of shape but Drill SGT wouldn’t let me quit, he knew it would be hard for the runt of the litter but he didn’t give up on me. Funny, he didn’t he know me either. John H. I don’t know you other than you’re a brother in arms and that life is worth living no matter how tough it gets. You made it through Vietnam, one of the nastiest and toughest wars this country every entered, you have my respect. No matter how or what life is throwing at you, fight and don’t give up. Please respond.

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