Happy New Year From Benjamin Krause
I want to wish you all a happy New Years to usher in the 2019 season of reporting on the Department of Veterans Affairs foibles and missteps.
Thank you all for your dedicated support of the work we are doing here covering the most dysfunctional agency in President Donald Trump’s cabinet. I could not do this without your support, sharing, and readership. Google has made the process of locating news and sources more difficult over the past year, and independent publications like this one are more reliant on readers sharing our work.
Like this year, I can assure you the agency will continue to provide tons of fodder and issues to expose next year, and I am working on some substantive changes.
Trends Of 2018
Here is what we saw in 2018:
- The agency will spend billions more on IT updates to its infrastructure.
- The agency will spend billions to update its electronic health records system.
- The agency was unable to meet its deadline for the Forever GI Bill.
- The agency was unable to meet its deadline for the Caregiver Program client management software.
- The accountability program was implemented without substantively holding senior leadership accountable.
- The agency stopped wasting tens of millions on suicide prevention propaganda that did not substantively impact suicide numbers.
- The White House VA Hotline was implemented without using White House staff.
For 2019, we will probably see more of the same above, plus:
- The agency will likely not implement the RAMP appeals system by February 2019.
- The agency will likely not implement the Forever GI Bill system within a reasonable amount of time.
- The agency will likely not implement the Caregiver Program updates by October.
- The press will likely cover-up for agency problems.
To address the need for additional coverage, we will likely bring on some additional staff to process regular reporting on the topics I cover here. As a consequence, I will release some additional information products to cover the added expenses to expand.
Wish me luck on that front.
We are tentatively planning on someone to function as Chief Operations Officer of the publication to coordinate operations behind the scenes. This will help me focus more on what I do well, which is advocacy and investigating VA.
One part of the plan is to create a small broadcast studio moving forward, but the progress of that endeavor will depend on revenue numbers from ads and related.
A Happy New Year to you Ben and to all of your readers, too!
This year I’d like to read several more helpful nuggets to guide us through the muck that has become the VA standard of “helping” veterans.
In boot camp we all learned the military fold & hospital corners and perfected them to avoid latrine duty or five digit push-ups etc., and on and on, with seemingly ridiculous standards needing to be met at every turn for x# of weeks. Those that went on to additional more strenuous training, also had more difficult obstacles to maneuver around. The one thing regardless of branch, that we all learned is how to be a team, and work as a team to accomplish the mission. Oh and by the way, that buttercup that refuses to suck it up…!
If Uncle wants to run the VA as if veterans are still in boot camp, then they’d better get their collective arses in gear and figure out which mission they are going to bring to a workable concept that benefits first and above all else, the veteran! And that, in all entities under their umbrella! This hiring of contractors to perform jobs that the U.S. Military trained our servicemembers to more than adequately provide, is preposterous. Anyone recall the CCC and the treasures left for generations of us to marvel at and enjoy while they honed their crafts and supported their families? Why is that model not being utilized to bolster our infrastructure in its many facets?
There are a few peaceful weapons in the arsenal that collectively we can utilize to our advantage. As VHA patients, we should all insist that we be referred to as patients in our medical records. We know we are military veterans and “they” know it, and so does anyone with an IQ above zero that needs to access the records. I think this is an important step because allowing “them” to keep using the term veteran instead of patient, promotes a segregated mindset in the practitioner/patient dynamic.
We should also, in as peaceful a manner as we can manage, insist on knowing why specialty departments in certain VAMC’s are limited to only one or two procedures, and the patient’s needing sc care or a diagnosis of ongoing issues, are relegated to the “hurry up & wait” files and never receive their promised care. Is that specialist being paid six figures annually to be there only four hours out of each month, or do they have a thriving outside practice and are using their VA time as a “paid volunteer”? Is that Specialist forced to only certain procedures because VAMC’s are actually and only training facilities (as we are so often told) and is that far more important than any treatment/diagnosis a patient would require? If you are a regular patient at a specialty clinic, is that provider allowed to actually practice their craft to the utmost of their training for your condition, so that you actually benefit from their expertise? In other words, we should be made aware of the limitations of our specialty departments rather than being slathered with political-speak salve.
If we are sent to outside care (under whatever term “they” are calling it this week), are those providers allowed to diagnose AND practice to the limits of their experience, or are they also forced into the open top secret “never diagnose anything” VHA doctrine? If those providers do a proper evaluation and diagnosis, does the VHA order to piecemeal those results in our records and refuse payments to the provider, leaving us stuck for the bill and not allowed to get the TRUE first draft copies of our care from the provider?
There are, as you all know, many more things to explore and find reasonable solutions to aid in our mission to attain at a bare minimum, average honest to goodness health care that we were promised. It is freeing to allow complaints about the system in the effort of fostering viable solutions or busting through that us vs. them segregation, but to those not directly living the abuse, it does appear to be seen as perpetual whining. We need to utilize Ben’s blog to the best advantage we can for the whole benefit of each and every one of us in navigating this maze. We know that many sc veterans are getting way below sub-standard care from our practitioners. Is that do-nothing to benefit the patient bestowed on us as orders from “them” wearing suits? Those that could never ever understand the “make order out of chaos” drilled into each one of us and why we are collectively, so beyond frustrated, with the way each autonomous VHA. Each run as their own little kingdom and leaving we serfs to air our individual concerns to the deaf ears of those bespoked suits in charge. Are sc veterans being punished, because we duly can no longer fulfill our lifelong contract, to be ordered back to duty at the request of the government, while even bone spurs are a cause of unfit to avoid service during a draft.
As has been pointed out several times in the last few months, there is a diverse population that tunes in to Ben’s blog and many don’t ever post. It is comforting to know that there is that audience. That people are paying attention and that if we do keep sharing valuable information and insight on various issues affecting us, we can then collectively and peacefully force the VA to better do what was promised to us.
I must make note of a post on Ben’s blog by hanna on the last day of 2018 and James Clement’s well written and thorough response to her comment. If you missed it, please make the time to read it, as his is far and away the best illustration on the subject I have ever read. Jim, may I suggest that you send a version of that piece to a widely read national publication with hopes of sharing its enlightening message.
In closing, Col. Turner did not ring that bell, rather with carefully planned military precision he made his point for all which care to understand.
Rosie, good stuff.
Yep, I’d like to see James’ and others material break through MSM and censors at VA Affairs and Congress for forced reads. Haven’t heard from Dennis but stories like his too, non-stop. On C-Span, national news jokes too. Along with the list of vets suffering and have given their lives to gain some attention from the block-heads at the top. Ahem, a reading without rest from that list let’s say for at least the past 10 years.
Old Marine posted this on my FB and thought it worthy to repost as a OT thing here too. I’ll post it under my Diogenes ghost writing name. I still haven’t found an honest person in this state yet, nor in any high office or “at the top.” The ones I knew, have known, are gone from this world. “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUbzBQ2kWls&feature=share”
Yes, 2019 is going to be very interesting. HNY Rosie.
James, thanks very much for the link!
Yes, he reported an aggressive situation and in stage 4 months back. He did compile his formulas and info on Instagram I noticed for those who can use it.
The VA in his area, the corrupt in my locale along with some Congress critters and activist leap for joy when each of gives up the ghost. Guess his area is a lot like mine with some VA/VSOs/media types, locals, and reps being sicker than others… complete with smiles and snarky comments. Then having to listen to scum ‘at the top’ or the likes of Rep. Hank Johnson and others who hate us for a wide variety of reasons.
@T and Jim,
The reason behind my pointing out Jim’s post, is because there are still too many “grown folks” acting like they’ve had no raising. And yes, there are many otherwise gentle souls, with no idea of how to approach people they have not yet actually met, that are often labeled to some degree as being odd. In this social media obsessed era, it is a far different navigation than was experienced by our brothers in times past. Some today are very lucky to have their nearest and dearest genuinely understanding them and standing with them through life’s issues. Then there are those with no real human feedback to communicate pressures and are generally accused of “going off again” in communicative situations. If more folks were informed of the many points Jim illustrated, I think it would be a great gift to those now here and to those coming home.
I just touched on the basics during that post. After I have had some time to refine it, it will be going out. Much more that needs to go into it – – – and that requires some ‘head space’ and time for me to work through those permutations.
Looks like a few more nights (chuckle) of over-caffeination will soon be in order. You’ll know when it is done. Although to be completely honest – – – It is nothing but the musings of another ‘crazy’ disabled combat veteran.
Thank you for your positive support.
BTW, your statement “In closing, Col. Turner did not ring that bell, rather with carefully planned military precision he made his point for all which care to understand.” was something that I immediately concluded before I finished reading the article denoting his demise. Even after 40 years, I still have a lot of Marine left in me.
The VA often talks about “evidence-based medicine”. All the ‘evidence’ in the world just struck them upside the head. They will run, cower, spin, cover-up, and make excuses . . .
They will not properly EVER address the situation. And there are ways to do it.
@Rosie – – – Thank you. I will take your suggestion under advisement.
@T – – – A salute to you! I am hoping (not sure) that Dennis is still alive. If I recall correctly, he was diagnosed with metastatic colorectal cancer a few months back. I miss him too. One of my favorites, always found him inspiring.
Thanks Ben, not sure I am ready for last year yet but, 2019 isn’t waiting. Like many Veterans here and others, I read it all. Always go away a bit more justifiably angry. The enlistment, “loan”, is scandalous. So much uncertainty with our lives solely for sake of job security. How much money does the VA take away from Veterans and their families to fix something? Mostly just to sabotage another VA hospital. Why do they not only get away with it, they keep coming up with ways to be crueler.
Hopefully Ben you will have a great year and I am sure the VA will keep y’all busy. Best wishes….
Same to all of you. 2019 is going to be very interesting. Thanks to all of you ! Lets make this year our year. Veterans.
Thanks Mr. Krause, and to all who writes these posts and comments, Good work
Hi Benjamin and all, Happy New Year to everyone. Hope everyone has a successful upcoming year. I personally do not believe the VA employees or most of the government officials who do not align with President Trump care an iota about delivering quality results or resolve to anyone’s life or even resolve to any of the issues that plague this country. I find it very sad how the culture has declined. Yes, indeed. And, no, it is not due to President Trump. I have been around for awhile and I can witness the difference. Oh, yes. President Trump was elected because the American people were being thrown under the bus as well as the country. Even the products made today are crap. Yes, For example, even just an issue of buying furniture such as a bedroom suit, the furniture is rarely made of real wood like Oak, Mahogany, or ????
Car batteries do not even come close to lasting to near their warranties. And, furthermore, our government has it wrong about how women do not care for masculine men. This is far from the truth. The government has lots wrong but they do not care. Most women like real masculine men not namby pambys. Government has it wrong. Many younger women are dating and marrying older men. So what does that tell everyone. So the VA and others who are in positions of power are missing the boat. Yes. I know these are extended issues but I am just putting it out here to paint a picture of how our government has turned into ????? Rest of you can fill in the blanks. Best. Angela
Hi Benjamin, I left an additional comment out. I do not care who the President of the United States is; but, the governmental officials will never deliver quality results or resolve to any issue. So there you go. The American government has not been serving the American people for the purposes of why they were elected. They serve themselves. President Trump is about serving the American people. This why the Democrats, Never Trumpers, and RINOs want him gone. So…..
Thanks, Angela, I’ve been trying to get that message across for some time now!
Happy New Year, Angela!
I faithfully follow your articles and have been secretly (and highly successfully) helping vets avoid the targeted abuse I have endured over the past 12+ years, and I have to ask: do you hate the president completely?
I ask this because I’m the past handful of articles you seem pretty biased in some of your wording and it comes across less like your usual articles where you ensure you print facts and data directly related to the VA and their horrific decisions, and more leaning towards an emotionally-biased person.
I am not saying you are like this constantly and are totally free to say what you will about anyone, but some articles have struck me as more like you were pissed about a decision and wanted to just blame someone for it. I don’t think any politician is innocent from being paid to vote a certain way and I pay attention to veteran-type subjects and decisions so I do not approve of everything our current president has done or decisions he has made in their entirety but I also avoid publishing passive-aggressive statements because of being pissed off (which I am often by VA dealings).
I am an SF disabled vet who was quickly booted after almost 20 yrs with a severance check I am still paying back to the VA. I was targeted withi my first year out of the service by the VA and it still continues today, however, I tracked and noted VA tactics and use that knowledge for the greater good for our fellow veterans by ensuring they avoid what I experienced. Do I agree with everything trump does? Not at all, but I remain independent in my writing to ensure fair reporting of the facts to help more and more vets.
Once again, I’m a faithful follower of your articles, I was just curious if you dislike the current president completely or if there were specific decisions being made that made you dislike him (or the current cabinet)?
Happy new year and I hope you keep exposing the VA for the corruption and abusive targeting they continually accomplish each and every day.
Happy New Year! Your fourth paragraph, and my story match up 97%. Wrote POTUS Obama about it back in 2015, and have other WH interaction since that time. Kinda sucks when they pull the ‘retirement enlistment’ carpet out from under you – – – then you discover that your ‘severance pay’ is really a loan, don’t it? Plus we all got taxed twice on that money . . .
Happy New Year Ben to you and your family, and thanks for your hard work in lifting the rock up to show the thousands of scurrying rats and roaxhes under neath. Keep the pressure on them. I still say that we need to rcruit & organize thousands of attorneys to file thousands of separate lawsuits against each of these bums, bureaucrats and health providers, wherever they are and publicize WHY IT IS NECESSARY TO FILE SUIT FOR TREATMENT AND ENTITLEMENTS.
The most important accomplishment would be for congress to pass legislation for veterans to be provided attorneys at the beginning of the claims process so vets are not disabled in the Board of Veterans Appeals & Court of Veterans Appeals.
As well we need to WIDELY publicize the names of those members of the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate who are our friends and advocates AND THOSE WHO ARE NOT.
Ben, You are a boots up kind of veteran who did not take ‘NO” for an answer. Every time I hear of a veteran’s suicide I want to attack the person or club of bureaucrats who did not effectively do anything to help.
Military tactics require the greatest amount of force applied to the weakest point,
Happy New Year F. P. Gildersleeve! Still love the handle. Say hello to F and M for me!
Happy New Year to everyone and good luck in pursuing your hopes and wishes for 2019!
In response to the above comment on GOV workers suing for not getting paid, yet it is okay to mistakenly deny veterans their benefits. Well in regards to government workers, another thing that has been irritating to me about them. Is how arrogant and condescending many are when pretending to do their jobs, yet the only reason they have their jobs is because of DAVs or in general, the American public! Yet they pad their wallets with an above-average income at our expense, inefficiency or just plain ole thievery. Just saying.
I case you haven’t heard, “…75% of the government employees are (still) being paid…”, “…25% of ‘non-essential government employees’ have been furloughed…” until the issue of “…protecting the American People…” is settled!
“Sovereignty is the key issue plaguing our Republic!”
I hear you, TLC. I do not disagree with you. Happy New Year!
Happy New Year Disabled Veterans . org / Ben and all fellow Veterans, may 2019 be a great year for all of US.
Happy New year. Ben
First BIG Lawsuit of the year:
Little Cox thinks it is just fine to deny veterans their duly earned benefits though! Here’s hoping the court tells the AFGE to pack sand . . . let Little Cox enjoy being told NO for a change . . .
Maybe “David ‘little’ Cox” will have his union strike! Then President Trump can fire ALL of them! Like President Reagan did to the air traffic controllers/union.
One can only hope!
Happy New Year to you and the Kat!
As you know, in my extended (10 point plan) rant – – – I specifically mention Reagan and PATCO.
All I can say is that were it President Clement – – – Cox and Cronies would have been gone eighteen months ago. And our Southern border would be secure without the crapola fight going on over a ‘wall’.
My multi-layered plan (10 points) for securing the southern border would be at minimum 5 times more effective than the current one. I would triple the number of border patrol officers, double the number of translators, ad and ensure that they were all properly supported administratively.
We could secure that border for 50 to 60 percent of what we spend now. We just need to get the feds to spend what they have much more wisely than what they do.
Happy New Year to everyone including Benjamin Krause Veteran let’s start off sharing on to improve Veterans Health Care not Bull Shit…..us Veterans if we don’t have Veterans we would not called United States.
Happy New Year, Arnold!
Hoping that 2019 is a most prosperous year for you Ben and family, the staff and colleagues of DisabledVeterians(dot)org, and all Veterans.
And for you VA, how about owning up this year, and truly taking care of Veterans by following your own Poilcies and guidelines.
This is the least that you could do. Be real for pete sake, and stop looking like an ass.
Happy New Year, ANutterVet!
Ben Krause and family, and all my brothers and sisters on *”disabledveterans.org”*
*HAPPY NEW YEAR!*
May 2019 be a fruitful and productive year for Ben, Disabled Veterans dot Org, and all Veterans here.
Best wishes for 2019, Ben!
Happy New Year, Doc!
Happy NY to staff, you and yours too Ben.
Sadly I don’t see good times ahead. The censoring full circle along with “Murica” not having any real mainstream news outlets, the closing down of free speech on social media, to all the corrupt attacking or allowing vets to suffer, be mistreated by any health care givers VA or not, attacked by all the PC social justice warriors (sic), no using any government agencies or reps for grievances etc., “the fat lady” is about to sing regardless of what political puppet party is in control. Indiana is a total lost cause, fully occupied, totally corrupted. Too much corruption, too many two faced enemies, too much college/foreign rule, too many evil connections here and abroad.
Where the hell are all those “professionals” who are supposed to be protecting and serving us from all evils and corruption which is rampant? More deep state and shadow government allegiances? More propaganda about such agencies to the local FOPs (fraternal order of police) claim to not being political but … bait n switch… comes out to proclaim their endorsements of the far left machines that are just as bad if not worse than the far right? Who is also in control of media, news, allowables, to our health care?
Posted just to put a bug in your and other’s ears. Next time ya get a chance to air some issues in front of some jokers “at the top” ask them who we are supposed to turn to when the entire establishments A to Z, the machines, keep playing corrupt circus games, musical chairs, doing nothing about the major issues at hand we face today. And I think we all know it’s difficult to fight those in power who are free to do what ever their evil little hearts desire with zero repercussions and above the laws. Ahem, in the land of the free. Choke choke.
Oh, yeah I am still sober.
Happy New Year, T!
Thank you James and back to you and yours also.
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