Joel Marrable

Ants Covered Dying Vietnam Veteran At VA Medical Center

One Vietnam veteran was found covered in ants, twice, while dying from cancer at the Atlanta VA Medical Center (VAMC).

Joel Marrable was found covered in ants – – in his diaper, bed, and on his feeding tube – – while he lay dying from cancer at 73 years old. The picture above shows Marrable with ant bites on his stomach taken by his daughter.

Laquana Ross, daughter of the veteran wants everyone to understand what happened to her father before he passed away and pushed her story about Marrable to the press including CNN, that resulted in Sen. Johnny Isakson blasting VA.

Veteran Covered In Ants

At the time, Marrable was weak from cancer when clinicians first found him covered in ants. They wrongly believed the veteran was dead.

Ross said VA employees told her, “We thought Mr. Marrable was dead. We didn’t know what had happened. Everyone jumped in and grabbed him and made sure we did whatever we could to get the ants off of him.”

But how long do you think he laid there covered in ants?

How long did VA leave the dying veteran without visually inspecting him for basic hygiene?

Did they not think to inspect the room to see where the source of the ants was located?

VA then put the veteran back into the same room apparently without first ensuring the room was not infested with ants.

Why would they leave him in the same room?

More Ants

The next day, surprise, Marrable was found covered in ants, again. They were on his stomach, feeding tube, diaper, and elsewhere.

Was no one checking on the veteran throughout the night?

After complaining to staff, the veteran was moved to a new room and cleaned off a second time. He was found dead one hour after being moved.

“I felt very small in the world Saturday when my dad died,” Ross said. “Now I am able to share his story and my dad matters to someone beyond me and my family. Now the world knows and the world cares that this happened.”

Ross wants everyone to remember her dad as being a good man who loved God.

Lawmaker Shocked

Sen. Johnny Isakson weighed in on the treatment of Marrable, shocked about the conditions at the Atlanta VAMC.

“I am shocked, horrified and downright maddened by the news that a veteran under the care of the VA was treated so poorly and without any regard for his wellbeing,” Isakson said. “This patient, at the end of his life, was clearly not being monitored closely enough, and I am so sad for his family who had to discover his insect-infested conditions before anything was reportedly done.”

Atlanta VA Promises Reforms

The Atlanta Health Care System owned up to the problem and even apologized, “We have apologized to the Marrable family and taken immediate action to correct this issue and ensure no other Veterans will be affected in the future.”

In a statement to CNN, an agency spokesperson said it, “always strives to provide Veterans with the very best health care available. When we don’t meet that standard, we hold ourselves accountable.”

VA promises they are conducting a “top-to-bottom review” of what happened to Marrable.

How Long?

Investigators need to dig deep into what happened. Why was he left alone long enough to be bit up across his midsection?

The agency certainly seems more transparent than in the past rather than trying to spin away the issue. Hopefully, VA OIG or the local state-level authorities will investigate.

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  1. For some stupid reason its not letting me put up today breaking news! Go to Daily Caller Bomb shell on whistle blower retaliation

    1. This one?

      Of course they did. Me, I had to resort to wearing a body cam plus other items when out. Hate and retaliation? Oh not in America. VA or not.

  2. @T,
    Good questions.
    As you know, states have the right to make laws and regs in their own best interest. (I guess that may be short lived if someone has his way re: i.e., Cal Emissions Controls!) But the way I understand operations of expiration services in many states, is that the county coroner is elected and in some cases there is not even a medical knowledge requirement for that position. IKR!! Now for the Medical Examiner, that is a professional position requiring appropriate credentials. It is further my understanding that if a passing occurs in a medical facility with a practicing physician pronouncement, then that COD stands unless family pays for an independent autopsy that raises a differing opinion.
    I’d guess the VHA can be seen as a haven for those union employees that desire to practice such morbid outcomes.

    Wow! and thank you Sen. Braun and staff!

    1. Rosie, yes locally the coroner is voted in. Med examiners to my knowledge are appointed and a name can’t be found other than the coroner’s. I’ve had the need and questions about some issues and just got the run-around when doing so over the years. Like we aren’t supposed to question anything here as usual, including deaths, suspicious ones, or lacks in investigations, reports, things intentionally kept out of the media/archives, incidents in hospital care scrubbed or ignored, etc.

      This one slipped out into the news a couple years back. Must have stepped on the wrong toes and wronged an elite family.

      Can’t trust any of them, anything.

      More locally such news or “mis-conduct” or lack of professional ethics would never hit the news scene, and no-one would be the wiser unless personally involved in some way. Especially to be reported on by some university news or the likes of PBS or something.

      Sen. Braun? Well, I’ll just have to give him and his staff a whirl and see what they have to say about the most corrupt area in Indiana. Bet the instant certain names are found out, names of hospital staff, the unions and professional associations, what other so-called representatives have said or not done, or heard/informed by his staff they all back-off swiftly which is the norm for this area. Too many here are above the laws, can run rampant and corrupt as they can and be totally ignored. Odd too it being picked up in a newspaper further south in the state. Wouldn’t expect it to be found on local email alerts or news.

  3. Sent in for publication not sure if it will be printed

    Mishawaka VA Town Hall A Disaster

    There were just a handful of veterans and it was more of a benefit seminar than anything else. I brought up veteran suicide and how I believed the VA was causing it with there pills and deliberate denials. It was also brought up that 70 percent of there denials were unjustified and unemployable benefits were simple made hard. All I got was a OK from the VA.. Till we can have serious conversation about veteran suicide many more people will die by these incompetent agencies. I truly believe the VA does not care and is contributing to veteran suicide.


  4. Two articles on Senator Braun in Indiana helping veterans
    Letter: More thanks to Sen. Braun
    Evansville Courier & Press Published 10:47 p.m. CT Sept. 19, 2019


    Letter to the editor (Photo: File)
    In the middle of the night a veteran was in crisis. He was stranded miles away from home and being pushed away from the Veterans Affairs hospital.
    I left a message in the middle of the night with the senators office and wasn’t expecting a call in days as everything was closed. Within 10 minutes Senator Braun office called my house and worked with the VA to get this veteran the help he deserved.
    When all hope seemed gone the Senator’s office responded.
    James Yakym

    Letter: Sen. Braun going to bat for veterans
    Evansville Courier & Press Published 10:46 p.m. CT Sept. 19, 2019


    Letter to the editor (Photo: File)
    I have a few good words for U.S. Senator Mike Braun. In his short time in office, Braun has had his staff dig into a very important veterans’ issue at my request.
    This involves wrong doing very high up in Veterans’ Affairs and is a life-or-death issue for the VA clients involved. Sen Braun has smart highly engaged staffers who have taken time to listen to me. And his staff has enjoyed Senator Braun’s full backing on this serious matter. In just a few weeks, Braun’s staff has uncovered enough evidence to turn over to the VA Inspector General for a criminal investigation of the VA office involved.
    When Joe Donnelly was my Senator, he told me he couldn’t even talk to me about this matter, because I was alleging illegal activity in a federal agency and he couldn’t get involved. Larry Bucshon has ignored me and not answered my letters on this issue for years. Bucshon even blocked me from his Facebook page, so I could not post about this issue there. No one at Senator Todd Young’s office, except an intern, has ever deigned to even take my phone calls or answer my emails. 
    Kudos and mil gracias to Senator Mike Braun and his staff for their willingness to go to bat for war vets and our families.  
    – Ron Nesler

  5. There’s two interesting articles out from *””* today:
    1.) *””*
    2.) Is about a nurse steaing patients meds!
    I’ll get the link on in a few!

    1. Here’s the second one:
      2.) *””*

      Another day in HELL for veterans!

    2. Elf, another curious find and read. I wonder what constitutes needs for autopsies in the VA or civy care any-longer. I’ve heard the costs and man power is prohibitive during investigations or what investigators feel is required. Or like locally claimed will they just stop at so many having to enough to convict and let other suspicious deaths go lacking investigation or exhumation like with others. I guess with some body counts being up in the hundreds it would be costly and time consuming … but still. I would want to know especially if a family member. I also doubt with any of them they’ll never know or release the true body count from these “angels of death” especially now days since the VA and others are filled with activist, elder and man haters, white people, boomers, ID politics etc.

      Will they or can they investigate the deaths because of change in meds? A person does fine for years on a certain med then the forced change of meds come and they soon die and side-effect complaints and others ignored. Why the change of meds in the first place. Families clueless and some don’t seem too concerned about one day their ‘loved ones’ are seemingly fine the next day cold. Or one day they are in group doing okay the next day missing and gone. No investigations had and more water under the bridge to be forgotten.

      Med stealing and watering down like the nurse story. Yep, happened here quite a bit and to me. A MD would give the shot for migraines lasting days it was okay. A nurse would do it and the injections failed to work like before. Mention it to the doc and they’d give more, same thing. Ask why it’s not working and to administer more and they’d say ‘we’ve already given you enough to drop a horse.’ Really? Something is wrong and no investigation ever happened but I didn’t press the issue back then. Circa 1980s. Then I could get meds for home use instead of frequent trips to the ER. Still things happen in hospitals and clinics and never a word is reported about it including nursing homes, thefts, taking patient’s food, presents, etc. Just like with infections, catheter issues, etc., we will never hear of it today unless we are personally involved or know of someone in our running circles dealing with those issues. Typical for this state since we sorely lack whistle-blowers or those willing to stand up to some corruption and such going on.

      With the feathers I seemed to have ruffled top – down if I have to go in a hospital for anything I don’t think I’d be walking out again or able to return home. I’ve been shown from all directions how much I am hated locally and wanted gone one way or the other.

  6. The People in the community respect my advocacy but the government don’t they are dirty and don’t care. I know retaliation is on the way.

  7. Mishawaka VA Town Hall A Disaster

    There were just a handful of veterans and it was more of a benefit seminar than anything else. I brought up veteran suicide and how I believed the VA was causing it with there pills and deliberate denials. It was also brought up that 70 percent of there denials were unjustified and unemployable benefits were simple made hard. All I got was a OK from the VA.. Till we can have serious conversation about veteran suicide many more people will die by these incompetent agencies. I truly believe the VA does not care and is contributing to veteran suicide.

    James Yakym

    1. VA nor the likes have or will have town hall meetings. If so they’d be treated and moderated/censored just like is done with others like Congress critters, senators or other reps claiming to want to hear voices from the community. Oh no they don’t. It’s all just a game, a sham, good for only media photo-ops and propaganda. I don’t need to go into what meetings are like here and why I don’t attend them any longer.

      Nothing will change until the worthless lazy self-centered scum bags in all those out-reach programs to the Veteran Service Orgs and groups get really concerned, active, and begin local movements that branch out nationally. Won’t happen though. They don’t want to ruin their local corrupt political pull or connections or possible grants to put on veteran’s graves pretending to care or remember the fallen or dead.

      The concerned should visit their town and vet groups and take some temperatures. Who really gives a damn and willing to start some networking or free speech forum so some grass-roots info and issues can be passed around. Surely out of the thousands that read Ben’s blog someone is healthy enough and have the know-how to start a forum. Others can surely report about how lame their communities are and couldn’t care less about others in their communities or about all the propaganda and bs going on.

      I don’t know who our worse enemies are. Either other two-faced self-serving vets, lying media, those in DC, in the VA, union garbage, medical associations/boards/colleges, all those professional protective groups (secretive societies included) out there concerned for their own… “professional courtesies,” all kinds of activist, all those keeping some investigations or legal help out of reach, or Satan/evil it’s self.

      Hope you don’t get hassled, threatened, followed home or confronted out in public or parking lots. Then told something like their witnesses out-number us or ours, and we are shit stains on local communities and college towns and the elite’s playground.

  8. Good links Elf, one thing I’ll never be dissuaded from is managerial level federal civilian govt employees who’ve never spent a day in uniform and they are every bit as corrupt as the establishment politicians running Wash D.C. They may not be getting financial kick backs, but they will do everything they can to enhance their jobs and their livelihoods.

  9. And, if you know of anyone receiving VA’s “caregiver” healthcare, this article explains some things you might want to know:

  10. Here’s the latest on VA’s unconscionable actions, or lack thereof, against that Air Force vet being bitten alive;

    1. TY for the link but it’s a lame article coming from a site that has censored and banned veterans for dissing the VA or making complaints or asking questions on their old forum. Yep, I am still banned from there, no big deal and stopped trying to get news by them.

      Are they on paid leave? Article by Patricia Kime? She couldn’t spend the time or effort to dig deeper and ask more questions? Typical MSM types. Kinda shows her professional angel or concerns too. Will there be a follow up story to see how many staff were re-located, given raises, allowed early retirement, or patted on the back for good little medical staff able to remain emotionally detached from the suffering and patients. May look good in some medical school classrooms about that topic. Just meat and cattle being run through, nothing much else.

      Didn’t check on a dying miserable patient covered with ants to physically check to see if he was deceased? Fire all those idiots on the spot.

      They acted “swiftly” after? Using the same old VA cliche responses, appalled, heart felt remorse like they have they have a heart, and of course the apologies and things are going to change by golly. Big laugh. All that swift movement should happen before tragedy, when we try to complain or ask some questions before things get blown out of proportion or ends in suffering, suicides and death. Oh no, gotta go through the proper channels, open our/others files, play the wait game, deal with ignorant uncaring shift supervisors, idiot PAs, etc. Don’t expect nurses or aids to be like they were possibly forty years or so ago when they had to dress the part too. Or sit bed-side with patients… but no time or money for that unless connected or of the elite. Then to learn senators and the rest, plus their staff, easily dismiss complaints just like medical boards do and those PACs that are designed to protect the criminals and professionals like unions/associations who could care less about a patient.

      Wilkie and others are not better than the rest of the clowns up there, or down local, that spew crap and sit on their butts up there wearing their suits, blowing smoke and lip-service. Instead of running off concerned Congress people from a VA they should hit every town and state with investigators and make the elected work full days and full weeks or so-called work and force them to spend time in offices set up to function and swiftly like they care. Minus their scum sucking staff and aids that are hired and trained to trash complaints, pass the buck or insulate all the lying trash up there from us and the myriad of problems they don’t want to deal with and can’t. Might step on some cliques toes or one of their “friends” family members working in DC or locally.

      1. @”T”,
        I agree! It also depends on who writes the articles over how much we learn.
        As you can tell by my comment, I wasn’t too happy with her “investigative inquiries”!
        That vet was literally being eaten alive. The VHA employees, IMO, were too busy with playing around than to check on him!
        Every single person there should be fired. Only problem is – the union will back them up!

      2. Yeah Elf. That’s the problem especially in locations with signs out in yards “union strong.” And why in some communities “no negatives allowed” is the mantra. Unions and the like boast of being “on the same page.” Doesn’t take much to read between the lines with such things. VA or not there is no excuse for these things to happen to people in health care but we can go back years of deplorable treatment of patients in the VA, nursing homes, full circle. It’s crazy as hell out there if people would get out and try to discuss issues with others in the community that MAY be willing to talk about the issues. Most here locally won’t, afraid to… or “union strong.”

  11. The VA plans on disciplinary action as these people should be fired at minimum and reported to medical board. Nothing changes as they will get there bonuses as many more people will die. They are untouchable and even our elected officials cant fix the problem. 2014 va paid out 140 million in bonuses as veterans died and refereed no punishment for employees caught trashing records . Only solution is to shut it down

  12. Condolences to the family of Joel Marrable – May he rest in peace.

    I have experienced mixed medical treatment with the VA – Most of the time my care is good, and I am treated with courtesy and respect. However in the past and currently, I have come across a few HC providers, and they are very callous and unconcerned about my medical needs. It is very frustrating when a veteran is at their most vulnerable and is taken advantage of by someone in the VAHCS that is being PAID to meet the medical needs of the veteran. But they are vested and too bad for the vet. FYI – the reason I have medical needs is because of a wrong diagnosis, and then prescribed an antibiotic I didn’t need! This lead to my demise and I now have to deal with this for the rest of my life. Just saying.

    Peace out

  13. As I’ve thought, “veterans suicide” AND va NOT paying emergency room/hospital stays IS LINKED TOGETHER!
    This article confirmed my suspicion:

  14. Pharm doesn’t call numbers n they look at computers so I get there n let them know they should call some numbers cause I have to much pain t sit there it’s ashane I hav t coach them t do their job but it works I used t call next # when a vet left d window Most vets would just sit there n wait. It’s so sad

  15. Came up with a new acronym for “VA” Veteran’s Adversary…..I think it has an accurate ring to it.

  16. Joel Marrable present.
    His pain should have died but is now with daughter.
    Izakson’s no friend.
    He and another moved, by voice vote on pork legislation, to add the word “new” to the West Los Angeles Leasing Act of 2016. Thereby grandfathering in big money “void” leases.
    That was lobby money ill spent because land-grabbers still can’t comply.
    Ants at Atlanta, rats in WLA.
    We can do more than just read about it.

  17. I know this is in Atlanta but Jeffrey Fieger in Detroit might be interested in helping that family. It is however difficult to sue the Government!

  18. The Atlanta VA is a scary place!! Im 100% service connected, unemployable…and ive been footing the bill for my own health care and dental for going on 5yrs now…i will NEVER step foot inside that hospital again…the doctors could care less about you and the patient advocate….what PA???!!! Ive tried for over a year to get in contact w one there…ive never gotten a return phone call and have never been able to reach anything other than a answering machine … THE VA MEDICAL CENTERS ARE USELESS…WE ARE ALL SCREWED!!!

    1. Ben, I will ask you? Why is the President and his govt types keeping VHA open? Money laundering system seems to be the only purpose.

  19. After 20 years of helping veterans with disability cases I learned something recently I never knew. Another vet who received poor care, his widow told me she found out there is a SC ward and NSC ward, you know where this is going. NSC get very poor care, better care if SC. This vet was NSC but dying of undiagnosed lung cancer…he had two tours of VN. How can there be any justification of separating SC from NSC?

    1. Polly, I disagree with you. 100% PNT and kicked down the road. Come out the other side. Health improved when I left the VA.

  20. If the va were easy to sue then things might change. They almost drove me crazy sending me chasing my tail between using choise or a va hospital. Playing me like a ping pong ball. I finally gave up and am using my medicare but I’m going to have to buy something to go with it because at 70 I’m starting to fall apart.
    20th combat engineers
    Pleiku, SVN

  21. “….I am shocked, horrified and downright maddened..” because now I have to spend time on an issue that doesn’t come packed with PAC money.

    We can complain all we want about VA staffers and management. But the problem is, has been, and always will be in Washington. The minute they, collectively as a body, begin to give the slightest bit o shit, then something might change. The real problem in the VA is that it is not place where re-election coffers can be filled. There are no substantive PACS representing veterans. Only quiet little PACS that represent vendors and contractors.

  22. From personal experience in 7 v.a. hospitals I have been in; The v.a. is a self serving, corrupt, negligent, inept criminal enity. Their profits/bonuses come on the back of suffering and dying american hero’s. The veterans administration is the real Enemy of american veterans and all Americans. Their daily actions represent everything that is wrong with the American government and America. The v.a. is a financial blackhole.

  23. This is what happens when the caregivers are not themselves veterans. No caregiver who has or has not served as a brother/sister in arms would allow this level of (non)care. No I am not a VA caregiver, as a disabled veteran I am not attractive nor pliable enough to be employed by the VA.
    callmeBob RN
    90% SC

    1. Bob,
      ico my va many are veterans including the liaisons one would go to for assistance with trouble with improper service. not good. has never been good for me. one on the phone said she had no choice she still had a kid to care for, and she apologized and hung up from our ended conversation and never did anything. amazing…..jfamazing.

  24. Well, forcing the VA’s to care for me doesn’t work, they (their gang leader) then misdiagnose me to diabetes (that they know I don’t have) and order me to take two heptavax B shots and hope I go into heart failure in their clinic.
    And yet if I refuse to go to the rheumatologist, then they refuse my medicine that i really need for my real disabilities. And they refuse to dispense a medicine that they know I will die without. Crazy isn’t it? My civilian primary doc has no idea why i keep going back for more. and for seven years now have closed my fully developed claim, and i have had to reopen a new one and start all over again. They got jokes folks, they are dangerous for my health, and looks like many others. maybe we should stop using them at all. put them out of business. close em down.

  25. “….Sen. Johnny Isakson blasting VA….” Hohummm…as per usual, nothing will be done. We will yell, scream, bitch about it, but the VA has found out that if they take the fake “blasting” all will go as usual….

  26. The lack of oversight, compasssion, and dam lazy VA staff that caused this Vietnam Veteran to die in their care, the director, down to the nurses should be fired every single one, then sued in his behalf, this a crime of neglect, apparently the man wasn’t bathed, or his diaper changed, otherwise he wouldn’t have suffered the grueling pain and suffering, this a reminder of the kind of treatment one receives at the VA, and shouldn’t have never happened, I hope the daughter sue’s in her father’s behalf, NEVER AGAIN should this happen to any Veteran

    1. I totally agree with you. My husband is a 100% service connected disabled veteran. The only reason he sees a VA dr is so he can continue to receive home health aid services. He did see a ophthalmologist in Tuskegee- three times to get a pair of glasses. That was three trips – at 70 miles one way. Then there was two trips for a dental appt. to start the process of getting dentures. It took 4 months to get the first appt another 4 months for the next appt. my husband has organic brain syndrome- they wouldn’t allow me to go into the exam room with him. I had no idea what was going on. So, I decided it wasn’t worth the trip and refused to take him back. I could go on with other screw ups they’ve made. My husband sees his civilian pcp – gets his meds through a civilian pharmacy- he will never spend a night in a VA facility as long as I’m alive.

  27. Nothing will ever happen to the VA. If you raise hell with them they label you aggressive and a potential threat and your the one in trouble. I just quit going there, use my Medicaid and medicare. If everyone were to quit going for a couple of months, they would get the message. Over 12 pairs of glasses and non are correct. I’m sure the tech that measure the eyes are doing ok, but the labs that make the glasses are second rate and could not care less as long as the $$ come in. Problem is vets have no recourse other than the patient advocate and he knows which side hi bread is buttered.

    1. I’m with you Peter! I’m working to get “Part B” and ANYTHING else from my Medicare.
      Then, all one has to do is see your pcp once or twice a year!
      I’ve got private insurance for my glasses. All i need from the VHA optical is the medicine (eye drops) for “possible glaucoma” and “high eye pressure”! Which means I’ll go there twice a year.
      Other than that, screw the VA!

      1. Crazy Elf, this may sound absurb to you. But try this temporarily if you choose to. Go to a pharmacy and purchase Systane Balance Lubricative Eye Drops. Restorative formula. Occasionally, put a drop in each eye. Research it. Many times conditions could show up if eyes are dry. Plus, find a quality Krill Oil that is harvested in the Antarctic. Oil is cleaner in the Anarctic Ocean. It is made from the crustaceans which feed off of the plankton that grows on bottom of the ocean. Pure and clean from contaminants like Mercury. Anyway, Krill Oil and clean Fish Oil are good for the eyes. Also, putting castor oil around the outside of the eyes help too. Around and on eyebrow areas. Not directly under the eye and not on the eyelid. Put only on the outskirts. Might could help. Best…

    2. Oh Peter, about the eyecare, I agree.
      Hear you loud and clear. One point is the modality is aligned with sabotage and death. Very sad.

  28. Nothing more but failures. If your a veteran and complain you become a target. Massive failures from booting congressman Mask on grilling VA on there failures. There needs to be mast protest in Florida. My plans are to withdraw to regular care at the end of the year. Nothing but homicides, cops beating up veterans and unreliable records as the inmates run the ward. The VA accountability act is garbage the only people they seem to go after are whistle blowers , veterans and the disabled. All our Federal agencies have failed to work for the people.

    1. True especially in Indiana. But we know not much real news or whistle-blowing will happen in this state. Too much censoring, too much taken care of “internally,” too many attacks and ruination of lives for daring to speak up. Too many in this state can run rampant, totally corrupt and above the laws it laughable. And our fearless leaders and state agencies don’t give a hoot about truth, ethics or reality.

      I think I’ve shown how things here are and why not much news or reports are leaked or news-worthy. Those in the medical fields VA or not can get by doing whatever. Messing with our files, omitting things, not releasing our files by civy professionals is legal too. Told we can’t ask for real names of those doing evil in medical care but can use nick-names on their ID tags to when screwing around with us intentionally can simply turn their ID tags around and staff refusing to give out real names so when asked who did what all we/I can say is “I don’t know” real names are not shown or allowed to be informed of due to stalking fears by patients. Narcissism, the activism, or playing trophy wives or celebrity actors? Top down all have failed us, all.

      They all don’t have to be akin to Kristen Gilbert and others in killing us off. Nurses and staff know damn well what they MAY be doing by omitting info we give them about meds we are taking or allergic to… right? What is it when the entire staff in one clinic knows this is happening yet like many others in some medical facility refuses to release our files? Why? With not one agency federal or state is concerned but gives excuses or passes the buck for years. It’s not rocket science especially when ya tell those people about some medicine or why you can’t take it but go to pick up a script and that’s what it is only by another name.

      The bullshit is out of control and all we get is a few reports from around the country about death, abuse, rarely of suicides, but plenty of lip service, promises and excuses. And God forbid what is really going on behind the scenes in states like Indiana and others when we hear of nothing going on but all seems perfect in la la land. If we happen to walk in and see a patient lying in their own filth and long enough to be dried up or some asshat playing nurse wanting to mess up someones medication or usual dosage or times something stinks. Bout as bad as some quack wanting to push more chemo treatments on someone in their last week of life knowing they are going to pass on regardless. Gotta make that money to hell with the patient. And don’t even expect quality care or quality expected items some lab or anything else is made from. We won’t ever see any change, for sure.

  29. “Justice” for Joel Marrable.
    Condolences to his family.
    As for VA’s formulaic “top-to-bottom-review,” let’s check on that after the current heat is off.
    “Fool us once …”

  30. HOW CAN THIS BE ALLOWED TO HAPPEN? Someone SHOULD be fired. It’s no wonder WHY many of us find the VA incompetent.

    1. Bob,
      It happens because there’s no accountability within the corrupt VA system.
      No one is allowing anyone to be arrested, tried and convicted on a daily basis! Oh, yea, sure. Some, very few, are arrested. Some, very few, are tried. And some, very few, receive the sentence they should have received!
      This leads me to my final question;
      “How can the most corrupt government agency be fixed?”
      There is NO simple solution!

      1. CE:

        It was kind of a cynical question. I agree with you. There is basically ZERO accountability. All talk, no action! In a few days another “issue” will drive this to the scrap heap! SAD.

      2. There is NO simple solution.
        Nevertheless, Google Linda. J. Bilmes, Harvard Kennedy School.
        (I’d post some links, but posting links generally means the post gets blocked.)

      3. Indeed, federal bureaucracies at large but pervasively disastrous in the VHA especially at mid and upper management levels; these people are utterly immune from any accountability whatsoever.

  31. Another day at the VHA! Does anyone actually believe the employees will do anything to correct this issue?


    Do y’all remember that West Palm Beach VHA clinic? The one where they refused to hang President Trump’s picture?
    Well, they’re back in the news again!
    They’ve now “booted a double amputee combat congressman from their facility!”
    Watch the video!

      1. @”Joe”,
        I wasn’t going to reply to your vile comment. Only after reflection, it’s people like you – who work for the VA and other areas in our Republic – who are committing these egregious acts against the veterans!
        I don’t give a rats ass whether you, or anyone else for that matter, like this president or NOT! The men and women who work for the veterans administration have a job. That job is to care for veterans! When they abuse that job, by abusing veterans (especially those dying of cancer and cannot defend themselves) then they should be incarcerated!
        Your comment was completely out of line and you should be ashamed!

    1. Benjamin and all, what is today?
      Today is September 17, 2019. What happened 232 years ago?
      17 September 1787 was the signing of the U. S. Constitution. The SUPREME LAW OF THIS LAND. Proud to be an American.

    2. Benjamin, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie is exactly my age. He is 57 years old and born on the 6th of August 1962. I was born on the 20th of June 1962. I am 57 years old and still cooking it. Though, my return to cooking it did not surface back until I left the VA four years ago. Benjamin, I am speaking in all honesty here. If anyone can turn the VA the whole 2π or 360°, it will be Robert Wilkie. Benjamin, he is on the right side of history. Serious. He has too many hoodlooms working in the agency who seem to be thwarting or almost destroying his efforts. Paul Lawrence PhD
      is 6 years older than me. Last point though, I did not deserve how I have been treated by this agency. No veteran deserves to be treated lower than scum or worse than a criminal. Benjamin, the negative atmosphere of this agency towards veteran patients is truly uncalled for. ???????

      1. Benjamin and all,
        VA Secretary is a lawyer. See this professional employment designator in itself is somewhat serving as a barrier that prevents him from doing what needs to be done to improve the culture within the VA. Here is why I say this. The country has become so focused on status to where one’s status is the facilitator for most all. Ben, it should not be this way. Because the status to me is a false respresentation of one’s convictions and qualifications.
        In other words, because the person is an attorney does not necessarily mean they diligently and earnestly interpret the laws correctly, apply the laws correctly, and represent the laws correctly. The status gets in the way. It is called politics. All of you know exactly what I mean. Getting to my point though, when I mentioned that Mr. Wilkie is on the right side of history, I meant he is just that. It means if he really stood by his personal convictions another veteran would not be dying due to negligence and incompetence. He would do whatever it took to turn the VA agency on it’s head to change the quantity quota to the quality quota. But, it would come to him standing alone to do what is right good and ethical. See his being on the right side of history is a factor that is revealing that he honestly does know what is right good and ethical. In my opinion,
        he is leading with half measures because he does not fully and wholeheartedly stand by his convictions that of which really represent who he is. Half measures avail us nothing. Benjamin, this is why the VA and all companies should stay out of politics. They should focus on the purpose of why they exist. ???

      2. Benjamin and all,
        the Department of Veterans Affairs should stop the retaliation against the Whistleblowers. By the VA Secretary allowing the retaliation to happen to all VA employees who are in reality doing a good thing by bringing discrepancies to the forefront so they can be corrected is not a reflection of who Mr. Wilkie is and what he stands for. Mr. Wilkie and VA leadership types can attach whatever reason they want to and claim otherwise; but, when a spade is a spade call it a spade. Totally obvious. If there is restructuring and reorganization happening with the whistleblower jobs being eliminated, then the Whistleblowers should be promoted or hired into to other positions that would help facilitate the success of the restructuring process. Plus, help lead the efforts in promoting improvements for both the employee and patient culture. Whistleblowers should not be demoted and demoralized. Ben, honestly, at least the Whistleblowers are standing up for what is ethical and for what delivers goodwill. Ben, at least they care and are alive to see, hear, and feel so they can take the necessary actions to deliver the differences to those veterans who maybe being shortchanged from being able to live their lives accordingly. Ben, VA Secretary should acknowledge the efforts of his employees who are striving to deliver resolve and results. Not allow some of his leadership to take them out. Ben, I speak for myself. The VA does not speak for me.

      3. I praise Mr. Wilkie’s efforts for acknowledging some discrepancies with trying to make some headway to improve. This is called half measures. Ultimately, the agency in which he is leading should eliminate the quantity quota and eliminate the status quo of remaining in dysfunction /sustainability. Dysfunction is not what Mr. Wilkie stands for. But, if I am wrong and this is is true; then, the speeches that he made in the past were superficial and phony. So for Mr. Wilkie to lead the agency proportionate to who he is and what he stands for, the half measures will have to become full measures of exemplary quality. Not 90° 1/4 sustainability but lead agency to a total about face of 360° 4/4 to reach the maximum level of success that ultimately would deliver quality to all and for all. Question is? Why is it so difficult for the VA to let go of the dysfunction status quo? Why do people strive so hard to demean success of others?
        Why can’t the VA adapt to a modality that is more aligned with LIFE? Not death. Hear me Benjamin.
        They could do this if the VA leadership really wanted to.
        JUST DO IT. ????????️?

    3. Benjamin and all, the VA culture and scandals are being reported all over the radio in the Atlanta area, southeast, and sunshine area. This is what is being shared to me. Ben, Mr. Wilkie is not about dysfunction at all. So he should not be leading the Department of Veterans Affairs as such. Ben, speaking about contributing and giving back, what is the point when the VA providers and VA leadership sabotage the efforts of the volunteers. And, yes Ben, they have time and time again. No one can suggest any information to help because many of the leadership reject. Too arrogant to listen. So the VA has brought all of this own themselves. Ben, the VA leadership tries constantly to dumb down the culture. Sickening to me. No wonder many of the veterans have declined in numbers from using the GI Bill. Dealing with the VA is a pile of sabotage. Waste of time. Hell Ben, the VA will not pay the schools on time or not pay the vets on time. Same as Voc Rehab, VA will deny or decide not to continue to commit with veteran. Leave vet hanging. Think about it Ben, if the veteran can go ahead and get hired into a company and continue some training online or in local vicinity while working, honestly who in the hell would want to fool with being sabotaged by the VA? Ben, the American public is sick and tired of the Democratic party. Many in the VA have engaged in the same modality as what the Democrats are today. The Democrats who are up for reelection maybe voted out to include Democrat Pelosi. Ben, VA Secretary Wilkie should lead the agency in direct proportion to who he is and what he stands for. Stop the dumbing down. Stop the kicking down the road. Stop farming everything out to the community. VA needs to go back to the basics. Ben, though, they are going to do what they want to do regardless.

    4. Benjamin and all, this is a contributing factor. The negative back biting drama in the govt takes away from what needs to be done. This is half the problem. If the VA leadership could remove the personality from the tasks then the quality would come. Ben, the situation is not a slap at them or on them as people themselves. Ben, it is about their actions that they take. Ben, I do not care how many people love Communism and Socialism in the VA. I do not care. It is not about the VA leadership as people. It is about these ideologies. These ideologies do not promote the existence of life. I do not care what the VA says these ideologies are against human nature. VA believes the more dysfunction they have the more money it lands them. I disagree. If one really looks at this you might find the opposite. Same scenario as companies who make products that are of less quality or import them from China. Ben, ultimately, products which do not have warranties or either die before their warranties is against the business profits. For products which have limited warranties, the companies lose money. Not the American citizen. So translate this to the VA. The VA is the middle guy even though it is govt. The VA is getting hung by the contractors due to no price controls or caps. See Ben this is the same as products without warranties and without limited warranties. Ben, in the end it takes more money but the middle guy loses. Ben the VA is the middle guy. Just pretend VA is a middle company. Ben, many of the vets to whom the VA has controlled with being linked in and with being held in assisted living, Ben, some of them can be retrained. Ben, and some do desire another chance. VA rejects their another chance. When the VA does this, the VA leadership themselves increase their own workload with burdening the system even more. VA could help themselves if they could reign in the contractors. Hire more quality medical professionals. Promote Goodwill. As for mental health, using IT for therapy in my opinion is not as effective if the VA honestly desires for the veteran to come out the other side. Best.

      1. My comment about products pertains to the products which do not even last to the very minimal warranty standard. Backfires on companies as in profits. Now translate this to the VA with the contractors. Failed IT projects. Also, pharmaceutical industry manipulates VA physicians. Ben, the pharmaceutical industry is not up front with the VA about the side effects and consequences of many of these drugs. Ultimately lands on the veterans. However the VA once again is in the middle getting slammed. So VA has got to incorporate objective valid credible controls if it wants to survive but not damn tryanny.

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