Veteran Suicide

BREAKING: Media Blackout Of Bloody Veteran Suicide Underway

Veterans are outraged over a weeklong media blackout of a bloody veteran suicide by gun at a VA Medical Center last week that is unreported until now.

Members of the news media have been completely silent about a reported veteran suicide by gun in front of the Albuquerque VA main hospital building. The agency has withheld information from the press with the excuse that they are waiting to notify the family.

However, the suicide was reportedly December 22 and today is December 29. Instead, an inside email circulated amongst staff insists the agency will keep a lid on details until the investigation into the suicide is complete. That was seven days ago.

I contacted the facility yesterday after I received an insider report on the suicide.

The public affairs office there refused to provide information but promised to send an email notice of VA’s official position when it’s ready. That email never came.

A quick Google search with the terms – – veteran suicide Albuquerque – – revealed two articles, but none of them covered this tragic event that took place right before Christmas.

But, unlike VA employees or members of the lapdog media, I do not need to wait for VA’s permission to publish what I know when I know it. News is news, especially when VA does not want you to be informed.

Here is what VA and the mainstream media is not telling you about this veteran suicide.

Albuquerque VA Veteran Suicide

Inside sources reported a veteran stood in front of the main Albuquerque VA hospital building with a gun and shot himself in the head in front of numerous witnesses.

The scene was “very, very messy” and “witnesses were severely traumatized.” Hospital staffers were so traumatized, in fact, that VA called in outside counselors to help them cope with the trauma.

Local reporters are aware of the event from whistleblowers, but VA is stonewalling reporters resulting in the blackout. The agency will supposedly release more information once the family is aware.

These same reporters have dutifully waited to publish anything about it as of now. Meanwhile, they are reporting on Albuquerque VA being demoted from a two-star facility to a one-star facility, the lowest rating VA provides.

RELATED: VA Hospital’s Problems Worse Than Reported

RELATED: Rating For VA Hospital Fell In 2016

I received some of the stonewalling from VA yesterday when I called to verify some of the details I just listed above. The woman I spoke with stated VA would send me an email with information about the suicide. No email came.

Luckily, I did receive the below email to verify the account of the suicide even if it is light on the details.

VA Acting Associate Director Sonja Brown Email On Suicide

From: Brown, Sonja
Sent: Friday, December 23, 2016 9:17 AM
To: ABQ All Staff
Subject: Sad News
Importance: High

Dear NMVAHCS Employees,

On behalf of the director, it is with a heavy heart that I send you this note.  A Veteran died in the front of the main hospital, Building 41 last night from a self-inflicted wound.  Because this is an ongoing investigation and to protect the victim’s privacy, we are not able to share any details at this time.

This is a traumatic event for the family of the victim and all of us.  We encourage employees who may need to talk to someone about this event, to contact the Employee Assistance Program at 1-800-869-0276 or

The Veterans Crisis Line at (800) 273-8255 (press 1) is available for Veterans who are experiencing a crisis as well as their family members, 24/7.

Some of the signs to look for are:

  • Hopelessness, feeling like there’s no way out
  • Anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness or mood swings
  • Feeling like there is no reason to live
  • Rage or anger
  • Engaging in risky behavior
  • Increasing alcohol or drug abuse
  • Withdrawing from family and friends

Thank you for all the hard-work that you put in everyday to serve our Veterans.  We ask that you please keep the victim’s family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Sonja Brown
Acting Associate Director
Chief, Voluntary Service and
Public Affairs Operations

New Mexico VA Health Care System

VA Calls In Non-VA Counselors?

This seems ironic given the obvious reality that the veteran was not receiving adequate mental health care prior to committing suicide. But VA employees traumatized by that veteran’s suicide can receive immediate counseling services from a government contractor?

It would be great if a few readers jumped in to call EAP Consultants to see what they are all about. 1-800-869-0276.

Other Suicides

In the recent past, the news media has been more speedy about reporting on suicides including the veteran who killed himself earlier this year by setting himself on fire.

RELATED: Veteran Who Set Self On Fire Outside CBOC Dies

This present delay seems suspicious given that a public suicide of a veteran in front of a VA hospital is most certainly newsworthy. In fact, any suicide of this kind is generally reported in the news. So why the delay?

I cannot help but be suspicious that this delay in reporting has less to do about the veteran’s suicide and everything to do with VA maintaining the illusion that Secretary Bob McDonald has fixed the agency during his brief 2.5-year tenure.

RELATED: Survey Shows Integrity At VA On Decline Under VA Sec McDonald

RELATED: Harvard Article Got Secretary McDonald Legacy Wrong

Will this report help break through any such deception? It may not, but getting the word out is a great first step to exposing this suicide crisis.

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  1. Response to Ladybug’s “facts” list (posted with Ben’s permission):

    1. It is unknown if ‘multiple’ or even ‘ANY’ witnesses saw the actual act as it took place. HOWEVER the body would have been immediately taken into the ER thus ‘MULTIPLE’ ER staff would have witnessed that (plus possibly any patients in the ER).

    2. ‘Ladybug’ admits she (he) doesn’t work there. The vitriol of ‘Ladybug’s response leads me to guess that, at best, she is the spouse of a VA employee, the spouse of a VA MANAGER who was ordered to have his (her) spouse respond to the story. At worst, it is VA MANAGEMENT THEMSELVES responding at home or from a neutral URL like a Starbucks or MacDonald’s free Wifi to hide their identity.

    3. ‘Ladybug’ is probably correct that Federal Police found the body.

    4. Stating that the ER & Main Entrance doors were locked at that hour is disingenuous: There is a button for visitors to push to announce their presence and have either the Door Guard or the Triage Nurse push their button to let you in. That’s how MOST people get into the ER, because most ER patients are WALK-INs (ambulance arrivals represent a relatively small percentage of ER arrivals – whether VA or Private Sector.

    5. This occurred on FEDERAL PROPERTY. Local Police have no jurisdiction, that is how the VA hides much of their wrong-doing. While it is POSSIBLE (though HIGHLY UNLIKELY) that the VA asked local Police to get involved, I find it hard to believe that, since it would guarantee the story getting out quickly as well as a PROPER investigation.

    6. I found out about this the Monday after it happened (that would be 4-days later) and contacted three local reporters (one TV-reporter, one print-journalist and one radio talk-show host). Neither the TV reporter nor the print-journalist were aware of the suicide (this was 4-days after the event). Then a local radio talk & call-in show did a complete show about this VA’s 1-Star rating THE WEEK AFTER NEW YEARS – approximately 10-DAYS after the incident. When nothing was said about the suicide during the show, the host, Bob Clark, was informed of it and HE ALSO SAID HE WAS UNAWARE – TEN DAYS after the incident!

    Does THAT sound like local media were made immediately aware (or even eventually aware)? I think not.

    7. It is true that the EAP part of the announcement email was ‘Boilerplate’.

    8. It is also true that the VAST MAJORITY of VA HEALTHCARE STAFF care deeply about Veterans and if someone was physically present AT THE TIME OF THE ACT I too am certain they would have tried to intervene.

    But that is also disingenuous: My best guess is that either because of short-staffing, or some other reason (toxic work environment environment leaving the staff frazzled and unable to respond appropriately), this Veteran was for some reason turned away, which in-turn pushed him over the edge and he left the ER & shot himself in the immediate proximity of the entrance.

    Management, however, couldn’t care less about anything but their own bonuses & the perpetuity of management. I do not say that lightly: VA MANAGEMENT DOES NOT GIVE A SHIT ABOUT VETERANS or ANYONE ELSE. (In fact one female caller to the radio show I referred to said that the Albuquerque VA was ‘run like a criminal enterprise’. And paltry few in management are Veterans.

    Over the weekend I reached out to additional sources with whom I have had excellent professional and personal relationships. NEITHER HAS RESPONDED as of today.

    A second colleague from who works at that VA reached out to their former colleagues over the weekend. Again NO RESPONSE as of today.

    This VA is clamping down BIG TIME on this one.

    Bottom line: I think ‘Ladybug’ is either a paid VA disinformation-goon, or an innocent pawn of the VA disinformation apparatchik. (I lean toward the former explanation).

    1. Although your tag is anonymous, I would believe your details much more than anything from Lady bug.

      He/She/it sounds very rabid in defending the perfection of that VA. So much so I would expect a rainbow over the doors and dancing unicorns on the lawn.

      He/She/it has a vested interest in claiming, “nothing to see here, move along.”

      1. 91, ladybug changed his name to anonymous. VA employee. We have seen it on here before. That’s a VA employee for you, will do anything and grasping at straws because they know they have to get their kicks now, Because they know the ship is sinking and they want to do as much damage as they can, before being fired.

        This person is mad, because after the 20th, they wont be able to play Hungry Hippos any more.

    2. Anonymous Person, “paltry few (management) are veterans”. Keep in mind most veterans from current war wear combat ribbons, even returning medical staff. Many come back to injured or distressed to be able to serve veterans and are far fewer in number because of contactor logistics that used to be done in house military. Vietnam veterans, who were medical staff, like myself are now of the retirement age. At 75 I’m one of the older Vietnam vets by 15 years.

      This may be part of the problem. Not enough employees, especially managers who can’t get into the top 5 at someplace like Health Net, Inc., the Choice Contractor and earn over 2.5 Million per year; who have an interest in going beyond just having a secure job having been fired from private medical centers where you can be fired easily for incompetence or abuse.

  2. James Im more than positive that Ben is capable of speaking for himself. Maybe you should stop trying to speak for him? Basically I don’t give two shits what you think or have to say.

    Vet, I’m done you just want yo argue…. You’re gonna twist what I post no matter what it is because it’s not what you want to hear. One would think that the federal and city police would have a good handle on if there were witnesses or not since they’re the ones who found him and were first on scene. That is where people are getting their info from genius. Good grief.

    Around here something like this wouldn’t have stayed hidden had there been witnesses, the media would have been all over that. See this is where actually being from the location comes in handy so you actually know the mentality if the people here.

    1. two employees were witnesses, and did speak out about it. Those are facts, you want to leave out. By the way what’s you job at the VA or are you one of those that want to belittle veterans and hide. What’s your real name or are you that 400 pounder trump keeps talking about.

      We know your a VA employee, by the crap coming out of your mouth. Yes Ben can defend himself, But Ben knows better than to waste his time on you. Now us other veterans have all the time in the world to give you everything you need to know. If you want we could type slower, so you can understand !

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  4. Additionally, the media was originally reporting that he was dishonorably discharged and that’s what I was going g off of. You being a jackass about it I stead of just saying no they changed was immature of you but then again after your other posts it’s to be expected. Grow the hell up and stop acting like a child on here who didn’t get their way.

    1. Again, you should try educating yourself. You would have less anger from being shown to be foolish.

      Remember, it’s better to be silent and thought a fool, than to open ones mouth and remove all doubt.

      1. So because I didn’t go back through and recheck I’m the cool? That’s beyond funny coming from the idiot who’s whole opinion on the situation is based on minimal info, assumptions and speculation. Get over yourself and come to grips with that in reality you don’t know shit about what went on here except the vague info in this article which BTW most of it is bogus but if you’d rather base your crap on that then so be it. Considering you want to accuse anyone who counters you of working for the VA I’m not surprised… Such foolishness. Ignorance is bliss I guess.

  5. There you go again making dumbass accusations about peoples status. Clueless fucking idiot is all you are. The one full of shit is you dumbass because I don’t work for the VA ya dickwad. Go screw yourself and the high horse your stupid ass rode in on.

    Any valid opinions you have go out the window because you automatically attack people for both damn reasonnoyger than their opinions, veies and experience is different than yours. Good rinse to your soory ass

      1. Says, the asshat who has attacked numerous people for not agreeing with him? Angry? No , not even close dude because you’re not worth the effort. I’m just not going to sit here and take your high and mighty bullshit especially since you have no clue wtf is going on at this VA. The info provided isn’t even what happened and I know that for fact so I’m done here because again you’re basing your rants on speculation and assumptions instead of facts which is funny in fact hilarious considering you’re telling me to get my facts straight. Seems you need to take your own damn advice.

        Here’s some facts for you not that you’ll listen because facts only seem to matter when they’re what you want to hear but anyways.

        Fact. There where no multiple witnesses.

        Fact. The supposed sources info doesn’t match up with the info being given by 99% of the rest of the staff. Before you go there no I don’t work there but I know about 100 plus people that do including people in the federal police force. None of the info provided in this article matches what they all say happened. Not a single person has come forward and told anyone that they witnessed it and there is no witnesses that have gone to the media. Had there been trust me around here they would have run to the media by now and kept going til they were on the news. It’s happened more times than I can count.

        Fact. Federal police are ones who found him after reports of shots being fired on the grounds.

        Fact. At the time when this went on the main doors are locked and the only traffic in that area is outgoing and it’s extremely limited. Like maybe one person every 2 hours. Everyone including VA personnel use the emergency room doors or staff doors at this hour. The parking lot where this happened would have been pretty much empty.

        Fact . The local police are involved and they weren’t even sure the guy was a vet until 24 hours after it happened. The local OMI is handling the ID and notification of NOK not the VA. The VA is simply assisting them.

        Fact. Since local pd was involved the media was immediately made aware that there had been a shooting and CHOOSE to not report on it at all. The VA had little to no bearing on it. There have been other instances before where they have asked for privacy for the family and the media has run with a story anyways. They didn’t run it because they shy away from things about suicide not because the VA asked them too.

        Fact. EAP and the listing of it in the email sent out by the public relations is standard in a situation like this. It doesn’t indicate that any VA personnel where there or were activity involved.

        Fact. Had someone been out there I’m positive they would have done everything they could to try and stop him. Contrary to what you think you know about this VA there is staff here that gives a shit.

      2. The only fact that is clear to this point is that you are projecting your own emotions and actions onto me and others commenting here. If you re-read your accusations of anger issues, lack of facts and name-calling, you would find you epitomize that.

        It is interesting for someone who claims not to work there that you have so much detail on their operations.

        Finally, if the VA would have released a statement on this or additional statements on this, the VA would look less pathetic in their “concern” for veterans.

        Fact. You really are quite emotional in your overreactions for being a pedestrian.

      3. Some questions for you if you can leave the overreaction out of your answer:

        How can 99% of the staff give info if there are no witnesses? Are they just making shit up? Or are they trying to establish something by claiming knowledge? Perhaps through EAP?

        How is it a VA hospital with staff that gives a shit can turn a veteran away after requesting care? Particularly a hospital with a long history of veterans dying while waiting on care so concerned staff can collect bonuses?

      4. @Ladybug, you are confusing “facts” with “assertions” or “allegations.”

        These are not the same. You have received numerous assertions (not facts) from VA employees that are not public and I suspect no one you spoke with is willing to go on the record with their name and title to dispell any possible misunderstandings. Your level of devotion for that 1-star facility is curious.

        Like you, I have also received assertions from VA employees who will not go on the record. My sources asserted to me all witnesses familiar with the sequence of events that day have been threatened and will not go public because employee retaliation at the facility is rampant.

        You assert the local press “shy away from” reporting on suicide. Untrue. Immediately following the suicide, they reported on a famous person who committed suicide.

        Further, the Albuquerque Journal and KOB-Albuquerque want to report on it but VA is withholding the name of the deceased veteran.

        Soon, the story will no longer be timely and press scrutiny will disappear. VA is aware of this pattern and practice of the press, which explains why they are withholding the information at this point.

        Now, one fact that is not in dispute here is that the facility decreased in quality scores from a 2-star to a 1-star rating by VA in the past year. That is a fact your buddies should feel free to explain here. How did their quality score go down?

        Another fact is that VA is withholding the identity of the deceased veteran to protect HIS privacy. That is interesting, and given the nature of his suicide, I would suspect he would disagree with VA’s position.

        Another fact is that the Assistant Secretary of VA Public Affairs jumped on here and was critical of reporting on the subject. Numerous policies / journal articles from within VA and DOD actively discourage reporting the news when it relates to suicide because they assert it will increase copycat suicides and therefore, the public should not be informed of it as news.

        This is where things get into the realm of “slippery slope” for me. Since when do we, as Americans, trust our federal government to inform us of what is and is not newsworthy? Numerous veteran suicides are precipitated by VA refusing or failing to treat the mental health crisis while letting those same veterans walk out of the facility despite being a risk to themselves (see Phoenix VA scandal, Brandon Coleman). These are facts.

        Further, did not this same agency get sued by Veterans For Common Sense for withholding timely treatments for veterans to help curb suicide? Literally one decade later, VA is still failing its veterans. We still have 20 suicides per day, according to the same agency charged with caring for veterans. These are also facts.

        But I am glad your buddies inside the system (those 100 employee buds of yours) wave their magic wands telling you there is nothing to see here and you believe them.

        “These are not the suicides you are looking for.”

      5. Thanks Ben. This area is way worse now than when I first sought mental health care in 1983. Having considered a similar suicide I would vote against it in favor or a Fort Lauderdale approach. No cover up there. No problem of notifying the NOK.

        And since when do you need NOK permission to report a shooting? Nice to have considered the NOK but in this case the protection is for the physician. In the Fort Lauderdale case someone should sue on behalf of the family in a Federal Tort Case. Perhaps a few lost lawsuits will loosen the purse strings in Congress. Maybe the entitlement of veterans to care and compensation would take on the intent of Section (4) d of the 14th.

      6. I am saddened by the Loss of my 1st cousin, A marine. This veteran served in Vietnam and suffered from PTSD, I tried to talk him into placing a claim so he could receive treatment. He told me he was afraid of the VA. He stated he was afraid they would try and get him to tell them everything he did while in Vietnam.

        He was part of the Veterans that was sent into Cambodia and was so afraid that the VA would try and bring that out and he would be reported as committing war crimes, as everyone was told that we never had any troops in that country. He knew that the VA would ask all kinds of questions and he heard that they will try and blame the veteran, Just like they try to blame veterans that apply for disability, that his PTSD was related to his childhood.

        Its a dirty shame that veterans that were sent into a hostile environment in secret, to kill the enemy where they were hiding and then told, you cant say anything about it or you will get into trouble. We all know that our fellow veterans are sent into places and no one else knows and told not to tell.

        I’m really going to miss him, he was a shut in and suffered from severe PTSD and was afraid to ask for help and was afraid of the VA reporting him for possible War crimes. He would not even tell me about what he went through and we were as close as brothers.

        Lost his wife and lived alone for years. All that he heard about the VA, he was afraid to file a claim. Just as well, he would have really been hurt, knowing what he went through and then the VA deny his claim. He would have been like the other 90% of veterans who would not refile. So he self medicated that I’m sure caused his death, second to a Broken heart.

        I hope all his Daemon’s, have left him and he’s finely in peace. So how many Veterans has the record of the VA scared away.

        So, Lady Bug kiss my royal @#$#@, your mission has been accomplished.

      7. Thanks, I just hope Mr. Trump will stop the VA making Veterans feel like criminals afraid of asking for help. and a lot of other things they are doing to our fellow veterans.

      8. A similar veteran was in a PTSD therapy group I was in in the 1980s. Think of being told to leave your dog tags behind and no rescue was going to be available. And if you got into a fire fight you wouldn’t be able to bring prisoners out.

    1. Ben don’t have time for your small talk, You sound like someone from the VA, trying to get him mad and say something you can try and use against him, at a later date. Classic, VA move. remember Bens like Farmers insurance company, He’s seen it all.

      Crawl back under your rock, before a house falls on you.

      1. Conspiracy to cover up or assist in a death, is against the law and I hope you get to visit Mrs. Bubba in Jail. Since you know so much about it and want to keep it quit. By the way were you on duty while attacking Ben.

  6. I’m not one bit confused cupcake… Now it’s you that it’s reading. Someone accused Mr of being someone else I was addressing that accusation. When I posted in was responding to you and one other person since then several other posts have appeared that weren’t there yet probably because they were posting at the same time. What’s wrong truth hurt? You have no facts, have no clue as to wtf was going on with this persons life, why he did it or if he was getting care. You’re going off nothing but speculation and assumptions. Period end of conversation . Sadly, yes this tragically does happen way, way more than it ever should and the system is broken but to blindly assume that everyone who works there is bad or that he wasn’t getting/ was denied care is stupid of you. There are cases of those in care who commit this action, getting care good care is not always a sure fire deterrent for this. The MEDIA CHOOSE not to run it, no one forced them to keep quiet. There was no blackout caused by the VA, the media made an active choice as they’ve done many times before and instead of dealing with them you’re blaming the VA. As for the Florida shooter, he was dishonably discharged so he wouldn’t have gotten care at the VA. Not only that but he was national guard and they see private docs not military ones unless on active duty which he wasn’t according to reports so blaming them for his mess is just ridiculous. Try again cupcake

    1. Look, either educate yourself on the facts or take your misinformation somewhere that it might be believed like VAntage Point.

      Witnesses said the veteran in Phoenix sought care and was turned away.

      The shooter in Florida was discharged under a General discharge which is quite different than a Dishonorable discharge.

      He had an active duty tour in Iraq, and as such, he would have qualified for the VA.

      God help any veterans listening to you because you are so full of bullshit and misinformation…like MANY VA employees who pull answers out of their ass without regard to facts.

    2. You do realize if a National Guard unit or Reserve unit is activated for a tour in a combat zone, they are essentially like any other active duty military unit regarding pay, benefits and UCMJ to name a few?
      Those units usually have to be activated for a specific amount of time to qualify,.

      His tour was 10 months.

      1. “Minimum Duty Requirements

        Most Veterans who enlisted after September 7, 1980, or entered active duty after October 16, 1981, must have served 24 continuous months or the full period for which they were called to active duty in order to be eligible. This minimum duty requirement may not apply to Veterans who were discharged for a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, for a hardship or “early out,” or those who served prior to September 7, 1980. Since there are a number of other exceptions to the minimum duty requirements, VA encourages all Veterans to apply so that we may determine their enrollment eligibility.”

        From the VA website. I’d link it but it then gets delayed for “monitoring”.

      2. I don’t disagree with the minimum duty requirements issue, my point is if a member of the military, active, national guard, reserve, is injured or incurs an illness while on active duty, particularly deployed in a combat zone, it doesn’t matter if that military member was in-country for 3 days or 3 months or 3 years. Their injury was incurred in the line of duty, and they are authorized care for that condition.

      3. Covered in the post I just made. SC conditions rated at 10% or more. If deployment is for 3 days that is enough even if you are on a Air National Guard delivery plane for one trip. But if deployed for 24 months or less and you leave for humanitarian reasons you are not covered.

        Google Veteran Health Benefits eligibility.

      4. Before 1980 if you spent 90 days in Boot Camp and were released for any reason on a General under Honorable Conditions you are a veteran even if in the 1970s you failed a urine test.

  7. I did read the original post dude you said the post above which indicates additional posts and those I might have missed. The only one raging is you I’m perfectly calm. I’m not the one going around arguing, calling names and flinging accusations atb everyone and anyone who won’t agree with them.

    I gave the info on EAP because Ben asks for it in his post. Funny that you complain that I didn’t read the post when it obviously escaped your attention that I was giving him info he ASKED FOR in said post. What an idiot. Please go find someone else to go bitch at as I have things to do unlike you obviously

    1. Wow are you confused. In fact you exhibit the arrogant attitude shown by many incompetent, lazy VA employees.

      Keep trying cupcake.

      1. “””Malum In Se”” I Se””” just listen to these “”Double Agents Provocateurs””…y’all know who they are so stop acknowledging their comments. It’s their manner of getting vet’s to argue/say things to express an idea for them to create a dialog on this blog. See them for what they are!!! Veterans please stay focus don’t fall for these Provocateurs game plan.””Malum In Se””

  8. Some final info on EAP since you all think it’s this big deal.. It’s not immediate care and it’s available for all federal employees all the time. In the case of the VA it’s there to avoid a conflict of interest. Just like if you work at a civilian hospital they have outside providers for their staff to avoid conflicts. It’s not some big conspiracy. Wow at the ignorance of not only the author but the majority of the people here.

    1. In your raging attempt to defend how bad the VA is, you totally missed the point of Ben’s comment on the EAP.

      But then, what should I expect of someone referring to commenters, and now the author, as ignorant, when she prefers to remain ignorant and refuses to read an additional post when pointed out to her.

  9. I didn’t read every single post as I have a life. I didn’t see Ben’s post that you are so ignorantly assuming I read and I’m not only responding to but defending the actions he us describing. It couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m not even going to bother to try and find the post as it’s beside the point.

    I never said anyone was butthurt but if the show fits… You seem to have some serious anger issues as you feel the need to attack anyone who disagrees with you or tries to say a different view than you. I’m done arguing with your stupid ass as it’s a waste of my time. I know for fact that notifications can take longer because I’ve experienced it first hand. I also know for fact that I wasn’t defending anything. I also know for fact that this is the first time I’ve ever posted here so your stupidity of I’ve changed my name is just idiotic and more dunbass assumptions on your part. That seems to be all you have dumbass assumptions. I stand by that if this had happened anywhere else we wouldn’t be hearing a peep out of you.

    1. Not sure who you are responding to, but I never said anything about you changing your name.

      I find it interesting though that you are so upset over this, you resort to much of exactly what you accuse veterans commenting here of.
      Commenting without facts. Calling names. Anger issues.

      And when called out on your assertions, you resort to more of the same.

      If you can’t even be bothered to find the other very recent post and educate yourself, why come here and smear others who have?

    2. Yes, there are several veterans here that have serious anger issues. Which works better when all other hope is gone? Turn it in, walk out the door to your car and get your gun; go back to the front door and blow your brains out? Cover up and wasted effort? Or go berserk at an airport and take some lives–innocent lives unless you count unwillingness to hold the VA accountable for the nuts that go berserk not getting the care — even lock up when the ask for it and feel the need?

      The latter. I considered doing it in front of a newspaper office with my complaint and a CD copy of my file showing the misstatements of my medical history that caused me to live in poverty for the last 40 years while pointing out the only 2 accurate recordings in 40 years of seeing VA clinicians. I nearly went berserk once and thought requesting the lock up was the thing to do or blow my own brains out if I didn’t get it. But now I think Fort Lauderdale action more often is the right choice. No one pays attention to the Veteran Suicides from inordinate care. And for the VA that is just one more cost eliminated.

  10. It’s pathetic how so many of you forget that the majority if the employees that you’re slamming are veterans.

    A notification can take longer than 48 hours and just because he decided sadly that this was his only option doesn’t mean that he wasn’t getting care.

    1. No. What’s pathetic is you defending the VAs actions in this. Or at all. If you bothered to read a few posts here you might realize the comments here are justified.

      It doesn’t matter whether some VA employees are veterans if they stand by and watch what happens at the VA. They defile their own service by doing so.
      I have seen several employees that were veterans, simply meaning they wore a uniform at one time, seriously shit on other veterans.

      Should we just stand by and accept that?

      1. No, but to slam everyone who works there because of a few is like slamming all soldiers because a few screwed up. Would you stand for that? I doubt it. Also, I didn’t defend anything g they did I stated that a notification can take longer than 48 hours and that those who are not getting care aren’t the only ones who take this action. This veteran obviously felt he had no other option but we do not know what was going on in his life. For all you know he could have been getting good daily care and just felt he couldn’t do it anymore. You and others are making assumptions about what happened and calling those who won’t names which is beyond childish of you. The thing of accusing anyone who doesn’t agree with you or that says they’ve gotten good care which does happen BTW of working for the VA is also stupid but to each their own I guess. Some of us will base our opinions on actual facts not assumptions and speculation. Had this happened anywhere else in the city 99% of you wouldn’t have even fucking blinked so quit with the oh we care dramatics because in reality it’s just bullshit.

      2. Yes, you are defending the inaction of the VA.
        You sanctimoniously claim you are waiting for the facts and berate those commenting here as commenting without them, and that notification could take longer than 48 hours.
        If you read Ben’s post about IDIOCITY in the VA, you would know witnesses (likely including insiders) report he “frantically sought care” in the mental health clinic on Dec. 22nd and was turned away.

        Go on. Keep defending that.
        Defend insiders blowing the whistle anonymously because the bastards in the VA would retaliate in a heart beat.

        Obviously those whistle blowers believe something wrong happened, yet you defend it.

        Hell even the VA had reported veterans have a tougher time around the holidays, yet they turn this guy away anyway, and now, as of January 8th, they still have not released any statement on what happened, yet, like you, their PR hacks have emailed Ben to berate him for reporting anything.

        It sure as hell looks to me as if its the VA that is not even fucking blinking in the face of another veteran suicide after they ONCE AGAIN turn a veteran desperate for care.

        Your attitude in defending the VAs actions in this is something many veterans have become familiar with whether only going to the VA for 4 months or 40 years.

        Yet it’s our fault for commenting on it.

        If your butthurt is over these comments, perhaps the VA should attempt to clean up their act.

      3. One other thought for you to consider while you are defending the VA there Lady bug…

        This veteran and many others (20-22 per day) committed suicide.

        This veteran after being refused mental health care. Another 76 year old veteran after he was refused care. Charles Ingram after he couldn’t get care. A veteran in Tomah tried by jumping out a window.
        Several of these have a theme Lady bug…all at a VA facility after being denied care.
        After McDonald and others claim to have spent millions on improving access to mental health care, including their grab-ass crisis line that may or may not end up with the caller speaking to someone in India.
        Including McDonald touting for months that a new backup phone center was being created.

        If you cared to read anything other than how great the VA is doing, you would see this problem continues.

        You would also read that the shooter in Florida was a veteran of Iraq, who sought mental health treatment and had gotten some kind of treatment at some point since returningluvesrding to his brother.

        The media has been very careful about not including any information about where he sought treatment, where he may have been treated, or whether he may have been turned away from treatment.
        They have been quick to identify him as a veteran, but are rather short on other details since it might reflect on how poorly Obama’s VA actually performs.

        News reports suggest his Iraq tour was in 2010 when he was 18. Its 2017. Other reports quoting his brother said he witnessed 2 friends being blown up there.

        How long did he try seeking treatment?
        Did the VA turn him away too?
        Did they turn him away because some uncaring VA bureaucrat looked at his discharge, saw he was given a General discharge from the Alaska National Guard, ignored his honorable service in Iraq and flat out told him he did not qualify for care, ignored their duty to assist,and told him if they bothered them again they would have the VA police arrest him and escorted off the premises?

        Clearly not all veterans who have mental health problems from what they witnessed will commit suicide or shoot up an airport killing 5 innocent civilians. Thousands have sought treatment, may or may not have gotten it, and lived their lives as best they can.

        How many times should either situation be repeated before the VA starts caring about the quality of care veterans receive as much as they care about comments on a blog post?

      4. The Veterans that are employees, should have nothing to worry about if they were are on the up and up !
        We want veterans caring for veterans, But if they are, were, part of the problem then a new veterans should be hired.

        Employees that have not harmed any Veteran should not have to worry. We want employees that would do anything to help veterans and when they see something wrong report it, no cover it up. Its easier to do things right the first time and that would eliminate any problems in the future.

        So that’s my thought, If you have not done anything wrong, then you have nothing to worry about !

        You sound just like someone else that comes on here and I have a funny feeling you just changed your name on here ! You maybe trying to get Bens Goat and say something you can try and use against him, I think Ben is way smarter than that, that’s a VA employee Tactic. It may have worked on McDonald and the VA was able to make him Null and void.

        Any Employee who has not harmed any veteran, Has nothing to worry about what’s coming down the road !

    2. You might as well give it up. Some here don’t know the meaning of common sense nor the idea of “jumping to conclusions without all the facts.”

      They are just going to keep laying into you regardless of the facts, regardless of what their actions have on anyone or anything. I had not intended on replying again in this thread but something just happened that pisses me off to no end.. and it is DIRECTLY DUE TO assholes like we have in this thread that feel it necessary to take down the entire system instead of trying to deal with the parts that are broken to make it better. I will comment on what just happened farther down in this comment.

      Like you, I too got jumped on for saying people should wait for ALL the facts before passing off complete, total and biased judgement.

      And of course, the notion that we disabled Veterans are in no way responsible for our own actions is what we are supposed to rally around here is patently absurd.

      I especially like the one of the most recent posts that tries to use the lack of V/A care as the reason a doushbag piece of shit just shot up an airport. He was a coward. PERIOD. Blaming it on PTSD or some other issue, is pure plain excuse. There is no excuse. He CHOSE to fly, pull out a weapon, LOAD IT and fire it. He CHOSE to shoot at civilians and do what he did. Some of you want to keep using PTSD as the one and only excuse and the fact the V/A has had major problems in dealing with it. Some of you refuse to accept that it is ALSO A CHOICE made by the individual and ultimately THAT PERSONS RESPONSIBILITY for that choice, not the V/A.

      Just like others CHOOSE to do what they do. And while the V/A has dropped the ball on many of us in many ways, casting blame 100% across the board does NOT help fix the problem. It makes it worse because those that HAVE been doing good and trying to do good LEAVE the V/A and go elsewhere..

      OH and btw, if I sound even more pissed, I am because one of my points was just proven.. MY doctor, just resigned. Why? Because of the bullshit he is getting, the backlash from many Veterans who have no real idea of what is going on but just blame everyone and everything for their problems. He is tired of it so he left and went back into retirement.

      He had come OUT OF retirement to volunteer and work as a doctor, a REAL certified doctor at one of our local V/A’s. Thanks to all the bullshit just like we see in this thread, he has decided enough is enough.

      So apparently some of you have succeeded the your ‘anger’ issues are being heard… problem is they are being directed and heard by the WRONG people at the V/A… the ones that DO care and actually treat us.

      1. At no point did I say the Florida shooter took his actions as he did due to PTSD, not did I say he got treatment at the VA. I stated he sought mental health care, partially received it, then asked questions about its consistency and whether any care MAY or MAY NOT have been at the VA.

        My point in commenting about him in relation to the others I mentioned was that all sought mental health care, with 4 known to have been turned away from the VA, and unknown about the shooter.

        You and others keep commenting about the VA looking bad as a whole, while refusing to look at this issue as a whole and recognizing these incidents happened at several VA facilities. This is a bigger problem than one or two bad employees.

        That sounds exactly like the worthless VSOs who might publicly lament some VA problems, typically tied to a request for more funding, while blindly ignoring many other very serious problems that are never addressed.

        VA defenders sound exactly like some domestic violence victims. “I know he loves me, and it was my fault he beat me and he won’t do it again.”

        Unless those problems are addressed, no amount of defending and looking the other way will fix those problems.

        I am encouraged by VA employees who are blowing the whistle, but seriously discouraged at the same time when I see they are retaliated against, smeared and have their lives ruined, and nothing whatsoever happens to those doing the retaliation. That tells me VA management has no interest in resolving many problems when they are so willing to ignore violations of federal law.

      2. Jake, let me guess. You are obviously disabled and when you roll in you get preferred treatment. Others will more serious but not so obvious issues or conditions are left lagging and get angry. And their conditions and anger is poof awed. And they get angrier.

        And of course you are the judge, the physician of physicians, that knows perfectly that everything you say about those who have anger, from what ever source, maybe stenosis that is causing sever pain that isn’t being taken care of or a real mental health issue like the man who took a gun to Fort Lauderdale or the one who blew his brains out on the VA’s door step don’t have “treatment issues”. You know better. We have no valid complaints.

      3. Lem,

        Yes, what you said is true in some ways… especially about some with anger issues. My point is dumping on the V/A as a whole is not helping anything and is making things worse especially for those good ones that DO try in a system that is broken in more ways that one.

        Personally, I am surprised that none of us and especially none of our advocate groups have stood up and put together a Veteran march nationwide.. Something where every veteran locally stand ups and shows up at their local V/A in protest across the nation.. Hell camp out on the lawn over night even…

        THAT would do a hell of a lot more to get things done than those who just sit back and bitch but take no actual action.

        If you scroll up a ways, I told my story of hell. I am thankfully past it now but I went through the same thing many here have. Instead blaming others, I got angry and fought back. I went there and raised my voice loudly, I hand carried documents until they got sick of seeing me. And I made it clear I was not stopping until my claims were completed. It STILL took years. But at least I was doing something, not just sitting around complaining.

        And as for personal responsibility and choice. I never stated nor pretended nor acted like I am a medical pro of any kind. BUT I am an intelligent person with common sense. And I do not for a minute believe that people “lose” control of their actions unless under the influence of LSD or some hard narcotic that is known to alter actual brain function.

        There are people that are just plain evil and they do things that are just that.. evil. We see it every day. BUT those people still CHOOSE to do what they do. No one forces them, no one convinces them.

        And while we all know the impact of depression and many of us know the impact of PTSD, I personally still believe that it is a persons choice to do what they do. While some people deal better and others worse, it is still a choice. And in crisis there are more places to turn than just the V/A. Using the V/A as a all around scapegoat is not fair because there are other choices. If the V/A were the ONLY option, if it were not just a benefit but a MANDATORY requirement for our care, then yes, they would be fully to blame. But that is not the case. Nothing stops anyone from seeking help elsewhere. And while we may not be able to pay the bill, no hospital is going to turn someone out that is suicidal or in crisis.

        We know the V/A HAS done so, that is now a proven issue and fact. Part of the problem comes back to something I said quite a few posts earlier…

        It is getting harder and harder for the V/A to tell those in true need vs those who are not. Every one of us knows about the morons that show up at the V/A trying to get drugs any way they possibly can. They show up in the emergency room time and again faking injuries and ailments just to get a fix.

        Every time I have gone to the ER or urgent care, I see one or two of these guys there… and the attitude comes out of the nurses and doctors clearly because they end up taking it out on the legit ones needing help.

        The V/A is partially at fault for that situation too, the handing out of pain meds like candy now is biting all of us in the ass big time… even more so for those of us that actually do need them. I have been on them since my medical retirement for years now. And I maintain control of what I use and take. Personally I have never understood those that just pop them like candy, but that is me. I don’t use them to take away my pain.. I use them to dull it to a tolerable level. I would have to be doped up completely to take away the pain.. I am not willing to live like that and if I am not willing to deal with some pain then I might as well give up on everything. I keep strict control over what I take.. Apparently many do not and so due to that and the V/A in the past handing them out like candy, now they have another side effect to deal with and that is not being able to tell who is there legit compared to who is there just for a fix.

      4. I think I finally got a good BVA judge. But it has been a long time coming because of refusal to provide “radiographic films” (before we could get them on a CD) and EEG tracings from prior to 1992. More than 20 years because of a bogus study on temporal lobe seizures that changed diagnosis of “sharp waves” (especially with history of epileptiform spikes) to “pseudo seizures” AKA psychogenic seizures. Done for the VA by Yale University Medical School in trade for access to VA telemetry units for status epileptic and Parkinson’s surgical studies in the 1980s and 1990s. Wasn’t corrected until an Oxford study in 2012 and still hasn’t been edited out of some neurology text books.

  11. Well at least you admit the VA did you wrong and yes us people with PTSD and TBI that the VA refused to care for, know exactly what it means. you know forty years is a long time to go without treatment and finding myself on the street and ending up in Jail for self medication (Alcohol) was not fun.

    Yes you have your opinion, ? is have you ever been wrong ! When I know I’m wrong I have no problem telling someone I am sorry, but when I am right, I am right. I have learned long ago to write everything down, when it happens.

    You know the VA claimed I would come into the clinic at least twice a month, Don’t know how many months this happened because the employee who reported me as being disruptive DID NOT write anywhere, when where and how or who was involved. I was punished by the VA and I did request any and all (EVIDENCE) they used to punish me.

    VA’s response : ” well we have no EVIDENCE but those were the facts. You like facts and proof don’t you.

    Well I am proof that Evidence is not needed, do you know why they did not have any evidence, because none of it ever happened and I have written proof, where the VA even told a senators office, that they never punished me, nor did they code my official records as being disruptive, nor did they Red flag my records !

    They did tell the truth about one think they never investigated or required any proof from the employee, you like facts and so do I and their facts were Hearsay and that is not Facts.

    Please read other veterans stories they may enlighten you, probably wont change your mind because all we like to do is Bitch. Again some people can’t handle the truth, its easier to believe a lie.

    Thank you for your service

    Have some faith in your fellow veterans, we all cant be liars. You know you can start your own site and call it FOR Veterans that don’t want to Bitch, the VA is a miracle for every veteran and they would never hurt you. You would be very lonely waiting for someone to reply.

    1. I could be wrong, never alluded to not being.. but I could also be right. And until facts are actually presented, we won’t know..

      Which is the entire point I am making to those blaming everything and everyone out of the gate.

      And while I agree not all are liars or cheats, we all know there are many.

      I think for me, that was realized in the V/A emergency room one night where I waited for 6 hours for treatment.. Part of it due to the staff itself sitting around jaw jacking. (Which I DID file an official report on AND of which, surprisingly, changes at that branch actually happened that made things better for all of us)

      In fact, that occurred at the Madison, WI V/A.

      BUT it was not just the staff that caused that wait.

      Two other Veterans were before me even though I was sitting there with an obvious emergency everyone could see.

      The first veteran I have no idea what the issue was. So perhaps it was heart or something that placed him even more critical than me.

      But the second? That is the day I realized what was going on. His so called “disability”?

      Being made to shave his face during the 1.5 years he served before being discharged and claiming 100% disability due to the trauma of being forced to shave.

      I found out because one of the nurses there was also a disabled Veteran and when I WAS finally seen, she was beside herself angry and let it all spill out… Of course I kept that to myself because we all know what would have happened to that one nurse that actually gave a shit.

      She tried to apologize to me even and I told her, not happening.. SHE is the type of person I am standing up for here. And there are many others. BUT as I have been saying, they are stuck in a system that is controlled by the president, congress and senate.. they don’t care and the majority of Americans do not care. And until they do, nothing will change.

      1. There is only one fact that is important. The VA is trying to avoid copy cats by those who are in the same state of anosognosia, and depression that is organic or a functional result of anosognosia.

      2. What you fail to see that in addition to those you mention that are at fault for the VA being in the situation it is, there are many more VA employees down to the director level that need to be fired as well for incompetence, which bleeds down to many other employees in the system because they see what their directors are doing, and getting away with.
        I went to the Madison VA from 1996 until 2011. It was a great hospital for the most part, with many employees actually caring about the care veterans received. It was not unusual to run into many veterans from Illinois that otherwise would go to Hines or Rockford for care, but chose to drive to Madison instead.
        There were still clinics there that were bad, but the Patient Advocates were good, the Chief of Staff responsive, and the director there was also responsive.
        I too have been to several VA hospitals, and every one of them with the exception of Madison should be shut down or a majority of Staff fired. Not surprisingly, they are the same hospitals scoring so low in 2016. Not every VA hospital is like Madison, with many no where near as good.

        The other elephant in the room that you are missing are the AFGE protected slugs at any level that firmly believe there is nothing they can be fired for. That problem has gotten so much worse in the past few years, it is shocking.

        Finally, I find your comments about “real PTSD” to be ignorant. I agree the shaving story is ridiculous, but your suggestion that all PTSD affects every veteran the same as your PTSD affects you is ignorant. That story reminds me of the one time I went to the ER at Madison with a severe reaction to a prescription from the VA. It took some time to be seen because of a drug seeking individual claiming he had suicidal thoughts. His comments to the nurse were clear he simply wanted certain drugs.

        I don’t smear all veterans based on that experience, or even a few. People like him are pretty easily spotted.

        A veteran suffering PTSD from a combat experience will have much different reactions to many things whereas a veteran suffering PTSD from rape will react to different events.

      3. Good post 91. Your experience mirrors mine. I have experienced 12 different VA Health Care units. At least 3 of them should be totally re-staffed. But my over all care with the VA has been better than my civilian care except for the years in Japan as an expat on my wife’s National Health Care Plan. Japan’s Health Care is the Greatest. No wonder they are ranked so far above the U S by WHO.

      4. 91Veteran

        I agree with you mostly although you missed a couple other areas about the Madison VA, one being the pharmacy. That also means you also have seen the changes they made in the ER/Urgent care area between 2007 and 2010 I spoke of HOW they treat patients now in that area.

        As for my comment about ‘real’ PTSD, I was, and should clarify, I am more talking about people like what I spoke about in my comment…

        I am sorry but I do NOT consider being told you are required to shave a PTSD ailment worthy of 100% disability. I have heard of others like this as well. PTSD is not a joke and everyone deals differently. However, for me and in MY opinion, losing control of my actions is not something that I consider realistic.

        Unless there are underlying medical factors on top of that.. depression, other undiagnosed mental illness on top of it, some traumatic event that pushes someone over the edge suddenly.. i.e. some kind of temporary insanity.

        I don’t consider falling off the roof of ones home a service connected injury. I don’t consider a car accident in your private POV service connected unless you are on official travel orders.

        I also don’t consider injuries incurred on vacation, being stupid or things outside actual duty as service connected.. To me service connected means related directly to your service where an item, a person, an object, cause that injury.. even if the injury did not appear right away… because there are some injuries that won’t manifest for years like agent orange and many others.

        So when I speak of that, I am talking about those everyone here has met or knows someone playing that game..

        If it were just a couple here or there, no it would not be that big an issue.. But we now know that is not the case.. It is also my bet part of the reason that the V/A took away the purple triangle….

        There have been quite a few times I have stood in long lines when someone saw I had one of those and I was moved to the front of the line because of it. My first V/A visit I was still active duty and was home for leave after surgery… I had to go to the V/A because of complications so I have been in the system longer than I was actually a discharged Veteran due to that.

        Now, and for years, that has not been the case as we all know. And some of those lines I was in were 50 or more people long when that happened….

        50 people taking slots today has a huge impact on our care… and my understanding was that the V/A’s first and foremost priority and mission was to take care of those of us with service connected injuries.

        Like I said, even right now, I am still waiting for my next jaw surgery and then dental reconstruction. And I have been in that process since 2012 with my last work done in March of this past year…. Why? Because they are short staffed and because now there are a lot of people in line for consults and so forth that suddenly flooded the system… and MOST of them are older than I am..l.E. they did not serve in the last 20 years.

        So even though mine IS service connected, now I have to wait. And some of that is due to what I said above.

        The system is broken.. but it is not entirely the V/A’s fault alone.

      5. I still have my purple triangle card, and have never been able to get a new card because I am always told their machine is broken.

        I also have never been moved to the head of any line because of it.

        My experience with the VA began in late 1991 in OKC. That to this day is still a place that should be completely shut down and start over, and is also why I thought Madison was so great…because it was so different from the crap at OKC.
        I recall appointments there where 30-40 vets were all scheduled for the same day at the same time. They claimed they took vets by when they arrived and checked in. It was not unusual to wait all day to hear your name called, even when checking in at 8am when the crabby clerk showed up. Old vets falling asleep and missing their name being called were rescheduled, as were vets who went to the bathroom or to find something to eat.
        My experience since first going to OKC has been consistently bad, regardless of service connection, with glimmers of bright spots. I am at another VA which has no bright spots whatsoever.

      6. You are describing Cheyenne VA pre crisis. It is different now. And that crabby clerk is gone that showed up an hour late is gone.

      7. Who was the nurse mad at, what did she say ? was she mad at the VA employees or the Veterans ?

        Does the president and congress sit behind a desk at the VA, nope only VA employees. Did congress tell the VA to stop giving out yearly Bonus monies to employees and did the VA employees follow those directions. Nope handed out millions.

        Was it the congress that hit the elderly inpatient and killed him, nope VA employee. Did congress put a veterans dead body in the shower room to rot, nope VA employee. Was it congress that claimed over $400 in moving expenses, nope TWO VA employees, who Pled the 5th in front of the VA committee.

        Who said they were in special forces and was not, Head of the VA McDonald.

        Who covered up the wait list in Phoenix, VA employees

        Who was charged with retaliating against over 300 VA employees, Their Managers. Who had to pay those employees 5 million dollars for retaliating against those employees.

        Sure was not the Veterans. Employees have choices too and should be held accountable for those action. Just like veterans that have a choice to kill themselves (right)

        No employees fired, thousands of veterans punished at VA employee hands, by using the Disruptive committee, congress did not do it, It was VA employees.

  12. And to those jumping all over me about my OPINION….

    Let me be clear.

    I explained very clearly that I have NO affiliation to the V/A other than my care and that I am 100% rated due to seven actual service connected physical injuries that include TBI and PTSD to some extent. However in all honestly, my shattered shoulders, neck and other things are far more debilitating to me.

    I am repeated this little part because I am sick and tired of the few of you trying to push your bullshit about how I must work for the V/A or some assinine excuse like that you use to try and make your argument or in some way think you are insulting me and my OPINION.

    What I AM saying clearly is this:

    1) I am NOT saying the V/A is without fault. What I AM saying is that way too many people here are using it as an excuse to lamb bast everyone and everything about the V/A, which is NOT fair and not true because you do not have a clue what the truth is yet. And to lump it all together just so you can bitch, it wrong. Period.

    I would MUCH prefer to bitch about the FACTS, not conjecture, guesses and so forth… THAT being said…

    2) I am not at all saying people here in this discussion are entitled to better care. WE ALL ARE that have service connected injuries.

    I have repeatedly stated more than once, the V/A is broken. But piling on more and more when we DO NOT HAVE THE FACTS of the situation and when most are just speculating on what happened, is WRONG and only works AGAINST US and our fight to make things better.

    3) Making excuses WHY someone chose to take their life and where they did it is also bullshit. And those who are using the PTSD issue as an excuse should be ashamed. Those of us suffering from it, KNOW what it does to us. Using it as an excuse to blame someone or something else for it is wrong and does not help ANY of us.

    Do you even realize that behind the scenes our own government is USING THAT AGAINST US? Yesterday, in fact – 30 DEC 2016, the Social Security Admin quietly posted new rules and regulations stipulating that PTSD is NOW A REASON TO STRIP PEOPLE FROM HAVING THEIR 2ND AMENDMENT RIGHTS. Now you have to choose.. continued care for a mental illness… or keep your right to bear arms.

    The MORE people blame something else for things that happen, the worse this is going to get unless we stop using everything as an excuse when something bad happens.

    While those of us who know what REAL PTSD does and how it impacts our lives, I personally DO NOT USE IT AS AN EXCUSE. I am still IN CONTROL of my choices, MY ACTIONS. And it is up to me to recognize the difference. Those using PTSD as an excuse are the same as those saying a gun can pick itself up, load itself and go out and kill someone.. and that it was not a HUMANS CHOICE that actually did the deed.

    We have 22 of us that commit suicide EVERY SINGLE DAY. And it is not the solely the V/A’s fault this happens.

    4) I spent from 2007 (when my injuries took me down) to 2012 fighting to even survive myself. And in all honesty, had it not been for my German Shepherd, I probably would not be here because I came that close myself.

    Why? Because at the time the V/A and MY claim were so messed up that I was getting only $974 a month to live on. I could not pay rent. I could not pay the bills. I could not even afford to eat… AND my home, the only place I could find to rent at all for $525 a month, was 75 miles from the nearest city.

    For those years, I went from 175 lbs. to 132 lbs. I was told many times I looked like a skeleton.

    I was lucky to eat a meager meal once every two days, usually a hotdog or two and some soup or ravioli out of a can. Only at the end of the month when I got my $974 did I splurge each month and buy a couple lbs of hamburger and a few boxes of hamburger helper to have a few full meals before the money was gone.

    I had NO car. No telephone. No internet. And eventually, the rent and bills caught up and my problems became even worse.

    God stepped in for me however and the elderly couple I rented the small home from let me slide on rent every few months to catch each time.. And a tally was kept of that all those years.

    When finally my claim was processed years later, the very first thing I did was pay them back in full.

    But the POINT of this is I DID NOT BLAME THE V?A hospitals and doctors that treated and continued to treat me. I BLAMED THE SYSTEM. I blamed the hierarchy at the V/A and I blamed our government, President and Congress.

    Lumping everyone in the system as is being done here without the facts is what I am against. While it may come out that there were V/A employees to blame for this, THEN and only THEN will it be right to demand their heads. No before.

    Even at the V/A’s I have been through, I can tell you of specific V/A employees that I will not let touch me and who should have been removed long ago.

    BUT WE ALL know how the system works right now. And until we get a President, a government, a V/A LEADER and a congress…. until the PEOPLE of this country give a shit, it is NOT going to change.

    Even I have V/A hospitals I will forever REFUSE TO EVER be treated in again. For me, HINES V/A IS one of the biggest shit hole hospitals under the V/A system on the planet. I won’t bore you with my story of what occurred there after major surgery but I will tell you this.

    I tried my best to get some people fired and instead it was buried and the people simply reassigned. Instead of just bitching about it or using it as an excuse, I made a CHOICE. I CHOSE to drive even farther to a different V/A and I chose to continue to try different locations until I found one that seem to care about me.

    Thankfully today, that is not an issue and in fact I do my damndest to even avoid the state of illinois as a whole. But the point is I did not blame every single V/A nor every single person that works in the system. I did not innuedos or take guesses. I did assume everything that has happened to me all these years was the fault of every single V/A or employee. I simply used my ability to change that which I could.

    AND MORE IMPORTANT, I CHOSE TO FIGHT. I chose to NEVER give up, to never let them win. And I made waves.. big ones that in the short term cost me but in the long term finally moved things forward.

    And to this day, I DO NOT blame the V/A nor any of their people for the moment when I nearly broke enough to do or take an action that I could not take back. I did not let my injuries nor PTSD be my excuse to give up. And I NEVER will.

    Today I turn my attention to helping other vets get THROUGH the system when I come across someone that is struggling. I am NOT a rep, I am NOT an employee, I am NOT a counselor nor am I affiliated in any manner with any group.

    What I AM, is a United States Navy Honorably discharged, Service Connected Veteran. I am proud of it and I stand by it. And I will KEEP FIGHTING both for me, for you and for those I have come across once in a while caught in the system.

    But the difference, apparently, between me and you… I recognize who the real enemy is and do not make assumptions on everyone at the V/A because of the problems caused by a few that should be removed and held accountable.

    There IS a difference. And without facts of knowing what the actual situation is, blaming everyone for the the choices people make, is wrong.

    1. I’m surprise that everyone is so shocked at the media downplaying this story. Let’s be realistic, vets and their problems are not front page stories.
      It’s only newsworthy to vets and the families and friends.

    2. Jake, in case you haven’t noticed under the ACA all veterans whether service connected or not come under the VAs responsibility. Even those who have other insurance are covered by the VA with the co pays and billing to their insurance. When you go to any physician or medical care unit you are entitled to the best they have to give if you can pay the bill.

    3. “Do you even realize that behind the scenes our own government is USING THAT AGAINST US? Yesterday, in fact – 30 DEC 2016, the Social Security Admin quietly posted new rules and regulations stipulating that PTSD is NOW A REASON TO STRIP PEOPLE FROM HAVING THEIR 2ND AMENDMENT RIGHTS. Now you have to choose.. continued care for a mental illness… or keep your right to bear arms.”

      What you are referring to is the Veterans Disarmament Act, which began as HR 2640 in 2007 under President Bush. It has been back and forth several times, and yes PTSD was added as a “reason to violate your 2nd Amendment rights” without due process a few years ago. The SSA has been slow to implement the changes, but they have been on the books for a while.

      It is a simple fact that the Veterans Administration is fucked up all the way around. Not speculation. Not a starry-eyed dreamers opinion. Not something most Americans give a seconds worth of thought to. It is FACT.

      There is zero cohesiveness throughout the VA. You cannot (logically speaking) even refer to it as a “system” because no other system in the world could be run this badly and still be allowed to exist.

      As to this particular veterans suicide incident, while we do not know all the details – – – we do know this for certain:

      1. A veteran took his own life at a VA Facility.

      2. One week elapsed – – – and the VA had not as yet contacted the family.

      3. The sum total of the above two facts can only mean the VA Facility in this case is totally incompetent, or stonewalling in order to cover something they do not want made known to the public via local news reporters.

      4. For an organization that purports to “To care for him who shall have borne the battle”, it appears that they are not being very sincere about it. Or very professional. Or very efficient. When a serviceman is killed overseas – – – most notifications are made within 72 hours.

      The VA leadership brings its’ own troubles upon itself. And everyone on this blog has a right to question, and to relate their own experience. I am so grateful (being on an island in the middle of the sea) to know that I am not the only one who has experienced the “wonderful caring” of the Asshats at the VA. And I am grateful for all of these folks sharing their experiences.

      But most of all, I am grateful to Ben for doing what he does best. Uncovering the lies and filth within the VA. Because were it not for Ben – – – a lot of us WOULD be the only one who has experienced the “wonderful caring” of the Asshats at the VA.

      You say folks that comment on this blog are “jumping on the Bandwagon”? I say they are talented (experienced) musicians preparing to perform a Concerto. And the tune they are playing will help to change music forever.

      1. 91 Veteran

        That episode where I was moved to the front of the line was back when you still saw all the signs on the walls about them and the rules.. I had just pulled it out of my wallet when someone else noticed it and said I needed to go up front. Being I was actually still active as well, I was not yet familiar with the system since I was only there due to complications from my surgery at the Naval hospital and was home on leave.

        And the wait times are a problem everywhere. Part of that due to this very discussion.

      2. There not just doing that to our vterens,,,there doing it to ALL HUMANBEINGS in America whom have a chronic medical illness,,,I was body search after I got lost going birding in a new patch of woods visiting my mother in law,,who was sitting in the car,,,alseep,,Soo i did not have anythng on me,,but,a pair of bonuculars and my MEDICINE,,SOO I FOUND A KIDS SOCCER GAME,,ASK A MAN TO PLEASE CALL A COP TO HELP ME GET BACK TO THEE CAR,,,2 SQUADS SHOW UP,,PUT ME UP AGAINST THEIR CAR,AND SEARCH ME,,,NEVER FINDING MY MEDICINE thank god,,i have never ever been search in my life,,ever,,,Soo i told them i was from out of town,,I had gotten turned around,,I just needed to get back to the car where my 89 year old mother law WAS asleep,,,The one female cop wanted to bring my up on elder abuse!!!!! r u kidding me,,,if they had found my medicine,,i would of been arrested for it not being in thee prescription bottle,,,if I had my pistol on me,…. i would of been shot on site,,In wisco,,when i go for a walk in our woods,,I ALWAYS HAVE A SIDE ARM ON ME,,,ALWAYS,,,, being a women,,but because my chronic medical illness is CHRONIC pancreatitis,which requires opiates for pain control,,i would of been arrested,and if I had my side arm w/me i would of been arrested for operating a gun under thee influence,,Sooo if i shoot some sob,,who trys too rape me,,,i will be brought up on charges,,not thee rapist,,,..WTF,,,,Mary

    4. Ladybug, no sense talking objectivity and facts here, as it’s really just a VA hater forum. Anyone who brings caution to blasting the VA is blasted too and accused of being un-American, stupid, a VA Mole or worse. It’s all so predictabl. And don’t ever suggest that veterans are responsible for their own lives.

  13. This is to you Jake, 76 year old veteran Kills himself in VA parking lot (AFTER BEING DENIED TREATMENT) !

    He was reportedly seeking HELP for mental health issues at the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical center, But was Turned Away, an unfortunately (COMMON Experience) plaguing veterans seeking health care in recent years.

    According to the New York Times, (TWO) people connected to the hospital spoke about the incident on the condition of (ANONYMITY). They explained “HE had been FRUSTRATED that he was unable to see an emergency room physician for reasons related to his mental health.

    He went to the E.R. and was “DENIED SERVICE,” one anonymous source said. And then went to his car and shot himself !!!!!

    Staff states “Someone DROPPED the BALL, They should have NOT turned him away” the source said.

    This is what the VA said ” Christopher Goodman, a spokesman for the hospital, Said there “was no indication that he presented to the E.R. prior to the incident,”

    This was 4 months ago, Not enough ! 5 months ago, an Iowa military veteran (SUFFERING) from PTSD and substance abuse Killed himself after (BEING DENIED Treatment), Not enough ! 0ne veteran drove to the Seattle VA with a broken foot was (DENIED ASSISTANCE) walking from his car, ‘He was told to call (911) and was only a few feet away.

    One veteran with a gun, was shot and KILLED by police in Maricopa county Arizona. last year after he was (DENIED) treatment for a mental health disorder EMERGENCY. He called Suicide hotlines for help BUT NEVER received treatment. IS that enough ! NO

    How about defending this: 22 veterans kill themselves per day. in 2014 veterans accounted for (18%) of all suicides. Not enough ?

    Even absent mental health issues like depression and PTSD, veterans are (DYING WAITING) for regular health care, A VA whistleblower (REVELED) last year that 238,000 out of 847,000 veterans died (AFTER) submitting requests for treatment the (NEVER) received !

    Last but no least: In spite of FAILED and Often UNWEILDY EFFORTS to reform veterans health care, The VA systemic Failures Continue to leave veterans feeling IGNORED and ABANDONED by the VERY INSTITUTIONS that still CLAIM to VALUE THEM.

    Now what do you think, do you have a disability of PTSD or TBI, If not you have NO idea what you speaking about. Veterans are dying and you ,make light of it. Glad you did not have my Back !

    There is a problem with people that can’t or won’t see the truth !

    1. I am not going to comment on what my wounds and injuries are. It is none of your business nor anyone else here.

      I stand by what I said. You can bitch all you want.

      You can accept “anonymous sources”, you can ignore or not believe anyone and everyone around when someone tries to explain, “Christopher Goodman, a spokesman for the hospital, Said there “was no indication that he presented to the E.R. prior to the incident,”

      UNTIL you can show me PROOF and factual evidence this was not simply a Veteran who just could not deal anymore and chose that spot to take them-self out knowing it would bring about a LOT of scrutiny, then nothing you say backs up anything you think.

      What is it with so many people that CHOOSE to outright blame without any proof or facts??

      You all remind me of Obama… and his so called idea that Russia hacked us and skewed the election…

      WHERE IS THE FUCKING PROOF of all your allegations?

      Stop throwing bullshit OPINIONS and what you THINK happened because you don’t have a clue. And until we do, just jumping on a bandwagon is bullshit…. and you all know it otherwise MY words would not anger you so.

      1. Evidence, Read it again TWO VA employees spilled the Beans ! what do you want me to bring the employees in front of you. PTSD and TBI are a condition that haunts a veteran, that means they had head trauma due to blunt trauma. Its called a Traumatic event ! In my case a bullet to the head.

        Now if you would like the truth and not from this site, Do a little research. Even with brain damage I can see and read, now you try it.

    2. …..Doesn’t take a “rocket scientists ” to see why all these “comments” say the same dam things!!!! I would like to know how “Disabled” got a copy of the “assistant directors email “?? On another note…watch how many “post” on this issue. The “only” reasons another person won’t agree with vet’s vicissitudes. …”Provocateurs”. Can I ask a general question? ?? Does the. “”ADA/Civil Rights Act Title 42 USC 1981-2001” apply to the V.A. or any other statutory language addressing violations of the U.S. Cont. pursuant to the “Equal Protection Clause /Due Process “. ?? Does “CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT “/Discrimination/ Malfeasance/ etc. Ever come into play against the V.A. As an “Administrative Agency “pursuant to the the “”Administrative Procedures Act””?? We veterans are a “”Protective Classification “”of people under the law…not to mention collective reasoning via a “”Class Action Litigation.. “” what have we to loose???could it get much worse than veterans committing suicide!!????????????. They’ve already put us under the “bus”. The V.A. has known about “””PTSD””‘since ptsd exited…At the end of my day it’s always the same “””MALUM IN SE”” and id appreciate an acknowledgement.

      1. Where is the evidence that vets are a “Protected Class” I took that Internet rumor/folklore years ago with just that issue in regards to employment. We have never been a Federally protected class, nor are we now. We would need to get in line just be last in place to get that status…
        Ain’t gonna happen.

      2. As of March 2015 certain mandatory procedures went into effect pursuant to the “”VIETNAM ERA VETERANS READJUSTMENT ASSISTANCE ACT OF 1974 (VEVRAA). “”Protective CLass “”.

      3. The laws say we are but on the ground you can’t get the employment protections with Federal Contactors or buy a pre owned house with your VA loan in some areas. It is not being treated according to law and regulations that makes many of us angry

      4. Its called the. “”U.S. Federal Courtroom “”… It’s where “”All Veterans “”need to focus!!!! Listen brother vets we “must” trust our “”Federal Judges “”….The U.S. Constitution via a “courtroom forum”with. a “Jury” !!!! Our current U.S. Legislation allows “us”to function as a “”Class Action “”!!!!??? only with “”Effective Representation”” will it ever happen!!!??? To think of some of the most profound legal minds in the country could do it!!!! These “co-opt law firms”currently in place didn’t “use”to have v.a. law jobs!!! The law didn’t allow “attorney’s” in the administrative procedures of the “v.a.”!!! Our ultimate legal case “hasn’t” been decided yet!!! Its still out there waiting for a “Federal Judge “to to set precedent!!!! Malum in se! !

      5. @BigBiz You must be new to the website. I got the email through whistleblower channels like most other reporters get leaks regarding VA. Albuquerque Journal confirmed receiving the same email but their editor, FOR WHATEVER REASON, thought the suicide was a non story and did not initially assign someone to it. Meanwhile, the Journal ran another story about an NFL player who killed himself elsewhere in the country. I thought the media blackout was newsworthy and wrote about it. VA chastised me behind the scenes for writing about their orchestrated blackout, but what else is new?

      6. That “J.D.” be pushing hard at a system. that made it mandatory to get “chastised” ???? Please tell me more? ? Y’all already knew I was “new” on the circuit! !????. So “Big Ben” what’s it really like to get “chastised” by “Big Brother ” the Master him self “(Malum In Se)!!????please share? ? These last few months via your site have been very different for me…as im partially “blind”…plus 60-yrs old disabled vet. Why won’t you “help” me communicate via the “Honorable Judge Steven Reiss,BVA???????? Brother you already know my 42-yrs plus “vicissitudes” with the V.A.!!!?????. I need your help! !!!

      7. Big Biz were you ever hospitalized for malaria? or get your bell rung severely?

        Same question to all the rest of us who are very angry about our care. I am service connected for a TBI. Unconscious for 56 hours in 1969.

        Look up the term “anosognosia”.

      8. Let’s be “very” clear “BIg Biz” has put the dam work in!!!! According to the V.A. I’ve over “””10,000,00″” documented pages in my files!!! 163-U.S. Congressional Inquiries. ; 75-U.S. Senatorial Inquiries. I was around to see alot of “shit” you new veterans don’t nothing about!!! When we didn’t have “legal access ” to the Courts!!!! …Doubt often and change your mind about me!!!! Don’t nobody know my “true” story with “”The V.A.”.Anosognosia!!! Handle your own “inabilities to reason” or make distinctions for/to someone else because my understanding is “crystal clear “.””MALUM IN SE”” .

      9. I’m a few short of your 10,000 pages after sorting out the duplicate pages. Still, with duplicates, the hard copy stack is over 72 inches. As for time and anger you don’t have much on me, Big Biz.

        So I take it your problems are congential. That is not the result of injury or disease. And as I fought my delusions of grander for many years not realizing that because of the head injury I had lost skills. Like the drunk getting ready to get in a car fully deluded thinking he was driving better than ever. Couldn’t understand the dings on his car the next AM. That is my life and it makes me very angry because I can do nothing about it. Those brain cells are gone and there is no replacing them. The delusions continue and feel very real to me and that makes me angrier. Tough shit Big Biz. Deal with it.

      10. Yeah that’s what they told me twenty- five (25) yrs ago!!!! I suffered a “birth defect “(congenital) . But smoke this over “Mr. Commentator “.. I continued to fight!!! Real “G” shit until the V.A. paid me $500.00 for that misdiagnosis and currently to date my claim sits on a federal judges desk!!! True the. “”School of hard knocks”” made me a very aggressive disabled vet and I “deal with it” everyday since “”1974″”. Ain’t nothing “u” can ripple out your mouth I haven’t already “heard/seen” !!! Which “arm you lance your “black ties”€€ on??? See u don’t remember those days within the real “Armed Services “!!! But I’m seriously “glad” u think Im one of those “vet’s” ????. Let me share a little something with you…your argument ain’t with me???. Please just handle “yourself” with dignity while you address me on this cite Because at the end of the day….I don’t know you nor you know me??. If there are any veterans needing to “”really know “” the system Im willing to enlighten them via 42-yrs “”Experience ” in the “”STRUGGLE” “. The hell with all that “fake conversation “. Doubt it will ever
        Represent!! I currently “try” my best to live a “God fearing “life! ! That’s how I fight my battles!!!??? on my knees in prayer! !! Truly sorry if I’ve offended anyone on this blog. On another note Im done with this “internet venting”.

      11. That’s where you are absolutely correct. My argument (anger) is not with you but with the anosognosia developed as a result of a TBI. And your “congenital” defect should have made you 4F it is really congenital. Secondly, if you were accepted and it was aggravated in the service it is now service connected.

        Only the individual with anosognosia can deal with it. No argument will convince the deluded of his delusion. It has to be self discovered and corrected. Gestault therapy can help but even it needs recognition that the problem is organic not the direction of functional or behavioral as most psychiatry is directed. EPTE psychiatric conditions are the only conditions which the VA adjudicators wrongfully deny service aggravation. My kick in the head by a horse (4 hrs of unconsciousness) was aggravated by a MVA 56 hour period of unconsciousness and was easily recognized as aggravated by the service connected injury.

        That is why I as you if there was a condition or incident that you can point to specifically that aggravated your condition. Even if it was just a PTSD incident or a rogue DI. As in the Vet that is 100% because a rogue DI made him shave a beard against his deeply held religious beliefs contrary to regulations.

        I got out the same year you did. 1974. But I entered 1961 and spent the full term of the recognition of being recognized as a “Vietnam War Veteran” in the service. So I’m up to 15 years older than you at 75.

      12. In the “70’s soldiers “killed” each other as well as “Charlie” !!! Yea that’s the U.S. ARMY I know…Oh let me stop!! Conversation just got to real!!! Might hurt somebody’s ear!!!????

  14. All these “Double Agent Provocateurs”…contrary to what these agents think…All veterans aren’t illiterates!!! V.A. Employees are “snitching” because the “reward money “is very real!!!! It’s true millions to these same employees that sat in on the deals that harm vets and misuse taxpayers dollars!!! Vet’s listen any time someone gets on this site and they “side with the evil that caused the harm””….these are the “double agent provocateurs”…trying to infused the readers to either side with them or cease and desist in “true comments ” about the dam V.A./BVA/ Hospitals etc. Know also that if you are a “true veterans ” with at least ten(10) yrs in dealing with the V.A. you are the “victims” of serious “””PTSD””.!!!! I’ve been here 42-plus yrs and the doctors have “certified” me!!! Massive PTSD just for dealing with these sick minded V.A. Administrative infidels!!! That’s right I said “”Infidels”.. And only the Provocateurs feelings are “hurt”!!!! Me personally I can see y’all coming like pigs in “”pink shoes, yellow hats,and red coats “…you double agents Provocateurs. Need to just go establish your own site for “under cover ” opportunities to venture the hell away from “real vet’s ” because believe it or not this ain’t no “”joke””!!! Malum in se!!! One other thing for you “Provocateurs” eat a big “””””!!!!

  15. [another rant – boy wonders’ mccain & graham]

    would be hard to find two guys that are so inept for America, but great at fleecing their pockets & their cronies pockets. that would be Graham & McCain.

    so now all of a sudden “they” want sanctions against Russia after election hacking. they want mo money/troops to protect the sovereignty of some Baltic states and to shore up the cyber security of America.

    good grief boys, show us the proof of Russia hacking. huh mccain?, Grahm? I’m talking turning-the-election-upside-down hacking. can you do that? no, because it didn’t happen that way. are you on Hillary’s side now all of a sudden or what? you two are political insanes, you really are. burns my butt you two are always late to the table and jive your way to helping all these other countries but do nothing of substance for Americans here at home.

    you and your committees have auth’d the same at other countries as far as hacking and manipulating elections. you do know that Israel comes to mind, right?

    you and your boy graham never once shored up America’s sovereignty. you and your boy never once shored up the cyber security of America even AFTER many federal depts had gotten hacked!! how can ANY American take either of you two seriously?

    what did you and your boy graham do to put in any actual fixes at VA to help with care and benefits? you did nothing.

    you and your boy are text book images of the paid off lying politician. i am just so sick and tired of such swamp lowlifes like you selling such lies to the American public and the world with truly helping America’s sovereignty and security right here at home. Are the Baltics protecting our sovereign borders? no and you two aren’t either.

    you two are nothing more than paid lairs and sell outs. as much as i disliked Obama in the WH, thank goodness a liar sellout like you didn’t win the WH. Trump knows who you are. Ask Romney if you think he doesn’t.

    won’t matter what i or anyone else writes or say, people like you have zero conscience and are so connected to your swampaian character it just isn’t going to change at all. that’s why the people with the real power use people like you, you are predictable and easily led astray.

    Mr Trump sure has his work cut out for him along with his ideas/plans for America with such creeps like you two humping the halls of Congress.

    we all know who you are. you ain’t foolin nobody.
    [his rant over for now ]

    [ Glad @Ben blogged this stuff regarding the suicide: ]

    ++honest heartfelt prayers to the veteran and family.++

    >>”But, unlike VA employees or members of the lapdog media, I do not need to wait for VA’s permission to publish what I know when I know it. News is news, especially when VA does not want you to be informed.

    thankful for that

    >>”Here is what VA and the mainstream media is not telling you about this veteran suicide. ”

    and we thought the msm were on the veteran’s side. yeah we rollin, we got it …

    >>”Some of the signs to look for are:”

    imagine that, i get some of those signs when going/leaving VA and have for years …

  16. It is so sad that in some reporting they consider suicides among Veterans as being epidemic in that population. Treating failed suicide attempts on an outpatient basis, no crisis beds in medical centers, all this is a failing system of treatment and this is the result.

    1. Not to mention in some of those cases, as what happened here in Ohio this year, a Veteran called the VA’s Suicide Hotline and the VA Hack on the other end called the police on him, citing he used “concerning language” to justify the Police’s SWAT Team suicide by cop. Yep. You have to even be very careful about what you say on a freaking VA Suicide Hotline because if you do not succeed, the VA will make sure you do. FACT. Rat Bastards. (case was closed/kept hush-hush to date other than the local news blurb on event)

      Oh, I should reiterate that the SWAT Team shot him 7 times in front of his wife and kids at his home. And the VA wonders why Veterans do not trust the damn VA?!!!!!!! Suicide Prevention to the VA is simply making sure it never makes much news. FACT.

  17. Phoenix back in the news. Nothing has changed there. Another 215 Veterans deaths from the “VA’s I Don’t Care — pretend “ICare” System”.

    On October 4, 2016, the Veteran Administration Office of Inspector General (VAOIG) released its latest report on misconduct at the Phoenix VA Medical Center; this report found that the hospital kept open nearly 38,000 specialty appointment consultations and up to 215 more veterans may have died as a result.

    Whistleblower: “Phoenix VA retaliated against me for speaking out”, Michael Volpe, Daily Caller News Foundation, 12/29/2016

    Read more: “”

    Veterans Health Administration Review of Alleged Consult Mismanagement at the Phoenix VA Health Care System
    VAOIG report at: “”

  18. Oh yea so many employees “retired” from the 2010 suicide in Detroit that you’d think “metal detectors” were going to be installed in the hospitals!!! Only other government buildings!!!

  19. All you vet’s that don’t know the “”V.A.(VICISSITUDES AGENT) . It’s truly very sad how another fellow vet’s “suicide” moves the administration to acknowledge via the “Deputy Chief’s letter of sympathy…”Traumatic Event “!!! In 2010 in Detroit V.A. Hospital another vet (female) committed suicide right after she spoke to me…”how u doing “…and then she walked around the hall…pulled out a pistol and “blew her brains out”!!!!?????? in the door way to the “mental health director’s office (Dr.Kabouski)….yet my claim for “”ptsd” was denied because I “didn’t witness ” a traumatic event!!…Oh not the suicide 2010. ..but another “murder” in 1974 while in service…or after a “motivational beating “with hospitalization!!!! Being “kicked like a dog!!!! don’t get it “twisted” my relationships with the “”MALUM IN SE””(V.A.) goes back more than 42-yrs!!!==””Massive PTSD””. Two(2) things are certain vets from the v.a….”Death & Destruction “..My prayers go out to the vets family who’s names we’ll never know!!! God will have the final word!!!

  20. Windguy,

    I do remember the mainstream media repeating the claim about President Elect Trump making the statement about Veterans with PTSD. As I recall it was Clinton who originally made that claim that the MSM tried repeating several times. It was total bullshit.

    Regarding what President Elect Trump is actually doing you may care to read the following articles:

    “Trump Weighs Letting Veterans Opt Out of V.A. Medical Care”
    “WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — President-elect Donald J. Trump is considering a plan to allow military veterans to opt out of medical care at Veterans Affairs hospitals and instead see private doctors of their choosing, a senior transition official told reporters here on Wednesday.”

    To Quote President Elect Trump “We’re working on something to make it great for the veterans,” he said, adding: “People are dying. We’re going to fix it properly.”



    “Donald Trump Considers Moving VA Toward Privatization “, By Ben Kesling, Dec. 28, 2016

    “Mr. Trump is considering changing the department to allow some veterans to bypass the VA heath-care system completely and get care exclusively from private-sector hospitals and clinics, the official said. It is an option that could give veterans full choice over their health care, but which many veterans groups argue is the first step toward privatization and one that will reduce the quality of health care over the long term.”

    Of course there are those who are fighting against us Veterans having a choice in our health care.

    When asked why the VA needs to remain the coordinating hub of care for veterans. VA Secretary Bob McDonald said in an interview on Dec. 13. ““Veterans suffer very specific illnesses and injuries that come from the battlefield and that come from service and they tend to be multiple in nature.” “Veterans want a doctor, or want a provider, who understands these illnesses and these injuries and knows how to deal with them and deals with them every day.”

    Also lets not forget to mention those corrupt power and money hungry Dinosaurs VSOs who are also fighting against Veterans having real access to real health care.

    “Earlier this month, a group of advocates, including the American Legion, Vietnam Veterans of America and Paralyzed Veterans of America, said at a press conference they would oppose moves to privatize the department.”



    “Trump considering privatizing parts of Veterans Affairs”, By Daniel Halper, December 29, 2016

    “Wednesday’s mention of a “public-private option” suggests major changes may be coming.

    Trump held meetings with health execs to discuss “how would you implement a program that could get vets the ability to go to any hospital that they wanted to go to regardless … if you were in the VA or out of the VA, how would you set it up,” the official said.

    But, the official warned, it could be complicated.

    “So, the idea is to come up with a solution that solves the problem. And it’s not the easiest thing in the world because you’ve got all these little kingdoms out there, which is hard. You know, in the federal government it’s hard to break things up and start over,” said the official.”

    “Trump called his appointment of the VA secretary one of his most important appointments and is still interviewing candidates.”


    1. Privatization hasn’t worked for the Federal Government on anything yet except a few military contracts that were competitive. Look at Choice. 2 contractors for the entire country and they are not in competition with each other.

      Trump is right about Health Insurance. Let us choose our insurer from all that exist. No boundaries. Make the 2 Choice contractors compete directly with the veteran and open Choice to all other insurers if we want to see it get better. No reason to have individual state corrupt insurance boards. Ever try to make a complaint to one. They accept the insurance company’s statement as fact without investigating or for that matter, even reading the complaint.

  21. Guys –

    I’ll never want anyone to take the heat off the VA. Read history. America and her elected officials have been throwing veterans under the bus for over century.

    I seem to recall Trump accusing the PTSD afflicted as being weak. Seymour, perhaps you could dig up an exact quote and link it for us all. I do not understand the vehement expectation that this guy will do anything more or less than any of his predecessors – e.g. flag waving, lip service, and not much else.

    I’m not getting my hopes up. I’ll be far less disappointed when nothing changes and I won’t vent my anger on fellow veterans. If I’m wrong, I’ll allow myself a wee bit of extra happiness.

    1. We are not weak. We just hit oir wall at 100 mph, if need be I will ecpkain it to him.

      You right, that bus is getting really heavy

    2. Make that over 2 Centuries. Since the Revolutionary War. Banker and Military Industrial Complex lobbying.

  22. This tragedy is heartbreaking. I hope that the family and friends find support they will need to endure. I live in Albuquerque and heard nothing of this event until reading your post.

    I have no knowledge of the facts of this death. I do know there are research-based guidelines for ethical press coverage of suicide (e.g. Annenberg Foundation Report, etc.) usually available on American Foundation for Suicide Prevention or Suicide Prevention Resource Center web pages. I can also tell you that cover up is NOT the recommended guidance and only betrays those left behind trying to heal.

    Please FOIA the NMVAHCS Administrative Investigation Board report dated 8/21/15 and keep looking for upcoming OIG and OSC reports for insight regarding why 4 out of 5 Comp and Pen psychologists in Albuquerque resigned between May and July this year after facing whistle blower retaliation.

  23. Just for the record, 90% of you are stupid, uninformed idiots that deserve what Trump is going to give you. If any of you think anyone, Trump included, gives a shit about your petty service-connected disabilities and providing you quality, compassion and knowledgeable health care then you haven’t been paying attention for a great many years. That includes Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush again, ad nauseum. The day you signed up you gave up your rights for a great many things. The same thing applies when you enter the VA medical system.

    And tell me exactly which private medical institutions are going to handle deployment specific diseases and injuries? The VA can hardly provide the proper care for these things as it is. Sure, they are good with physical trauma but you can safely draw the line there as everything else is clearly subpar.

    Your savior, Dumbass Drumpf, is putting Goldman-Sachs and Exxon Oil CEO’s in his cabinet. How’s that for draining the swamp. Sounds more to me like he’s bringing in more alligators.

    You voted for him, you deal with him.

      1. namnibor, let’s not feed the “Leftist RADICALIZED Snowflake Dumbass Dumocrat” trying his hardest to be intelligent.
        Haven’t they done enough damage to this “once Great Country”?

      2. @Crazy elf- Yeah, I really should know better but having lost a good # of my Veteran friends to the VA cutting-off meds and resulting deaths via frustration, what have you; I take Veteran Suicide very seriously and when these ASSES come on here and are outright disrespectful of a deceased fellow Brother-In-Arms, I tend to some a bit undone on their asses.
        Trolls will indeed continue being trolls but the sad likely truth is these posters more than likely are VA employees (or VSO’s) trying to play Psy Ops on a very forum FOR Disabled Veterans and Survivors. Let’s just say the trolls are fortunate they are hiding behind their mommy’s basements and posting online because in-person, I would gladly come undone with grammatical shredding then consider the fists. 🙂

    1. Trolling Veterans in the comment section of an article regarding a Veterans suicide.

      How sick and twisted you are.

  24. With Veterans suicides on the rise at or near Va facilities I’m reminded of my policy of (When going into combat) saving the last bullet for myself. I have seen what the VC did to pilots left for me to find. Uncle Sam’s Canoe Club (USN) gave me Hep C. In 05 got a liver transplant but didn’t get Harvoni (Hep C cure) until last year. ALL of my current problems can be linked directly to the actions of VA Deathcare due to the side affects. Severe pain due to anti rejection drugs eating away my joints, fatigue, weakness, constantly being sick and an overwhelming sense of doom. A few weeks ago my liver doc tells me my liver is going bad again, and because I’m 60 I’m not going to get another one. Not that I would even consider letting the VA handle that again. So folks, I’m a dead duck anyway. I do however, have a few points of hope. #1. Donald J Trump! Mr President, Get me the fuck out of VA Deathcare. #2. Turn the VA sewer into a flower garden. Fix the VA. Good luck with that! #3. A self administered 230 grain cranial injection of a hot, toxic metal. And yes Veterans dministration, it WILL be the LAST bullet.

  25. Onc3 against you cannot resist the chance to cast aspersions and conclude the VA is responsible for the suicide. Could be he was at the end of his rope because of a bad marriage, drug addiction, or any one of dozens of common stressor. But you castigated the VA for not telling you everything you think you deserve to know. The VA paid for your law schooland this is how you decide to behave. People all over the world commit suicide daily- but if it happens at a VA facility the obviously the veteran got screwed out of compensation. Have you no shame? ( this is a rhetorical question since it is obvious you have

    1. @Stan- In short, you are a true dick! Your swamp is gurgling and calling you back. Have YOU NO SHAME?

    2. Go fuck yourself Stan! The VA has killed me 3 times and they are trying to kill me again. Get your mother to read my post below to you then shut you your spewing mouth you fucking troll!

    3. @Stan, thanks for the comments. Glad to see you are still trolling me.

      You need to repeat your civics lessons from childhood. VA did not pay for my law school, American taxpayers paid for my law school. VA is not a company or person who has its own money.

      My law school and undergrad were all paid for by the American taxpayer via MY BENEFITS that I EARNED through service, just like you.

      As an American, I reserve the right to “castigate” the government whenever I choose.

      1. @Ben,
        Great response to someone who’s uneducated and loves to Troll this site!
        In your blog, there is the unmistakable proof the news medias are REFUSING to report facts. This is a complete FAILURE of their obligations towards the American people.
        That being said, I leave y’all with this piece of historical fact.

        Just now on “Through the Decades”, channel 6.3 on Free TV, a show garnering more viewership daily, was a “piece” on the ‘New York Times’ and the “Washington Post” over “The Pentagon Papers”!
        These (once Patriotic) publications went all the way to the Supreme Court. Over their respective responsibilities to cover the news. No matter how bad it would show our government.
        The “Pentagon Papers”, published in ‘sequals’ in 1971, were instrumental in causing our government to realize they were committing mass murder. Murder of Veterans going to Vietnam, (over 58,000), but also, MURDER of the South Vietnamese People, over 100,000 people. (Statistics from 1971)!

        Today, these two ONCE distinguished publications are a shell of what they once were. They have ‘kao-toa(ed)” to the “elitist left”, or “New World Order”, if you will. Maybe Soros, a proven (through a “60 Minutes” article) WWII Nazi Collaborator, has a hand in their “miscommunication”!
        Their refusal to ‘tell the truth’ is, in my opinion, an indictment of betrayal, and possibly treason, against the American People.
        I would love to see someone being charges against them.

      2. @Benjamin Krause, JD – Ben, my wife and I are glad that you used our tax dollars for your education. Keep learning, and putting the spotlight on the VA.

      3. @ Ben it makes me so happy that someone who earned deserved benefits get to received them. You had to fight to get them and they should not have done that to you. A disabled Veteran should not have to fight for their benefits that they are rightly entitled to. These are our heros who defend our country and freedoms. I never experienced a war theatre as some as my brothers and sisters, but i fully support their rights to fair treatment that i know from experience the majority of the time they do not receive from the va system. Sorry, it is the truth, wake up to it.

    4. Those of us contemplating suicide as a result of care or adjudication at the VA want to do it at the VA. If it was a marriage problem you would do it at home.

      Suicide is violence turned in instead of going postal and making innocent people suffer because of your anger.

      The stopper is what it would do to your family for a vet concerned about his care, compensation and that of his comrades in arms. I suspect a lot of “accidental deaths” are suicide to spare the family when it is just the end of your rope on constant pain that is not a 10 (showing distress) but is a 10 because it is always there and is under medicated. And that is both physical and mental because of financial distress when unemployable because of your SC conditions but you can’t get the adjudicators to do the right thing. And when you combine both physical and mental torture the rope’s end is near.

      1. Lem, if you are thinking about hurting yourself please get help to stay safe. Articles like this can trigger feelings of despair and hopelessness. 1-800-273-8255 please call anytime…

      2. You are kidding of course. Been there and done that. Even spoke to the “contract supervisor”. My problem is temporal lobe seizures that lead to automatisms that can last up to a couple of hours with nightmare like memory but mostly amnesic. Ever find yourself going postal? When the reality check system (located in the right mid parietal region–See May 1995 Discover Magazine, “The brain that lost its body” or something like that–the cover article). It is about anosognosia which is, especially in subtle circumstances, never diagnosed and treated by VA mental health in spite of neurobehavioral testing that shows “Denial doesn’t work for this patient”. Organic denial not psychological AKA functional denial is the root of anosognosia.

        When temporal lobe seizures are happening in clusters I need to be on a behavioral ward but there are no beds because there aren’t enough physicians, not because there aren’t enough physical beds.

        And that “supervising contractor” has responsibility without authority. You know how that works. Which means the actual company has a do nothing contract with a few people to answer phones and collect big bucks for the responsibility that isn’t enforced.

        Knowing all that doesn’t make me any less dangerous to myself hopefully first instead of others.

    5. Stan I pray you are the 1st one fired. The va DID NOT pay for Ben’s law degree, We the people did. The VA is a governmenment agency as ANSWERS to We The People. Now get your ass back to work and see.if you can go a whole shift without. Hurtng a vet you disgusting POS

    6. @Stan – – – My observation is that Ben is using his military experience, civilian education, and legal training in the MOST ETHICAL MANNER possible. Additionally, he HAS NEVER BROKEN FAITH with his Brothers/Sisters-In-Arms.

      I am fairly new (less than three months) at reading/commenting on Ben’s Blog. MY personal experience is that “Ben and the Gang” here have been much more helpful to me in that short time, than my local VA facility in Honolulu has been in the last 20+ years.

      As a taxpayer, I view what Ben is doing with his legal education as the best possible return on “my investment” in his education. If ALL of America were as morally dedicated – – – we truly would be the shining beacon to the world that we claim to be.

      No one forces you to read this blog. Don’t like what you read here? Find somewhere else to go. Las time I checked, the Internet was full of websites.

    7. You truly are fucking pathetic Stan.

      You defend VA for what is indefensible, claiming Ben is somehow denigrating the poor VA, while at the same time shitting all over the veteran who committed suicide, then add to your asshattery by asking if Ben has no shame.

      You truly are a Kool-aid guzzling fool.

      1. As a civilian,,tax payer,,,,i expect my tax dollars when it come to the men/women who have literally laid their life,their family,their own body to defend this country,,i expect our veterens to be treated like gold,,,,Anything they need,or want they should receive NO QUESTIONS ASKED,,,they deserve the very best this country has to offer,,provide the best healthcare,no matter financial ability of that veteren,,,,,it should be free,,,again,,,no questioned ask!!!!!As a civilian that is how I thought and expected my tax dollars to be spent on helping our veterans!! as u say,,,if there are marital problems,alcoholic issue sooooooo what!!!!my tax dollars should pay for the best shrinks in the country,thee best medicines in the country for the men/women who laid everything on the line to defend my country..That is the V.A. DUTY,, to take care of our veterans in thee most humane,ethical, effectiveand thee BEST treatment on this earth!!

    8. I hope you are a VA employee or I can’t wait for them to attack you and then you can change your name and come on here crying.

      Veteran’s on here have told many. Many stories about how they have been treated !

      How do you know the VA did not do something to him to push him to end his life.

      Ben. Has not done nothing wrong and without asking questions. You will never get an answer.

      Again do your research about the VA. Is everyone wrong except you ! Don’t think so !

      How much evidence do you need. Maybe you were there and were part of it and coming on here as a disabled veteran. But really a VA employees. Trying to get your daily kicks.

      The writing is on the wall and now veteran’s won’t have to kill themselves and get the care they deserve.

      If anyone should be ashamed of anything it’s you for not standing side by side with the veterans.

      Again we all can’t be wrong and other’s agree or the actions taken by the new administration would have not happened.

      An old saying you can fool some of the time. But not all the people all of the time and this is proof !

      Tell it to Mr. Trump and tell how ashamed you are of him. For helping veteran’s. Hell you and the Union president should get together and tell Trump your going to kick his Ass. Like he told everyone that he would kick McDonald’s Ass.

      No you would rather pick on veterans.

      What have you ever done to even help one veterans. Sorry Ben I know you can do this yourself. But now you don’t have too !


  26. VA is apparently partnered with Reingold (a public affairs company), The Action Alliance, and Poynter Institute on a program to “responsibly” report on suicide. It involves educating journalists on how to report on suicide.

    My best guess is under the guise of responsible reporting with a positive message, VA is conveniently able to justify stonewalling reporters until the news is no longer timely. By stalling, reporters lose the edge on covering the story after it is a few weeks old. That is my guess and I will look into what is going on.

    Reingold is likely training VA public affairs how best to diminish the media splash of suicide by using these politically correct standards as a stall tactic.

  27. Everybody: When I get a notice from the VA for all veterans to bring sledge hammers and any wrecking equipment that might be useful to your nearest VA facility, THEN I WILL BELIEVE that there is a chance for the VA to clean up their act…..

  28. ALBUQUERQUE: It seems to be the epicenter of corruption in the SW. The ALBUQUERQUE Police Department is one on the most out of control and corrupted PD’s that you can document.Even the FED’s had to come in and try to get down to the bottom of why there is so much out of control shootings by the LEO’s. F-in lunatics, the whole city government. Don’t drink the water. Better yet stat the hell away from ALBUQUERQUE…..

  29. On this one I side with the V/A. Why? Because of the privacy of the Veteran and the family. If I die in a V/A for some abnormal reason, I DO NOT WANT the whole world knowing before my family or next of kin does.

    THAT is the very problem with the author of this article and other media outlets.. It is all about the news.. Not what is the RIGHT THING TO DO.

    Yes, all of us know, the V/A has major problems. The system is broken.

    But taking things out of context and using ASSumptions to try and turn this story into something more, is total and complete bull.. and irresponsible as well.

    1. Your comment makes no sense.

      First of all, it could have been reported, as are many traffic accidents, murders and suspicious deaths as “the name of the victim is being withheld subject to the notification of next of kin.”

      Secondly, they obviously know who the veteran is and, as you should be aware, the next of kin is listed in the veteran’s medical record.

      Lastly, there are no assumptions, there is a fact – one week later, no news has been published and nothing released to the news media. I guaranfreakingtee you, if this happened in front of a Private Psychiatric Hospital, the news would have been out there.

      1. You make a whole lot of assumptions. Guess what, Until a couple years ago, I had no real “next of kin” that was easily able to be notified.

        Regardless, so what? How did this directly impact or affect the rest of us? It didn’t.

        The system is broken. We all know it. But to start putting EVERYTHING on the V/A like everything is their fault is ridiculous.

        The veteran had problems. We have NO IDEA what steps that Veteran took to try and get help and whether he was turned away or some other situation was happening.

        While the V/A needs to be fixed, there are a LOT of good people that work there and for the most part my own care, while slow and not without its problems, has been excellent overall.

        It is the bureaucracy that is the problem.. Not necessarily the docs themselves or the nurses as a whole. Yes, there are those that are docs and nurses are also problems but 95% of them give as good a care as they are able within the constraints, the limited funding, the very limited personnel available and time they can fit everything in.

    2. Your swamp is calling you back where you burped from. Did you not get the fact the VA has a solid pattern of simply hoping ANY bad news just gets swept under the rug along with a performance bonus for the “traumatized snowflakes”? That swamp gas is powerful stuff.

      1. Are you always an a$$hole to someone you don’t know? Perhaps that “burp” you mentioned, came out of your own mouth.

        You sound like a whining child that gets all angry because not everyone agrees with him or thinks one dimensionally as you do.

        And while YOUR V/A may be a complete and total dog pile, I can tell you from the numerous ones I have been too that not all of them are. And MOST of the actual docs and nurses are doing the best they can with what they have.

        The system is broken, it needs funding and especially needs more people.

        But then again, we people like you that just act like a-holes across the board, I can see why many in the profession don’t want to work the V/A having to deal with those like you.

    3. @Jake – It only takes 1 – 3 days to notify the next-of-kin, if the VA does this correctly. The VA needs to be kept in the limelight as much as possible. What if a Veteran died due to other than natural causes? Hopefully, someone with authority, influence, integrity, and nads will step up to the plate to put the VA in order. Remember, the VA doesn’t own Veterans. The VA was established to help Veterans with their individual needs. Hey Bruddah, don’t break rank!

      1. True in most cases.. but my comment was also based on not making assumptions. We don’t know the full details yet and until we do, jumping on the bandwagon is something I will not do just because everyone else is.

        Believe me, I have had my own share of problems with the V/A which continue even now. BUT, I also have received care that was second to none even though it took forever and the red tape made things tough to make it happen.

        I blame the government, I blame the people of this country, and I blame the corporate types running the V/A system. Those are the three things that have brought us to this point.

        And yes, I say the people too. Why? Because it is the people who are so quick to wave their flags and pat us on the back when patriotism is running high… and it is those same people that then just fold back into their own little lives once all the excitement is over, completely forgetting that we are out here STILL even though the hoopla has died down.

        I do not blame the people who are understaffed, under funded and who also deal with a lot of us who seem to be hell bent just being as mean and nasty regardless.

      2. And NOK notification doesn’t have to be made if the veteran is unnamed. Period. Period. Period. Without the news nothing corrects. The only reason it was swept under the rug was to prevent copy cats who were in the same hole.

        So what is being done to correct the situation. Nothing in research. Period. Period. Period. It is all cover up and no attempt to recognize which TBIs make a person most vulnerable to suicide. Every vet that checks in to mental health needs more than an MMPI. Neurobehavioral testing is needed and if organic denial (anosognosia), being as unable to recognize lost skills as a person on ETOH who you can’t get the car keys away from–the drunken state is a transient organic state but a TBI causing the same thing may be intermittent from sub seizure episodes but is always there or just around the corner, and need addressed in treatment. I have subtle anosognosia and it was never diagnosed and treated in 32 years of psychiatric therapy in spite of neurobehavioral testing providing the basis for the diagnosis 30 years ago.

    4. If the VA was withholding the name of the Veteran who committed suicide until his family had been notified. That would be understandable. In this case the VA is hiding the facts that there was a suicide and the information surrounding it.

      Oh and your statement “On this one I side with the V/A.”. Lets be honest, on everyone you side with the VA we know where you work.

      1. Seriously? You know where I work? That has to be the funniest thing my wife and I have read in the last couple years since I was medical retired at 100% due to multiple injuries that are service connected.

        Sorry buddy, but I have not worked since. And will not be able to again.

        You have NO idea who I am. And maybe there is someone else who also has the name Jake that you are thinking of, because you can damn well bet, whomever that is, it ain’t me.. not by a long shot.

      2. The vets that have obvious serious injuries and can’t work are well taken care in health care and by adjudicators. On top of that they are paraded in front of the rest of us who can’t hold a job to try to shame us for asking to be compensated. I wish you no ill will and I am glad you are 100% compensated. I also hope you get care and attendance for your wife if needed.

        But that shouldn’t mean that the rest of us who are unemployable should have to live in poverty and suffer ill treatment.

      1. Wow, that was an intelligent reply.

        I can say the same thing in return: Bullshit, your entire sentence.

        Does that make you feel better now?

      2. Let me give you a few sentences then Jake so you can piss and moan about how we are maligning the VA.

        You have excused repeatedly the pathetic care many veterans get at the VA saying they are underfunded and understaffed.

        Research a few articles here about the contracts in the billions the VA has let just this year alone. Research any posts by Ben on Aurora or on VA “art” that has been purchased, including the thousands spent on some inane Morse Code display for the blind.

        Ask yourself whether the VA really is underfunded, or just have seriously screwed up priorities on what they do fund.

        You also mention getting very good care, acknowledge there has been problems and acknowledge red tape.

        Now, ask yourself if your medical conditions were much worse, and getting proper care in a timely manner meant either proper care, lower quality of life because of a delay, permanently maimed because of a delay, or dead, which would you choose?

        Veterans here comment on reality experienced over many years. Cheerleading an organization that fraudulently manipulates appointments so managers can get bonuses, or hides information on a veterans suicide is going to be commented on. You best get used to it or go somewhere else.

        Oh, and as for being understaffed? Research some articles here about the number of Interior Designers the VA hired.

    5. You know, I had to reply to my own comment because I wanted to follow up based on the replies I am getting.

      All I see are attacks against me because I happen to have a different opinion of the care I have been getting… Apparently differing opinions today are cause for immediate personal and direct attacks on someone… either that or we have a bunch of trolls and morons that just like to talk out their ass.

      …or maybe it is because I actually have the common sense to differentiate between the care and those that give it, vs the SYSTEM and the V/A hierarchy and political machine.

      There is a difference. And while we all know there are a few doctors and nurses that need to be removed also, the majority of them actually do care and do their damnedest to help us when they are able. My own doctor is 83 and came out of retired to work at the V/A solely to help veterans like me and others.

      With the constraints, lack of funding and serious shortage of full doctors and full nurses, I am amazed that anyone even wants to work at the V/A. He often comments about it when I see him and we talk for a bit.

      Yet, here many just jump on the bandwagon throwing everything at everyone without using any common sense to differentiate between the actual problems and the medical side for the care we get when we finally do get seen.

      After reading the comments though, I also found myself questioning how many that are doing the bitching are actually service connected Veterans ENTITLED to that care? You know, the ones coming in without ANY service connected injuries sucking off the system thereby taking away the care WE THAT ARE service connected earned?

      You want to know what pisses ME off about the V/A system? It is all those “veterans” that served a two year stint, got a discharge, went on to the civilian world then came back 20 or 30 years later for a bad hip or because their hearing went bad… and claimed disability through the V/A because of that 2 years of service… even though their medical conditions have NOTHING to do with that service.

      I have met MORE veterans at the V/A that meet THAT criteria than actually have REAL service connected injuries. And I see more coming out of the woodwork every day. It is ME and those like me that should be angry.. angry at the ones taking care away from those that do have service connected injuries, angry at the ones making us wait 6 months for appointments because they take up our slots in the calendar.

      I would bet everything I have, that there is more than one person reading this that either is one of those people or KNOWS someone like that.

      One comment even tried to elude that he knew where I worked…. which is IMPOSSIBLE.

      Why? Because I AM a United States Navy SERVICE CONNECTED disabled Veteran, with seven, that’s SEVE (7) separate rated physical injuries, ALL service connected BEFORE I left active duty. I am 100% by the V/A rated as of my full retirement in 2012 due to those injuries.

      You would think, that of everyone out there I SHOULD be on top of the bandwagon bitching about EVERY little issue at the V/A.

      But I don’t because I see the big picture and I go after those that ARE the problem. I do not LUMP everyone into the same package and make unfounded assumptions just so I can whine about it to others.

      I have and continue to complain and bring to light problems at the V/A. I have even talked to the incoming president about it at the personal level. And I will continue to do so.. Even now, I am still waiting to have the next part of my major jaw and dental surgery… and have been waiting since last March.

      Yes, the system is broken. It needs to be fixed. But just bitching and blaming everyone and every V/A location for every little problem is NOT the solution.

      With this story, none of us know ALL the facts. This Veteran CHOSE to go to the V/A and do what he did. Would you all be apoplectic if he, instead, chose to do so at another hospital or a military base or some other location? No you would not.

      You are angry because the system is broken and you feel entitled to know everything.. even when it is entirely possibly you are entitled to nothing.

      We don’t know what happened yet. Did he get turned down for care then do the deed? Was he hooked on meds and turned away for that reason so he went off the deep end? Was he a regular patient? Did he just get some news of a terminal illness? Did he just get notified he was being divorced or lost a loved one?

      YOU DON’T KNOW. And HIS privacy is more important than your demands to know everything. When there is PROOF and FACTS to back up wrong doing by the V/A in this case, THEN and only THEN will I too jump on top of this bandwagon… and not before.

      1. Jake, I’m also service connected. My injuries don’t show but are rated at 70% combined with a top of 40% TBI and 30% organic personality disorder. I don’t get half the care you get with your obvious injuries. And I’ve lived below poverty level since 1985.

        So don’t automatically assume everyone on here bad mouthing you is not service connected at 50% or more and rate the same care you do but the care for their wives given to you. The people bad mouthing you are very probably service connected and under compensated. They are mad at not being able to provide for their families and wish the VA would treat them better.

      2. To make it clear my ratings are 40%, 30%, 20% and 10% adding up to 70% on the rating table for multiple disabilities. Additionally I have spinal disc disease that hasn’t been service connected from an MVA that was caused by a temporal lobe seizure originating in the area of my TBI.

        Unless you happen to be in conversation with me when I seem to ignore what you just said frequently or am constantly losing my train of thought you wouldn’t have any idea why I can’t keep a desk job or get a job around equipment. And if as an adjudicator you were to ignore references to “lack of affect” and “latencies” in psychiatric notes you wouldn’t give me a fair rating either.

      3. And again. The only reason to cover up is the fear of copy cats who are in the same position, many of them that I am in. Suicide is anger turned in instead of out. Better to kill your self than that VA employee or employees that mistreated you.

      4. Jake, because you have been adjudicated and treated properly and are 100% presumably from obvious injuries (or you wouldn’t be or are in a good VA facility) doesn’t mean that the rest of us shouldn’t be treated fairly according to the law and regulations because we are not in a wheel chair or have some other very obvious unemployability issues. If we are unemployable we are unemployable. If we suffer from physical pain–the one most often under treated is back pain because the physician and radiologist don’t see the cause on radiographic reports. Or from the brain which in some cases the only relief is suicide.

        We should be treated as fairly and completely as you are according to the laws and regulations.

    6. Your either a person with no sole or a VA employee. Why is it so hard to see that the VA has harmed veterans. Take the blinders off and look at reality. Again over 300 VA employee blowing the whistle and the VA paid out 5 million to those whistle blowers.

      VA employees have an out for everything and can and will report a veteran for speaking up, are you condoning the VA has a right to harass and punish veterans at will, I think you do !

      People come on here and attack Ben, why because he digs and finds things the VA does not want out in the open for everyone to see. Really get on you computer and go to the Veterans committee with Jeff miller, look at more than one.

      Listen how the VA responds and how the committee responds, Its not this site that’s spewing lies. I don’t understand even with evidence some people will look the other way and that’s when the veterans get into trouble with the VA, because many think its their own Business and veterans are just a pain in the Ass, to them and need to be dealt with.

      They don’t care if someone kills themselves after they punish him/her, Its like a Bad Step father, mother that will beat or even kill their stepchildren, They are not their children so they will do things, A real father/mother would not do. In other words they only care about themselves and don’t care whom they hurt.

      They feel God like ! If you want to bash Ben and don’t like what he posts, Simple answer don’t come on the site, we don’t want to make your blood pressure to get out of control, I bet it really make VA employees mad, to see that Veterans are coming together and are fighting back !

      The VA knows if they attack us on this site, its there forever and that’s good for us, as it shows the world exactly what the veterans must go through and that VA employees will and do come on this site, for nothing other than to attack us Veterans.

      Again all veterans and the VA committee in Washington can not always be wrong or are we all stupid and don’t know what Reality is.

      If you really want the truth do some research, I know we all full of B.S., its ok you have a right to speak out, just like we do. Have a Good day !

  30. The news media realizes the VA causes veterans to commit suicide and by being silent about veterans suicides it appears they’re trying to soften the cushion for Trump when he takes office. I didn’t believe him when Trump said he’s going to change the VA , drain the swamp, so to speak. I didn’t believe that a year ago and I don’t believe him now. The public doesn’t give a crap about veterans committing suicide anyway. They never have. I still feel the hate I got 47 years ago. 15 years ago on 9/11/2001, when I stood in front of that TV screen and watched those twin towers tumble down, that announcer came on and stated, “Ladies and gentlemen, America is at war!” My immediate thought was, I’ll never go do it again!

    1. Trump will never let you down. He is pathological and will not do anything for you or me that will be a positive benefit. Only those assets connected to the Koch Bros will reap any benefit.

  31. I am curious if the VA employees being “Traumatized” is related to the possibility the investigation will delay or otherwise influence their anticipated bonuses???

  32. James G., you are right. Without a long story, The VA I was going to, simply refused to send two medications I take. Every month when they didn’t show, I would call. The same group of cronies would give me the same lying excuses. This went on for over a year. So, I learned there was a new clinic closer than the 80 miles I was traveling. It took 5-6 weeks to get an appointment. There, the new VA Dr. decided since I hadn’t had my meds in nearly 3weeks, I didn’t need them. She decided we would start all over. Made me appointments to go back to same VA and get ???? I do hope Trump does get a good picture of how dangerous the VA is to the Veterans health.

    1. I’m sorry about what is happening to you, I think millions of veterans hopes Mr. Trump will instruct his new Secretary to use his famous words ! Your fired, Go right to the offenders office with the VA police your to remove yourself as I’m am releasing you of your duties.

      You will be advised not to be in contact with the employee or veteran whom you retaliated against. In other words take no prisoners and they get no paid lawyer, by the VA. I think if our elected officials really wanted to they could file charges of crimes against humanity.

      please write down everything told to you and who is involved, they may not need evidence to punish us. But if we have evidence and a new no nonsense person in charge, we you will have the needed proof needed to prove your case.

      That goes for every veteran and active duty, take nothing for granted or thinking someone else will do it.

      its up to all of us to make them accountable, more proof the better. Good luck

      1. There are cheap body cams on Amazon. You can clip them to a pocket and turn them on at will. If you happen to be a black man it is a good idea to wear one constantly.

  33. Wonder why Loma Linda VA Hospital had a veteran suicide on the VA property that also went unreported? The VA downplayed the incident & it never made the news. It was September 5th 2014. I reported it to the congressman’s office that was “unaware” of the incident. Veteran shot himself in front of entry & VA claimed “camera was not working”. It was during suicide awareness month.

  34. Dennis and many others have had to deal with the VA Disruptive Committee, As I stated before the VA employees are reporting Veterans at will to claim them as being disruptive and the Disruptive Committee will PUNISH them !
    This veteran is nothing to the VA, After all, VA claims all veterans are considered a threat to VA employees, have training on how to take down a veteran. They say Disruptive Behavior committee is there to punish Veterans, Visitors, employees, anyone who (MAYBE) a threat or (COULD BE A THREAT) !

    So, you don’t have to do anything at all, An employee can report you as a possible threat and boom, that veteran will be punished and the Disruptive Committee does not care if they have no evidence and will punish you and are not required to give that veteran an outlet to fight back.

    As stated before when I requested all the proof they used to punish me, The VA stated well we have (NO) proof, but those were the facts at the time. (REALLY) I don’t think so our Judicial system for a reason have determined that (HEARSAY) is not evidence, Yet the VA only needs Hearsay and that’s good enough.

    This may have happened to this veteran and felt abandoned and the VA made him feel worthless. Maybe he was a veteran that tried to obtain treatment and the VA told him, Do you have an adjudicated claim through regional office ? You must have a disability granted by VBA !

    Even if he told them he had a claim in or he had received a denial letter and that would exempt him from getting the needed care and if he got upset, Knowing what he has been through and the VA telling him, well those are the facts ! Come back after you get your claim adjudicated.

    With out treatment, the end result is what he did ! We veterans whom have had trauma while in the service and the VBA deny our claims, for what ever reason. Their inactions leave the veterans out in the cold and I know first hand how the VA will lie about a veterans Military records being destroyed and that not be true !

    This my fellow veterans, had caused me to go without treatment for 40 years and anyone who has PTSD, Knows what I mean and then to find out I had been living with a TBI for those 40 years, All because some employee was told to hide my records or did it on their own, No matter, with out the needed care I have been to Hell and back.

    After Becoming Disabled at 100%, the VA let a Disgruntled employee to falsely accuse me and they did punish me and have threatened me Federal Charges, Arrest and Banishment from all VA care, IF they (EVER) hear that I again become disruptive. So (FOR EVER) is a long time !

    So the VA at anytime can accuse me again and do not require any proof, they can have me arrested ( that means I would be behind Bars, with Federal Charges and I will have to hire an attorney and face a Judge. If this should ever happen I know the VA, will let it all happen and when its time for court, they drop the charges or not show up. Point Made !

    So its horrible that the VA, has sunken so low that Employees come before Veterans and Veterans are all looked at as possible threats to VA staff. As stated before, they can use your remarks on this site as grounds for you to be reported to the Disruptive committee and God help you, Because you will be on your own. You are guilty, not innocent until proven guilty.

    If someone would request a ROI to find out how many Veterans have been reported and how many Visitors or employees being reported I believe they could not tell you how many Veterans were reported and I bet it would be 0 for visitors or Employees.

    They are causing suicides ! Stop this insanity and treat these veterans with or with out a adjudicated claim. Any Veteran who has been told that their Military records were destroyed in the Saint Louis Fire in May, 1973, who applied for care and denied and later proves that they had the records all along should be given their disability and ALL the back pay, from when they first applied.

    Veterans I’m told have one shot at a clear and unmistakable error on their claim ! Problem is finding a lawyer who is willing to help, Veterans such as my self would never have a chance against the VA, believe it or not a Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD takes a lot of a person.

    The news makes Movie stars deaths, more important than Veterans that take their own lives, because of VA failure to Assist ! God Bless and I hope God forgives them for any actions they may have done, Just because the VA wanted to save buck, for their Yearly Bonus.

  35. Earlier today, “Bill” posted a comment concerning how President Elect Trump is “…considering a dramatic overhaul of the VA”…!
    I then decided to explore that site and found the article. There were many articles concerning this issue.
    The few I read, and watched videos on, were very informative. The one which caught my eye was the one from “YAHOO FINANCE”!
    This one had President Elect Trump meeting, yesterday in Florida, with a number of professional medical and business associates.
    My opinion is that President Elect Trump WILL keep his word on transforming VA’s lack of professionalism, accountability, waste fraud and abuse in the medical AND business fields across the VA’s dismal expenditures and healthcare!
    Mr. Trump has said, “Some veterans love VA!” To that I say, “fine!” Continue using the VHA. To others, who’ve not been so lucky with proper healthcare, let us use “healthcare in the private sector!”
    Mr. Trump or his ‘Team’, in my opinion, will start to unravel the corrosive culture of VA in short order after 21 January 2017. I also believe he will find lots of fraud, with taxpayers monies, going on! We know, because of sites like Ben’s, there’s much waste and abuse. But the “fraud” of ‘Where is all those BILLIONS of dollars going?’ is paramount to getting to the bottom of barrel!

    1. AUDIT. One comprehensive AUDIT of VHA. Follow the trail of $$$$..$$$…$$…$…to the $wamp Heap.

  36. This suicide both saddening and enraging. Many of the posts very succinctly echo my feelings.

    Several thoughts came to mind as I read through the article and posts. The first was, what is being done for the veterans who must have witnessed the suicide? Has anyone done anything to try to identify who were there and were they offered VA care?

    Secondly, VA employees don’t have VA care, so I understand why outside counselors would be employed.

    The last thing which occurred to me is how many of these employees will now claim PTSD and be medically retired from Government service? I would sure like to know that statistic over the coming years and compare their experience at a claim with ours.

    1. Nearly all of the VA nurses claim unemployability based on PTSD after their service and get handsomely rewarded. They do it by being a vet first, becoming a VA nurse after, then claiming unemployability from PTSD incurred or agravated on the job at VA after several years.

      The savvy ones volunteer for the gruesome work because witnessing death is used as a contributing factor to PTSD and is nearly a presumptive case for a VBA decision at that point. I personally know one who did exactly what I am describing, she followed a plan, and that and retired at full VBA style comp from PTSD, and also SSDI same reason this way. The path via VBA is through the “unemployability” clause in VBA that allows a small claim to get 100% VBA and of course full SSDI on top makes retiring at 50 simple if the nurse has this in mind.

      My facts are straight. VA nurses get their “second retirement” as they call it through this method and it is well known inside VA. The ones who know the system best and have friendly doctors who nearly let the nurses enter the info into their own records themselves, have a quick path case through VBA.

      1. There is simply no stone that can be overturned at VA without finding opportunistic behavior that costs far, far, far more dollars to the taxpayer than the simple budget numbers suggest.

  37. First class mail takes weeks to get through “Anthrax screening”, Dennis. Shortest contact is by telephone and email. Call the office and get the answering person’s email address. Then send by email and ask for a reply. Even so the chances of a Congressman ever seeing a constituents words whether by snail mail or email is more than 100 to 1.

    How many of all of the emails in your in box and junk mail can you thoroughly read given the time you have to read them. What probably happens is a briefing by the chief of staff who was briefed by staff at the various offices of the Congressman or Senator. Chances of your correspondence being the particular example given to the Congressman or Senator are slim. But if enough send similar or the same words to the same Congressman or Senator they might get the word but then will be more likely to ignore it in favor of pressing communications from large campaign contributors. So if you have $100,000 to send along with it don’t expect to have any affect.

    Now writing an open letter to the editor of the primary Newspaper or News program will likely get more results because it will put the member of Congress on notice from the voters.

    Just saying.

    1. I have indeed been featured in the press over this. I understand how to get noticed and I notice things that get results. Even if substantiated, your claim that a letter to your congressman by first class mail takes weeks means that it is in the hands of our government (not a computer). Actual human hands have to handle it, sort it, inspect it, route it, carry it, and open it. This fact alone gives it far more meaning to a congressman than dots on a screen that form words. It also leaves a trail, like a snail. First Class postage is the investment of the individual for this treatment. An email can be sent naked while sipping coffee. A letter has to be carried.

      How many emails did you send for Xmas? How many cards? How many actual letters did you send in your own pen to say how much you cared for somebody you love?

      Of those three, which one would you youself give the most meaning to?

      Plus with an email you just tap delete. Wih a letter you have to crumple and throw it away yourself. Which one is easier for you to do?

      1. Final thought, as a congressman it is far more dramatic to hold high in his hand a letter from one of his peeps and quoting from it in outrage to sway his peers. Just try that with an iPad….Siri would probably interupt.

    2. Even better, send correspondence, all correspondence to the VA via Registered/Certified USPS Mail. This means there’s an actual printed paper trail and time-stamp that cannot be ignored and you have proof of the VA’s receipt of same. This was a basic staple instruction I held to when filing my own VA Claim years ago and was ultimately awarded 100%. I also at the exact same time was filing my SSDI Claim and applied that method to SSA as well.
      Since the VA has absolutely no accountability, it takes an outside entity such as the USPS to ensure your sent correspondence does not end-up just shelved without receipt. It’s somewhat like having an analog tracking device on your sent mail.
      This also holds true when sending a physical letter (not email) to any Congressman/woman. If you are relying only on an email trail you best start the practice of “Blind Carbon Copy” (BCC) to yourself, as to have a handy file of all sent correspondence, and with that BCC you can also send whatever you are sending to another recipient and via the inherent “Blind” part, the original recipient will not even know you have sent this to other parties, unless you use regular “Carbon Copy” (CC), in that case, anyone on the CC list can see whom also was sent your correspondence.
      Personally, I used both email and Registered/Certified USPS means and I ate an awful lot of ramen noodles and canned surplus food pantry food during that time in order to afford these correspondences because my LIFE depended upon it.
      Hope this helps but one Veteran. All of this can be acquired knowledge over at the great website HADIT dot com.

  38. Ok,,,living in wisco,,and hearing on t.v.. Tomah va this ,,or that,,,Having 3 brothers who served,,and VERY GOOD FRIEND,,NOW 96,,WHO,, fought the Japanese,,,,ptsd is aweful,,,After 96 years,,my friend finally open up about his time serving ww2,,,,and what he still saids about the Japanese,,ie,,I quote,,,,”when u see your best friend rite next to u,,and 1/2 his face is gone and there is NOTHING u can do to hep him,,it stays w/u for life,””and a few other thing to this day he said about the cruelity of thee Japanese torture,inhumanity etc,,,it still w/him after 70 years,,,
    Like I said earlier,,being rite next to Toma V.A..I witness thee worse propaganda campaign ever placed upon the medicine and the doctor who tried to help our veterans..The doctor was slandered in the press BEFORE trail,,thus contaminating any jury,,but the big consequence of all this propaganda were our vets,,,who had their MEDICINES,,either abrutely stopped or lessened to ineffective dosages w/this opiatephobia crap.,,jmo.It all started w/ a man who o.d.,,who was a veteran,,but instead of his parents recgonizing he was a adult,responsible for his own decision,,they sought revenge for the death of their son,,,The reality however,,was Tomah va,,preformed no cpr to try a revive this man,,,nothing,,,cause he was in a psych ward when he o.d.,,,The hospital did NOTHING to try and save this man,,,that was the truth,,but immediately opiate MEDICINE was demonized,slandered and used as a propaganda tool to take them away from EVERYONE,,,If people simple recognized truth,,that no-one,,no NORMAL humanbeing will want to live the rest of their life in forced endurement of physical pain from any injury or war injuries,,no-one wants to live their life in constant pain,,,,yet because of this opiate phobia,propaganda,,,10000 of vets have been FORCED off their medicines,,that were working just fine,,The governemt,dea finally admitted that opiates never played a role most od’s in the country,,,but their propaganda tool was to lump heroin in w/so-called opiate death,,,because they came from the same plant,,,,THAT HOW CORRUPT ,,’our” government is..My hubby’s father worked for the cia,,and dod for 30 years,,,he never talked about work,,but would only tell us,,,the government lies to the public everyday,every hour,,they NEVER tell the public the truth..See,,jmo,,they want no record of these veterans deaths,,,,for it would give the public proof of the torture and genocide they have created by playing Dr.Government and taking away needed MEDICINE from these veterans..Medicines that were working just fine,,,until,,,this false,media spread propaganda of this false opiate epedimic..Now these vets are forced to endure their physical pain from war injuries w/NOTHING,,or noneffective dosages to help lessen their physical pain,,,Again,,no normal humabeing wants to live in physical pain for the rest of their life,,,thus they choose death stop stop their physical pain,,,They don’t want to end their life,,,they just want their physical pain stopped,,and since Dr.Government has taken away their medicines to lessen that physical pain,,their forced to use death to stop their physical pain,.The government wants no record of the torture and genocide they have created,,,maryw

    1. @maryw

      Please take the time to copy the words you wrote and send them by first class mail to your Congressman. Their addresses are easy to find online by Googling “who is my congressman”.

      Send it just like you posted it.

      1. Do it every day Sir,,,there is a site called ,

        pharmacist Steve,,,who unlike soo many others,,,actual puts truthful stats and data,,, out here,,,I send at least 2-5 document a day,,to Tammy Baldwin,,Ron Kind,Cdc,Doj,,,,I am sure there watchen me,,but u know what,,I DON’T CARE,,,, for,,,,,”When ever any form of Government evinces by design,to reduce it citizens to absolute DESPOTISM,, it is our duty,our rite,to alter or abolish it..”’To find new guards for a safety and wellbeing”from thee corrupted use of thee ,”just power,” derived from the governed…….People who commit suicide want to die,,,people who have chosen death to stop their physical pain do not to die,they just want their physical pain stop..and because of opiatephobs,,death is thee only way to stop their physical pain now a days,,,ie higher rate of death[their suicide] by veterans now more then ever,,maryw

      2. If u know how to copy and paste have at it..I only know how to forward,downlaod thee entire article and send as a attachment..Plus w/this new computer as of 1 day ago,and windows 10,,which i hate,,it does not give me thee option to ,”share” this site??maryrw

    2. They used the Opioid fantasy as slight of hand to get the public notice off the wait time issue. And it worked. I live is excruciating, pain every minute of every day. Severe degeneration of my spine. I do have a doc at VA that has worked with me for years to keep my pain in check, as much as they will allow him. He faught like hell to get me to Non VA Neurosurgeon a couple months ago. Had a 8 in. Titanium plate put in my neck. Spine was so bad my head was about to fall off. No BULL. The VA has a protocol for pain medications. But it is the pharmacists that are putting the BLOCK on the docs. My doc at Dublin, Ga. VA is Dr. Moti. He Cares. It took me 10 years of BS docs and raising hell to get moved over to him. Of all the docs I have seen at VA he is the BEST. His first concern is his patients. There are a FEW of them in this system. I just have to fight with the pharm. every month when he puts rdefills in they want to add days to keep me from getting them when due. They lie right to your face. Tell you they are in the mail.Then after 12 days they walk right back in pharm and pick them from a bin and give them to you like nothings wrong. I raised hell a couple years ago with the head of pharm. about it. Two months later I get a letter from Chief Of Staff that I have been put on THE LIST. I am supposed to report to VA Cops whenever I come up there. Bull Shit. I go where I want. But a buddy of mine that works there says that when they open my file the first thing seen is THE FLAG. I’m a bad boy. Ha Haa. But you are sooooo right on the issue of how can you expect someone to live in this pain 24/7/365. Most turn to self medication. And pain will definitely make a person give up and make the final statement. Tell your elected officials your story too. Well Put.

      1. Thanks for your post, the VA does not care what our problems are, seems our problems are not their problems. That what I mean VA employees do report veterans when we speak out about our treatment.

        Veterans are punished at will and I will never try to stop this ILLEGAL committee from punishing veterans for anything ! Did they not tell you in a letter that you were being reported, if so did they give you anyway to defend yourself ?

        Please write Donald Trump and let him know about how you were treated when you told them your concerns. This is why I believe that many veterans take their own lives because of being reported and harassed.

        Please don’t let them get away with this, by telling your congressman, and the VA committee in Washington !

        If enough of us tell our stories on how the VA is using this committee to punish veterans. It is a dirty shame that the VA can not fire employees that retaliate against Employee whistle blowers. One thing the employees do have and that’s the Union, MSPB, Ect. and as stated before the VA paid out 5 million to employees who were retaliated against.

        Where can a Veteran go, nowhere. Yes they have a patient rep and those rep’s are VA employees and they will do the same thing to a veterans that goes to them to express their concerns. Veterans should have the same rights as the employees when it comes to this, we should be able to take the employee and the committee to an agency to give us the right to file against them and if found the employee reported just because they can, the veteran is to get part of the 1.2 billion the va asked for.

        Not one employee fired after costing the VA 5 million dollars. The VA could care less how much money they have to pay out, its not their money, its the veterans money and the tax payer.

        Everyone please write to Trump, your congressman and anyone else you can think of and lets put a stop to this injustice of veterans being reported for anything period. Demand it.

  39. 1. I am saddened by the loss of another Brother-In-Arms who ended their life prematurely. My condolences to the family.

    2. With this incident happening on the 22nd, and it now being the 29th – – – it seems to me that even the most inept detective work SHOULD have been able to notify a family member within 48 hours of this tragic incident. There is ZERO EXCUSE for the Albuquerque VA Center’s Administrator and Staff to do so. I say again ZERO EXCUSE. Certainly, there cannot be any justifiable reason whatsoever. NONE.

    3. It is absolutely clear from the wording of the e-mail sent by Sonja Brown that she is not truly concerned with veteran’s in the slightest. She will gladly “go along to get along” and sing the merry VA tune. The concern she espouses via e-mail just oozes insincerity.

    4. Incidents such as THIS not being reported by the so-called “Mainstream Media”because the VA is stonewalling them are precisely the reason that so many veterans seek alternative news sources. If nothing else, the local reporters on-scene should be reporting what they know (sparse as it may be) and then be reporting that the VA is doing everything it possibly can to prevent them from getting any factual and truthful information. Whatever happened to the days when reporters displayed some grit?

    Thanks for reporting this, Ben. Such a tragedy . . .

    1. You are correct. 8 days later, the VA excuse that they can’t report anything because they have not contacted the family is either a pathetic excuse covering a lie or it shows shocking incompetence.

      Family of a veteran KIA on the other side of the friggin planet can be notified, certainly within 48 hours, and the VA has nothing after 8 days.

      If you search on Albequerque veteran suicide, the only current link on this is from this post. Everything else is old news, much with VA talking points about how good they are doing.

  40. The more that the VA uses outside 3rd party medical and psychological providers, the services at the VA will become worse. Expect the wait times, outside of regular office visits, for a Veteran to get help to be extended even more. The problem is not due to a lack of funds. It is due to a lack of competency, integrity, and holding the lives of Veterans to the utmost of importance. This is a frigging no brainer.

  41. I just read this on Yahoo news


    Is this the 1st step?

    1. Thanks for the link. That is exactly what is needed, real choice. Veterans should have a choice to stay with the VA, go to a private doctor or be able to have a combination. At almost 70 years of age, I am finding the 3 hours of traveling 140 miles round trip to be really fatiguing. There is no public transportation and most of the medical issues I face could be treated, literally, four minutes from my house.

      One of the VA’s reasons they don’t like private care is they supposedly don’t know the medical care being provided by private providers. However, even that is coming to an end as there is now the ability to electronically share information. Besides, doctors have been treating people for years without knowing 100% of a patient’s medical history.

      Added benefits would be competition in the market place, lower travel pay costs and a smaller burecracy.

      1. One problem with some service connected vets with major needs, is the the free VA medication is not offered from outside doctor prescriptions.

      2. On the medication given by choice doctors per VA in pueblo co, the doctor needs to fax that medication request to a VA pharmacy in order to get it filled. If you need medication right away the VA states you may fill and pay for the medication and send in the receipt to get reimbursed.

        Now the VA said that veterans that use choice, will not loose any benefits. Guess my VA see’s it different. If you use choice, you can not get your medication from our pharmacy (CBOC), nor will we rewrite the request and we may require you to bring in the doctors progress not and then we may not still not fill it.

        You can request an appointment and we still may not fill it. I had a very bad lung infection and needed the medication right away, the CBOC in pueblo co handed me a paper stating all of this. I told them that I had no money to buy the medication and was told to call the Denver VAMC and speak with pharmacy.

        I told the pharmacy the same thing and I was told well if you cant afford it you will have to drive the 200 miles one way to pick them up. If I did not have the money for the medication, how can I afford to get Gas to make a 4 hour trip back and forth and sick as hell.

        No the VA despises veterans that use choice and this is just a measure they will stoop too to get back at the veterans using choice. They only thing they know how to do is , Retaliation !

        They will teach us to use choice.

      3. That would be remedied by the same law which would allow vets to go to private physicians. The government would pay for those medications too.

      4. The VA doesn’t want to give us up because many of us are in research projects without our knowing. Sometimes some VA physicians are not aware of the research project and because the vet is too often unaware he may opt for private care if he has the means and it takes the subject out of the project. Example; I was told that I should have a colonoscopy every 2 years and had no trouble getting it done until I had a couple of them done in Japan. After that my two year schedule was changed by a physician who either didn’t want to do it or didn’t know about the research because my medical records hadn’t caught up with me. And now that they have caught up I’m on a 1 year schedule? Yet I’m not given any particular reason. It is being done at the VA in Cheyenne although I’m on Choice because of mileage and my primary care is only 2 minutes up the street. There is a facility across the street that does colonoscopies but mine is scheduled in Cheyenne.

  42. There is no,man that would stand in such a precise location to end his life that does not have a damn good story to listen to. With luck his family can spill the beans about what VA did to him personally. It smells like another DBC victim to me.

    They called in outside counsellors because they needed competent professionals. VA are considered human subjects so they get a better deal on these things.

    1. Just like a year ago when down at a Louisiana VAMC a medical assistant that killed a 73 year old veteran by blunt force trauma was given “time off to recover”, then returned right back to work and more than likely is still there mistreating and abusing Veterans. The VA is more concerned about their traumatized employees while not giving a rats ass about just why that Veteran went to such drastic measures. Yes, that Veteran was *more likely than not* sending a clear message with his death…but the VA rather cover that up and worry about their cuddly-wuddly dick employees!!!
      The VA bringing outside Psych’s to counsel is just the cherry on top of the pile of VA Poo.
      This crap must cease, and now.

    2. Dennis,

      The media blackout is likely so that the VA can corral the family in a non disclosure agreement on a fast settlement in this case. They don’t want the family speaking out about why this Veteran committed suicide.

      1. I specifically requested to talk w/my senators here in Wisconsin,,Tammy Baldwin,,,in regards to putting on ALL death certificates a box for coroners,,,”Death due to untreated physical pain from a medical condition,”..I was told by her ,”aid,” to ,,”prove it,” unquote…Never was allowed to talk to my senatore despite repeated request…Her aid called me back,,,not her,,,See they truly want no record of the willfull torture and death they have caused,,seriously For if they recorded this death on a actual death certificate as death due to the V.A.’s
        neglect or,,death due to a untreated medical condition,”..that death certificate is a LEGAL RECORD….
        Finally after the Tomah V.A.,,a man named ,”Dick Trickle,” and a veteren in Wisconsin Rapids taking a shot gun to stop his physical pain from war injuries sustained during the Vietnam war,,,whilst his nurse was trying to talk him out of it on the phone,,and i was calling the suicide prevention hotline,,got put on hold,,btw….I wrote a formal complaint to the U.N.O.H.R.C.,,,THEY DID RESPOND,,with a formal respond stating that denial of care or denial of access to effective medicines to lessen physical pain from any medical condition is defined as torture,,,Furthermore,,death forced upon a group of people by any government is genocide..I sent their reply to my Senatores…Soo this government is fully aware,,of the torture and genocide they have committed to our veterens and tooo alll whom our physical ill w/a painful medical condition,,thus,,,they want no legal record of the deaths they have willfully caused,,maryw

      2. Seymore,
        Let’s hope VA officials don’t find ALL of his relatives. That way the “story” CAN get out!

      3. Mentioning VA settlements, I just watched Jeff Miller and the committee, discuss with VA, VA Misuse of Employee settlement Agreements for whistle blowing. Since 20014 their were over 300 whistle blowing cases and the committee was given a little over 200 cases and of those 200 and some 72% were settled by payouts to Whistle blowers.

        The offender of retaliation 0 were disciplined and the offenders records showed a clean, record where the offender got away clean. No Action against them. One case pointed out where two 2 reports called for the termination, yet the VA paid the offending Employees Attorney fees and whipped that employees record clean.

        since 2014 5 million has been paid out to whistle blowers and 0 employees fired for the retaliation. So anyone that doubts veterans on this site about wrongdoings by VA employees, explain that. Hundreds of veterans and at least 300 VA employees have had the VA attack them as a retaliatory motive.

        Now Employees have x amount of ways to fight back, Veterans have 0 when a VA employee retaliates.

        When Bob McDonald stated the New VA is going to be called my VA and he meant it latterly and too many VA Employees took it Latterly and they have lashed out against employees and the Veterans.

        Being a veteran can be dangerous to our health, The writing on the wall is there, but it seems everyone is looking at the floor and not reading the wall.

        Again more skirting around the questions sighting privacy concerns : Yes the wrongdoers privacy. They did mention that they are taking action against 4 employee at the Grand Junction VA for termination. That will be a cold day in Hell, someone will do the wrong thing and cleanse those employees and the employees will have hell to pay, for daring to get them fired.

        I pay that Jeff Miller will run the VA, he’s seen enough of the run a round to last two life times. I believe he will be the one to see through the lies and will hold the liar accountable. The VA is still doing the shuffle with management.

        5 million dollars and what does the VA get, they get to keep those bad employees to carry on with the dirty deeds of trying to shut up Whistle blowers. What a waste of money at least we know that over 300 employees care enough to be put in the spot to bring wrongdoing to the fore front.

        Now if we can get someone to blow the whistle on employees that falsely accuse Veterans of Disruptive Behavior and consider them as whistle blowers, so they too can find an avenue to defend themselves against Disgruntled employees.

        VA employees, VA employees, how about the Veterans do we not matter. The VA requested 1.2 billion dollars, 420 million for research. If the VA has to pay 5 million since 2014, they are really going to need that money to recoup their losses.

        As said on the movie independence day, where the president was surprised after seeing the government facility and asked where did all the money come from and he was told do you really think a Hammer or toilet cost $100 thousands dollars.

        Nope they got the money the same way Lye to our elected officials and the public, how else can they afford to pay whistle blowers and get their yearly bonus.

        I never hear about Veterans issues it seems to always be about the VA staff and the bang up job their doing.

        Where is the Veterans protection, oh yea were our the collateral damage of doing business within the VA, employees mean more than veterans do or things would have changed.

  43. Docs at VA are very good and most care providers tend to be spot on. The issues inevitably come from the barriers to care created and perpetuated by the VA Administrators and bureaucrats. The director of the Providence RI VA is among the worst ever.

    1. The doctors I have met,
      i have researched online. My shrink (former) at VA had just gotten off a long suspension for chronic alcohol abuse so got her license back. VA hired her. My PCP was fired from his last civilian job at a clinic for chronically preaching his faith in Jesus during exams. VA hired him. In my first visit he gave me the ordering info to buy a book “May God Bless You” from Amazon. The author name is Joel Jiminez.

      I researched my PCPs facebook page upon which he posts profusely and discovered that “Joel Jiminez” is his pen name! My doc is hustling Amazon sales under an assumed name for a Christian book during PCP visits currently at VA! The VAs own Chaplain wrote me an unsolicited response to my informing him about this activty and said it was categorically a wrong act!

      So the alcoholic and the flim flam man are honestly both pretty nice people. One has had a lifetime of her nose in he bottle and the other is honoring capitalism via Amazon while at the same time drawing a VA wage.

      I figure that out of all the docs at VA Roseburg that I got the best two, but I would hardly call them a spot on crew.

    2. Concerning doctors at VA, let me ask you something? If the idea of the government providing a service that involves life and death is such a grand idea, then why doesn’t the FAA provide all the pilots, all the training, and set all the schedules? As a younger man I held a commercial/flight instructor license. I did have demonstrate a very high degree of profficiency to the FAA in a multitude of written and practical tests, but that is the ONLY case when the FAA provided a government pilot – the examiner.

      Believe me when I tell you that in my day at least the FAA was something a pro pilot feared, because the very slightest personal affront to an examiner could set back a career permanently on a busted check ride – and brothers this stuff does happen. The casualty is a career, not a life.

      If VA is a good idea for a provider of healthcare, then why doesn’t FAA offer passengers a “Choice” program too? You can choose to fly with a pilot from FAA that is immune from federal prosecution, state law, and license revocation, or you can choose to fly with a pilot that is held accountable in all respects.

      Which one would you fly with? More to the point, what type of pilot would the FAA attract who sought such immunities from the law?

      Now ask yourself, how many suicides in the general population are carried out in front of ER doors, burning to,death in front of clinics, and done right in front of the hospital they went to? How many of those got covered up? Answer these honestly and then answer if you think VA can EVER provide what the private already does?

    3. MC03,
      I disagree with your statement. I would say, only a few Physicians and other healthcare providers are “spot on” as you say.
      Most of them only care about how little they can do for their patients. This way, they can say their doing the best they can. That way they won’t upset their $$$$ “apple cart bonuses!”
      The mental health professionals I’ve met, over almost 45+ years, don’t give a rats ass on how they treat veterans.
      As a matter of fact, here in Florida, there are numerous outside mental health facilities, for veterans PTSD issues, very well equipped to deal with this issue.
      This Ms Brown needs to take heed on catering to the employees vs veterans on this matter. If the employees are more important, in her opinion, then, in my opinion, she needs to find another profession – say “Garbage Disposal Collection”!!!!!!!

    4. Good health care? Really? How about a VA Doctor that prescribes medicine you have an allergy to. An allergy documented in your VA records? Then has the nerve to put in your records that he sought the patient has an allergy to the medication? Yes, it happened to me. I now get to see a doctor outside the VA, and the VA gets to pay for it.

  44. What I would want to say about VA employees right now—– I won’t!
    Ben’s blog today is a prime example of why VHA’s nationwide should be SHUT DOWN!
    Any “Trolls” coming on today, as David “Little” Cox, (AFGE President), would say, needs their “…ass whooped…” for being uncompromising in how VHA’s treat veterans in the worst way!


  46. EAP Consultants is everywhere. Every part of government. Fed., State, County, City, major/minor corporations. Make a good FICTIONAL spy thriller. They’re in most Countries. Including AFGE. Like to connect them to our hotel/club in Paris. Does the system count od’s suicides? Most suicides by Veterans didn’t have to happen. Making us wait a lifetime or two, while many of us lose everything we ever had, I guess suicide just ain’t that hard. Or maybe just seems that way. God Bless the Veteran…

    1. I totally agree with you.

      Maybe the va employees eho are tramatized should receive mental health care from the gradutes of ali babba university that veterans are FORCED to use, I bet they will learn to suck it up and keep thier mouth shut or to join the list of 20 sucicides a day.

      Rest in peace brother, thank you for your service

  47. Ben, how can a crisis line be more capable of dealing with a crisis than the Veterans Hospital? I’m prone to believe all the Veterans Hospitals were capable and staffed to deal with PTSD, trauma, and other psychological disorders. Especially the larger VA’s.

    1. If he was flagged by the DBC then police would have prevented him from entering the facility under any circumstances. This is precisely the place that a DBC victim would pick to martyr this cause.

    1. No Troll, we don’t want VA care or Obama Care we want what Donald Trump is working on. And that is:

      “Trump Weighs Letting Veterans Opt Out of V.A. Medical Care”

      “WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — President-elect Donald J. Trump is considering a plan to allow military veterans to opt out of medical care at Veterans Affairs hospitals and instead see private doctors of their choosing, a senior transition official told reporters here on Wednesday.”

      To Quote President Elect Trump “We’re working on something to make it great for the veterans,” he said, adding: “People are dying. We’re going to fix it properly.”



      As Obama goes kicking and screaming trying to screw up the county even worse before he leaves. A total moron poking a bear with a stick.

      “U.S. expels 35 Russian diplomats, closes two compounds, official says”


    1. No Troll, we don’t want VA care or Obama Care we want what Donald Trump is working on. And that is:

      “Trump Weighs Letting Veterans Opt Out of V.A. Medical Care”

      “WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — President-elect Donald J. Trump is considering a plan to allow military veterans to opt out of medical care at Veterans Affairs hospitals and instead see private doctors of their choosing, a senior transition official told reporters here on Wednesday.”

      To Quote President Elect Trump “We’re working on something to make it great for the veterans,” he said, adding: “People are dying. We’re going to fix it properly.”



      As Obama goes kicking and screaming trying to screw up the county even worse before he leaves. A total moron poking a bear with a stick.

      “U.S. expels 35 Russian diplomats, closes two compounds, official says”


    1. No Troll, we don’t want VA care or Obama Care we want what Donald Trump is working on. And that is:

      “Trump Weighs Letting Veterans Opt Out of V.A. Medical Care”

      “WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — President-elect Donald J. Trump is considering a plan to allow military veterans to opt out of medical care at Veterans Affairs hospitals and instead see private doctors of their choosing, a senior transition official told reporters here on Wednesday.”

      To Quote President Elect Trump “We’re working on something to make it great for the veterans,” he said, adding: “People are dying. We’re going to fix it properly.”



      As Obama goes kicking and screaming trying to screw up the county even worse before he leaves. A total moron poking a bear with a stick.

      “U.S. expels 35 Russian diplomats, closes two compounds, official says”


      1. “Trump considering privatizing parts of Veterans Affairs”, By Daniel Halper, December 29, 2016

        “Wednesday’s mention of a “public-private option” suggests major changes may be coming.

        Trump held meetings with health execs to discuss “how would you implement a program that could get vets the ability to go to any hospital that they wanted to go to regardless … if you were in the VA or out of the VA, how would you set it up,” the official said.

        But, the official warned, it could be complicated.

        “So, the idea is to come up with a solution that solves the problem. And it’s not the easiest thing in the world because you’ve got all these little kingdoms out there, which is hard. You know, in the federal government it’s hard to break things up and start over,” said the official.”

        “Trump called his appointment of the VA secretary one of his most important appointments and is still interviewing candidates.”


      2. Seymore,
        I read about what President Elect Trump wants for the veterans. Great news indeed! I’d much rather use private healthcare.
        On that issue. A friend told me about “WELLCARE” today. He said it’s 100% better than VA healthcare! I’m going to check it out later.

        Secondly, the Russians were NOT behind the hacking, we all know this. It was an inside job and a few other security agencies! Even ‘Assange’ of Wikileaks confirmed this!
        This poser, Obama, is trying to get us into a world war. Then blame everything on the GOP and President Elect Trump! So far, with this crap, and what him and “Kowardly Kerry are doing against Israel, it’s not going to take that much more “prodding”! How much can a bully continue to act stupid, when the victim finally fights back?
        At least, that’s what I’m hearing on the “real news”!

      3. “Donald Trump Considers Moving VA Toward Privatization “, By Ben Kesling, Dec. 28, 2016

        “Mr. Trump is considering changing the department to allow some veterans to bypass the VA heath-care system completely and get care exclusively from private-sector hospitals and clinics, the official said. It is an option that could give veterans full choice over their health care, but which many veterans groups argue is the first step toward privatization and one that will reduce the quality of health care over the long term.”

        Of course there are those who are fighting against us Veterans having a choice in our health care.

        When asked why the VA needs to remain the coordinating hub of care for veterans. VA Secretary Bob McDonald said in an interview on Dec. 13. ““Veterans suffer very specific illnesses and injuries that come from the battlefield and that come from service and they tend to be multiple in nature.” “Veterans want a doctor, or want a provider, who understands these illnesses and these injuries and knows how to deal with them and deals with them every day.”

        Also lets not forget to mention those corrupt power and money hungry Dinosaurs VSOs who are also fighting against Veterans having real access to real health care.

        “Earlier this month, a group of advocates, including the American Legion, Vietnam Veterans of America and Paralyzed Veterans of America, said at a press conference they would oppose moves to privatize the department.”


      4. Elf,

        My personal opinion is that Obama is trying to crash and burn the country in every way he can. His actions against Russia are because their news agencies published the news from wiki leaks and published real news in stead of just the approved press releases.

        Also Obama’s JV team in Syria and Iraq are all folding and running for cover. Peace is breaking out in Syria and that is not part of the Obama plan.

      5. Elf it is like Obama wants to turn the whole US into what his home town now is. Chiraq.

  48. @ Marion VA Medical Center they have had to pay out for over 20 wrongful death cases in marion, illinois. The media did little to cover the stories. Also, a suicide was given little coverage that happen at the medical center. This article makes me sick. Again the true victim is given a lesser value. It is a reminder of the nightmare in operations and failure in the system.
    Employee Assistance Program, i heard they want to get their hands on information about your records and use it to retaliate against so called troubled employees. Like the EEO complaint process this gives management the opportunity to say it is just a employee relations problem, not the truth that an employee is reporting abuses by providers and management. This gives management the opportunity to move employees to other areas in the medical center so they can retaliate and again blame an employee in some capacity of being difficult. They twist and control all processes that would give an employee protection for blowing the whistle. EEO, EAP and vaoig among other avenues do not work to stop the abuses because these avenues are about controlling the process not correcting it. Their abuse of authority is beyond belief and when witness firsthand this is when you begin to understand how they are untouchable, because they can and do get away with it. Tragically, this is the truth and it happens throughout the va system.

    1. I agree it is very sad. I’m sorry to say that after all the years of dealing with the VA for my husbands care, I really can understand what leads them to suicide. I read a article that implies vets and family can have Severe PTSD after trying to work with this system! That’s very wrong.

  49. I’m amazed that at a VA hospital, there wasn’t someone there that could handle coping with trauma. The email did show more concern for employees than Veterans. THE email was sent at 930a.m., said the incident happened last night. Who investigates suicides on VA property? My prayers go out to the family…

    1. The Murfeesboro VA in TN had a veteran hang himself last month because he was asked to leave mental health care because he had an argument with a doctor.

      1. Exactly, express yourself and the VA will do what ever they can to stop it, Mainly using the Disruptive Committee to do their DIRTY work. Turning you back on veterans is or should be TREASON and those employees should have charges placed on the for Veterans with disabilities or persons with disabilities.

        I have always wondered how many Veterans that took their own lives applied for disability through VBA and were denied, As stated before veterans that are denied in writing, are not eligible for mental health care with out an adjudicated claim from VBA.

        I know this to be true because it happened to me, where the VA lied and denied my claim, stating that my Military records were destroyed in the St louis fire in 1973, DAV, VFW unable to do anything. After hiring an attorney and them seeing he was an attorney, Magically they reappeared ! I guess they are like the Phoenix bird and rose out of the ashes ! NA they just lied !

        and I suffered for 40 years with PTSD and a TBI !

  50. Ben,

    You have to use your expertise in FOIA, and connect with Cleve Jones who started the AIDS quilt and get their attention. Many names of veterans who have suffered and sacrificed themselves as a result of war and a clear fraudlent narrative of VA scheming veterans and their families need to be known.
    These Senators and Congressmen in these districts where these events occur need to be put on blast because it is a high stakes disclosure if VA did not notify the local Reps.

  51. Sad news. Too freaking bad about those “traumatized VA employees”. I have an idea, how about giving them a dose of their own freaky medicine and place them all in an old drive-in movie area to huddle like rats and have VA Telemedicine Psych Services projected en-mass to all the rats at once.

    Again, the VA only cares about it’s own image while hiding falsely under skirted guise of waiting to inform the family…BULL SHIT VA! The VA is likely keeping this under wraps as to not foul McDumbass’s chances of staying-on as VA Sec. Nothing shy of it.

    I should not have read this story before bedtime. No snow or snowflakes to smash for therapy in my area, but I know of some VA employees that need smashing. WTF?~!

    1. Good point, and such a double standard.
      Allow immediate access to outside counselors for face to face counseling for being on the premises when a veteran commits suicide.

      A veteran who likely sought counseling himself for trauma suffered over days or weeks, and was told a 2 week wait for a telemedicine appointment was the best they could do.
      Sonja helpfully included the veterans crisis line, either for VA employees to learn and pass on to veterans or for their own employees, which is doubtful.

      The real question now is, how many VA employees will have claims approved for PTSD within a month?

      Along with the other question of why the media all over the nation seems so quick to suck up to the VA and help hide their dirty laundry.

      Perhaps media outlets in ABQ need to be contacted and ask why.

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