LEAK: VA Attempts to Stoke SVA’s Curiously Warm Relations


I found the departure of Student Veterans of America (SVA) head Mike Dakduk to be a sad one after years of fighting the good fight for student veterans.

While I was at Veterans for Common Sense, we fought along side SVA, IAVA and other modern veteran organizations to help limit for-profit colleges ability to exploit veterans.

We were very proud when the law was changed to limit for-profit colleges in their ability to prey on veterans using high-pressure sales tactics.

I was caught off guard two weeks ago when SVA acknowledged the recent announcement that Dakduk is moving to the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU).

This is the organization that represents the interests of for-profit colleges. His new position is Vice President of Military and Veterans Affairs, which seems to contradict the work we all did before against for-profits last year.

I was further caught off guard this morning when I found an internal VA memo in my email inbox sent to Secretary Shinseki. It was titled, “Student Veterans of America Courtesy Visit.”

While VA did attempt to recall the memo, it did not actually delete the email. I felt it might be prudent for veterans to have a firm understanding of how the networking game is played amongst the veteran organizations and VA within the Beltway. So, here is the memo for you to view.

Click here to see the STUDENT VETERANS OF AMERICA COURTESY VISIT memorandum for Secretary Shinseki as a Word document in its original form, typos and all.

Here it is in blog format; again, this is unedited, typos and all:










1 P.M.


Mr. Kevin Secor, Veterans Service Organization Liaison, (202) 461-4835, cell (202) 379-8216.



Decisional                                  X Courtesy Visit                        Pre-Event



Mr. Rodrigo Garcia, Chairman of the Board

Mr. Wayne Robinson, Executive Director

Mr. Brian Hawthorne, Board Member



Student Veterans of America is a non-profit organization focused on addressing the needs and concerns of Veterans in higher education.  They are best known for being an umbrella organization for student Veterans groups that advocated for improvements in Veterans Educational benefits.  Their mission is to develop student Veteran groups on college and university campuses and coordinate by region between existing groups; connect student groups with resources; and advocate on behalf of student Veterans at the state and national level.  They have two major components: the executive staff and student Veterans groups, and advocate on behalf of student Veterans at the local, state, and national level. The event is designed with “leadership development” as it principal goal.


TOPICS FOR DISCUSSIONSVA has no topics they will raise.  This is primarily a courtesy call to introduce the new President and Executive Director, D. Wayne Robinson, CSM (ret),


Overall of meetings with USB Hickey, Dr. Sowers and Asst. Secretary Mooney

Talking Points

Bio Sketches

Overall of meetings with USB Hickey, Dr. Sowers and

Asst. Secretary Mooney

Wayne Robinson has meet with USB Hickey, Asst. Secretary Sowers, and Asst. Secretary Mooney, as well as Danny Pummel and MG (ret) Worley at VBA.

Conversations with Asst. Secretary Sowers and Asst. Secretary Mooney were mostly a meet and greet, though Asst. Secretary Sowers took the time to show SVA the Second Thing campaign footage. SVA is looking forward to hear more about it and will support as we can.

SVA conversation with USB Hickey and senior staff was much more substantive. They discussed the following:

  • Graduation rate research – MG (ret) Worley indicated that the data should be coming shortly from VBA. SVA is looking forward to receiving so they can begin their analysis. SVA understands VBA will be conducting its own analysis, but SVA would like to begin comparing it to the National Student Clearinghouse data.
  • Discussed the opportunities available to veterans not interested or able to pursue higher education, and agreed that technical training and apprenticeships should be a topic that SVA and VBA can collaborate on.
  • SVA strongly believes that everyone is a lifetime student, whether enrolled or not, and are looking forward working with VBA on encouraging veterans to consistently seek opportunities to advance their minds and careers, especially in technical educations, community colleges, and apprenticeships.
  • Discussed ways to encourage companies in offering internship opportunities to student veterans during and after their educational experiences, which they would like to work towards together in the future.


Talking Points

Meeting is meant to be an open dialog.  Some topics of consideration:

  • Congratulations on your new assignment
  • Also want to congratulate SVA for being honored by Google with their Global Impact Award!
  • Understand SVA has now 897 Chapters – Great accomplishment
  • You have met with Asst. Secretary Sowers, Asst. Sec Mooney along with Under Secretary Hickey.  Understand all went very well.
  • Vet Success – Help us, where are the student populations
  • We need to focus on graduation rates
  • Ensure student Veterans are receiving the services and benefits they deserve
  • Received your Invitation for you January conference.  Been to all so far and I would like to continue to do so, but may be unable to.  We are looking either the new Deputy or even Under Secretary Hickey
  • We need to remain focused many good things VA is doing


Similar Posts

One Comment

  1. What a well rehearsed PR gimmick, maybe Dakduk is readying jobs for Shinseki and company. And Sowers? The [sorry about the hard quotes] “Dr.” part, what type of meretricious nonsense is it for a PhD to call his or herself when 1) the pedagogical responsibility of Sowers with veterans doesn’t exist to be even called a bachelor and 2) Sowers isn’t a “VA” professor in the resident of tenure or adjunct which by way of doctor title applies to a teacher; one highly proficient in a branch of learning or holding the highest university degree … XIV. — OF. ‘doctour’ — L. doctor, -‘o’r-, teacher. What Sowers has taught veterans is of no worth to recognize by title and decorative accomplishment his degree in … something which parlays a vitiating handshake on behalf of veterans.

    DC has been overdeveloped these days with the extra baggage of overrated phonies such as Dakduk and Sowers, Dakduk and Sowers could have been running sweatshops overseas [Shinseki has invested in sweatshops with bank board advisory work for places such as Guam and Saipan] in the tedium of reality rather than working for the military with never a nanosecond of missing sleep with respect to cheez wiz advertising and real accomplishments … and in repetitive prose these two would brag about running a sweat shop just as the SVA is great and Sowers has anything but a mendacious clue beyond politics.

    I think I said it best about the dilettante known as Shinseki, https://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/stories/2006/11/06/story14.html — if Shinseki could run a bank which pumped big dollars into sweatshops based out of Guam, Saipan and many other places of course he is going to want to bank off veterans benefits when he retires with Sowers and Hickey … this isn’t news as much as it is the abhorrent lifestyle of a couple of scam artist ex-military officers who have impeached all human credibility in trade for millions of dollars in payola and vampiric scum-baggery.

    To break it down it even further Ben, according to etymology what does it mean to serve?
    SERVE: be a servant (to). XIII; many deriv. uses from the same date. — (O)F. servir or L.servīre, f. L. servus slave.
    So service1 condition or work of a servant. XII (serfise, seruise). — OF.servise, (also mod.) service, or — L.servītium slavery. serviceable XIV. — OF. serviette table napkin. XV. In earliest use only Sc. (seruiot, -iat, laterseruit), since c.1800 re-adopted in gen. Eng. use with F. sp. — (O)F. serviettetowel, napkin, f. servir; see -ETTE.servile pert. to a slave or to laborious or mechanical work XIV; of slavish character XVII. — L. servīlis. servitor†(man)servant XIV; †one who serves in war XVI; former class of exhibitioner at Oxford university XVII. — OF. servitor(mod. serviteur) — late L. servītor.servitude slavery XV; (Sc. leg.) subjection or subservience of propertyXVI. — (O)F. — L. servitūdō. servo-XIX, in servo-motor — F. servo-moteurauxiliary motor (see -O-).

    These scam artists such as Shinseki, removed this definition/history/ of the word from their corporate agenda: [XIV; †one who serves in war]. West Point and that scam college known as George Washington University have extremely hard times with the English language [just ask anyone who goes to a better night school than West Point or any veteran from jail and homelessness who tutors GW students], specifically English etymology versus political nonsense which any two bit academician can differentiate as crap without having to think twice.

    How about this? Any a student who used veteran benefits, are these guys full of shit by way of conservative economics and by liberal logical calculi? If the answer is no, would you invest in a sweat shop cash cow that preyed on students who didn’t know they could attend Oxford online for a lower cost of what matriculation and tuition costs would be for attending Phoenix — Strayer — Kaplan online?

Comments are closed.