St Paul Town Hall Jake Leinenkugel

Major VA Leaders Unexpectedly Show Up For North St. Paul VA Town Hall

St Paul Town Hall Jake Leinenkugel
Marine veteran, Trump advisor Jake Leinenkugel

Major leaders from the White House and Department of Veterans Affairs headquarters showed up unannounced for the North St. Paul VA Town Hall last night.

Local VA leadership including Kim Graves and Patrick Kelly were in attendance as always. To our surprise, leadership from Washington DC was also present including the Deputy Under Secretary of Health for Community Care and one Senior White House advisor, Marine and Wisconsin beer mogul Jake Leinenkugel.

RELATED: Marine, Beer Mogul Jake Leinenkugel To Fix Help VA For White House

Brian Lewis with Jake Leinenkugel

The group fielded questions from the crowd including my buddy Brian Lewis from the Military Sexual Trauma community and me. Overall, the rhetoric was measured with no exceptional outbursts.

Veterans expressed their concerns respectfully and VA responded.

Questions At VA Town Hall

I did end up getting into a spirited debate with the Deputy Under Secretary of Health for Community Care about whether each VA medical center should publish their respective local policies and clinical guidelines publicly. I will get into that in a second.

For those wondering about my questions, here is what I asked about:

  1. Will St. Paul RO allow veterans who file a notice of disagreement to also have an opportunity for a DRO hearing prior to the appeal being certified to the Board of Veterans Appeals? Board appeals take around 5 years right now, and waiting that amount of time for a resolution of a due process violation is unreasonable. Some regional offices allow it. Some do not. This inconsistency needs to be resolved in favor of the veteran, in my mind. The regional office was interested in learning more and will get back to me. Kim Graves approached me about this after the session and, hopefully, the local office will begin allowing DRO hearings when VRE counselors violation basic due process rights.
  2. Will VA update its expired “clinical appeals” policy that was drafted in 2006 years before veterans had a recognized vested property right to their benefits? It expired in 2011 but VHA has refused to draft a new version consistent with the evolving legal landscape since 2006. There is nothing in the works to update the expired policy, unfortunately. However, Jake Leinenkugel said he would follow up with me about it.
  3. Will VA publicly publish its local policies and clinical guidelines to help empower veterans regarding health care administration and treatment? I had an opportunity to debate this issue with Baligh Yehia. His position, summed up, was that publication of such documents would not be appropriate for a variety of reasons. Further, that improving trust between veterans and medical centers will be accomplished through focus on being kind to veterans. While I agree that being kind to veterans is vital, it does no good to be kind to veterans who are killed when clinicians err. I believe VA is not the NSA, and the agency would do well to increase transparency. The debate ended with me reminded VA employees that they work for us, “You work for us.”

That aside, Jake Leinenkugel gave me some quick feedback and, otherwise, the town hall seemed to be effective.

I hope the agency continues to do these at various veteran friendly locations. It forces people like me to break out of my respective bubble to meet some of my veteran neighbors that I would otherwise not cross paths with during a normal day.

As my readers, I would love your feedback on the above three questions. How do you feel about VA publishing local policies and clinical guidelines? What would you have brought up if you were there?

How do you feel about VA publishing local policies and clinical guidelines? What would you have brought up if you were there?

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  1. @Benjamin-

    Just now on CBS This Morning, Cleveland Clinic’s Pres. Toby Cosgrove was on talking about healthcare. He’s meeting with Pres. Trump April 11.
    Although Toby Cosgrove talked at length about opiate abuse and controlling pain meds and limiting them to combat the opiate problem, Cosgrove made mention that we lost 53,000+ in Vietnam and then used that # to say we lost just that many in USA last year to opiate induced deaths.
    Of all the challenges about healthcare and Cosgrove’s carefully mentioned analogy to Vietnam, not once did Toby Cosgrove mention the VA or Veterans.
    He did mention that they test their Cleveland Clinic employees regularly for nicotine and will not employ smokers or anyone who uses any kind of nicotine.
    What happened to Toby Cosgrove’s occasional interest in helping the VA Sec.?
    Early April Fools?
    I just thought it was noteworthy how it seems they are trying to reverse engineer the dialogue about the problems with healthcare being administered effectively and safely at the VA.
    Why do I say this?
    Because it seems if they want to control cost of healthcare, the entire picture needs included. Veterans seem to becoming non-inclusive to healthcare reform.

    1. @Namnibor – I watched the CBS Morning News too. American public thinks that there is nothing wrong with the VA Healthcare System. Plus, MSM is downplaying this issue as well, no current reporting. Something smells here, and I don’t like it one bit. When leading medical professionals who the MSM seeks out for advice on our Country’s health concerns [opiate epidemic], and they don’t believe that the VA has problems, red flags pop up in my mind.

      And, since the VA problems are so obvious, I’m not taking the time or energy to persuade them differently. I will direct them to the Ben’s blog to read, and if they have any interest in helping after that, their behavior will surely show it, they’ll turn around and want to do something. I guess that I may be getting tired of getting my hopes up, and then having it slammed on the ground and stomped on. Too much having their heads in the sand, and an unwillingness to get their hands dirty to help out Veterans by cleaning up the VA. Make sense?

      1. I just get tired of Veterans being used again as stage props for a statistic, without actually evening mentioning the words “veteran/soldier” when Cosgrove used how many killed in Vietnam compared to just one year’s deaths via opiates in USA.

        THAAT is kind of minimalizing a WAR and trying to make opiate problem MORE IMPORTANT, and while all that hot air was blown about overages in healthcare costs and how to fix the system by…”people taking better care of themselves” (Cosgrove’s words), and a big DUHHHH on that one, genius, and all the while never mentioning the VA once, NOR did the talking heads on show, three of them, NONE asked or mentioned Cosgrove’s tossing his name in for VA Sec. TWICE…not even brought-up.
        I’m really starting to think Cosgrove likes to use Veterans and deaths of Vets in wars as stage props and occasionally tossing his name out there until JUST the right position comes up that suits HIM.
        It’s unfortunate when you see ex-military become successful and either totally forget fellow Vets or USE them as statistics and prop those up with fact they just also happen to be a Veteran.
        Maybe it’s just sour grapes on my part because when I saw he was being interviewed I recorded it and watched, thinking he surely will mention something about VA reform.
        Lucy yanked that damn football out from my again!

      2. @Namnibor – I hear yeah Nam. What ticks me off, is when you have someone like Cosgrove with all of his direct experience with the opiate epidemic, the VA, how this effects Veterans, he doesn’t nor others take advantage of their influence when THEY ARE ON PRIMETIME! Rat bastards. But, if it fit into Cosgrove’s selfish agenda, he milks it all the way like he did this morning. Hopes up, Veterans screwed again, another stabbing directly into my heart. Go figure . . .

    2. @Namnibor: reverse engineer the dialogue about the problems with healthcare being administered effectively and safely at the VA.

      great observations. in this context, this reverse engineering is such a slap in the face to the veteran community. like you observed, lately, the dialog sure hasn’t been much about holding VA/VBA accountable at all…totally switching gears in the public narrative. they are experts at it.

      aren’t we veterans glad Cosgrove bailed on VA Sec position, YES!

      didn’t hear him mention the AO & GWS epidemic and how VA screwed thousands of veterans and their families with jsut those two things? i suppose now, the medical norm will be to load up the population on bizarre SSRI cocktails vs real pain meds for real medical conditions/injuries…i mean, big pharm has had years of research data on those meds via an unsuspecting veteran poplulation. i know those things do help some ppl, but they have a whole boatload of negative side effects for many ppl, and those ppl would be better served with other meds. though mentioning those other meds these days gets one negatively labled. but Cosgrove and his crew don’t mind patients doing med pot. pot is great for symptoms i know, just pointing out the hypocrisy with Cosgrove’s statements.

      like i said, glad he bailed on VA. we don’t need or want his logic, especially since he and others like him just tossed veterans under the bus…again.

  2. ╭┳━┳┳━━━━━╭┫╰╮┈..┈..┏━╮╭━┓┈.╭━━━━╮
    ┃┃╭╯╰╮┈VA┈┃▎▃╰╮ ┃┏┗┛┓┃╭┫AFGE┃
    ╱┃┃┃┃╱╱╱┃┃┃┃╱╱┈., .╰━┳┻▅╯╲╲╲╲┃┈┈┈
    ╱┗┛┗┛╱╱╱┗┛┗┛╱╱ …┈┈┈╰━┳┓┏┳┓┏╯┈┈┈

  3. @cj, my eyes are burning. I need to try to get some sleep. God Bless you and yours. I would love to sleep more than a couple of hours. Ughh!! Get some good rest my friend. Take care.

  4. ╭┳━┳┳━━━━━╭┫╰╮┈..┈┏━╮╭━┓┈.╭━━━━╮
    ╱┃┃┃┃╱╱╱┃┃┃┃╱╱┈., .╰━┳┻▅╯╲╲╲╲┃┈┈┈
    ╱┗┛┗┛╱╱╱┗┛┗┛╱╱ …┈┈┈╰━┳┓┏┳┓┏╯┈┈┈

  5. ╭┳━┳┳━━━━━╭┫╰╮┈..┈┏━╮╭━┓┈.╭━━━━╮
    ╱┃┃┃┃╱╱╱┃┃┃┃╱╱┈., .╰━┳┻▅╯╲╲╲╲┃┈┈┈
    ╱┗┛┗┛╱╱╱┗┛┗┛╱╱ …┈┈┈╰━┳┓┏┳┓┏╯┈┈┈

  6. ╭┳━┳┳━━━━━╭┫╰╮┈.┈┏━╮╭━┓┈.╭━━━━╮
    ╱┗┛┗┛╱╱╱┗┛┗┛╱╱ …┈┈┈╰━┳┓┏┳┓┏╯┈┈┈

  7. @Ex va: the Cow will be facing the Pig like they are talking to each other. Could this be the mascott?

    1. @cj, yes i think it would be perfect mascot. I think that subject is brought almost daily about funding and behavior of the union employees.

      1. @Ex va: Here we go”
        ╱┗┛┗┛╱╱╱┗┛┗┛╱╱ ┈┈┈╰━┳┓┏┳┓┏╯┈┈┈

  8. @Ex va:Okay Ex I like those two, now i will try to put them together to make one. It will be ready for tomorrow lol

  9. ┈┈┏━╮╭━┓┈.╭━━━━╮

  10. @cj @Ex va – My cursor is all over the place. Losing control. Lights are all out in the living room where I sleep. Instead of fighting this all night, I’m going to jump off, and get the cleaning gear ready for tomorrow. With that, I say Good Night, and God bless the both of you, and your families as well [no, I didn’t forget about the 4-legged members]. Good Night all, and Ben’s world. cj, don’t let your head bob back forth, then it takes a fall and hits you keyboard. Good Night!!!

    1. @ANutterVet: Goodnight and God Bless you and your family and sleep well. Do not have nightmare about the:

      1. @Ex va: How about this one too:

      2. @cj, that is perfect for the afge!!!!! Oink!!! Oink!!! I smell like…………!! LOL!

  11. @ANutterVet,@Ex va: Ex va, about that Ben’s blog mascott or whatever you wanna call it. How about the tank with DV.ORG, or BEN’S on it, shooting at a bullseye target, with VA on it?

    1. @cj – Agreed. I was laughing so hard listening to the comedians that I woke my wife up. Now she wants me to go outside and trim the foliage in the front. Problem is, that its dark.

    2. @cj, that sounds good. When we get trolled or need something upbeat. I think everyone likes the images you post. ANutterVet, what do you think? Need something to give everyone a chuckle.

      1. @Ex va @cj – Yeah, that’ll work. We need to lighten things up as much as possible. My pad on the keyboard is slipping all over the place. It started acting up earlier. And, I been receiving my notices via email of my own posts. Here we go . . .



      1. @Handcannon72vet – I know you’re going to look over the information on E-Benefits to make sure everything is in order. Can’t trust them.

  13. @cj – Forgetfulness has been happening to me a lot lately. I have enough papers and reminders all over the place. Sometimes I really get upset when I forget. Especially when I’m talking to my wife. You and Ex are so damn messed up, that you don’t even notice when I fumble my thoughts up. Normal to you two . . . LOL

    1. @ANutterVet, that is true. LOL! What you and cj write even typos i miss i know what you guys are saying it doesn’t matter. I am messed up in the head.

      1. @Ex va – Its always good when others don’t have to share with you that you’re messed up.

      2. @Ex va- I lose my thought so much. That my wife finishes my sentences for me when were talking. LMAO

      3. I forget all. My head is so full of intrusive thoughts they occupy my every thinking moment and I loose important facts in the confusion and just as you, my wife sorts it all out for me.

      4. @[email protected] -yep, I here you. The other problem that I don’t like, is when a third party starts talking in our discussion, and there is no one physically there. Its all in my head. The wife likes it, she gets 2 fellas that really love her. More money. Joking . . . no pun intended. Stress has been off the wall, and I look for humor in any situation that I can to ease off and remove the negative power that this feeling sometimes can overwhelm you with. The other thing that I do, is to imagine Hawaii in my mind for the relaxation and excitement one receives when going spear fishing in that warm subtropical Pacific Ocean. You may not know what I mean about Hawaii, but I know that you understand what it is that I’m expressing.

      5. @Ex va – That might be the way it is at your house. At mine, its “shut the hell up, I’m in charge now, when are you going to finish putting on the new roof.” Dang nam Ex, we didn’t even buy the new roofing tiles yet! See what I mean? Help me . . .

      6. @ANutterVet, wish i could help you buddy. That is a rough one. LOL!!! I usually just follow to keep the peace. Lol!! If you lived closer we could get a team together and get all the honey dos done. Lol!! The lists seem like they never end. I need a team.

  14. @cj @Ex va – cj needs a metal plate for his head, and Ex, you need to get metal toed shoes because sometimes, those hammers have a mind of its own. I know the two of you don’t have a mind. El blanko LOL

    1. @ANutterVet, @cj, i know a mind is a terrible thing to waste. LOL!!! I feel some days i really don’t have a mind anymore. ROFL!!! It is sad but true. Blanks!!

      1. @ANutterVet,@Ex va: Ex va, there nutter goes again, sugar coating it for us….
        Okay guys, I will be right back.
        c[_] COFFEE BREAK c[_]

      2. @cj – go ahead and get your coffee. you need the caffeine to get your sluggish brain to kick in. i’m getting a bagel and lux. only wish I had the money.

      3. @ANutterVet,@Ex va: Back.
        Just had one of those damn dizzy spell thingy’s, and now my vision is messed up a bit……….

      4. @cj – You okay? No pun intended, if not, get that mallet. You know what to do with it. Do you get those every day? If so, how often?

        Do you remember when I shared with you about the Attorney General of Philadelphia was indicted? You know, he won’t resign even though his peers are asking him too. He’s really narcissistic.

      5. @Ex va: No, they are mini siezures, nothing to worry about. I get them alot. The VA gave them to me, along with a pile of bat shit crazy.

  15. @Ex va @cj – When doing the melatonin, you should take it about an hour before you know that your going to sleep. After taking, if you start feeling sleepy, then that is the time to hit the sack. If you miss the time, then the melatonin is less likely to work for you. At least this is how I do it. But, a good thing to do, is to Google the about how melatonin works, and then apply it to your sleeping habits and patterns. Melatonin doesn’t hit you like a sleeping pill, benzo, antihistamine, pain med, or a barb works on your system.

    1. @ANutterVet, how many milligrams i bought the 5mg. It does make me sleepy but takes awhile to fall asleep like 2 hours later? The pharmacist said could take 10mg.

      1. @Ex va – I believe it would be fine to take 10mgs. You will need to find the sweet spot on how much to take. Then take it reg, but watch and try to stay away from extra stress. I think we all do the last part every day. I know that I don’t need more.

    2. @ANutterVet, i will google it and research it some more. I try to do the right things to sleep.

      1. @Ex va – I know you try to do the right thing. And I’ll try to help and guide you as much as possible. And, if Melatonin doesn’t work, you may want to add Magnesium, 5 HTP, Omega 3 Oils, Vitamin B2, amino acid L-Taurine [I’m not sure if it comes into an acetyl form or not, I’ll check later for you], and TMG [Trimethylglycine]. These are all of the ones that I currently take. And, you know what, it still hard for me to get fall asleep. That’s why I say to really limit your stress. Even during the day, try to avoid the drama if you can. As you know, stress can roll over into the latter part of the day, even though the stress occupied your space earlier in the day. Know what I mean?

      2. @ANutterVet, you are exactly right on the stress issue. I do try to avoid the drama because i avoid people. Been going thru somethings too. I have to finish something i started and i am not looking forward to dealing with the va again. I will have to just take small steps and be careful not to get myself too stressed out.

  16. @ANutterVet,@Ex va: When I have a hard time sleeping, I hit myself in the middle of the forehead, like I should have had a V8, only with a rubber mallot, like the old time painless dentists used………..don’t do it, I was just kidding fer cryin out loud.

    1. @cj – Man that hurts. Do you hit yourself like that often? How R U doing tonight?

      1. @Ex va – Sorry, a lot going on, I totally missed you. I scrolled up some and seen your post. R U doing ok tonight? How’s the pain level? Come on now, lets answer by standards, 1 to 10?

      2. @ANutterVet, around a 7, i can handle it so far, if it climbs up then i take some meds. It affects my sleep if i do not take meds sometimes. I have insomnia. Need to get authorization from my dr. And insurance again.

      3. @ANutterVet,@Ex va: I use the kind of mallot that is corrugated plastic and has a squeeky in it. Only I don’t use it on myself, I use it on VA administrators, like scolding a bad puppy. “bad administrator” squeek squeek!

      4. @cj @Ex va – Yeah Ex, you gotta watch when you get the big flare ups. Sometimes I when I get a major flare up, I forget when I last took my meds. I may have to start tracking when I take it. Right @cj? Please cj, put away that hammer, or plant it in the skill of one of those maniacs at your local VA. Never mind, give it to me. I’ll put it to good use.

      5. @ANutterVet,@Ex va: yes that is a huge problem, both from pain, and from being exhausted, keeping track of when and if……you took your meds. Sometimes I can’t remember and I end up double dosing, and the ride is horrable for about 4 hours.

  17. @cj , @Ex va – cj check your main inbox, incoming. No don’t cover, just open’er up. Another will follow shortly. We have you thunder and rain coming in. Ex va, are you going to open up your window?

    1. @cj , @Ex va – R U up tonight? Come on now, drop your c _ _ ks and grab your socks. Sorry, feeling kinda pissed off after talking with my in-home Nurse and Physical Therapist. Things are really messed up with the VA’s services. Getting upset, wife is really stressed, and its getting hard to prioritize because of the extreme and unnecessary and compounded stress, anxiety, depression, agitation, hyperviligence [spell ?], etc..

      I’m trying to keep things stable. Wasn’t able to get to sleep until 5:45am. Just laid there in bed, twist and turn, twist and turn. I’ve got to find a way to nip the VA in the butt for good. I’m still looking for loophole(s). They don’t care how their behavior effects your family and your emotional well being. As you know, I’ve been going through this for over a year. And still, no counseling in which they have promised, then reneged on at least 2-3 times. Phew . . .

      1. @ANutterVet, sorry you are not sleeping well. I think that intensifies pain and other issues with you health. I haven’t had my regular sleepin meds. Trying the melatonin it is not working well. I am opening my window so you can send me a secret message to me. LOL!!!

  18. Just now on WFTV CHANNEL 9 ORLANDO.
    Lake Nona, VHA hospital is going to be taking job applications this weekend.
    How many of y’all think it’ll be for anything other than low income jobs!

    1. They can “take applications” all they wish, but the larger question is how many of those they will “consider” that are not related to another AFGE member, and how many are truthfully publically posted or is the VA just going through the legal rope a dope to make it look as if public’s welcome to apply when in reality, the jobs are already spoken for?

      One things for certain, if any Vet gets hired it will be mopping-up liquefied remains or pushing a mop around behind some slug of a VA employee, mopping-up their living liquid remains. (yuck)

  19. Focus on being kind to veterans you say — reminds me of the statement in the Veterans Health Benefits Handbook -You will be treated as an individual – well that’s Not Happening.

    How do you feel about VA publishing local policies and clinical guidelines?

    Without a doubt I want to see & read with my own eyes local policies & clinical guidelines & I want them easy to find. I have read plenty of the clinical guidelines on Opioids, it’s the doctors Who Have Not Read The Guidelines, therefore they are not following them, overreacting &/or misinterpreting.

    I find this guideline very peculiar because it has Not been my experience:
    ‘Prior to pain assessment it is important that all practitioners be aware of how their own BIASES may influence pain assessment. The following may affect practitioners’ responses to patients’ reported pain:
    •attitudes – fear of patient addiction. Concern that attention to pain may encourage additional complaints of pain and medication seeking.
    •skills – inadequate knowledge and experience related to pain assessment and management.
    •knowledge – concern about the side effects of analgesics.
    •practice behavior – failure to routinely assess and document. successful pain screening relies on practitioners’ consistent commitment to several core concepts:
    •the patient’s self-report of pain is the single most reliable indicator of pain.
    •observations of behavior and vital signs should not be used instead of self-report unless the patient is unable to communicate.
    •pain can occur when there is no physiological cause, and it is just as real to the patient’

    How about this recommendation in the guidelines…
    *Do not abandon a patient under any circumstances.
    *Maintain contact with any patient who withdraws from treatment due to a disagreement.

    How many times you been told Oh its not that bad. How many Veterans have stepped away from VA care due to a disagreement.

    What would you have brought up if you were there?

    *Since the Chief of staff is responsible for implementation & monitoring their Guideline Policy please produce the report on how well all VA team members have/have not been trained & educated in current policy guides.
    *Why have you authorized treatment outside the VA & then not pay the doctors or the dentists. Why are you not ensuring that Providers do not bill or co-pay bill Veterans.

    POTUS has sent his information seeking agents throughout the Nation let’s hope that’s who came unannounced to the meeting. And always remember – focus on being kind to veterans, they deserve to be treated as an individual.

    1. Donald Harvey Angel of Death who claimed he was responsible for killing 18 while working at the VA Medical Center in Cincinnati has died from a beat down in his prison cell.

      1. Here’s one of many links but this one specifically mentions the Veterans he also killed, many other articles totally omit those little details:


      2. @NiteWish, Sometimes people reap what they sow in this life. People like him and killers of innocent people do not do so well in a prison environment.

  20. You know Ben, another question I think you should ask, particularly if you ever get the promised follow-up is:

    Since the policies and guidelines are not published publicly, how do new VA employees, and specifically medical care providers get training on these policies? Where can they go if they have a question on something?

    Granted they may have some internal site where they can access this, but how are they made aware of any new policies? Or any changes to policies?

    I would also use the argument that veterans care and other benefits are inconsistently provided from VA to VA and RO to RO because those policies and guidelines are NOT publicly provided.

    If a veteran were treated at one VA for condition X, then moved to another state where they were told that condition cannot be treated, where does the veteran go to show policy should allow that treatment?

    Again, I think this is nothing more than a sorry excuse used to avoid accountability.

  21. Oh, and I forgot to add. Grand Junction held a focus group meeting here the 3rd of February. It was supposed to be an ongoing event focused on what the VA could do better.
    After the first meeting I attended, I have heard of no others. I believe I was the only veteran, non-VA employee that attended.

  22. On your questions Ben, if you think about it, publishing policies or guidelines means there is a policy or guideline that should be followed, and if they are not, what is the result?

    The only result there can be is accountability, and I cannot think of any agency, entity, plant form, or dirt speck more adverse to accountability and better at avoiding it than the VA.

    Every fiber of their being is geared towards avoiding accountability, and your questions should have highlighted for those in attendance how pathetic the accountability is at the VA.

    I would hope if you get the chance to follow up with these officials that you push this issue, and make it happen nation wide.

    There is nothing worse than a VA flunky at any level pulling an answer out of their ass. A veteran educated on what the proper policy or guideline should be would help prevent that.

    …and would be a start at restoring accountability to a place that completely lacks it.

  23. Why is the VA run like every other For-Profit-hospital in the U.S.? Shouldn’t Repairing the Veterans be the Number One priority since doing so would SAVE thousands of lives & millions of dollars in lawyer fees, lawsuit payouts, and Bad PR cleanup?

    The VA wasn’t established to make profits. It was established to care for and repair Veterans.

    1. @LP – It’s called job security for the union workers. Your talking about solving the health problems of Veterans. This isn’t really the goal; a façade for others to believe.

      1. I want to believe.
        I want to believe
        I want to believe.

        Damn, these ruby red shoes hurt my feet!

      2. @Namnibor – No problem Nam. Check you mailbox, I had the VA send you a plastic square pail to soak your dam feet in. The VA didn’t even know what a plastic pail was. The receptionist was very rude too. I had to call multiple times before I got through to speak to someone. I was transferred twice to different departments. Its a good thing that the VA is changing for the better. Oh, those ruby red shoes, there has been many reports of the red die leaching into the skin, causing; rashes, blisters, carbuncles, and flesh peelings. VA informed me, if this occurs, to file another claim for POSSIBLE compensation.

      3. That’s only if a Vet was wearing ruby red shoes while stationed in Germany when the Chernobyl meltdown explosion occurred, but only on the windy days and in Berlin’s Red Light District…but the VA will still claim it was some acquired STD not yet discovered by medical science, not chemical or radiation.

    2. @LP

      You are right on your facts, however the point is moot – VA was not indeed established to make a profit; AFGE was. VA serves but one group of people, and they call that group the AFGE.

      Town Hall meeting my ass! In the West we call it blowing smoke up your ass. Go to the godamn Union Hall meeting if you want to talk to those running the show. Dog and pony shows are usually a dime a dozen, but this one costs BILLIONS and the dog has been raped and the pony claims it wasn’t him.

      1. with the new Law, the union will have no say about VA employees being fired. The new law supersedes all prior statutes and the Union. This is a wait and see, if the secretary will inforce this new law. He said he would and that bad employee’s will be removed. Their is a procedure or procedures that must be taken.

        In the cases where VA employee’s have committed a Felony, those employee’s care be fired by the VA secretary and can not be over turned. Any employee’s referred for removal or demotion and no action taken, all the names and place of employment and title of position of these employee’s along with a response why not action was taken must be delivered to the Congress or Senate and the VA Committee.

        The Union is MUTE on this new Law. If the Union tells VA employee’s not to corporate with investigators, the Union official should be charged with interference in a government investigation.

    3. Bens article yesterday was about the VA in Clarksburg wanting to spend $10 million for 25 parking spaces.

      I can assure you the VA doesn’t know a damn thing about operating for profit.

  24. Would someone KINDLY tell me who it is on the far right standing with hand hiding face from camera in Ben’s “Bad VA Art” today? Hiding from facial recognition software or just a random body language of unfortunate interpretation by minds of likes of my own?
    It’s almost a CLASSIC “Face Palm” gesture…so it got my curiosity up so thought I’d ask? 🙂

    1. Also, like a “Find Waldo” poster, I’m *certain* that somewhere on that conference room wall there’s at least three VA travel pay fraud warning posters, just can’t spot them yet as it’s a tough one. It may even be tattooed to one of the attending’s bald heads. 🙂

    2. @Namnibor – The shyster looks like he is purposely hiding his face, or that someone asked a question that actually made sense and the answer to the question would really put the VA on the spot, or he has a dam headache and doesn’t want to be in the meeting in the first place, or he just remembered that he forgot something and it is bothering the hell out of him, or he just has a heavy case of gas that night.

      Picture is a good example of how many things that may be used to describe what may be happening from evaluating a still shot.

      1. Thanks. Body language says everything need to know. I’m going out on a limb but am guessing he might not be the most approachable or personable person in management, but could be wrong. He looks more like he’s in charge of a FEMA Disaster team meeting rather than being “open” to dialogue on how to “improve” the VA.

        I still say this was unannounced to prevent the likes of Benjamin to mobilize Veterans to actually participate in dialogue. Damage control. The VA’s form of FEMA.

        Why doesn’t the VA use some of that IT $$$ and hold these type of things where via SKYPE Veterans from all over the USA can call them on their shit? That would be technological kryptonite to the VA.

  25. “[…Further, that improving trust between veterans and medical centers will be accomplished through focus on being kind to veterans…]”

    Maybe it’s that simple. The VA plans to take the ‘Dorothy Approach’ from ‘Wizard of Oz’ in which Dorothy was instructed by the KIND WITCH of The North to simply close her eyes and click her ruby red slippers together three times while saying, “There’s no place like home, There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home”….open eyes, VA hack is still there and so is the KIND wicked witch hack.

    Maybe we need a better wizard and a different KIND witch that does not subsidize the ruby red slipper market by suggesting such methods because Veterans are not really into ruby red slippers and we also do not believe in witches, kind or otherwise, but we KNOW the VA is full of flying monkeys and witch dr.’s…so the ruby red slipper being KIND technic MAY have some merit…but I aint wearing them! 🙂

    Does being KIND mean more hungry hungry hippos and other shenanigans as part of KIND TIME? 🙂

    Sorry, I am just in stiches laughing about the VA’s “being kind to Vets to regain trust again plan”….HAHAHAHAHAHA.
    So that means the grizzly RN will be smiling as she or he leans over you on hospital bed while at same time stepping on your feeding or breathing tubes? 🙂 Kindly Blind to Accountability…(KBA)

  26. Being “kind” to vets is their plan??? Holy shit.

    Was this the beer moguls idea, POTUS himself or did they ask Gilligan to institute this ground breaking notion? How about this one? How about asking them when they plan to terminate Disruptive Behavior Committees? Do Kangaroo Courts ALSO fall under the new “win their hearts and win their minds” strategem?

    The Marine Corps has an acronym they say when somebody in charge starts acting “kind” – BOHICA.

    If the cornerstone of the foundation to reform VA is to ask these worms to be “kind” then by Golly, Mr. Magoo, you have done it again! We can put up pictures of Yogi and Booboo Bear to greet the sick vets at the front door – every vet gets a picnic basket. All patient advocates can be promptly issued huge purple dinosaur costumes and wander the halls singing, “I love you, you love me, we’re a great big fam-ill-leee”

    Then the pharmacists dressed up as Tella-Tubbies can immitate chipmunk voices and add in, “…with a GREAT BIG HUG and a kiss from me to you….”. Then of course, in a tip of the hat to us military types, a plump kindly man called Kaptain Kangaroo can finish the chorus off with Mr. Green Jeans at his side singing, “..Won’t you say you love me too?”

    Holy Ream Job Batman! It is so crazy it just might work! Isn’t asking the worms at VA to just be “kind” to vts kind of like asking Foghorn Leghorn to be nice to the dog?

    1. Better add a Care Bear or two to the “staph” at the VA hallways but I must intervene early here about the overly large purple dinosaur as I am thinking he may be a safety and OSHA violation blocking the hallways because the equally plump purple medical staph will make those hallways like a good game of bumper pool with zero gravity! 🙂
      Barney the Dinosaur needs to remain the parking lot singing so Vets lighting themselves on fire have extra motivation to do so and the teletubies will just think it’s a second sun in their alien sky and world and will induce nap time….all while being so KIND.

      1. You hit upon a GREAT cost cutting idea – skip the costume for the purple dinosaur and just paint the senior nurses purple. The effect is identical. Nice add on namnibor! Of course you may have just pointed out a potential conflict in my plan regarding the dispensing of picnic baskets by making this observation.

        Maybe they can pass out personalized and monogrammed body bags instead of picnic baskets more in keeping with VA tradition? No need to tempt official misconduct, right Mr. Ranger?

      2. All pic-a-nic baskets must be checked-in at the pharmacy window and under no circumstances are external food or drinks allowed on VA property.

        RAND concurs that stampedes in VAMC hallways incur structural damages that consequently may injure a VA employee.
        RAND suggests VA employees use Veterans as human shields if such a purple stampede event is brought-on by unauthorized pic-a-nic baskets.
        RAND recommends the Yogi Bear and Boo Boo Bear meat loaf in the Canteen Cafeteria today.

    2. Dennis, you have to wonder about the thinking of leaders who believe VA employees just need to be told to treat vets kindly.

      Or that vets who have been used as human test subjects by VA ghouls would suddenly agree that kindness during a plexiglass spinal treatment made all the difference.

      I suppose if Charles Ingram would have been told to fuck off in a kind way, he wouldn’t have torched himself on the front lawn of the VA.

      How clueless and out of touch can these nitwits be.

      1. New VA, Let the Firing began. Take no prisoners. Take no Excuses. Stop Falsely accusing veterans of Disruptive Behavior, when its the VA employee’s doing the disruptive behavior. Dennis, I asked Senator Corey Gardner’s office to help with the Disruptive Committee Falsely accusing veterans of disruptive behavior.

        Now Corey Gardner has refused to meet or hold a town meeting with his citizens. During spring break a group of people went to the Denver Airport to confront him. Corey called the Denver police to escort him out of the Airport.

        Colorado citizens have asked over and over for him to meet with him. What he did was set up a telephonic town forum. They set up a time for you to call in and hit #3, if you wanted to ask a question. Staff answered the calls and gave them to Gardner, I waited an hour and was never connected.

        The problem with telephonic town hall, the callers could have been his own staff sitting in the same room using their cell phones, to ask questions and he had all the answers. No way to tell.

        He was to have held another conference call and called me back and the same response, If you would like to ask a question hit #3. I listened for awhile and I came to the conclusion that this was not a new town form, it was a repeat of the previous teleconference, word for word.

        I expressed this in an e-mail to Gardner and I received a message that I would no longer be included in any other teleconference. Now I did receive a letter dated March 27, 2017.

        Dear Mr. Gallegos, Thank you for contacting the office of U.S. Senator Corey Gardner regarding your concern’s with the Disruptive Committee. We would be glad to meet with you and discuss these concerns. “While we cannot guarantee a Favorable outcome”, we will do our best to look into the matter.

        The statement ” While we cannot guarantee a favorable outcome” to was placed as a remark to advise me that they will do noting and wanted to give me fair warning. This statement in my opinion was improper and was telling me that they are not concerned that the VA is and can commit a class 6 Felony of “Libel” and its ok.

        I have been told by Senators Bennett’s office they have no Authority to take any action for wrongdoings at the Department of Veterans Affairs. His office pointed out that the Holman rule was not Law. Well it is now and I wonder what excuse they have now.

        Veterans have no rights or ways of fighting back and why even write or have a congressman or senator when they make up excuses why they can not help or make statements don’t expect any favorable outcome. There is something amiss and Gardner refusing to meet with his citizens, leaves the impression that he is Afraid of something.

        Any VA employee committing “Libel” should have Federal Charges placed upon them. Veterans must be informed of how they can file charges against employee’s who commit a Felony. No Tort claim, criminal claim and if found guilt, the Veterans then advised that they have the right to seek monetary claims as per outcome. A letter from the Secretary to accompany the findings. and or the Secretary making a ruling that the Veteran was harmed and authorize such payments.

        And Yes the Committee Abolished. There is no other Agency that has the authority to punish anyone. If someone should break the Law and become disruptive, the local police are called and charges filed and those people have their day in court. They can hire legal council and fight it.

        The VA is acting in a Judiciary role and have no Authority to punish veterans with out council and all Civil, Human and Constitutional rights granted to the veteran. This is illegal and must be stopped. Using Hearsay is not proof and no one should be convicted of a crime by an Illegal Committee.

      2. @james gallegos: Excellent post James. I would like to add, isn’t it amazing how totaly useless these elected officiala are? With their million dollar retirements, they themselves, are the apitomy of no accountability. Now that the Hollman rule is law, We should all word on an article 5 convention of states, and reel in these useless elected officials. Too bad we can’t apply the new rule to them.

      3. I guess they just vote to pass law’s, but they wont help inforce them. The American way pass the buck, its not my job. Its like the commercial where the guy is seeing what he though was a dentist and ended up just being a dental monitor to tell you, you have a cavity ! and walk away.

        I wrote to Ben to see if he could find out what veterans can do when VA employee’s harm veterans. My past experience is that VA is policing themselves and higher management just covers up for lower management.

        They must stop the VA from policing themselves and veterans that have been harmed need to have someone from the outside look at our formal complaints. The patient reprehensive is not really for the veterans and will assist the director in shutting down your complaint or reporting you to the VA police as being disruptive.

        As stated before noting will change, until all Federal employee’s see with their own eye’s that if you harm a veteran you will be fired and they have to see employee’s actually being fired to get the message.

        Since the new law was passed I have seen the VA employee’s involved meeting with each other outside of the VA. Trying to get their shit together. Planning they think. If someone outside the VA would really look into a matter and the veteran can produce real evidence those employee’s stories would be debunked and left with their mouths wide open.

        Take each employee alone and question them and request any and all evidence of when, where and how it happened. Advised if they are found out not to be telling the truth, they would face disciplinary action and if a crime was committee and they covered it up, they will have Federal charges placed upon them.

        These statements of them possibly being charged, would make them, make a choice. Keep the Lie going or tell the Truth. Your call.

        Veterans whom the VA claimed they were Disruptive and it not be true or the VA can not produce any written evidence, will be considered Hearsay, which is Slander ! But Slander turns into “Libel” once they make it into print or published. Its made into print or published once they post it to you official medical record.

        Libel is a class 6 Felony, it when a person puts out false information in order to get other’s to start to hate or demean or shun in order to harm that person, such as other co-workers, law enforcement and the public in General. So in my opinion, the VA Disruptive Committee has assisted in “Libel” any anyone assisting in False allegation’s should be held accountable. Since they punished a veteran and did not require written extensive documentation as required by their own admission.

        The Disruptive committee has taken it upon themselves to be part of our judiciary system and they are not qualified to act in a legal capacity, they are not the police, they are not lawyers, they are not judges. Yet they are holding court and are accusing, judging and prosecuting and punishing veterans.

        This committee is in violation of taking ever single right afforded every other American. Right to fair and impartial trial. All of our Civil, Human and Constitutional rights afforded to any other American.

        Employee’s that have committed “Libel” need to be fired and or Federal Charges placed upon them. Their retirement taken away, any Bonus’s given to them since they committed “Libel” be paid back and anyone else that covered it up, also be held accountable.

        They be given the same rights as they gave the Veterans ! NONE

      4. @james gallegos: James, thanks for the reply. I like how your thinking, have you looked into making sure your doctors are also lisenced in your state? If they are, you can do a run around the va, and file charges directly with your state. All of the doctors in my case are lisenced in my state, I am thinking of, not only filing an sf95, but also charges with my states governing body. If nothing else, it will be on THEIR record, for future veterans to use as evidence. The union can’t do shit about a civil, or civil criminal, or civil malpractice, complanit. I have tried the Senator, and Congressmen route many times. I have never seen such a useless bunch of fucking deadbead liars in my entire life. THAT MEANS YOU DURBIN, DUCKWORTH, KIRK, AND HULTGREN. All useless pieces of SHIT. Remember the link I posted of the veteran that found massive fraud, went all the way to the supreme court, and the lower cours turned a blind eye and no enforcement? All this info is now in DURBINS HANDS, let’s see if this party hack will do anything. He sure made the rounds at all the veterans charities around election time, promising all kinds of money to them……………….havent seen a red cent after the election……….LIARS ALLLLL.

      5. same here in Michigan. Not sure why I bothered to fill out all the paper works, nothing was done. I bet I was black balled in some of my records with the VA. They hope we all go and die quietly and not have to deal with us any longer

      6. America land of the Free. Its not Free and the VA could care less. We are nothing and treated like nothing.

        Many of our elected officials are in name only. A pay check. Their Aids act for them and speak for them.

        We would be glad to speak with you about your problems with the “But we can not Guarantee a positive outcome”. Why even waste the paper to send a letter, when their reply states it all in one sentence !

        More or less telling you, while picking their nose we don’t care and your wasting your time.

        How about we are very concerned about how the VA is performing their duties and we will do every thing we possibly can. If you were falsely reported to the disruptive committee and they are unable to produce any information and the employee only reported you to the committee as a retaliatory act.

        We will insure that your good name is reinstated and employee’s involved will be notified that we are sending a request to the Secretary for further action. As you informed us, When some one falsely accuses another person and publishes it, that is considered “Libel” and is considered a class 6 Felony and grounds for termination.

        VA mission is to assist in anyway they can, not harm veterans.

        Thank you for bring this to light and we will insure this is brought up to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

        Nope, We can not guarantee a positive outcome !

      7. Brilliant reply letter James.
        We can insist that they use it.
        So far, though, they don’t want to hear what I say too much.
        At all really.
        I am too Disruptive.
        Because of all that I have ‘doctoraphobia’ now & always stay away from them.
        They are very glad of that i’m sure. lol.

        Thanks for your posts.

      8. your welcome. All veterans that have a VA employee hurt them, may want to read 115th congress 1st session veterans committee. Amend title 38, united states code, to provide for the removal or demotion of employee’s of the Department of Veterans Affairs based on performance or misconduct and for other purposes.

        24 pages. I am sending a letter along with this and Colorado law on Libel and People VS Ryan. It spells it out and is considered a class 6 Felony. See if the Secretary really means it, when he says he will fire VA employee’s who violate the Law.

        Lets see what happens.

      9. @James Gallegos – – – “They must stop the VA from policing themselves and veterans that have been harmed need to have someone from the outside look at our formal complaints. The patient reprehensive is not really for the veterans and will assist the director in shutting down your complaint or reporting you to the VA police as being disruptive. ”

        Yes, Sir. That is precisely how it works. And the slightest remark to a VA employee that they may not like, never mind if there is truth or accuracy in it – – – is enough to get you labeled disruptive.

    3. Did someone involve Gilligan in this Brouhaha? Ho-Lee Dog Shit! Nothing is sacred anymore . . .

      New VA Theme Song: (Tune Gilligan’s Island Opening)

      “Now this is the tale of the Great VA, We’ve been here a long, long while
      We kill at least 20 vets a day, Kindly with a smile.

      We’re starting this new Town Hall thing, to try to allay your fears,
      While you’re paying attention to those, we’ll kick you in your rear.

      We’re taking your disability back, it’s legal – – – don’t you fear
      We need it for our bonuses, at the End of Year.

      So get on board with our great plan, or else crawl off and die.
      Veterans, this is America. You can’t share in our Pie.”

      1. @Disgruntled Veteran– That was damn great! Picturing the V.A. Titanic written on side of their wrecked boat but at the end of the close-up of them standing on island’s shore, Gilligan sticks his thumb in pie and the Skipper slaps him with that hat. 🙂

        It was too much synaptic overload for my brain though when I tried to imagine Mary Ann as a VA rat, so my brain just defaulted to original characters.

      2. @Disgruntled Veteran: In keeping with the VA’s new explosion proof policy to build trust:
        “Have a super sparkley day”
        DV…………I think I have it………and now it’s yours to use at will.

        *****************ka maluhia

      3. @cj– I’m sure I am looking at it wrong because for some reason my brain thinks that’s the VA’s Maternity Ward where they experiment with female Vets standing on their heads while giving birth…or something like that.
        So, yeah, I’m sure that is way off-base *or* it could be a snapshot of a VAOIG all glass conference room upside down antics. 🙂

      4. @namnibor: I am sorry nam, yes, this has nothing to do with the topic. Only the first remark was on topic. The artwork part, is for DV to copy and use for his own. Like the rat bastard one is yours only. 🙂 I see it is confusing.

      5. @namnibor: OMG…..LMAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO……..there is that dark humor again. I did not see it till I took a second look”female Vets standing on their heads while giving birth” AAAAhahahahahahaa

        No no, it is a hand sign “shaka” in Hawiian, I promised I would make for DV. wholly smokes. LOL

      6. @CJ – – – Awesome Shaka Hand. F*n BEAUTIFUL !!! While I understand the gist of the text at the bottom – – – the correct Ole’lo (Old Hawaiian Language in modern day font) would be ” No Keia la, No Keia Po, Ka Maluhia A Mau Loa”

        In English it means “From this day, From this Night, May you have Peace Forevermore”

        So. How do my sleep addled, TBI loosey Goosey Brain fix ’em???

        @Nam – – – I actually HAVE a Rat VA Mary Ann at my facility. I would do her in a second. And take an hour to get it done.

      7. @CJ – – – Like this?

        No Keia la, No Keia Po, Ka Maluhia A Mau Loa

        Close enough?

      8. @Disgruntled Veteran: Yes, that will work, also because of wht namnibor pointed out lol. I made an adjustment, and also a second shaka hand. The new one has a shorter thumb so it doesn’t lool like legs, lol and going from the thumb to the pinky are the islands, and I added your new wording to the bottom. Here it is, let me know if you like it, or tomorrow I will post the tweaked one of the obove shaka.:
        No Keia la, No Keia Po, Ka Maluhia A Mau Loa

      9. @Disgruntled Veteran: Sorry, here is the same shaka with a lil tweaking:
        No Keia la, No Keia Po, Ka Maluhia A Mau Loa

      10. @CJ – – – Nam Said: “namnibor March 30, 2017 at 4:25 pm

        @cj– I’m sure I am looking at it wrong because for some reason my brain thinks that’s the VA’s Maternity Ward where they experiment with female Vets standing on their heads while giving birth…or something like that.
        So, yeah, I’m sure that is way off-base *or* it could be a snapshot of a VAOIG all glass conference room upside down antics.

        I can sort of see Nam’s point – – – and it is FUNNY. But I will be damned if i will do a headstand in front of my laptop to prove or disprove his thesis. Rat Bastard already had me blow coffee out my nose all over my keyboard one time. For real.
        Nam is wun funny buggah . . .

        Thank you for the very nice artwork.

        What happened to Nam’s disapearing post?

      11. @Disgruntled Veteran – “[…What happened to Nam’s disapearing post?…]”

        Didn’t you know? I am a Cheshire Cat. How about that?!

      12. @Nam – – – Cheshire Cat? One of my favorite poet’s had one of those named “Jabberwocky”. Read about it in the Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.

        @CJ – – – More than my brain got scrambled while in the military. My screwed up eyes do not see the “shaka Hand” in the second examples you posted. No matter how many times I change the front two. Sorry. Really like the first one. Think I’ll use that since the text doctoring at the bottom works. Appreciate your effort, and the nice gift.

  27. I guess my brain is looking at this entirely differently in that I think the VA upper management showed-up unannounced for a variety of reasons with the #1 reason of DAMAGE CONTROL, and #2 unannounced also because they did NOT want the WRATH of Veterans showing-up asking the questions that make them sweat like…SUICIDE PREVENTION, Claims Process, Gross Medical Error and Negligence….no, coming unannounced insures those type of questions are kept to minimum if at all.

    Ben asked some great questions but I truly think the VA and piggy VSO’s are still in their “SAVE THE VA” offensive/defensive passive-aggressive mode…

    I wonder if Kim Graves received extra travel pay to attend or ship her lover to meeting for some extra travel pay? (Sorry, my tongue would have been bit in half if I were there trying to hold-back my disdain for that pack of fraudster crooks)

    UNANNOUNCED VISIT=DAMAGE CONTROL. Oh, and the VA’s strategy of “gaining trust BY BEING KIND” gave me the urge to fill my toilet this morning….hahahahahaha. Cobras also try to gain one’s trust by kindly staring in your eyes and next thing you know your on the ground wailing…VA no different. Hahahah…being kind= Veteran’s regained trust….HAHAHAHAHAHAHA……..

  28. So, the Washington management shows up UNANNOUNCED. No one knows they are coming, so they don’t have to face the wrath of those who consider them and the VA useless and should be dismantled.

    And where was advanced notice of this meeting published?

    1. Good points @Just Another Combat Wounded Veteran. VA still shows it character of keeping Veterans in the dark, by not giving them the opportunity to prepare ahead of time with proper questions. Last minute maneuvers, will keep the other party in a state of confusion. Rat bastards.

    2. Ambush.
      Came in on the sly.
      Didn’t want anyone to know.
      So you can’t be prepared.
      But they know and are prepared.

      When did this hit team decide to join town hall?
      Didn’t it take some coordination between them?
      A few days, anyway …

      But they did not tell anyone.
      They could have called ahead.
      The name of that: good manners & kindness.

      Baligh R. Yehia, MD
      Says to use kindness to cure.
      But he doesn’t use kindness towards vets
      Or he would call ahead to say he’s attending.
      AND he would make sure vets have access
      to any and all VA information they need.

      I don’t think he’s Italian.
      He’s in same group as shulkin.

      Sorry to hear the meeting was polite.

    3. They likely published it on their Facebook page 3 months ago.

      Or not.

      The VA is very good at arranging these kinds of controlled meetings so they can get the proper message out.

      Having veterans show up with facts is just not very helpful to them.

  29. Ben, first of all, let me thank you for attending the meeting in our behalf, and to further your understandings that deal with the VA, and the VA’s other jurisdictional segments that includes policies, procedures, trust, and the open door policies relating to such.

    At the present time, I can’t respond properly. To be upfront, I’ve deducted utter bullshit. What a smoke screen of a show. And, it was live too. Wow . . ., VA thank you for the performance by non-professionals.

    So far, they’re [VA] still the same. Hiding and keeping information from getting into the hands of Veterans, and their representatives. Fucking utter bullshit. And, to be fair, honest, and to give all the reason of doubt leaning towards the VA to gain their trust, I’ve read the article three, yes 3, times. I call it, as I’ve read it!!!

    Until I simmer down, I won’t be able to pull my mind together to give an appropriate response. Do you think that the VA relies on Veterans to feel this way, in order to create more stumbling blocks so that the Veteran stays in a state of idleness, that pertains to determining if they are receiving proper healthcare or how to efficiently move their claims along, in order to better take care of the Veteran, his family, K9, or other love ones, so that the Veteran can move on to other things that are much greater in their lives?

    Ben, I’ve tried to be kind here, but maybe we should treat Mr. Baligh R. Yehia, MD, Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Community Care, Veterans Health Administration, Phone: 202-461-4849, to an Italian dinner [no offense my Brother cj, only making a point here], his skin color and tone looks like maybe he is of Italian-American descent.

    I can’t help it that sarcastic thoughts are a/v streaming in my unstable mind. Rat bastards for trying to smoothly manipulate Veterans and those who really care. Experience will enhance your olfactory system to the point that you can smell them, and you don’t even have to attend their meetings.

    Ben, I think my response all ready states how I truly feel about the contents of this article. I’m just trying to be trustworthy here. Does anyone else agree with my assessment?

    1. my mother is from Italy and I have been there when i was younger and he isn’t fucking Italian may be a towel head

      1. If he has a red dot on his forehead he is a push start, if wearing a rag, a pull start.
        Italians have no such starters,

        Ferrari calamari, Lamborghini linguini, Laverda chicken primavera, Ducati manicotti, Alenia Aermacchi cavatappi, the origianl fast foods. }}}}———————–>

        How can you tell if its an Italian aero plane ? It has hair unda da wings.

        What do you call an Italian doggy with a no legs? It doesn’t matter, he ain’t a gunna come anyway.

      2. You one funny dude. Thanks fur yur humur. Wife went to go buy me a glass pipe since VA has reneged on supplying me with in-home PTSD counseling. Fuck the rat bastards, they have now forced me to treat my own medical condition. Phew . . . Yoo nebber can twust dem.

    2. @ANutterVet, trust is a big issue when a Veteran has been betrayed multiple times by the va agency. The new administration hasn’t really done anything yet to improve care, improve claim backlogs and improve mental health care. They showed up to blow more smoke????

      Do they not have the courage to address the average Veterans and answer their real questions about their quality of treatment they receive within the va agency? They can dump millions into advertising to try to promote their corrupt public images, but it does not distract from the truth of what the va agency is really all about.

  30. I would like to know more and understand this question.
    Will VA update its expired “clinical appeals” policy that was drafted in 2006 years before veterans had a recognized vested property right to their benefits?

  31. Local policies of va medical centers are to be available thru medical center memorandums (MCM’s) by a FOIA request. Also, there is standard operating procedures (SOP’s) for clinical specifics on guidelines of carelines standards of treatment. These are to be available thru FOIA’s requests. Ask if the MCM’s are up to date and revisions if any. They are to be made available thru the front office (medical center director, associate director, chief of staff, etc.) These documents will give you some basic knowledge of medical center operations and responsible staff. They are to be in line with vha directives and other standards set by the va.

    The va is a publicly funded thru taxpayer dollars any and all activity within any va agency should be required to give full disclosure on any issue, program or funding in its agency. There should be no secrets and there should be transparency within the va agency.

    Ben, I believe that you are on top of some important issues and i agree with your statements of resolutions to all three questions presented in this article.

    As for additional input i would ask questions concerning clinical wait times, clinical performance of doctors/providers and the treatment of suicidal Veterans.

    I would ask why do they allow the manipulation of clinical wait times and create the waitlists because of protecting poor clinical performance of incompetent doctors/providers. All the va clinics use the same scheduling system software why do they not address this issue on a national level? Why do they allow the coordination and corruption by va employees of delaying medical treatment to disabled Veterans?

    I would ask why do the treat suicidal attempts and suicidal ideation Veterans with outpatient treatment? What does the suicide prevention teams in medical centers actually do? They don’t want to answer phone calls from Veterans who are in crisis.

    Here is some facts: The average for Veterans being seen in some va clinics was just two Veterans a week. There is data to prove this. The upper management allows for such incompetence from some doctors/providers. With this average this is the most expensive healthcare delivered in the country.

    Kindness cannot treat disease, disorder or injury when pharmaceutical medications is necessary. The va does not want to deliver the healthcare in a timely manner and this is inexcusable and leads to prolonged unnecessary suffering and may result in a Veterans death. Where is kindness in that equation? Also, to stop pain relief thru medications where is the kindness in that treatment plan? To let an individual suffer needlessly in pain when there is medications to treat the chronic pain is not any form of kindness.

  32. Good Article Ben! I would like to attend one of those town hall meetings in my city. Small chance they will have one here though with such high rankers . . .

    @CJ – I will take ten copies of each of those books. No shit. Sounds like some very useful material.

  33. “”Malum In Se”” Mr.Krause, pursuant to the any & all ‘rules, policy’s,memos,regulations and directives having the force of’law’
    And being binding upon their application as cited under the “Federal Administrative Procedures Act”.The Failure to acknowledge said rules would/is a “Due Process Violations “. Finally Im personally awaiting a decision from the BVA on an appeal dating back from the 70’s issue. Please help me find an attorney. just in case I need to appeal to the U.S.Federal Court of Veterans Appeals.

  34. I would have asked, why is it that when a veteran files for a claim, and it is backed by service records, and a proffessional assesent, that the VA, decides to NOT consider any facts, and instead, procedes to use unqualified quacks, to deny the claim. This is what causes BACKLOGS, this is what causes YEARS of waiting for treatment. This is what causes BONUSES!!!! AND THIS, IS WHAT CAUSES MISTRUST!!!!

    I would also have asked, when are they going to start firing, not only the unqualified quacks, they use to do this, but also the person who ordered the quack to do so in the first place.

    I would have also asked, when is the VA, going to start enforcing it’s policy, of the benefit of the doubt goes to the veteran?

    I would have also asked, when is the VA, going to start providing the proper care, for veterans in crisis?

    This is not anything against what was asked, but you did ask. There is so much more I would ask, but I don’t think I will live long enough to publish “The Never Ending Story-A Veterans Question and No Answer, Study Guide” where it is not the number of pages a book has, but how many pounds a disabled veteran is allowed to carry. A sort of field manual. to navigate the VA’s Veteran mind fuckery no health care system, and it’s partner book. “How the VA fucks over the families of veterans.” A guide on how to properly insure yourself, and then end your life, by legally defined natural causes” Another sort of survival guide, for the Veteran to have the last laugh.

    1. @cj – Thanks cj. It was both @Ex va and your thoughts that got me started to complete my comment that is listed below.

      1. The VA must be held accountable starting with higher management. Fired or Federal charges placed upon the. Nothing will change until all VA employee’s see for themselves, that they will be held accountable.

        That is the Key !

      2. Ben: As to notice of disagreement – that’s where I’m at. Didn’t even get a comp and pen exam. What’s a DRO? As for posting clinical guidelines and policies – it sort of doesn’t matter if you can’t get to the clinic in a reasonable amount of time. The first and most obvious standard of care is to provide it WHEN needed. I do not dismiss the gravity of policy and standard practices. Choice hasn’t been renewed, and locally (CBO), referrals are no longer being made. I’m halfway capable of communicating with providers, and getting what I need. Access is always the bigger issue.

        Off topic, Ben, if you can answer (or anyone with experience): How is the care in MN in general. I’ve heard good things about St. Cloud but know nothing about CBOs in Mankato or St. James etc. I may be moving back to the area.

      3. 1). Stay on them about this. i’ve lived in various parts of the conUSA and the DRO issue isn’t consistent at all, as @Ben points out. Stay on them, i doubt VA will fix this.

        2). Let us know what Mr Leinenkugel follows up with you on this. Interested in if he can actually get Shulkin & his minions to truly start VA reforms/accountability instead of decades of much verbage BS & little true fixings.

        3). “…would not be appropriate for a variety of reasons.” really? when Mr. Leinenkugel follows up with you @Ben, do ask him if this is what President Trump meant by “fixing the VA and holding VA accountable”.

        i too am interested in what cj asked you: @Ben: What was their answer?

        can you paraphrase it or is them some legal reason why you can’t write it out in public here?

    2. as said before I have proof on PTSD from leaving Viet Naum on my Mental condition which they refused to start from ,,,, signed by there doctors,,,,, as said my financial is ruined,,, I just am here

      1. @steven g larson: steven, I am sorry for what these criminals have done to you, and I hope some day, while we are all still breathing, we get justice and see these criminals where they belong……..behind bars.

      2. If you are filing for PTSD and unable to find anyone to help you. You can call Kenneth Carpenter out of Topeka Kansas, he works with veterans with PTSD. He will not charge you unless he wins your case and will take 25% of what he wins.

        Now when you request assistance, be sure you state you want him to file for benefits from when you first applied. Now if you let your claim lapse for any length of time. The VA will not pay you, stating you let it lapse. So you must ask for an earlier date.

        Any veteran with PTSD and having problems with getting their deserved disability can hire an Attorney and if that attorney gets part of it, so be it ! At least the Horror story will be ended.

    3. @Ben: Ben I didn’t want to leave it at that above. I know you have asked these questions, durring your interview, and also you have been waiting a very long time for your process to complete as well. I know we are all in the same boat. Didn’t want you to think that I though any differently.:)

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