New Veterans Appeals Chief

New Veterans Appeals Chief Reaches Out To

New Veterans Appeals Chief

Yesterday, the newly selected Board of Veterans’ Appeals chief Carol DiBattiste reached out to explain her decision to lead the Board despite the massive pay cut.

After reading my article about DiBattiste, some VA insiders suggested she reach out to me directly to explain her background and reasoning for taking over the head spot at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.

She took them up on the suggestion and called shortly after receiving my cell number.

RELATED: ‘Big Data’ Insider Takes Over Board of Veterans’ Appeal

During the call, I asked if she would mind if I shared our conversation with my readers because I felt the information would be useful for them to help understand her selection given the unusual timing of the decision.

She agreed and seemed incredibly transparent about what she was doing.


I was impressed that she would take the time to reach out to me in response to my article yesterday. She hasn’t even taken over yet, and she was already reaching out into the veteran community to assuage concerns about a ‘big data’ insider taking over at the Board.

About her, Carol DiBattiste is intelligent and has a high emotional quotient. Her accolades are impressive. She seems like a person who is interested in people and likes to understand a person’s background when she speaks with them.

RELATED: Carol DiBattiste Background

Those are my impressions based on our call.


She first enlisted in the US Air Force as an Airman Basic in 1971. She later received her undergraduate degree and law degree while in the Air Force and retired in the 90’s as a Major after 20 years.

During that time, she was a recruiter three times and grew to love her service and the Air Force. She says she even bleeds “Blue” (Air Force).

Her father served in the Marines during WWII and died in his late thirties when she was young. She remembers the pain of losing her father and that impact on her family, but they did not understand the scope of his service in WWII. Later, she learned he was possibly exposed to excessive radiation in Japan, which may have resulted in his early death.

DiBattiste’s experiences, through that process and through her military career, created a fierce desire to serve whether that be in the military or after.

After the military, she served as the Under Secretary of the Air Force when I was in the Air Force. After talking with her, I remembered seeing her photo when in the military back in 1999.

She said she enjoys public service and during that process developed an extensive skillset as a “fixer” in both the public and private sector.

Based on articles about her performance, it is obvious she was well thought of in the private sector and well compensated as a result of her efforts and the skillsets she developed.

Her background is impressive, and with a reputation as a “fixer,” perhaps she would be well positioned to assume Secretary Bob McDonald’s role at some point.


If anyone can get the Board sorted out, it would seem DiBattiste would be the one who can do it, and do it quickly.

I know the employees on the ground are excited she is taking over. The morale at the Board was low, and employees with low morale do not work as well as those who are happier at work. That is just a fact.

She corrected reports that the Board was the most dysfunctional organization she has ever seen. It is not the “most dysfunctional” organization. She also said many of the employees really enjoy their jobs and mission of helping veterans.


Her justification for taking over the head spot at the Board was to give back after experiencing an extremely rewarding career. This makes sense, and I have heard of a great many successful business leaders who take on a challenging government job late in their careers despite the enormous pay cut.

As I said before, DiBattiste started her career as an Airman Basic. She is the daughter of an enlisted Marine.

I would bet she is the opposite of many of the schleps inside the government who were perhaps appointed (rather, anointed) because they were related to an admiral, general or some corporate big shot before them.

No, it sounds like DiBattiste is the real deal.

One thing I believe is that people who served as enlisted troop but later developed leadership skillsets make better leaders than many officers who never understand what it’s like to start at the bottom.

That is my background, and I know many of my clients appreciate my “been there, done that” perspective of the veterans benefits fight. That is also DiBattiste’s background.


My biggest complaint against this Administration is that they did not do enough to root out ineffective or bad leaders quick enough.

Let’s assume Carol DiBattiste is of as high a caliber as she seems. Why did we, as a country, not tap people like her to take over long ago?

The Board languished for years under mismanagement or poor management while the backlog of appeals soared. During that time, veterans’ due process rights were trampled and the whole country sat by in a stupor wondering what to do.

With five months left in this administration, we finally bring in the “A-Team” to fix remaining problem areas. Why now? Why not sooner?

DiBattiste would not be able to answer those questions, but I certainly would like to know.

Years ago, I sat in Under Secretary Hickey’s office and offered to help her along with my own “A-Team” of DC and VA outsiders. She could not pull off the roundtable of “big brain” thinkers so long as it included noninsiders.

I also warned her that some of her underlings were feeding her false information about the problems within their respective departments. Under Secretary Hickey did not listen, and she got pulled into a fraud scandal by her underlings who are fleecing the system for their own gain.

Now that we have someone with a new perspective, I will say the same thing again.

Carol, I would be happy to help give you, or any VA leader, a perspective from my experience and that of my own veteran readership.

I had to fight with VA for 14 years to get the rating I was entitled to, pushing from an initial 10% lowball rating to 100% PT in 2014. I am still fighting for the appropriate effective date of that rating that should go back to 2001.

Meanwhile, I used the GI Bill and VA Vocational Rehabilitation to fund my education at Northwestern University and University of Minnesota Law School… and they helped fund my veterans rights legal practice.

It took me getting an advanced degree from a top 20 law school to finally win my correct disability rating.

Should it really take a law degree to win your claim? How many veterans give up? How many others die while fighting?

That is what I talked about at the DNC Platform Committee meeting four years ago. Why was no one listening back then? Let’s hope they are truly listening now.

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  1. When I first had any contact with VA, concerning disability, a 10% rating on 2008 went well. It all depends on the evaluator. Now years later, it’s been an ongoing battle. We, to the VA disability board, are the criminals, who have served our country and those who have passed, still fighting for liberty and freedom. Veterans write the truth and to wait and wait for disability is without explanation. Let’s us all face the truth, the VA is not fixing anything, just mention a few good cases, that actually, have no affect on the majority of disability cases, waiting for Years for a decision. We have no choice, they decide on our fate, with questions and apprehension. We were all in the military and we’re taught to fight, but we also need, support and encouragement and more importantly, honesty…As with us all, take a number and wait and wait, if we make it! A. CREIG 1/25/17

  2. I’ve been watching the Board of Veterans appeals current docket dates for over a year now. They were as far out as September of 2014 and as of a couple of weeks ago (the day after the presidential election), shot way back to January of 2014. Since docket dates are based on when your form 9 was received by the VA, and cases are distributed to judges at the BVA based on these dates, how can they keep moving forward AND backward by months at a time? They were between July and September of 2014 for about the last 10 months. Mine is May of 2014 and I have absolutely no idea when my claim will be looked at. If they were indeed ever reviewing cases as current as September of 2014, I went from “Any day or week now, to any year now”. The current docket date is posted under helpful information. Helpful to who? Then to make matter worse…another information page at the same website still shows July of 2014. The left hand clearly has no idea what the right hand is doing at the VA. I’m an Ex-Paratrooper with malt racking knees (kneecaps dislocate and end up on the outside of my legs) a spine loaded with compression fractures arthritis and lower disk problems. I have added an evidence letter from an outside orthopedic surgeon stating my injuries could only come from something like hard parachute falls. I have a medical history showing months of periodic physical therapy (They’re trying to keep me out of a wheelchair). And here I sit in my 7th year waiting for them to decide to pick up my claim folder and look at my file knowing I have years of wait time still remaining. I believe it really is all about cost savings. Between the 22 vets a day that kill themselves, Vets that die from ailments and the VA stalling health care, and disability reviews, the VA saves Millions of dollars a day. Last I read, even if the VA system is corrected, it will take 18 months just to get everything at the VA implemented. The Veterans choice card is sad as well. I know veterans that saw outside doctors with VA approval and later the VA refused to pay the bills causing the Veteran to have to file bankruptcy and have a ruined credit history. There is so much bad news going on at the VA that the public will never know about. Botched operations and treatments costing veterans their arms, legs and even their lives. Things that wouldn’t happen or would be greatly reduced in the private sector. I belong to several Veteran Organizations and have seen things happen personally to other veterans I know that were under VA care that is unforgivable and inexcusable. A friend of mine had a leg he broke, the VA fixed it, he got a really bad infection when they did, he fought the infection for years with prescriptions to no avail, and last year they took his leg off. Anyway…I guess I made my point. Enough of my rambling.

  3. Holy crap!!! This is absolutely insane on every level and I truly & honestly am sorry you must endure this BS wherever it is you are now (Unsure if you are not a VA employee or what anymore-but you did say “Former” correct? And believe me, I know about those types of “Co-Workers” who jab huge knives into your back the very second you turn around to go use the latrine! Its not only a shame, but disgusting that one must work alongside these people and not have any recourse either – most especially if they are NOT Veterans themselves too! I have learned my lesson more than once and just when you think things are going along smooth you get smacked eyes wide open again! actually has driven me to peaked ptsd levels at times too!

    so i appreciate your reply to mine and seriously admit i knew nothing of such cases you speak of here. though i do recall reading about whistle blower retaliation stuff in the past. it just makes you want to keep your mouth shut doesnt it, yet those of us who wish to toss up the Bs flag do it out of patriotism and then get slammed for it.
    i am actually enraged right now after reading this and again truly apologize! and as i stated earlier – on my fathers grave= i am NOT an employee “fishing” for dirt, seeking any employees slamming the system, trying to find out who others are or have any agenda at all but giving my own perspective on the great articles Ben writes here James! I do not say such a thing easily and since my dad was a vet would never ever use that saying in anyway but to show my dedication and forthright honestly about who i am, more importantly who I am NOT!!

    wishing you all the very best and as we say- i have your six regardless of not knowing who you are, where n who yo worked for here, or anything but ok?
    thanks for opening my eyes again and I’m embarrassed to hear the way you were treated. (fuming right now!) 🙁

    1. All Americans should be disgusted with the VA. Going after veterans whom had been through a traumatic event. Deny. Deny their claims over and over knowing they had all the evidence they needed to approve the claim and the veterans able to seek treatment.

      Then. You have the employees with a little authority and boom. They get the God syndrome and attack other employees or veterans.

      Seriously. I never ever ? of the disruptive committee before and I was in administration.

      Secret. Unlawful. They have no business in punishing anyone and show one good thing it does to help the veterans.

      Nothing. But put more pressure hand insult to their injuries. They tried to say I had been drinking on the job and they jnterviewed the nursing staff. The nursing staff told them they were full of it. NO proof at all. My word was not good enough.

      This committee needs to be disbanded and any and all veterans record’s should be expunged and their good make returned to them.

      I live in a small town and people know each other and they have no problem lieing for their friend. Buddy and let’s not forget their yearly bonous money.

      They should rename it to blood ?!

      Many. Many have turned their backs on veterans and harmed them and those folks should be considered disruptive and a danger to this nation

      You. Have a great day. One day I will prove that this is a illegal committee and goes against everything America stands for.

  4. i thought my comments would show up down here so you would all see them as the newest ones but since i hit “reply” off one of your previous comments they showed up there instead. so if you wanna see them go up to you see mine with date stamp of here ok? Hope that helps any nay sayers or doubters. Just a new guy here and not sure how this place works yet w comments etc.

    The Gunny says
    August 12, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    1. What department so you work in. What’s facility. What’s you works number whats you name.

      Were. Known there are employees whom want to help end ww1 need people with first hand knowledge of what’s going on. !

      Tell ? Us someone of the things you have seen done to veterans or other employees.

      Are. You afraid of Retalation from anyone there. Do you knew veteran employees that would share the truth with us.

      Proof if possible. Are You in the union.?

      I think I asked you before to tell is about the disruptive committee and any patient’s that they have punished and what for. !

      1. Dear James-
        I appreciate you reaching out and the questions as well.
        However (I know you expected this sir) Those are answers I absolutely can not, and will not answer in an open forum whatsoever my friend. Unfortunately, there would definitely be some very upset people within the office and perhaps yes- retaliation as well man.
        Yes I am within a Union – though I have no clue which or what it involves since I am not an avid fan of them. Also, I do not have direct contact with any Vets in my division at all. None of us do except one single Dept in our Div.

        Are you aware of any way to communicate with one another without such an open forum? If so please let me know and I will consider letting you in on some of these things. If not, Im afraid you will just have to take my word for it I am as solid as Ive said – And yes I know you can do that if given thought upon it too. 🙂

        Lastly, I am not entirely sure what your last comment refers to? I seriously don’t believe I am disrupting anything here with any of my comments – am I wrong? Thanks again James.

      2. No. The VA has what they call s disruptive committee ? Where employees report veterans as being disruptive.

        Where employees can just say a veteran did something and the employee get mad and report’s them ad being disruptive hand so not HAVE to furnish any proof period.

        The goes to the disruptive committee and they punish the veteran’s. By using hearsay. !

        As an employee they would not claim that you have been disruptive. They would retaliate against you in another way.

        That are punishing veterans at will. Not just one but hundreds and threaten them with arrest. Federal Charges and banishment from all VA care.

        Since. You don’t have direct contact with veteran’s. You have probably not ? about it.

        I know it’s pure Retalation in my case. By a former coworker

        I worked in administration and I learned that if you seen something wrong as an employee. You Are required to complete a report of contact as evidence.

        The chief of staff and the directors. Know they had no evidence and yet punished me for 5 year’s

        The committee us acting in s judiciary component of our justice system. Where they acting as accuser. Judge. Jury. Prosecutor and executioner.

        They. Do not offer the veteran any means of defending themselves. So they are tramping on all civil constitutional right’s and human rights.

        To a fair trial. They forgot that part and are harming more veterans than helping.

        Just. Plain Crazy. !

        Hearsay is not a defense. !

  5. If she needs a test appeal case, I’ll volunteer! I’ve been lingering in the fallen cracks of VA Hell since 1995, initial rating of 20% then jumped to 40% (was weird) service connected for chronic lumbar disorder they called it. I slipped and fell in the pool locker room in boot camp because we were told to not bring shower shoes with us. Anyway years of “its all in your head” be and now I’m at 60% , 42 years old riddled with osteoarthritis in both hips, knees, low back is just God awful (to many disorders/issues to list). They’ve kept my back at 40% since 1995, they just keep tacking on more in the listing under it. Then each leg is rated 10 and 20 for radiculation and peripheral neurapathy. My neck wants to join in on the degeneration fun but good luck getting a doctor to pay attention and my teeth are awful after 20 years of pain meds. Anyway my last claim flew through with 13 separate items listed in TWO MONTHS!! They didn’t even address 3/4 of the items. I’ve been doing this mostly on my own. I’m tired. I sent a NOD recently only to be told oh we don’t use that address and yes, my mistake for not faxing it straight away or sending it certified but I did at least take pictures of what I sent. I’m 42, can’t work, now feel like I’m mourning the loss of mobility and still can’t get anywhere with the VA and am nothing but a burden. I called the VA Benefits to ask if they had received my NOD and the woman was so rude! Like she couldn’t be bothered. I thought they were supposed to be there to help us. Ebenefits doesn’t help me at all! Most of the time the information in there is incorrect. Sorry I’m rambling. Never commented here before. Had a lot to say I guess.

    1. What their doing To you is want they do to 99 percent of veterans !

      They will give10 percent and keep telling you if you disagree with the rating file an appeal.

      They will give another 10 percent and so on and so on. Until the veterans get so frustrated they stop applying.

      Mission accomplished and you are not being singled out. They have been doing this for decades.

      And the veterans are paying the price with their lives.

      Start firing people or line Diane Rubins says. Go ahead and laugh

      Well will see who has the last laugh. Hand she was right. !!!

      And welcome to rhos site. Ben and others are working hard to help ALL of us.

  6. Thanks for getting the bacground Ben. I am a bit more comfortable given her and her father’s background which should remind her often of what other veterans AND families go through.
    I won’t say I am completely comfortable though having seen too many so called “leaders” rotate through federal agencies who do nothing but enjoy the perks of their office.
    As for being an outsider with an advisory role, I wouldn’t sweat not being publicly named as one Ben. If she’s as smart and wise as her background suggests, she will have your phone number and accept your advice freely offered with the intention of keeping her record of being a fixer.

  7. In the 2009 time frame, the entire top management layer of the Claims Division at VA Regional Office was either fired, forced into resignation, or transferred out of their jobs at VARO New York City Manhattan. The Chief of Claims Division was among those fired who was also a National Guard full bird Col. For a considerable amount of time, they had been issuing fake and phony “rulings” in veterans Comp cases including appeals. When the FBI finally intervened, they discovered entire bins full of unopened male from the veterans regarding their cases, AND they found that the office had also been shredding papers tied to their cases. Those of us who were effected by this meltdown at NYC, were left without any help at all after the firings were done and over with. We had to “process” our cases out through the system right from the corrupted conditions by which they were left in. There is more. It took me over a year to get my case out of the hands of VARO NYC and moved into BVA Washington DC. A so called “judge” by the name of Robert E.P. Jones turned out to be a loyalist to the fired Claims Division Chief. After I came to my appeal in person and argued the case for an entire hour to explain that my case and C-File had been corrupted and falsified and damaged from VARO NYC, this guy Jones entrenched it and left it in place as if it was all valid and ruled in favor of VARO NYC. They issued a Remand Order (Ahem!) to gather evidences for medical conditions that I was not filing for. This was all made up you see out of NYC. Then they attempted to “order” some Comp and Pen exams at the VAMC for the medical conditions which I was not filing for. Since all that time, an entire round of firings and forced resignations have also happened both at the Inspector Generals Office and at the Office of General Counsel at VA Washington DC (a place where I used to work many years ago). I am over 40 years in the VA Hospital care system and to this very minute, not yet rated for any SC condition not even at Zero Percent, all of this while my Army service records DOES have active duty treatment records. I call your attention to the fact that many men veterans ARE rated for Service Connected status at the VA without a single active duty treatment record in their files. I have active duty treatment records and are not rated from all the chaos stemming from NYC. Now I find that I am getting stalked by this Robert E.P. Jones guy. If I reopen my VA case, he jumps out of the woodwork and ends up back in my case right from the moment the case is reactivated. So I have to file a police report now to get Jones to stop stalking my case so I can get a new judge as I begin the restart. This new woman administrator at the BVA is in over her head. If she is not a lawyer, she is REALLY in over her head. The BVA is entrenched in document falsification of the cases of veterans every which way and my life story is a living proof of that. —- Sue Frasier, Army 1970, national veterans activist.

    1. I worked 22 year’s for the VA and I had 2 employees rifling through my record’s and the records showed a 0 percent for neurosis. !

      These two employees After they were done. Managed to turn the 0 percent to non service connected !

      Since. One employee died and the other is now an administrator. !

      The neurosis diganosis was another word they used to mean PTSD. But no one at the VA claimed to know what it ment. !

      I’m very surprised that they fired all of these people. ! They have to do it nation wide. !

      This proves our point they are corrupt. ! Will do anything they can to disallow veterans from their rightful disabilities. !

      Money saved by denying veterans goes right into the pockets of upper management.

      Time to clean houses again !

  8. After much thought today and reading again about her career accomplishments, I want to believe a person that wishes to accept a position paying vastly less wants to genuinely give back and give a shot at fixing some aspects of the VA.

    However, I cannot shake the intuitive itch I have in my brain that she is actually being groomed for possibly a catapult position in VA due to the timing of the deck chair stacking. Jury still out until the foul taste from the insane hiring of VBA Thomas Murphy (Agent Orange denier), goes away and what yet still concerns me is the VA Spin Machine. Was this hire in counterpoint to Mr. Agent Orange?

    I want to believe. The truth is truly out there.

  9. I am one of those who “gave up” and let the deadline to appeal come and go. After my experience with the VA, I am terrified of going near any of their facilities or employees.

    1. You did exactly what they wanted you to do.. Quit. !

      Mission accomplished !

      Never give up. Keep sending paperwork. Write your senator congressmen ect. !

      Remember this is done on purpose by the VA ? You can thank people like Diana Rubins and Graves !

      They needed your disability monies to move and to be together and ones working from home. !

      What a scam. !

      You and thousands of veterans are being dupped out of their disabilities for personnel gain. !

      Waste. Fraud and abuse and abuse of power. !

      Blood money. !!!!

      How many have died on the battle field and have killed themselves so VA employees could play hungry hippos. !

      Yea. Something us very wrong with this picture. !

      Jail time for upper management us the only way others will stop doing what their doing To veterans. !

      1. This goes to the heart of the matter regarding my own post on this page: that there are some of us who are NOT showing up as active cases in the final backlog count because we are in need of a swift-and-sure designated police authority to intervene — by that I mean an office at the Dept. of Justice and not a bunch of lame and sorry assed “report writers” at the Inspector Generals Office.

      2. If the justice department would really do an endept investigation on veterans being denied their benefits in the past. They could not come up with anything other than the veterans have been deceived. !

        And it was done in purpose and many veterans HAVE dies. Just because of this policy. !

        Many. Many current and past employees would be in jail. !

        Our justice system should do a massive investigation and the current management should be held responsible for letting it keep happening. !

        They are not being held accountable end should be. !

        Too many veterans HAVE told the same story. The justice department needs to speaking with the veterans. Not just look at paperwork. !

        They need to hear and see first hand. What they have done To the veterans and get their stories. !

        They. Need to put themselves on the veterans shoes. !

        All. I known us we as older veterans. Must never stop trying. If not for ourselves but our future generation veterans. !

        HAVE a Good day. !

      3. I can only say to you that there is no law in place right now to officially designated the Dept.of Justice as having criminal, civil, or ethical jurisdiction over all law enforcement matters over VA employees. Speaking to that matter specifically, the Congress has not been chasing this issue correctly. Veterans Committee can’t empower the Judiciary Committee so the activisms have to be moved over to the right authority on Capitol Hill.

      4. Agree. VA Is unable and unwilling to police themselves. !

        So until they change the law. Stopping them to police themselves. This new person. Can not try the soft approach. It just won’t work. !

        You have to HAVE a no nonsense mentality and go on front of congress and tell them. She he’s to HAVE written authority to fire in the spot. !

        Send them home. No pay ! And let the employee veterans treated just like a veterans and prove why they should not be fired. !

        Sand them a denial letter. Sorry we news more proof. You HAVE 30 day’s to appeal end keep sending denial letters ? Until the employee. Just like many of us. Just give up.

        What good for the Goose is good for the gander. !

        Too many employees are getting away with criminal activities. Against veterans.

  10. [from @Ben]
    >>I had to fight with VA for 14 years to get the rating I was entitled to,

    count me as in that boat too, 25years. 2 current appeals claims pending to correct the granted claim that took 25years. & chapter 31 for me to get re-educated. (years ago)

    i couldn’t do the claims myself, made many mistakes. a VSO helped to a degree, then they said back-off there’s nothing more there, be satisfied. one lawyer took my case after many turn-downs, he won on med evidence from mil/va/civilian alone. now he’s wrapping up loose ends, hope he wins that so mentally i can move on a bit. way too old to do much else. So why wouldn’t VSO take same evidence to VA? I would rather have this legal guy though, smart and diligent and respectful.

    >>Should it really take a law degree to win your claim? How many veterans give up? How many others die while fighting?

    oh heck NO!! gee, this has been one of many of veterans’ complaints with this system. the Central Office has created this mess whereby veterans in many cases HAVE to get an attorney. VSOs only do so much if anything, and they most certainly are in bed with VA. if you’re not then, VSOs, then take a challenge:: let some veterans present their medical evidence & mil history evidence & mess-ups by VA to you and you answer why you didn’t pursue it for the veteran. do it on a national talk show or cable news show. open source peer review!

    Many many veteran do give up!! I gave up for a few years after first trying. Believed the crap VA told me. Fell into the trap my own family and friends thought I was bs’ing even with evidence. i’m sure the VA told them that too. But, who cares if people don’t believe, we all know when fighting to take any hill worth taking, you can’t count on many people and the naysayers, to hell with them, just do it. Just a normal hard lonely learned lesson of life.

    How many died while fighting? I bet more than won, though I have zero stats for that. We can start from Korea through Vietnam and see how many of those veterans died fighting VA. My goodness, the GWS from the ME theater didn’t change squat for veterans and VA…did it? Still fighting the same fight, though with a different name. Don’t forget some of the stateside mil base illnesses that veterans and families have been fighting about.

    The country even witnessed the head of VA getting fired for the VA thuggery and scams, and what was the result? VA and Congress dug in more, oh, and Congress gave em mo’ money.

    my experience has been attorney’s and VSOs want to work with only slam-dunk quick wins. even some of the pro bono veteran legal firms put layers of filters to screen which are easiest to win. i get the reason. lawyers work, so they should be paid like anyone, i think that fair, what’s left of our capitalistic system (true capitalism, not this corp welfare).

    but, brings me back to my statement answering your question about should it really take a law degree to file a claim. NO! what happened to Title 38 Congress passed or the many other “rules/law” Congresses passed over the years to help the veterans with filing claims. seems every time, the VA Central Office hunkers down and puts more road blocks up, legal or medical thug tactics. surely the years of VA doctors NOT helping veterans with claims and lying on medical records to ensure no disability, deflection tactics they use to not diagnosis, VBA not seeing the medical evidence for what it says, and things like that.

    We all get they need to filter scammers and all that. But I submit, the scammers count, is very low compared to the veterans with legit claims.

    If the VA is so out spoken on their brand of VA care is the best for veterans, then why the heck they do everything NOT to correctly diagnose a veteran, especially if it could lead to service connection compensation? We veterans thought that was their job, at least I was told that when mil discharged me. Most of us have had to get civilian medical opinions paid by our own pocket to present a claim because the VA doctors were lying and/or doing every thing they could not to accurately diagnose.

    hey, anyone at VA, since they love research on veterans so much, ever done a study on the psych effects on patients when they continue to run up against such a system fighting for their rightful compensation while they are injured/sick? don’t think there are neg psych consequences for a veteran or any patient fighting this type of fight? For years!? with all that money you got VA, why not commission a research project on this “hidden” aspect of dealing with your org?

    >>That is what I talked about at the DNC Platform Committee meeting four years ago. Why was no one listening back then? Let’s hope they are truly listening now.

    Great talk!! wish my brain could give you a respectful deserving answer. i suspect thousands of veterans and their families/caregivers have wanted that answer for decades too. God only knows why the body of law makers, so-called Congress, can’t answer it, can’t/won’t enforce it, ducks, hides, bullsh!ts, etc.

    I’m too old and jaded and just a bit mis-trusting after years of dealing with VA to hold much hope they are truly listening now. you are much younger and have more fights left in you than us old guys, so you can “hope” easier. for the sake of other veterans, young and old and upcoming, i wish your “hope” will see the light of day. Honestly I do. I wouldn’t wish this VA/VBA nightmare on anyone, well, maybe a few bad VA doctors or few bad VBA people.

    My expectation of Ms DiBattiste in her new role would be at the minimum, to have VA/VBA enforce Title 38 and start to minimize the “VA adversity” action plan the VA thugs have in place. It may not be written anywhere, but many of us have felt the sting of the “VA adversity” action plan. most of us won’t know the real reason why she was selected. yet one person can make a difference, but considering what she is up against, the VA culture, she’ll have to sacrifice personally a boatload to get the job done veterans hope for.

    She worked hard for her accolades, and position in life, so she certainly has prove she has the wherewithal and everything that encompasses to get the job done, as you “hope they are listening now” and will act on.

    1. After reading your blog. It sounds just like something I would have wrote and your right about all the above.

      This new person. Will have an up hill battle and I think she has to look at it like Donald trump does !

      I don’t care who you are. Who you know or what you think you know. I’m in charge and I will not be you friend or coworker and if you try to pull the wool over my eyes. You will see the wolf !

      And your history. If I hear you or your buddies try to trick me into telling my secrets to later hold against me. Your wrong. !

      I was hired to help fix thus mess. You all made and I will fire anyone trying to sabatoge this very important mission. !

      How us their any questions. Good. !
      She will need to bring in New staff to her office and that should help insure. Nine of the good old boy system does not get to sabatoge her mission.

      She can be nice about it and sometimes if people think your on their side. They will spill the beans and not even know it. !

      She must not let them push her around. No nonsense approach. !

      You have to keep them guessing and worrying. Hell even make am award system. Where if proof is given about wrongdoings the reporting employee will be rewarded. ! Yes I said with proof. ! Not hearsay. !!!!!

      The tablea would turn and the rat’s will go back to their holes they came from. !

      That’s now you get thing’s done. Making friends is the wrong approach and you will end up like Bob. With mouse ears. !

      Good luck. Your going to need it. !

      She has to remember lieing is their strongest point. !

      Catch anyone in a lie and they are out the door. No I’m sorry or I won’t do it again. Your out of here. !

      Bye !!!!!!!!

  11. I do have one idea that can help ease the backlog at VBA, and at the same time begin the shift away from Vetcentric ways of doing ings and into mainstream America’s way.

    I would suggest a first step would be a presumptive VBA rating of 100% sc awarded to anyone who has been awarded SSDI for the same injuries. An SSDI rating of disabled for PTSD should be a presumptive 100% sc disability. This would mean a vet would only have to go through the agony of the process once and it would be done by the same process all of America uses in that regard.

    Then, when VA still refused to grant benefits, we can hire another administrator, come up with new great ideas, pass some new laws, and…..the wheels keep spinning…

    1. @redturtle984– Totally agree with the presumptive for same health issues granted via SSDI. Having gone through *both* processes, all at the same time and years, I can attest that this would be helpful BUT, at least in my own and other’s experiences, the damn VA will NOT communicate with Soc Sec nor would VA Dr.’s assist in filling required forms out. It was a royal cluster and then some.
      Soc. Sec./SSDI main office in my city told me that it would only make sense that -2- Federal Agencies would communicate but that’s not what takes place and it’s not so much on Soc. Sec.’s fault at all…it’s the damn VA doing exactly what they want to do…and NOT assisting the Vet.
      That communicating only makes sense but because it makes sense and would make things easier on the Vet, RAND Corp. agrees that the VA should continue doing exactly what they are not doing to assist Veterans.

      1. My VA providers refused to assist as well with filling out forms for my ssi/disability case as well. They went so far as to say that their supervisors said it was against policy. While doing some research, I stumbled across an article/blog that involved Nolo law that referenced a VA directive stating just the opposite. Lies?

      2. @namnibor,
        Not only does VA and Social Security not communicate with each other.

        The administration portion of VA also does not communicate with the VHA.
        I’m going through a FUBAR which has persisted for over thirty four years.

        VHA does not acknowledge my Army, (Vietnam), service. They only acknowledge my Navy service.
        Yet the administration section was informed of this “mistake” only after my Army DD-214 was faxed to them in 2005, a 23 year FUBAR by the administration!
        How’s that for those great VA employees compression of using computers?!

        My guard is still up, Gunny!

  12. We are nearing the election again. This is the time that politicians do anything they can to get veterans to back them, to vote for them, to root for them. I find it suspicious that something of this nature hits 3 months before an election…years after the DNC said they would listen to you…which was…probably just before the last election (?).

    My trust for the system is pretty low, on a scale of 1-100, its below the 20 point mark. I find it incredible that at this time, all of sudden, something like this just happens. There is a reason for it no happening for the last 3 3/4’s of a year ago, but then, the idea that it might be a short term white washing to poke us for votes just wont clear my gullet until after I have seen whats up in 2017.

  13. Ben, everything you wrote about Carol DiBattiste has me excited and encouraged. But, I was also excited and encouraged, when Vietnam combat vet Eric Shinseki was named Secretary of VA, and again when relative outsider Bob McDonald was named to replace him. I was also excited and encouraged again, when Bernie Sanders took over the Senate VA committee. My heart got broken all three times. Ms DiBattiste certainly sounds like a breath of fresh air, but all us folks with broken hearts, will wait and see.

    1. Agree. Wait and see. ! Action is stronger than words. Build you up just to let you down ? As you say too many heartaches. !

      I want to take the time now. To say thank you for your hard work. Trying to make a change. !

      It would be a wonderful day. When we get someone in charge who can tell other’s whom think their poop don’t stink. !

      As Donald says ( Your Fired. ). Pack up your stuff and remove yourself or you will have trespassing charges or other charges placed on you for your miss deeds. !

      Ron if i can be of any assistance at all in your effort to help veterans. With anything please let me know. !

      I can travel or make phone calls. Take phone calls. You or Ben just advise me what you need done in Colorado and I will be there. !

      Our veterans need anyone and everyone to do their part. ! I’ve heard no before. So that won’t stop me from asking someone else for their support !

      Again thanks

  14. Ben. I’m surprised that she reached out to you ww1 soon as she did. !

    Their. Was a question the VA committee asked a high ranking VA official. Wasn’t the VA given the authority to fire high ranking VA officials.?

    Answer: Yes

    Committee question: then why has not one person been fired. !

    VA: I don’t know !

    Since this person reached out to you. Maybe just maybe. She won’t fall for her manager’s ploys. !

    They did it to Bob McDonald ! Now he’s just one of the good old boys. !
    No bite from him. ! All mouth and no action in helping veterans. I hope she takes the bull by the horns and throw all of them out !

    Please. If You ever get the chance. Would you please bring up the subject if the illegal disruptive committee to someone Who is willing to listen !

    I believe this is a very important issue facing veterans and this committee is being abused and has No beneficial aspects to it. Other than punishment. !

    I don’t think any VA employee. If they know who you are. Would never report you to the committee.

    But. If they ever should. You will understand now it effects the veterans mental status and trust issues. !

    Remember. The VA can not even define what constitutes disruptive behavior. So it’s a free for all. !

    Again I’m willing to assist in anyway possible. I’m really tired of hearing how my fellow veterans are being hurt by this illegal committee. !

    Again thanks Ben. For everything. !

    1. Taking the bull by the horns sounds like a grand fine idea, and once on a dare back on the farm I gave my version a try. It turns out that when the bull wanted no more to do with me he communicated that sentiment in a crystal clear way.

      Why is it, I wonder, that when people are talking lies we call it BS when in fact a real bull is very clear in its intentions? Maybe we should just dismiss with all the bull?
      just saying…

      1. The VA Is throwing it around and they know it. They will not stop until the barn is cleaned. !

        Yes. I’m a country boy. !

        Don’t know if old McDonald is.?

        On his farm he had some Jack ass’s and still does !

  15. Ben,
    I thank God for you. I’m a 100% PT veteran with a psychiatric disability. And trust me….it truly is a disability. I wouldn’t wish this condition on anybody. But I take care of myself a live a pretty decent life.
    Anyhow…I’m in the VA Voc Rehab Program. Everything was set for me to begin Graduate School in July of this year. Everything had been paid for…all monies approved by the VA…etc. I even had my books.
    2 days before the start of the Summer Semester…the VA jerked ALL funding for that Semester. I had NOTHING to do with this…it was a VA
    mistake totally on their part. (clear and unmistakable)
    It left me with a $3400.00 bill and a serious aggravation in my Condition. I did however, pay for school from savings and went on to earn a 4.0 average. I did well.
    I am now in the Appeals process. It is my hope that I will be recompensed by what the VA said it would do. IE…pay for my Summer Semester.

    The Lesson I learned through this insanity is this: The VA is not on my side. The VA is not to be trusted. In fact…I’m starting to believe that the VR Program is a renegade.

    Possibly the best lesson I learned is why you are on a mission to change things at the VA. I never fully understood this until I went through the deep disappointment and discouragement that came from dealing with a very unmonitored and dysfunctional VA System.
    Thank you for your work. Please pass my story on to Board of Veterans’ Appeals chief Carol DiBattiste. Please. She needs to hear stories like these. Please feel free to contact me at my email address if desired. I am also on your Facebook blog under Paul Miner. Blessings my friend.

  16. Rotten Cabbage. (and since I am apparently considered ignorant by trolls for using ALL CAPS)…ROTTEN CABBAGE? Lunchtime on the V.A. Titanic. Yep, time for that troll spray~~~

    1. @ namnibor,
      Actually you were not the individual i was even thinking of here when i made the comment on using ALL CAPS when writing posts. It was someone else entirely.
      No need for any “troll spray” btw. Ben knows who I am full well and that my integrity to doing what is right, remains of high importance to me still-despite retiring from the Corps over 10 years ago. Lastly, perhaps I am missing something but i honestly do not get the remark about “rotten cabbage” at all nam? Kimchi perhaps? 🙂

      One thing I wish this forum had was the ability to “Like” or even “Dislike” ones posted comments ya know? Perhaps even a way for us commenters to send a private msg to and from each other as well. That could seriously help clear up any “innuendoes” of targeting someone incorrectly. I think I’ll have Korean food tonight, w Kimchi!! 😉

      1. Hi Gunny. I had the same thoughts about fb like or dislike option too. I just had Viet Namese. I had a chance to travel to a handful of countries in 2012, Viet Nam was my favorite destination. I have a few buddy’s from group that understandably don’t feel the same way. Having served under so many Viet Nam vets it was natural for me to develope a deep connection to so many of them, therefore, It was a privilege to visit that country ?(that’s my like button Gunny?)

      2. Maybe this year I will put Kimchi inside the turkey. Does Stovetop make a version?

    2. Hey Naminbor,

      I am getting the same sent but more of a rancid urine smell. Seems like the VA is trolling overtime and think that this is our first rodeo.

      1. @namnibor and Seymore Klearly.

        Yep, that sure does smell bad. “Rotten Cabbage” or “Rancid Urine” makes no difference. Both are not to my liking!

        I’ve given my opinion of incompetent, unscrupulous and retaliatory VA employees on here numerous times.
        If one asks, I can give names, places and dates as well.

        The times of “lowering our guard” is over! The times of seeing unscrupulous, incompetent and retaliatory VA employees being fired is at hand! No more of allowing these so-called professionals to retire, with all benefits, will be excepted!
        If anyone is caught physically hurting a veteran, they should have felony charges brought against them. As was/is the case in Louisiana.
        No more damnit!

      2. Hey Guys.
        Was looking for a way to Reply to Crazy Elf on his comments of:

        “How’s that for those great VA employees compression of using computers?!
        My guard is still up, Gunny!”
        **Btw- I knew what you meant instead of “Compression” No worries.

        None of your posts have the “Reply” button under them so sorry Naminbor – I had to tack this onto yours since it had a Reply link.
        Guys I still don’t get the “Rotten Cabbage” analogy either, but then again have not been posting here as often as you folks have.

        My fellow SC Vets here. Despite what you may think or assume, I am NOT by ANY MEANS some “Secret Squirrel” VA Employee poking around in here to get some sort of Juicy info or anything whatsoever! Yes Im an employee, but foremost before i became one – I was a SC Vet who was / is as frustrated as you all about the methods, wait times, and all the other stuff about their systems which both get things wrong and require wait times. Seriously gents (And ladies too) On my Fathers Grave I am NOT the guy looking to backdoor anyone here to feed the info to anyone at all – as a 90% SC Vet I give you my word on this 110% folks! I truly hope you trust in me here since I do NOT just toss out comments about my Fathers Grave like that easily but Im not sure how else to convince you? If there was such a way to connect with folks here w private messages Id gladly ask you to contact me to discuss or ask anything you wish! For real.

        So with that said everyone. I’m not all about backing up all the leaders here at va at all. matter of fact, i couldnt stand the sight of dianna rubens and despise what they’ve done to so many! I’m sure you all know that after that whole bs scam they have suspended ALL of the relocation expense allowances – mostly any home buyout rights which sucks so bad for anyone relocating to other offices! so NO i am not a kool aid drinking employee, i just give some decent looking people the benefit of doubt at first – like the woman who spoke w Benjamin about the whole boa thing some what he thought was honest answers , if there is such a thing. hahaha.
        Hope this means something to you all and if you find a way to contact me please go ahead and do so. Not sure what else I can say or do to convince anyone, but then again I shouldn’t need to prove myself to anyone either! I know who and what I am, and after 20 years in uniform, like you I’m sure don’t like my integrity questioned right? So take care and whatever I can do to help i will. As I said Benjamin knows who i am and I’m sure can “vouch” for me being legit.
        Oh well, whatever folks. Wish you all the best in your VA related endeavors and personal cases. if i had a magic wand or power to grant ALL of your appeals and cases id gladly do it all. trust me!
        The Gunny says “OUT!” ==================

  17. Ben,
    what a fine testament to your influence. I think you should take her at her word until she proves otherwise. It appears to me that your attitude, input and counseling will be of importance to this new BVA chief in the near future … otherwise she would have assumed an adversarial role with you. Good work!!

    1. She would not have called to vent her frustrations with veterans or our host. This is damage control. Nothing wrong with that at all. I heard they kept the folks on the Titanic entertained and comforted nearly the whole time. It makes sense to appoint a new navigator to straighten out the course right? The Titanic OIG has investigated and has determined water will flood the ship if they do not start demonstrating values and ethics in their seamanship. Titanic concurs.

      What are your orders Captain?

  18. I would like to talk to her as well. How many other people can get Mcdonald to bring an appeal to the BVA AND approved in six days?

    Only after a congressman took on beth mccoy and Mcdonald was caught lying in an email the next day not realizing he ccd the congressman and I on it. Yet mccoy got a promotion out of it.

    Low morale? Bob was telling everyonehis judge was going to approve it by Monday. He missed and decided it Tuesday but it was quite the eye opening.

    Now VACO is threatening to arrest me and interfering in the attorney client relationship.

    Ben has my cell number.

      1. He told Ron Nesler he had just heard of my husband’s case and was right on it.

        In fact Allison Hickey added Bob to the emails in February 2015 and he had been briefed several times. He tried to BS the way out and was caught red handed.

  19. Bravo Ben!
    Since I have always regarded you as a true voice of reason, and a very articulate guy with good judge of character, its actually refreshing to see these observations and overall good feeling from you about Ms. DiBattiste here!
    within this “comment section” of each great article you post, its all too often i read nothing but horrible views and pessimistic opinions about ANY VA leadership position. I can certainly understand how many become cynical and jaded inside over the years if they have “personally’ had their own claims denied or take years to get fixed / rated according to what they claim should be correct. However, as both a 100% SC Vet and also a VA employee i have always given the benefit of the doubt to various leadership positions – until i see otherwise. As all who’ve been in the military know, one SHOULD not punish everyone for the faults and errs of but 1-2 individuals! Meaning, just due to a few bad apples in the past who have since resigned and are gone, we should not judge anyone else too early when taking on these positions until given the chance to see what they can actually do. correct?

    Again, i am glad to see your opinion of this new BVA Head as positive, and actually just spent 45 mins reading some of your previous commentary regarding Gen Allison Hickey, Who i personally liked very much and was sad to see thrown under the bus by both her colleagues here at VBA AND the vast majority of readers here based on their written opinions!. People will, and should, always voice their opinions when it pertains to who represents them in any office. However, i just cannot understand those who write such heavy handed commentary about one who they don’t know personally, has not personally effected them, or has not been given the opportunity to make “things right” by our Veteran population – and may I add those who have truly made the attempts to do this but were swimming against the tide the entire time and had their efforts “fragged” by their own troops too! (Obviously I mean Gen Hickey!)
    Therefore, i just don’t see the rationale of sitting at home at ones computer ranting about how “this one sucks, this one should go, that one screwed us all, etc etc” and truly not knowing any other details than what they read (either here or elsewhere)
    ***And then there are those who for whatever reason still type out all their feelings about VA and all its faults “IN CAPITAL LETTERS” or “MISPELED WORDIN” which IMHO shows quite a bit of their own ignorance and more! 😉

    I have, and always will be one of your “eyes wide open” followers here Ben, so keep up the charge and letting us all know what lies beneath the surface. Perhaps then the public will understand that not “everyone” is bad, crooked, useless, and should go!

    Semper Fidelis to you all !

    The Gunny

    1. Ben, **Sorry if the discussion of POTUS politics is verboten here sir.?

      Me again. After this just posted i actually went back and read ALL the comments posted here. I don’t think I saw one which was either positive or hopeful at all. lol.
      At some point people need to lower their walls to give someone a chance first before blasting them about something entirely out of their control. Otherwise, as i have learned personally – one will literally go thru life pessimistic, angered, cynical and distrustful or EVERYONE! Is that the way you folks truly wish to be your whole lives?
      This woman has not even officially stepped foot into the BVA position yet and still she receives nothing but adverse commentary!

      Change of gear for a second – to a topic that I’m sure will raise the cooking temps even hotter here! My “personal” opinion of what we are left with as presidential candidates is absolutely disgusting! Both have more faults than they do accolades IMHO and both are a liability and risk to what we are faced with in time to come!
      I actually predicted this when Trump first came out w his grandiose idea to run for election, and many thought i was nuts. I seriously thought, and now more than ever still do, that he purposely became involved in the entire campaign to create such hate and discontent toward himself, so that the public will see him as a complete lunatic and choose the “lesser of two evils” by voting for Hillary! Call me crazy but I seriously think this is what he’s doing “for her” – even more so now by saying the entire election will be rigged in her favor! Before anyone calls me a hypocrite on this based on my comments from the post above, these two folks have a horrible record of their own before even stepping into this bout. And this fight has a direct impact on EVERYONE – not just us Veterans too!
      Thought Id share this little (actually long) rant by a friend of mine which lists quite a few hits and misses on them both! So consider this folks and read on!

      What kind of America do you want?

      Trump is clearly not politically correct, is abrupt, not a polished politician, randomly mutters comments that offend many at times, is not liked by the majority of Washington establishment politicians, and is feared by those enjoying a lavish lifestyle under government employ. His opponent on the other hand is a documented liar, lacks integrity, lives within an aura of corruption suspicion, has accomplished virtually nothing during her numerous years of public service, despises authority and law enforcement, follows and practices the teachings of far left winged liberals, cannot comprehend the dangers of radical Islamist threats towards America, has no concern for a rapidly growing Federal deficit, believes wholeheartedly in big government regardless of the cost, has no concern with illegal immigration, claims to despise Wall Street yet lists them as her staunchest supporters and financial contributors, changes her position on important topics concerning American interests on a regular basis, staunchly supports NAFTA and free trade that has hindered American job opportunities, is against the development of American natural resources, supports a far left leaning Supreme Court, supports significant military budget cutbacks, totally supported Planned Parenthood’s decision to sell body parts from fetuses aborted, has continuously voiced her absolute approval of the current Affordable Health Care Policy regardless of the expense and problems it has created for middle class Americans, has no recorded successes as Secretary of State or as a member of Congress, has never displayed a bit of genuine concern for American veterans, has stated her candidacy represents an Obama third term, has a history of insulting, hateful, arrogant and spiteful behavior and the list goes on and on. Other than living within the political spotlight for many years what other attributes and significant accomplishments can she claim? Trump is difficult to like due to his brash, insulting and often offensive comments. Mainly because he calls it as he sees it. Might be something this country truly needs, What you see is what you get! No BS! Sorry, despite his politically incorrect behavior this man clearly does not carry the baggage Clinton would into the White House! Putting the annoying politically incorrect behavior aside, a Trump Presidency is less concerning of the two unfavorable candidates.

      1. @The Gunny

        Thanks for that overwhelmingly great appraisal of Mr. Trump.

        He will definitely, in not only my opinion – but also in millions of his supporters opinions, bring something we’ve not seen in Washington since it’s inception. That is the TRUTH behind the unscrupulous underhanded deals made by those in power today!

        On Ms. Carol D. BiBattiste,
        As far as giving someone (new) on the job a chance. Think on this.
        How many times in the past many decades have veterans heard that song and dance.
        How many times have veterans seen VA directors appoint individuals who say they will change and correct problems. Only to become part of the problem! Then create more problems.
        Answer, TOO MANY TIMES!

        I’m also a 100% T&P disabled “Combat Vietnam Veteran”.
        Many times I’ve ran into great employees who did everything in their power to help veterans. Even those great employees have remarked on other employees, concerning the dismal treatment they see given to vets.
        So, in my opinion, there are an extremely larger group of poorly trained and incompetent VA employees vs. great employees!

        Yesterday, the wife and I witnessed Mr. Trump first hand in Daytona Beach, Florida. There were approximately 15,000 + supporters. In Jacksonville, Florida he had 16,000 + supporters. As was reported on the conservative news, 96.5 FM! That totals over 31,000 individuals in one day!
        It’s quite different seeing him in person, instead of on the news or Utube.

        The crooked news media’s are for “anointing” Hillary Clinton.
        And, as you have so apply stated, the corruption surrounding the Democratic Party is large. Especially with the numerous amount of info coming from ‘Wikileaks’ recently!
        I’ve read where more will be released shortly. Only these, which discuss Benghazi, will hopefully put that final nail in her coffin!

        Oh, and before I forget, thanks for your service and welcome home!

      2. By the way, Gunny, I have lowered my guard a few times for VA. And each time I was screwed!
        Until the VA upper echelon proves beyond a shadow of a doubt, they want to do right by all veterans, my guard stays up!

    2. Perhaps if you had been on the receiving end of VA employee corruption, fraud, abuse or negligence repeatedly and for years rather than being an insider getting yourself taken care of, you wouldn’t be so quick to come here and slander other vets whose experience is different than yours.
      Hickey wasn’t fragged by any troops, she was fragged by corrupt management who you gave a second chance to, and who got their jobs back rather than being prosecuted and jailed.

      You can look down your nose at other veterans. Those who have been lied to and abused for years will just think of you as another VA hack who selfishly takes care of himself and ignores fellow veterans and what they go through at the VA.

      Did I spell everything correctly?

  20. This is just another broken record! How many times have we heard that they are bringing in new people to straighten the VA out??? New IT people, new programs, new cell phones, millions were spent and nothing has changed. I am still waiting on disability benefits for my WWII buddy who can barely walk, can’t breath, has a pace maker, bad liver and the only thing they gave him was a ZERRO % disability for ED from prostate cancer!! He’s going to be dead before they award him anything! Isn’t that the plan for all of us??? I say put your $$ where you mouth is!

  21. We can only hope she is the real deal. To many have waited, fought and even died for the benefits that should not take years to culminate in a denial.

  22. Personally I have trouble trusting anyone who takes a pay cut to work in a position. Also I have problems with anyone that is being placed in any Government position by the current administration this close to its demise.

    On another note, another person who took a pay cut to work in a Government position was Hillary Clinton. Just a heads up to anyone who is interested in seeing the movie “Clinton Cash”. Currently Breitbart news is offering free showings of the movie at:


    The movie is well worth seeing.

    Been off Grid for a while do to natural disaster, hurricane force winds in a forested region. Not a good match for the electrical grid.

    1. Seymore,
      Another great “documentary” style movie to see is “Hillary’s America”!
      The wife and I saw it a short time ago.
      Great info on the corrupt Democratic Party!

  23. What do I think? That sort of changes from moment to moment lolz. How about let me toss out a few that are getting dusty? Make room for more!

    The information that I have tells me that a person entered into service for their country, served with honor, became injured, worked against established odds that have killed many others and FURTHER against nearly all odds put themselves through law school, and has been recognized by a cabinet level appointee as an expert in his chosen field.

    I think I am impressed, but also hopeful, because it proves that it can be done, and clearly done with the sole tool of Constitutionality and lawfulness, which I would point out to the new appointee is not something that VA can currently claim. It makes zero difference what intentions are involved with any employee, so long as that federal employee is operating outside of Constittuionality that is compelled through the normal processes that compell ALL Americans to comply with that established set of rules.

    If we playing by the same rules then we are not playing same game. I might love the coach on the Olympic gymnastic team, and she might indeed get her girls to go flipping around the bars and mats in Nadia Comăneci style, but if my team is playing rugby there is gonna be a real clash when we all get together to play. I easily accept that there are great people in every corner of the world. I simply do not believe the problem is fixed until all Americans play by the same set of rules.

    P.S Did you get her stuffing recipe?

    1. I think her stuffing is not necessarily something we want to consider. How’d she get the job, why she would want it? If she fails her stuffing is irrelevant, however a bath in a tar pit and a feather dusting would be in order

  24. Maybe now Voc Rehab can be cleaned up because there are a lot of problems there. I had a bad experience with them at Fort Bliss. They do everything possible to keep money from going out to Veterans that need help for school, like me.

    The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program mentioned earlier accounted for 59,387 Veterans that were enrolled in college or vocational trade schools (Department of Veterans Affairs, 2012; McCaslin et al., 2014). This is quite a low number of Veterans compared to the large number of Veterans who have made it through the VA system and on to the university and or community college courtrooms. Close to 1 million Veterans and military Service members attended school in the year 2012 with 68% receiving the Post 9/11 benefit (McCaslin, Thiede, Vinatieri, Passi, Lyon, Ahern, . . . Chitaphong, 2014).

    I still do not trust the VA! Bud I know that I have to continue with my research and try to help out Veterans with more information about what is really going on. I hope that Caro D. will be a great thing for our country’s veterans.


  25. I have seen a commit as how I write on this site,,, PTSD has destroyed my ability to take what is happening with a calamity,,, that others have,,, I have fought this so called promise since the day I was discharged honorably from the Army ,,,, and went to college with great difficulty but did become the straight A grade through that time and graduated,,, but with this PTSD always in my life of everyday ,,,,
    I have done past the waiting period,,,, as I have said before the VA has only gave me as place of a cubical to stay for a period of time to keep me safe from destroying myself ,,,,
    The last time I was there was from a UNPLANNED suicide in which I never understood or believed in until it happened to my life,,,, Today I still have no remembrance of it ,,, but through my wife and sheriff of what happened,,,, I was brought back to life with no brain damage,,, except for PTSD still hanging,,,,
    At this age of loss of interest of anything,,, brought on by what you have all explained above in fighting for my 100% approval,,,, with the cost of losing all of normal life dreams ,,,, in financial ruins that I will never recover from,,,,
    I have reached a point in life that all that another person brought in with all this background is a good sign of someone in charge to change the VA concept of help will go no were ,,
    As one person said until a total clean up of the upper authorities are removed and a real new fresh of personal that have the understanding that First they enjoy and get great pride out of watching a smile and success on a Disabled Veterans face,,, in making that person of a understanding of why he or she came back to America after a war,,, and able to give this person a life that they gave up from a Career that will never become,,,, dreams from entering childhood to adult hood,,, never be again,,,, and a real paycheck that is not a struggle to live on,,,, A HOPE that I actually really served my country,,,,
    What I’m trying to say I’m a Viet Naum vet as many out there who are still wondering around,,, that had to hide under wigs,,, were there civilian clothes under there uniforms,,, who had to go to areas were areas really didn’t even know about servicemen,,,, and then be totally abused by a VA system who has done everything to make sure that all was taken away from you ,,,,even your soul,,, I have no ,,, none,,,totally,,,any hope that if I live another 10 year or 20 to 85 I will every see a glimmer of why to get up and live for another day,,, until a total understanding of feeling and reason the VA is there except to supply jobs for nurses and doctors,, with very good pay,, protection,,,and retirement thinking,,as it is become today,,,,
    I have witness over and over the great doctors and nurses be removed over and over just in this area Fargo and Sioux Falls,,, and replaced with overseas personal who are Told that Vets are First,,,
    Well good luck with that ,,,, either you are really an American or I was Brought to some foreign country when I came back and led to believe that I was back in America,,,,
    One more thing for years and years decades I told doctors I felt my decision making was rerouted through me back to Viet Naum then back to me,,, to do anything of life,,,, They would just stair at that statement,,,, today at least I do it actually hear,,,,,
    As said I could write a book on how I got to were I am sitting today,,,, and I would never ever believe that book I would write could be true,,,, but total fiction,,, enough said,,,,
    By the way my son as I know only by name ,, started out as a E-1 in the marines and moved to the Air Force and is now a Major,,,,, I believe if not wrong is going to retire shortly,,,, as said only by Name ,,, thanks VA the help of nothing,,,,,, also have two daughters also grandchildren only by name,,,, I no nothing about them,,,,
    They fear PTSD not me but I with PTSD,,,, as all that is being said and showed to America with it,,,, my Brother before he Died ask for forgiveness on all those years of believing I was a total nut,,, do to the days I fight PTSD life,,,,, I have never hurt no one,,, just the emotions and trauma episodes I go threw ,,, which never ,,never ends,,,,, Today not bad,,,,, may your day always have a better one,,,,, steve

    1. U can see in your writings that you are having a better day. !
      Steve. Your not crazy. You have s disability and the disability does not make you a crazy person. !

      The VA has made the lable and are responsible for making people other than veterans think were crazy. !

      We. Can see things other people overlook and something of those things remind us of what happened to us and when we seek help from crying because we are someone hurting or hear about now our veterans see being mistreated. It makes us upset. !

      Being upset is not always a bad thing. It must means were alive and have feelings and we hurt. !

      Some times we loose control and get mad. But we HAVE s right to get mad. EVER nice on a while. !

      Were human after all. As for your family member’s. Reach out and tell them. I want to apologize for any and all stuff I may have said in the heat of the moment.

      Please understand it was not you. I was mad at. I was mad at myself and the VA for not understanding what I had been through. !

      I have 14 grandchildren mad at times they deserve to be scolded and they may mean. But in the end they will thank me. As other people could do worse to them if we ww1 adults don’t show them right from wrong. !

      Again. Your not crazy. Your a veteran that seen things that other’s have no clue mad will never understand. !

      Please carry on and have a great day. !

  26. Go to the Washington Archives (Archives One) and look at the Civil War Veterans request for assistance. The pre-VA and today’s VA are very similar; “Deny the vets request for assistance, until he hires a lawyer, and then if he is still alive compensate him his $6 each month.”

    Nothing has change, keep the pressure on the VA for they are the ones responsible for improving their reputation.

  27. Ms. Carol DiBattiste’s military service excluded, I see nothing coming from her ‘appointment’!

    I personally have seen high ranking individuals, who went through all enlisted and officers ranks, become the most vile and unscrupulous people around.
    In my many years of service, military and civilian, only one stands out. One out of many thousands is not very reassuring.
    Only one had the where of it all to stand BESIDE, not behind, the men and women who were in “HIS CHARGE”! His name is synonymous with no other! His name, ” Secretary of the Navy – Zumwalt!” I hope I spelled his name correctly! He, in my opinion, was one who, if he knew his personnel were being used, abandoned or threatened, would buck the Congress and President – if necessary! He also “rose through the ranks”, from seaman, (E-1), to Secretary of the Navy! No one else has ever accomplished this!

    As far as not seeing any “change” by Ms. DiBattiste. My reasons are simply this. IF she does try to “buck the system”, she will be “put out to pasture”!
    In the past, all VA upper echelon, and those in the rank and file, who have attempted to do right by veterans were forced out.

    This is, as namnibor has stated, a “wait and see” scenario.
    Problem being, there are millions of veterans who have “waited and have seen NOTHING” except hardship and dispair, then DEATH!
    Many veterans want to be treated with respect. Yet, they are treated with disgust and are vilified by the very agency, mandated by law to serve them!
    When does it stop? One person, in my opinion, will not change the corrosive nature of the beast we call VA!

  28. I hope you are right. I have a hearing on August15. I’ve been fighting for a correct rating and date of rating since 1985. Some C&P psychiatrists, behaviorally oriented, looked only at me on a good day interview. They ignored the objective evidence of partial seizures and complex partial seizures in my record including one positive EEG prior to being placed on antidepressants which mask the epileptiform spiking and present a “drug affect.” I’m sure I’m not alone in waiting 46 years to be properly diagnosed and treated. In the mean time I lost 46 years of employability. (1969-2015)

    Adjustment disorder. Yes anyone with an organic brain problem has an adjustment problem. It is a given. It is maddening to realize I could have been medicated out of the problem.

    1. @Lem-

      That term, “Adjustment Disorder” is exactly what the VA uses instead of PTSD to deny disability and they are teaching this to the new wannabe shrinks in civilian schools as well because I had to have my own civilian (3 Psych Dr.’s ago) correct that in my own records when I have had a diagnosis of severe anxiety disorder, PTSD, and Depression going back to official diagnosis 1995….and he took it upon himself to CHANGE my diagnosis upon -1- visit to “Adjustment Disorder” just a year ago and when he asked why he should change it I told him that term “Adjustment Disorder” is non-compensable in disability comp. with VA. He understood and it was changed back. Now, if I did not check my record and visit notes each time afterwards I would not have caught this. I have spoken with many other Vets that have had this dope a rope changearoo tried on them as well.

  29. Sorry, but at this point it’s definitely a “wait and see” type of affair we find ourselves in…again. We have been repeatedly sorely disappointed when we have believed the VA Spin Machine, even in the rather recent past. I wish I could be more positive and less glum but UNTIL we see REAL accountability and CHANGE as well as ACTIONS rather than carefully spun words of intention…it’s unfortunately not easy to just jump on the bandwagon and extend trust that THIS TIME will be different.
    Our heads already have concussions from doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different outcome. I hope she can understand Veteran’s trust has been expended long ago.

    Yeah, call me the eternal cynic here but it’s definitely a BIG “wait and see”…I hate Kool-Aid and especially when it’s always been mixed with urine up to now. Wait and see. She may very well have excellent intentions but the many heads of the corrupt VA Snakes are still in-place, so even with well-intentions, those snakes will consume her well-intentions. Wait and see. Trust is not easily exchanged like coins in a vending machine for a cookie crumb or two.

  30. So how do you root out problem employees, when most are protected by the union, and the others are protected by ‘due process’ through the Merit Protection Board?? Congress has been asked to change the status of upper employees so the MPB can no longer overturn discipline. They drag their feet at giving help on this or giving the funds that the VA needs. In just 2 years, think McDonald is truly working to turn the VA totally around.

    1. I would have hired Mad Dog Mattis if I were Bob. The Marine general who is full of life’s tidbits like “Be nice to everyone you meet but have a plan to kill them” or “where do suicide bombers go when they die? Everywhere”.

      Then I would bring in the 1st and 2nd Ranger Battalion and secure the building. Do door to door cleaning ops escorting bad employees to the street and even have cars waiting to take them home. Have marine embassy trained guards at the VACO door from then on armed and loaded ready to repel any re-occupation.

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