Veteran Readiness Poll Veterans Confused

POLL: Majority Veterans Confused About What Veteran Readiness and Employment Does

In a recent Facebook poll, most veterans indicated they are still confused about what Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) does going into the first appointment.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) program focused on retraining disabled veterans is still confusing to veterans. Guess what veterans thought one decade ago? They were confused about whatever it is Veteran Readiness does.

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Imagine that?

VR&E, also called Chapter 31 and Voc Rehab, has an annual budget of nearly $2 billion. VA, more broadly, spends hundreds of millions in taxpayer funds each year to educate the public and veterans about its programs.

RELATED: Quick Facts When Applying For Veteran Readiness And Employment

Still, despite the enormous resources, veterans are confused, and it’s not a small percentage of veterans.

At the time of this article, 53 percent of veterans polled in our VR&E Facebook group find learning about what VR&E does is the most confusing part prior to the first appointment.

About The Veteran Readiness Poll

Here is what happened.

We created a poll in the Facebook group I founded in 2009 when my veteran advocacy first started. (The group now has over 37,000 members.)

The recent poll questioned members about “the most confusing part” of the VR&E process prior to the first appointment. Most of the veterans who responded (53%) answered the most confusing part is simply finding out what VR&E can do for them.

Coming in fourth on the list (10%) was a topic added by a group member on counselors not being straightforward about VR&E benefits.

Imagine that? Veterans are concerned about paid and well-educated COUNSELORS (i.e. people in a position of trust) misleading veterans.

It reminds me of the first article I wrote called The Lies They Tell.

Would it surprise you to learn that lies I wrote about more than a decade ago are still the main lies Veteran Readiness Counselors (VRC) tell today? I have since updated the content and tweaked the title, but the lies are essentially the same.

The only thing different today is the name of the program. They changed it from Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment to Veteran Readiness and Employment.

At least Vocational Rehabilitation is a term of art that suggests what it does. But VR&E senior officials felt the old name was not obvious enough, so they changed it to sound like a pre-deployment meeting.

Other top responses in the poll were how to perform job market research and picking a future vocation. Key to success in VR&E is selecting an appropriate vocational goal or job.

While this is not a scientific poll, it provides a real time indication of what some veterans think about this vital program. Veterans have historically been confused about VR&E benefits making this result not a surprise.

Let’s hope policymakers within VR&E and members of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs and Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs are paying attention.

Why VR&E Confusion Matters

VA has a long way to go to make sure veterans understand the benefits available. The agency would likely save taxpayer dollars if veterans understood what VR&E does in a ways.

It may result in fewer veterans applying who should not apply. It may also result in Veteran Readiness Counselors completing their evaluations in a more accurate, timely manner since veterans would come to the first appointment more prepared.

Assuming the numbers hold, it suggests a large percentage of veterans do not understand how VR&E can help them achieve success in professional careers despite disabilities.

VA must do more, and lawmakers must do more to hold VR&E accountable for its lack of successful outreach.

Facebook Poll URL:

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  1. I went through VR&E to complete my Masters in Civil Engineering. I really wanted to be a commercial pilot. Something I felt that had a better chance of sucess given my background. Was told to forget it.
    After 3 semesters I had to bail. TBI, and the fact that I, a pre-9/11 and post-VN, received $600/mt less stipen than everyone else was crushing my ability to concentrate on the 4 years of calculus required. I was top of my class in cal-1 when I had to bail for financial/stress reasons on Thanksgiving. This even though I was chipping in $400/month make it on PB&J.

    1. In that first article, McDonough says, “Everything is getting better!” “We are getting there!” “I know there are some challenges!” “I appreciate all the concern!” Meanwhile I know vets who have been denied care and treated like shit with no reprocussions to the people who do this. Veterans running around on fire in front of the Georgia state capitol, veterans being denied surgery, character assassination in medical records, lies, cover ups, civil rights violations. First step is to get it all out in the open and NOT paint rosy pictures for the public. God knows that in these so called meetings they are having they aren’t talking about all the dirty laundry at the VA. All that shit gets swept under the rug long before any meetings. We want people held to account publicly. If not, everyone above and below at the VA has dirt on them.

  2. Don’t commit suicide…commit murder suicide. Best advice I was ever given. And don’t call the hotline unless you want pole cameras in your neighborhood.

  3. I have been trying to get ILP going since 6 Jan 2022. The first month went by and they finally did my 1st interview, 3 weeks late. Could not get any info back after the counselor told me it would be a week. 2 months later I called the WH hotline because nobody would reply to my emails or phone messages. They promised to do better instead of giving me a new counselor. Then nothing moved. In May the counselor said something happened, then they said they needed an inspection. Failed to contact VHA about that until June, and left my PCP confused. Now in Oct 2022, someone called and said they are helping while the counselor is out, then they got my PCP to send out a community care therapist to evaluate my home. Then the CC wanted to come 2x a week for therapy, which is a big disconnect, so it was canceled.

    This whole process is a shit stain on the government. The VBA is allowed to process 2500 new ILP;s per year. It will be a new year before they ask me for the papers to get what I want (a greenhouse). Congress allows them to spend 25-100K per person per year for the 2 year program. I was looking at less than 25K/year. Do they want to give me a recliner and a laptop that will cost them 1k? Dont have a clue, but I am sure that this goes beyond incompetence into the realm of negligence. Problem with that is that the VBA is its own police, nobody gives a damn.

  4. The whole system is a scam.
    The whole federal government is spin spin spin and does not serve a purpose. Group think does not represent purpose.
    They spend billions dressing up everything. Maybe the federal government should be eliminated and return the power back to the states like it was many years ago. Companies are disconnected to employees and blame everything on employees when the problems lay at the top. Break up large companies. Eliminate the federal government. Federal government devalues Americans anyway. They even devalue themselves. All displayed in their actions.

      1. We need a constitutional amendment to deal with Citizens United. Get the money (dark and declared) out of DC. Our government serves corporations, we’re supposed to believe in trickle down. The best way to avoid said constitutional amendment is to keep people at each others throats – it softens up our necks say they can keep their boots on them. Seems to be working.

    1. Benjamin
      why have all the resources if VBA and VHA blocks?
      Your question, “Veterans did not know what Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation or VR&E or whatever name the VA has given the select group of resources could offer them.”
      It is not a matter of what the VA can offer or not offer. VA can choose to do x y or z and if the VA refuses well that is on the VA. It should not be VA appearing to hold the cards on anything because they don’t. It depends on how strong and how stable the veteran is at the time. Now a veteran who is severely unstable or severely impaired will have no choice but to accept help from the VA. As a matter fact the veteran will not be present enough in the screenshot of time to recognize the help. Veteran will not have the awareness and will not have the coping skills to handle situations. Veterans who are impaired cannot do daily living skills or struggle to do daily living skills. Now getting back to your survey question. This is why veterans may not know. Because the VA spins. VA can claim and even write x y
      or z but though they do not write anything today. This too makes the manipulation even more of a problem. VA is subjective with everything and too over regulated.
      The VA is just like the IRS. They will come up with a new form or an addendum to a policy or statute that will disqualify the veterans or add more barriers. Bottom line is all this red tape serves what purpose? The red tape defeats the purpose for why the resources exist in the first place. Because resources are there does not truly mean the resources are truly there. Same goes with a private sector company believing a veteran has healthcare. This is not true. Healthcare under the federal government means nothing until the medical care is in hand. Healthcare is not actual medical care. VR&E services does not mean VR&E services. The federal government just spins and spins. The VR&E counselors today are not informed and are not educated to the degree that previous Vocational Rehabilitation staff were back in the day. I can prove this too.
      As years have move forward the standards have dropped across the board. I can prove it. Points to the Federal government and those who are destroying everything. Elites vs the people. I am not trying to pick a fight with the VA but the leadership truly needs to pay attention if they desire to stay afloat. Transhumance is not realistic. Just like uniformity is not realistic. Human nature is too abstract although they believe they can use AI to conquer human beings.
      Nota never not under God’s watch. VR&E is just about control. It is not about investing in veterans lives. Benjamin this is the difference between back in the day and today. I have witnessed it and this is the truth. Why does the VA have mega resources so they claim but will never use them for the purpose of why the resources exist in the first place? Why hold on to the funds? Give the money back to the American people.

    2. Ben you comment on the VA spending millions of dollars on educating the public and veterans about resources. Yes this is what they do. They use the money for marketing purposes to showboat instead of using the money in the actual delivery to the veterans. If VA chooses to not use funds to help veterans then give the money back to the American people. I am sure many in State hospitals and living in section 8 housing could use the hand up to become employed so they could live better lives. I have never understood the resistance that has come from the VA. Why do they exist?

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