VA Reforms

What Is Something Veterans Can Do To Help Reform Veterans Affairs?

VA Reforms

For eight decades, veterans have watched as the Department of Veterans Affairs evades reforms to the embarrassment of taxpayers.

Veterans feel desperate, and their desperation is well justified. VA receives $170 billion each year in funding, loads of press exposing scandals, and mountains of oversight from Congress and watchdogs.

Yet, the problems persist.

Special interests still use veterans and our data like researchers use guinea pigs to create experimental medicines.

Our benefits systems are intentionally broken by policies designed to restrict benefits payouts for various purposes.

The health care delivery system picks and chooses how to give us services in a manner that would not survive public scrutiny if fully exposed.

Whistleblowers who are well-meaning VA employees and VA executives are retaliated against by evil men and evil women intent on maintaining the status quo or padding their own pockets.

With all the exposure, interagency reforms and funding, problems veterans face never seem to go away.

And, with all that said, many of my readers are saying, “Now what?”

“What can we do to reform an agency that seems impervious to changes?”

“Is VA too complex to reform?”

I promised one of my readers last not to provide at least one thing veterans can do to encourage reforms. I have two things that veterans should continue to do. (There are obviously more, and I encourage you to write them below in the comments section.)

Remember inertia – – my proposed solutions are two of many solutions and will not reform VA immediately. Nothing can accomplish such a goal.

  1. Record VA Interactions
  2. Self-Advocacy

Record VA Interactions

Veterans are liars according to many VA employees.

Whatever we say is given little to no weight if a conflict arises about benefits or filing a complaint. VA employee testimony is almost always given more weight.

If veterans record the interaction, using either audio or video, the weight issue is blown out of the water.

Most states allow the use of recorders for veterans with disabilities to help remember medical instructions even in states that generally require consent from all parties to a conversation.

RELATED: State Recording Laws

Take a look at your state recording laws to ensure you are not violating any state laws even though state laws generally do not apply to actions on federal property. This will keep you out of trouble.

When you catch something, put it on YouTube and send it to people like me to expose to the public.

The more veterans shine a light into the darkness and catch evil people doing evil things, the more likely VA is to enforce the law.


Albert Einstein supposedly said the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result.

A friend of mine said that during my divorce and it has taken on new meaning in light of the present state of VA.

For many decades, the system has pushed veterans to be dependent on controlled veteran service organizations or the agency to get justice.

This has been a largely failed relationship.

For many decades, the system has received more and more money that has not been spent responsibly.

This has been a largely failed investment.

Public use of the internet has increased the number of self-advocates who fight for their own rights and research issues to improve the system.

Platforms like mine and are hundreds of millions of dollars cheaper to run that anything VA or veteran organizations have put forward.

We do it on a shoestring budget and are dependent on our readers for revenue rather than taxpayers.

Veterans should continue to research their issues or concerns and publish their findings on these inexpensive solutions or create their own to publish on a specific topic.

Make a point to share articles you like on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn. Cross-post articles into comment streams on VA’s Facebook page, VA’s blog, on Congress’s Facebook pages, etc.

Grab the URL from this website using Control + C and paste it into the comments section pressing Control + V.








VA’s Blog


Next Steps For VA Reforms

This one falls into the self-advocacy camp but could also be used whenever veterans submit recordings of interactions with bad VA employees.

I am planning to publish a new database of VA employees that will allow veterans to provide reviews of the services they provide.

Individual reviews of VA employees will force change within a few years. That is my hunch.

The website design I want to create is like a courtroom of public opinion similar to the function of the Better Business Bureau.

Veterans can file complaints. VA or the employee can provide a statement in response. Then we decide who is guilty or innocent.

Imagine that. Whenever a VA employee tries to get another job, the new employer conducts a Google search where the review page comes up for each VA employee.

Since courts have been unable to reform VA, why not use the courtroom of public opinion?

I like the idea, and my platform is big enough to get the right exposure of the plan.

But even if it does not help encourage reforms, it will help inform Santa each year when he makes his naughty list.

What are some ideas you have that can help reform VA, or the federal government more broadly?

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  1. I start this off by saying i am not a veteran. I work at the phx va I worked for 11 and half years I work for a company called vcs by saying this reply I get retaliated against again lol I have been suspended many times and roc many times. People want to complain about the va’s but what most people don’t realize are va’s are like are politicians you don’t fire them you stay till you retire and it’s not what you know it’s who’s you know that’s the va Standard we will give a example the va’s eoc safety team 100,000 start the thing about safety is there I be nice and say 10 OSHA violations in the va and vcs things I call osha on and nothing I have pics from cockroaches cockroaches traps Is expire stuff it Ron dates places that I’ve never been cleaned since I’ve been there mold have pics for the pass 2 years i have people in the VA put in document saying cockroaches cannot carry asbedtos fibers Look it up I have a lot to say but can’t or should

  2. You asked me if I had any thoughts on changing the VA. As far as I am concerned if the VA covered my
    Med e care I would be over joyed too see the VA use its time and money on the homeless Vet, the vet
    in need of mental health care and , a hospice , or a nursing facility. Monies also used for The Veterans
    Centers aka (vet Centers which by the way is the only program that help veterans ).

    The rest is just a system that hands out pills. The system needs to be for specialized care . They need to be closed down and reopened as walk in clinics which in my opinion they are. They are top heavy and when you have to much union or not enough depending on the Visn

  3. Personally, I view the VA as a major corporation that is very much for profit. If the VA were not classified poorly, we would be able to head in the right direction. Many corporations get started by offering low cost or no cost (we’ve paid the cost) shares in the company to members/clients & we then would become owners of said company. Each generation of soldier/sailor/marine/airman regardless of length of service but as long as we’re honorably discharged, should have the option, just as we do with the Montgomery GI Bill, to contribute and get the ability to vote within a democratic entity or opt out and stay quiet. It makes no sense to me how people complain of political systems and leaders when they are non voters. If someone had their right to vote removed (which I think is b.s.) that would be a reason for complaint. Otherwise no American Citizen and/or Service Veteran has judgement to pass to an official from which a vote were optional and not eagerly taken advantage of. We have those rights for a reason and the VA should run in the same manner. Not just veterans, not just servicemen Drs but those who signed that blank check and have a vested interest in seeing veterans thrive and have our Constitutional right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness fulfilled if not just open door for us to make it happen!!??!?!? Thoughts??

  4. Veterans must report any and all incidents to the secretary of veterans affairs and to the facility itself, that way the secretary will not be able to say they did not know about it and a copy sent to the senate committee on veterans affairs.

    The secretary must revisit the regulations or lack of regulations concerning the disruptive committee. The OIG report many concerns about how the VA determines what disruptive behavior means. How VA employee’s can and do report veterans and do not furnish written evidence in a timely manner or at all.

    The regulation cover everyone from veterans to anyone coming into the facility. Covers every aspect of ways to use to punish veterans or others, if they should say something the VA does not like such as e-mail, phone calls etc. Ben has covered this before.

    I have sent a copy of the report to the secretary and you can read it yourself, its posted on the Web site of the VA. The OIG report has and shows many concerns about how they use the disruptive program and have made many recommendations to the secretary.

    The VA must be stopped from policing themselves. Employee’s must be held accountable as to wrongdoings and the New Law must be in forced.

    All VA employee’s and other Federal service employee’s must see for themselves that their is a price to pay when they abuse the power or authority.

    The Secretary must hold each and every employee accountable for their own actions.

    VA must understand that we do not work for them, they work for us. They have made the VA their own little world and will harm anyone who stands in their way or stands up for themselves.

    The bottom line, Being held accountable and VA attorneys stop defending VA employee’s whom have broken the law. They should tell all VA employee’s they must hire outside Lawyers.

    Our elected officials must stay a top of all the concerns about the VA and there are plenty.

  5. @Ben, my opinion is that the veteran community, the whistleblower community, national investigative journalists, millions of letters/calls to congress, national media (cable/radio), youtube videos, veteran websites (hadit, watchdog, nova, etc) etc., have all been performed over the decades already.

    the results as of today is not much has been done to “fix” the VA/VBA, and its corruptness and problems actually appear to be worse on a grander scale. of course more money is always given to VA/VBA.

    i applaud your database project, that will be another good tool. i suggest a field or two that will list doctors private practice after they leave the VA. i suggest that, due to i’ve not once heard a doctor in private practice who had earlier worked at VA say anything but pat themselves on their back while at the VA. decades of corrupt problems at VA through the decades and yet these now-private doctors never once did or saw any questionable deeds against veterans. the facts don’t support their dialog, so show it in your database.

    recently we discussed the VA giving out veteran med data and such to 3rd parties, well you know back in March 2017 congress and pres Trump signed a bill to allow internet companies the right to sell user data to 3rd parties. that suggests to me, and i could be wrong, that this congress and president will not be doing squat to batten down veteran privacy at the VA/VBA in any form…except pretty band-aids…and the devil will be in the details.

    it would appear, and many others on your blog and across the internet landscape have suggested this, to organize and march…that seems the only legal thing left for veterans to attempt to reform the VA/VBA.

    nothing else has truly worked, has it?

  6. o Have the leaders of the various Veterans organizations, prepare a questionnaire and mail to each and every Veteran, that asks specific questions regarding any problems that the Veterans may have encountered with the VA. The VA can supply the names and addresses of all Veterans that are still alive. Provide postage paid return envelopes fro the Veterans to return the questionnaire.
    o Without revealing any Veterans names, have the Veterans Organizations consolidate all of the data received and prioritize the data by, Most Critical, Critical, etc. This data should be handled as Classified Confidential, not releasable to any organization, including the Press/Media and especially the VA.
    o Provide the finalized data to the President, the Vice-President and the Senior White House Advisor for Veterans Affairs.
    o The President convene a meeting with the Vice-President, the Senior White House Advisor for Veterans Affairs and the Secretary, Veterans Administration.
    o The President, after due consideration, may include the leaders of the various Veterans Organizations and Veterans, to participate in a working group, to prioritize where to start in resolving the issues that the Veterans have identified.

    1. The VSO’s are very much part of the problem as is the AFGE Union at the VA. Behind closed door meeting is where the VSO’s went with the VA to Trump’s team…and they excluded all other Veteran Advocates such as Benjamin in this meeting.

      I would NOT trust the VSO’s with our names/addresses because all that will do is place *every Veteran* on every VSO mailing list asking for membership and dues.

      VSO’s have lost their original mission…to assist Veterans. VSO’s are bedfellows and more with the VA and their relevance shows today.
      If those VSO piggies were DOING their jobs to assist, and help Vets with the shit the VA throws, we would not have wait list scandals or anything because accountability would be there.

      Sorry for rant but nice idea, but the piggy VSO’s have demonstrated whom they owe their loyalty to.

  7. @lily,@Ex va: The blog is not loading properly, will talk to you two another time. Sleep well and God Bless you both, and your families.
    ∩ │◥███◣ ╱◥███◣
    ╱◥◣ ◥████◣▓∩▓│∩ ║
    │╱◥█◣║∩∩∩ ║◥█▓ ▓█◣
    ││∩│ ▓ ║∩田│║▓ ▓ ▓∩ ║
    Goodnight Ben’s World

  8. @cj, you cut out those implements? Great job! They are for a push plow right? That is cool. Those tomatoes and peppers look great too.

    1. @Ex va: If you go to Rogue Hoes, or google that, you will recognize what they are. Yes can’t wait to get them in the ground. Around mothers day.

      1. @cj, i didn’t know that. ROFL!!! i thought they were called something else. i will look that one up for sure. LOL!!!

      2. @Ex va: Ex are you in a lot of pain tonight? I also told Nutter he can give you my info, incase you need to get in touch, for anything. You being raided, I can shoot them from here lol.

      3. @cj, your saving yourself a lot of money making your own. Good for you. Have had bad pain and headaches hard to concentrate today. Tornado weather i hate it. Your an impressive gardener cj! I would love to have a setup like you do that is nice.

      4. @Ex va: Thank you Ex. I have no choice, I don’t have any money to spend on anything that isn’t a neccesity. So I have to make all my own stuff out of what I can scrounge up. YOU HAVE TORNADO WARNINGS?

      5. @cj, you may not be to far off on the raided part. LOL!!! I don’t trust vaoig or any of them. I appreciate you for the support and a ANutterVet too. That means a lot to me. Well, if you see black suvs that have federal government plates and they do not go pass the speed limit. That would be them. They have gold badges too. They act like they are so damn important too. LOL!! They are not as fat as the va police at your local va medical centers. I am afraid if i was arrested they would break bones taking me down and sitting on me.

      6. @Ex va: OHhhh nice Gold on Black, I can pick that up over a mile away, I assure you I can knock that badge off their chest at that distance. Tires are not even a challenge. LOL

      7. @Ex va: If I had to take the motor out, I would need to take out the .408 cheytac. pop it like tin can.

      8. @cj, thunderstorm warnings, they can turn into tornado warnings this time of year. The weather is crazy around here.

  9. “”MALUM IN SE””…Ive only been following this blog for several months and Ive come to realize that “alot of the things posted here ain’t ???!! I to was army 73/75 got hurt via Lt.while being punished on a””motivation detachment “…hospitalized and then honorable discharged. I was literally “beaten” !!! And the BVA acknowledged the beating without “permanent residuals “!!! Im on my 9th appeal with a “corrected date of August 2,1977….Yes that’s correct well over 35-yrs Ive been fighting the V.A. back when veterans didn’t have the “rights to an appeal to any federal court””….Im in my 60’s!!! Ill never ever “give up” because it’s all…”””MALUM IN SE”””(wrong by its nature)….todays veterans act as if there “isn’t any unity”among us!! It’s sad…but without sounding obtuse/disrespectful…Benjamin wouldn’t acknowledge my pleas for help either!!? I remember when veterans couldn’t have “”attorney’s nor lawyer’s (theres a difference in case some vet’s didn’t know) now theres so many legal minds around and we veterans still can’t. Win!!! Watch this…Mr. Benjamin will you personally “represent “”ALL OF US VETERANS IN A CLASS ACTION LITIGATION WITH ONE OF THE LARGEST COMPLAINTS EVER DRAFTED FOR HUMANRIGHTS/CIVIL RIGHTS/CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT/ CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS”” and submit it in the appropriate federal court??? Now who knows Benjamin’s reply/acknowledgement??? Don’t you vet’s get it…ain’t “no” attorney’s/lawyer’s running to our service!!! At the end of the day I have $100.00 a month to give towards either litigation or “”Marching on DC””. The late “”Jimmy Hoffa”” gave one of the most prolific shows of “Strength ever illustrated “”!! When he brought all those “”Teamsters members together and shut this country down!! Nothing could “”move””!!! 250.000 vet’s at one one time…for one reason!!!! STOP THE MALUM IN SE(Wrongs). Over the yrs Ive watched so many veterans “die” waiting on the V.A./BVA….And until “””WE VETS””” come together…””Nothing is going to. “””CHANGE”‘””. Now that in conjunction with the blessing of “god” is the “”only”” way we win!!! A complete shown of “”US””!!!!

  10. Today I had another C/P exam for my sleep apnea, this time as secondary to asthma/copd, rhinitis and sinusitis . Las time it was secondary to my TBI. When it came to the exam secondary to my TBI some bitch from Burma just filled out the exam without my presence and say no way sleep apnea is from a TBI, then she said veteran does not require cpap. Shit I said, what the hell is this damn thing attached to my face every night when I go to bed…. anyway .. so today I see this guy, hell he;s American, got his degree right here in the US of A… damn I got lucky someone who speaks English as a first language, hell I don’t even need my hearing aids to understand him.. So he says to me lets talk about your sleep apnea… So I tell him how its been,,,,but I get side tracked and start talking about the bitches who did my last two C/P exams.. One said if I had not been walking up a small slope in my back yard, my service connected knee would not have given out, and I would not have fallen to the ground, twisting my good knee in the process and tearing my meniscus. She said not likely , then says if I had not been on the slope I would not have fallen… Then 24 days later this same bitch goes back in and adds an addendum saying that one lower extremity does not cause damage to the other lower extremity, and she quotes this from a book about gaits, published for the insurance industry in Canada,,, one problem fellas, the quote does not exist. instead she took part of a sentence, chopped it up and uses only what she wanted to use. I mean like who the hell goes back 24 days later and tried there best to Fuck a vet? Her name was PA Rosanna Glinski and she is nothing more than a nurse. This really happened to me here at the Temple Texas VA medical center… So I tell this examiner about this PA, and I hand him 7-8 printouts from the internet that says asthma/COPD, allergic rhinitis, and sinusitis can lead to sleep apnea, as well as some of the bronco dilators used to open up the airways….I tell him I want to make darn sure when he makes he fills out his report that I have at least done my job and made sure he is aware of the studies. He said no way anyone could say one way or the other that my service connected conditions caused the apnea. He said, I will review this material and likely determine that it is as likely as not… He asks me do I see a pulmonary specialist at the VA.. I said I was but last week I started to see a private doctor, cause I do not trust the va to provide me with the proper care, and the va changes doctors like I change socks. Each one has their own idea what I should be prescribed, and I am tired of being seen by fellows ( people learning) tired of being a guinea pig… In fact, I tell him that in the last 3 years I really haven’t seen one doctor at the Temple va that seems to really give a darn about my treatment. Sure they go through the motions, prescribe meds, get me a new chair, or a new cpap.. etc but they really don’t give a damn if the treatment is working or not…. and I said why the hell would they care, half of them don’t speak English well enough the others don’t say much.. If you make an congressional inquiry or speak to the director, or PT reps, they try to make the vet look like the bad guy.. I then tell him if he could tell me how the hell the va misses the fact that I was medically retired for asthma/copd and I give them all the medical records and med board records and they still say ( initally) I do not have asthma. The it takes 19 years later to get them to recognize that I also have COPD. Or what about the va not recognizing for 30 fucking long as years that I had a TBI in 1975, being tossed from a moving jeep.. The knew I was tossed from a jeep becaue they looked at the records, and awarded me service connection for my back, so how did they miss the TBI.. I’ll tell you how, it was called a concussion in 1975… Do I dislike the VA and its people Hell no… I dislike incompetent assholes… and the VA seems to have more than there fair share…. So long story short, I am ready for a march on Washington, on in the least a web cite that calls out these assholes at the VA. By the way the chief of C/P exam in Temple Texas is another foreigner with foreign medical training his name is Anil B. Desai, and he says the PA bitch was doing her job… Let me tell you folds… I just paid $1500 for an independent medical opinion for my sleep apnea and knee injury….. Don’t trust the VA to do anything for you.. I used to think the va cares they watch out for Veterans.. not anymore .. after having dealt with the va mess for 31 years I can honestly say the last 6 -7 years the VA really fell apart.. and VA employees only care about one thing their damn paycheck…. I better quit now cause I am so pissed after recalling this shit.. I will let you all know the outcome of my claims.. hope to hear soon…

    1. @Rick b, sorry about this injustice that is going on with you and the va. They are rat bastards. I wish you the best on the future of claims. I hope you will someday soon get the justice that you deserve.

  11. The last thing we need to do is short change our wounded veterans and/or our non wounded veterans , We need to set up a V.A weekly lottery across the U.S.A It is totally voluntary, if you do not want to play do not play! Redirect some of these state lottery funds to the V.A lottery. I would rather play the V.A lottery to help our vets and plenty of others will feel the same way.

    1. Greg, that is actually a very good idea and would raise millions.

      Which is exactly why politicians would never allow it.

      It would take far too much money from any existing lottery systems where bureaucrats and those spending the money are dug in like woodticks.

  12. My proposal to change the VA is to change the name of it something more motivational and empathetic for veterans and employees. I remember hearing that a trucking company improved its efficiency greatly by calling truckers “operators”.

  13. I went to the Vet Center and after leaving I looked up my therapist on google. He’s on linkedin and it says he specializes in “personality disorders”. I think I’m going to have to request whatever he’s been writing about me. If he tried to diagnose me with a personality disorder I’m going to be pissed. He’s only an M.A. in psychology so I can get it overruled but it’s going to cost me at least $1000 to go a private PH.D psychiatrist to do that.

    So I wonder why the VA would hire someone who specialized in personality disorders. Probably because that way they can screw vets by saying they have a personality disorder that can’t be compensated.

    I seriously don’t trust this guy. The first thing that came out of his mouth is that he’s there to get vets off disability. The next thing he does is try and push me into Voc Rehab when I told him I can hardly handle my job in security. So don’t you think he’s not listening because if I can’t handle sitting around for 8 hours doing nothing I doubt I’m going to handle whatever voc rebah wants me to do?

    Then he gave me this weird look and quietly said “are you seeing anyone at the VAMC”? I wonder what he was up to when he asked that? I’m thinking he wants to know so he can be the one to formulate the letter to approve me for voc rehab if I trust his advice to apply. That way he can directly communicate with the VARO acting like he’s innocent in doing so when he’s trying to screw me out of my disability. See he’s the only person I’m seeing for therapy, so I would need a letter from him to approve me for voc rehab. That letter from him for voc rehab would end up going to the VARO if voc rehab approves me. The letter would probably say something like this “I feel this guy is ready for voc rehab. He shows very little signs of PTSD and he’s clearly got a avoidant personality disorder”. Next thing you know I’m getting a letter from the VARO saying “We’ve proposed to reduce you to 0% for PTSD from 70%”.

    1. @lily: Lily, your rite to be concerned. I put in a claim for a TBI, I have the military records showing I was in an explosion in an enclosed concrete room. I was airlifted to the hospital. I have an MRI, and also a 6 hour thorogh examination by TBI expert examiners and nuerologist reports, alll showing a service connected TBI. However, when I went for my c+p exam, my wife made a comment that she thought I had ADD, because I grow lots of tomatoes. The VA TBI examiner decided “just as likely as not a service connected TBI, or a personality disorder”
      The VA calls out of the blue and says “You need to make an appointment for a c+p exam for depression related to your service connected TBI” This quack Psyc, then decided, against all hard evidence to the contrary, that in her fucked up opinion, I do not have a TBI, but instead a “personality disorder” and that the headaches and rininging in the ears I complained about in the military was “most likely and ear infection” even though I had never beed to a doctor for that, nor has there ever been a diagnosis for an “ear infection”.
      It is in apeal at the moment. I see you went to Ft Sill for basic, as did I.

      1. I’m sorry to hear that happened to you. I was reading the NY Times confused TBI with PTSD and I bet now most idiots think they’er the same. Yes I read they can’t service connect a personality disorder. If they find out later on that you have one they can try and cut your compensation. If you have tinnitus it’s subjective and you shouldn’t even have to get a C&P for it. If your MOS was high noise or moderate it’s almost impossible for them to deny you. I did go to Ft Sill for Basic in 1999.

      2. @lily: I was there in 77′ I have service connection for back, left knee, hearing loss, and tinitus. I will win the TBI as well. I am willing to take it all the way, and I have experts just waitiing for their day in court. I was an artillery gunner 13b20. Only thing I remember about Ft Sill is atomic annie, and tarantulas LOL. and of course Lawless OK. “Lawton”

      3. @lily: I also remember being robbed at knife point. I was hitching a ride bach to post. I was picked up, and a few minutes later an asshole popped up in the back seat and put a kife to my throat and took all my money, Then they dropped my off down range and I had to walk back to the barracks. I never mentioned this to anyone before. I forgot alll about it.

      4. I wonder how political the raters are for compensation? I have a feeling that politics plays a big role at the VA. I bet the person who rated you may have had a political agenda. Maybe the person was right wing and thinks VA benefits is “welfare” and decided to deny you? I know a lot of people actually think that way about VA benefits. I would be more afraid of the VA in a red state than a blue state because of the mentality of people in red states. I know I agree with a lot of republican ideas but I think they get confused when it comes to VA compensation. I’ve heard on talk radio a guy named bill cunningham say that va compensation is like “welfare” and then the next week he jumps on the VA is killing vets bandwagon to get his ratings up.

      5. @lily: I don’t know about it being political, except maybe the politician putting the word out to deny veterans their benifits to same uncle sam money. I do think however more likely the culprit is the bonus pay system. The quack gets a bonus for denying claims. They are more interested in their pocket books than your health. The entires system is messed up. I will win my case in front of a judge, I have been getting treatment for over two years now. That is over 100 hours of testing and observation, and treatment, compared to the VA’s 15 minute c+p exam. I am sorry for what you have been through as well Lily.

      6. Ft. Sill was a lot different in 1999. We couldn’t go off base. I almost got hurt bad on my first day. A huge hornet landed on my back so I took my shirt off, threw it on the ground and stomped on it. Then I saw the hornet crawl out and I stomped on it again and killed it. If it stung me I might have died.

      7. @lily: That is scary, they sure had big ugly critters there, that is for sure. I am glad you didn’t get stung. I hated those tarantula’s, they just creep me out. Other than what I mentioned to you, I have no recollection of being there. After being in the explosion, there are parts of my life I will never get back. I have no clue if that is a good thing or a bad thing.

      8. I was in a fox hole for the field training exercise at Ft. Sill and I saw a huge spider in it so I killed it my E-Tool. Where were you in an explosion? If it wasn’t in combat do you think that’s why the rater is giving you a hard time? They act like if your accident wasn’t in combat it’s not valid. I read someone fell down a flight of stairs and is trying to get TBI but they denied it.

      9. @lily: It was at Ft Carson Co. There were no wars going on in 77′ They have a habit of denying everyone service connection for TBI’s, because the treatment is expensive. Rick b just posted he was denied TBI as well from the same era as me. They really don’t give a hoot about us veterans. That is why WE need to stick together. WE will figure this mess out together. At least the people here on the blog have each others backs. I was rethinking what you said about it being political, I do know that the liberals hate the military, and think money is better spent elswhere, you might have something there as well. Go back in the comments, and read what Lem posted. He is pretty smart guy.

      10. CJ some supplements that may help you a lot is PS and triple strength fish oil. I used to have brain fog from my PTSD because of high cortisol. Those supplements did make a big difference. I used those along with yoga breathing, self massage, tai chi and karate to lower my PTSD symptoms by about 50%. I go to subway everyday for lunch and get all those vegetable(Accept for lettuce) and it helps a lot too.

        It’s ironic because I told my therapist at the vet center that because I’m wondering what they do to help people. From what I’ve seen they aren’t helping vets much. I wen to therapy 6 months already and haven’t see them do shit other than listen. When I went to a psychiatrist they gave me meds which I tried a little bit and threw it away since that was bogus too. It’s insane that they would give a vet zoloft and not ask the vet what their diet is like. Since I stopped drinking coffee my anxiety went down about 30% from that alone. Of course they don’t care about that kind of thing at the VA. Every time I walk into the vet center the first thing they say is “you want some coffee”?

      11. @lily: I will try the fishoil. I don’t know what they do for PTSD, for TBI, they have you do all kinds of games, to stress your thinking, to force your brain to work around the injury and make new connections. I don’t understand it all, I can say, not only is it working, but my anger issues have almost disapeared completely. I am still a hothead though. Heck, I am Italian, of course I am a hothead LOL.

      12. I wouldn’t completely trust them to help your TBI. You know those monks who do meditation a lot have done a lot to heal the mind, probably more than our doctors can do to heal TBI. I used to think our medicine was wonderful when I was kid. Now that I’m adult I wonder why our medicine is to bad. It’s frightening to think about it some days. Western medicine is appallingly deficient. I didn’t even find out about a rare disease I had from doctors.

        I have a disease called Patulous Eustachian Tubes. I could hardly talk for 10 years because the military doctors didn’t know what it was and just gave me nasal spray. Then I went to other private doctors who didn’t know what it was. I type my symptoms into google 10 years later and found out it’s a rare disease with no cure and very little treatment. I’ve managed to get some control over it now but it’s been hell.

        Of course I asked the VA for compensation for it since it happened in the military and they said no. So it’s at the BVA.

      13. @lily: Lily, I don’t trust any VA doctor to treat me for anything, I have had nothing but quacks. I go to private doctors highly trained in treating all matters of the brain. They do adocate meditation as well, I am just too tightly wound do to speak to meditate. I keep trying though. You get everything you can from the VA you possibly can. I hope you get everything you go after.

      14. @lily: They also told me some things will never be able to be fixed. They can only show me how to make the brain work around some issues. What is good about them, is their willingness to testify in my behalf against the VA. They said the day of the explosion, I will never get that memory back, and there is still so much they don’t understand yet about TBI’s. The VA on the other hand seems to think it is curable and also that it mends itself LOL Quack Quack Quack. I wish I had text art of a duck.

      15. CJ you can try my meditation. It’s just a breathing exercise I do but it really helps me a lot. I try do it about every 2hrs. Get a watch and something to put over your eyes. Then lay down on the ground. Breath in and out your mouth 5 minutes, then breath in through your nose and out your mouth 5 minutes and finish by breathing in and out your mouth 5 minutes. You can do that while listening to music, tv or something on the internet. I made that meditation up and it’s changed my life. Try it out I’m sure you will have more strength.

    2. @lily:What I am saying is you need to be concerned, and watch your 6. As to his messed up question, I would file a complaint against him for making unwanted sexual advances. That is how I would enterpret “Are you seeing anyone at the VA?” It would be a good way to cut the head off that snake before it starts to slither. I am not saying that is what he meant, but he can have a good time explaining his questions to the administrators, and you would be assured you never have to deal with that asshole ever again.

    1. @cj, how are you doing? I hope well. Good day here in the 70s wind and threat of storms was making me crazy today. Can’t do much of anything on days like that. I hear thunder no rain yet.

      1. @Ex va: Had good storms here this morning, till about noon. Went from the 70’s to the 40’s. I was going to ask how your doing, but you already said your having a hard time. Did you get my email?

  14. Let me be brief:EVERYONE just opt out of the system. No lab rats to work on, no need to show up at the office….

  15. 6:25pm April 10, 2017, CBS Evening News with Scott Pelly – Veterans go scuba diving for the treatment of PTSD. Is the VA giving out FREE round trip tickets for those that don’t live near an aquarium or reside close to sub- or tropical waters? Please keep my updated on the VA’s new PR strategies. I never received an email that explained this treatment since it has been used by over 22,000 Veterans since 2008. Its only now getting media attention. Geesh!

    1. Your name gets on a list then the VA will mail-out a pair of scuba goggles and a really fine glossy 3D underwater photo taken while some VA upper management were in Caribbean.

      Instructions: Place Goggles on.
      Sit next to the toilet.
      Now stare at the VA’s vacation underwater scuba paradise while flushing toilet.
      Repeat as required.

      1. @Namnibor – I liked it when I pulled down on the handle, and but only once did I see a few odd shaped brown tropical fish go around circles, then drop out of site. Haven’t seen the fish since the first time I looked. What’s up with this? Any reasons that I don’t see anymore fish? And, these people didn’t tell me to bring a towel, nor offered me one. Did I do something wrong? Repeat flushing doesn’t help.

      2. The toilet flushing is for the quasi-ambient relaxing sounds of the surf hitting the breakers, and you can make it even more diverse by dumping a bunch of ice cubes into toilet and enjoy the arctic while Coast Guard Icebreakers are paving an imaginary path to Antarctica.
        Remember to only LOOK at the glossy photo, do NOT stick your head in toilet. You do not know who’s shat there. 🙂

  16. Honestly, I think that reforming the VA first has to start with the end of the absurdity that is government employees being able to unionize and hold agencies like VA hostage to the disadvantage of Veterans alone. Then, the entire upper echelon of VA ‘Executives’, who are really the ones that perpetuate the culture the VA is always criticized for, needs to be let go without any further benefits or payments for their lack of services from the Taxpayers. Thirdly, set up the ‘New VA’ with Veterans being heavily involved in the process and not just lifelong bureaucrats. This would include having each VISN in constant communication with every other VISN making transferring facilities when a Veteran moves a nonissue. Oh yes! Let us not forget to skew the VA’s Police force’s mandate changed so that, in disputes between VA employees and Veterans, they are required to fall on the side of the Veteran more often than not until an investigation into the matter is completed. Having a VA employee be able to have a Veterans movements restricted without the accompaniment of a VA Officer in any VA facility on ‘their word that they feel threatened’, is damned ridiculous. No, we Veterans are not all angels with the patience of a Saint, but sometimes we are pushed by VA employees purposely into a state of agitation with the only outcome is the Veteran being penalized. I know that none of this will be changed in my lifetime, but hey, this is just my opinion.

  17. Fire almost everyone at the VA and start over with extremely trust worthy individuals such as senior citizens

    but not too .old maybe starting at around 55+ with no signs of heart disease or any type of illness. I would

    like to be Superman and handle all of VA’s problems my self from medical diagnosis to actual disability

    payments but I am only one individual and they have many, many individuals who don’t know what they are

    doing. I can guarantee that they have been trained to disrupt a Veterans life with the constant back and forth

    process of sending his or her case from 1 state back to Washington and the regional office!

  18. Do as Dr. Ben Carson did with HUD!
    He found OVER one/half TRILLION DOLLARS in fraud!

    AUDIT the Veterans Administration by that same outside firm!

    There, that was simple, direct and to the fuckin’ point!
    That’s my opinion brothers and sisters!

  19. The VA OIG should be shut down for starters. They are just “Circle Jerking” and taking notes when they feel like it. These people are not actually doing anything to help the Veterans and their Surviving Spouses. Just this morning, April 10, 2017, I called to file a complaint and to see where the complaint was that I filed a couple of weeks ago. The response was like a deer in headlights. These people are not following through on our complaints and are surprised that we are still calling about our benefits. My Compensation and Pension is showing an “EFFECTIVE DATE” as of August 23, 2016, and not one dime has gone into my account. When I asked Michelle what account was showing on the e-Benefits Account that someone had opened in my name she informed me that I would have to do a “FOIA”. Like all the other FOIA’s that have not been answered as the VA and the VA OIG believe they are above the law. With this being said, this is why I believe the VA should be run by Veterans and not Civilians. I believe that the VA OIG should be shut down and that all complaints should be made to the FBI, GAO, ICE, Homeland Security and other Federal Agencies. One last things about the VA OIG, I asked to speak to the Supervisor. I was denied that right as well. I was told that the supervisors name was Sheila Brown, however no Sheila Brown has called me back nor does she intend to call me back. Nothing but, “FRAUD”, “IDENTITY THEFT” and the “RE-ROUTING” of dead Veterans Compensation and Pension as well as their Surviving Spouses. This “dog and pony” show is robbing the tax payers not to mention the Veterans. What a National Disgrace. Quancidine Hinson-Gribble, (910) 748-7079.

    1. For those wondering what Quancidine is talking about here is a video explaining it all, go to 16:34 of the video and watch from there. Your not going to believe what your about to hear, so pay attention. Here is the link to the video: “” remember start watching at 16:34 about the theft of benifits. Watch then entire video for some enlighenment.

  20. One of the Major reasons we have the problems and corruption in the VA is that there is no independent accountability structure that can force the change needed to reform the agency. If Mr. Krause is really set on effecting change with the agency the veterans need a reform plan that effects the change needed. As someone who has been fighting the Disability Claims process for 25 years, my particular claim is one of the poster child’s for how the system is broken. I believe that there needs to be a totally separate agency to quality control both the claims process and health care services. By establishing a totally independent organization with authority to over ride deficient decisions the veteran would have a voice in the game. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has exactly the type oversight needed to clean the VA up. The Office of Special Counsel and the Merit Systems Protection Board type Offices with OPM are independent and have legal authority to hold federal agencies accountable and the power of removal of employees. The gist of my proposal is to review Regional and Board decisions for technical and legal errors that could be reversed by independent agency. The new agency would also have a complaint process with investigative capabilities to ferret out problems with VA agencies in the administrative process. One of the Largest problems is the political process that drives each federal agency. When the most current Administration in power wants cuts it makes changes to the process, and that caries over to each successive administration that is then compounded by each additional administration. What becomes lost is the Veteran, Agent Orange is the classic example of where the Political Process corrupted the Veterans benefits entitlement. How many veterans died before the VA/Government finally acknowledged and started to compensate after the Nehmer decision. Independent Over Sight and Quality Control is the only way to have any form of accountability in the VA. It is a General Idea the would put teeth into VA reform.

  21. in my opinion, the va should be comprised of veterans, and not a bunch of civilian deadbeats that care nothing about veterans, from the top to the bottom hire only veterans. Who else is better equipted at helping veterans than other veterans.

  22. I filed a lawsuit against the VA here last week, after breaking the following laws below. Even my VA Neurologist, blew the whistle writing a letter stating that by not providing this FDA APPROVED PROSTHETIC ITEM, that I have 3 letters of Medical Necessity, and 2 trials with unbelievable positive results, the Prescott VA is causing my disability and home life to worsen, but they can care less. Even with the following laws, and VA regulations.

    Care Eligibility Reform Act of 1996, Public Law 104- 262, significantly changed the eligibility of veterans to receive hospital care and outpatient medical services, including prosthetics, medical equipment, and supplies. For complete details on eligibility rules and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) enrollment system, reference should be made to the regulations governing VA’s enrollment system and medical benefits package. They are published in Title 38 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Sections 17.36 – 17.38. Generally all veterans enrolled in the VA health care system are eligible for all needed prosthetics, medical equipment, and supplies.

    NOTE: d. Major Medical & Special Equipment Committee (MMSEC). A committee composed of medical, therapy, engineering and allied health personnel who are knowledgeable about prosthetic equipment and rehabilitation responsible for reviewing requests and determining medical need for major items of prosthetic equipment. 
    ee. Major Medical Special and/or Experimental Appliances. Any newly developed or unusual non-contract orthopedic appliance, therapeutic or rehabilitative device, regardless of cost, which has not been previously issued by the health care facility. )

    November 2, 2000 1. PURPOSE 
    VHA HANDBOOK 1173.1 
    This Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Handbook establishes uniform and consistent national policy and procedures for determination of eligibility of veteran beneficiaries for prosthetic services. 
    a. General. The Veterans’ Health Care Eligibility Reform Act of 1996, Public Law 104- 262, significantly changed the eligibility of veterans to receive hospital care and outpatient medical services, including prosthetics, medical equipment, and supplies. For complete details on eligibility rules and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) enrollment system, reference should be made to the regulations governing VA’s enrollment system and medical benefits package. They are published in Title 38 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Sections 17.36 – 17.38. Generally all veterans enrolled in the VA health care system are eligible for all needed prosthetics, medical equipment, and supplies. Certain veterans are eligible for needed prosthetics, medical equipment, and supplies even though not enrolled. The two most significant groups of veterans who do not need to be enrolled are: 
    (1) Veterans needing prosthetics, medical equipment, and supplies for a service connected disability, and 
    (2) veterans with a service connected disability rated at least 50 percent. 

    1. Title 38 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Sections 17.36 – 17.38
    2. Title 38 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Sections 17.36 – 17.38. 
    3. VHA HANDBOOK 1173.1 
    4. Reform Act of 1996, Public Law 104- 262, 
           Veterans’ Health Care Eligibility Reform Act                                    
           1996, Public Law 104- 262, 
            Title 38 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)             
            Sections 17.36 – 17.38. 
    1. Title 38 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Sections 17.36 – 17.38. 
    2. Title 38 CFR 17.115. 
            k. Contracting Officer’s Technical
    And more…

    This, I feel is the only way to get reform.

  23. VSO’s should all have minimum qualifications starting with a College Degree from an accredited institution. They should also have supplementary legal experience, medical experience and the ability to work with and apply pertinent Federal Regulations.

  24. I wonder if they would allow me to put a flier up at my local VA clinic. All of, “Murphy’s Laws”, ideas, I’ve heard before. I’ve not heard of any of them following through. I’m near 70, and don’t look forward to marching on Montgomery Al., in muggy and HOT weather. Sounds like an excuse. It is. A nice long drive to D.C., is another story. I’ve always wanted to go to the Wall.

  25. I say we plan on a day. I was thinking June 5th or June 7th or whatever. If we spread the word, as fast as possible, on every site including sites like “Together We Served” that help veterans find and keep in touch with other veterans with whom they’ve served in the past. It would be best on Washington, (I would go) but most of us have mobility issues so march in your states capital. This is exactly how the Women’s March started. That was pretty successful. But we can put the information that we think needs to be put out like letting the rest of the country know that the VA is being held hostage by the UNION, or that Shulkin is a puppet and so on and so on. But that’s the purpose of those witty signs, to “click bait” peoples attention while getting information out at the same time. Other than getting the word out, all you have to do is show up with your sign. I’m sure that with a pool this large, if we do it on a Facebook page, then we would have LOTS of collaboration. Sure beats sitting around and complaining about it!

  26. @Dennis, you paint a bleak picture and future for Veterans using the VA. Also, Lem made some good points. I know quite a few Veterans,, with a hundred percent, that pretty much stay away from Veterans and the VA. I like the class action, but; I don’t believe the VA can be fixed. Shoot it.

  27. Good start on reforming the VA.

    On recording, I have an app to record phone calls on my cell phone, or to use as a stand alone recorder if needed. It doesn’t matter if I plan to release the recordings or keep them private, the recordings come in damn handy when the bureaucracy decides to address an issue months later.

    I also have another stealth recorder that will record audio and high resolution video.

    This also ties into self advocacy.

    Yes, veterans need to advocate for themselves, but it needs to be done with knowing the kind of monster we are dealing with.

    Phone calls at one time used to be sufficient when dealing with things. That is no longer the case with lazy employees that either don’t answer their phone, refuse to return a voice mail, or will flat out lie about what was said.



    If you record a call or have any other problem you are trying to address with the VA, PUT IT IN WRITING!

    It’s much harder for a lazy bureaucrat to deny something if they have it in writing, and you have a record of that letter/email being sent.

    That record can be used by you for addressing problems in the future by showing, I sent this letter, you did nothing about it, now when are you going to deal with it?

    It can also be used as a reference when you contact a congressman or senator. Attach your letter as an example of how you tried to address the problem.

    Send emails. Each email you send provides a copy of a record in your Sent file. It also has the time and date stamped on the email you send.

    Use the Secure Messaging in the myHealthEvet application. If that is not working, call their tech support. If that is not working, have your congressman help sort it out. Use it, because it goes directly to your provider…even if just sending a message clarifying what was said during an appointment.

    I recently got notes from when I saw my PCP. In the notes, she said I could not take a certain test because I was incoherent or some such nonsense.

    I cut and pasted from the note into a Secure Message to her asking about it, and got a much faster response than if I would have just called. She said it was a mistake on her part by selecting an option in their software, and then not being able to change it.

    Fine. I have it in writing, and took screenshots of the message in case it disappears from Secure Messaging.

    Unless veterans start putting things in writing and start contacting their politicians, then there will be no reform.

    The VA will lie about you contacting them, and politicians might not respond, but if you have things in writing, neither will know if that problem will bite them in the ass in the future.

    Finally, one other area that can help force accountability is veterans using requests for information under FOIA or Privacy Acts. Ben has written helpful columns on this before, and it does greatly help. Search the VA web page for the VAs list of FOIA/Privacy officers. Every VA in the country has one, and they all should have email addresses, so sending a FOIA/Privacy Act request is as easy as sending an email.

    It sucks that we have to go to these lengths to get what we need from an organization that never wastes an opportunity to publicly claim vets are their number 1 priority, but we have to in order to try hold them accountable.

    1. @91Veteran – Can you post the name or where to get the application for your cell phone to record conversations? For me, I hardly ever directly answer my phone without a message that states, “this call may be recorded for learning purposes.”

      1. ANuttetvet, it’s called Smart Recorder and it’s on the Google Play store.

        I don’t know if there is an Apple version.

        The drawback is the phone has to be on Speaker for it to work, otherwise it just records your voice. It does work very well.

  28. “Albert Einstein supposedly said the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result.”

    Nice quote, but what is lesson from the quote? Is the lesson that we should be listening to people more intelligent than us? Or is the lesson that somebody more intelligent than us is sane? Is the lesson that we should learn is that persistance is a form of insanity?

    Well, I suppose the answers to any of those questions first relies upon whether Albert Einstein was in fact a genius, right? He WAS the first to come up with idea that in order for the whole universe to click right, that the closer a person gets to the speed of light that the persons mass would increase in direct proportion to his velocity that upon reaching the speed of light the mass would need to become infinite.

    He reasoned that a mass of infinite proportion was not possible as that would preclude any other thing existing. From this the obvious implication is therefor that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. E=MC squared. It was precisely this simple equation that filled in the blanks on chalkboards and notepads across the acedemic world which promptly and with alarming rapidity solved equations that put mankind forever on a different path. It unlocked for science the secret of the atom.

    Einstein had a remarkable gift indeed and this idea led to many others which he passed along freely. His ideas of course solved MANY problems, not the least of which was necessary to solve in order to learn how to split the atom. From this mankind was gifted the gift of nuclear power. From the waste of nuclear power, mankind was gifted nuclear weapons. Einstein was smart enough to provide the key to unlocking nuclear weapons.

    ….and then he passed along the information to other men whom almost certainly he must have known were not as smart as him.

    I think that pretty much tosses him out of the category of “genius”.

    How do we reform VA, is like asking how do we reform politics. The question presupposes that anything at all that exists and thrives through the donations of public money can ever be anything except corrupt. Remember Harry Potter? “The Wand chooses the wizard, Mr. Potter.” The wand of corruption always chooses the wizard with the dough and the dough is made in the federal bakery. The VA may be the answer to vet healthcare but so far this has not proven itself out in favor of corruption. The VA might be the best at adjucating claims, but again where is the proof? Albert Einstein might have been a genius, but how smart is it to pony up the recipe for nuclear holocaust?

    All function of our Constitutional Republic that are not purely clerical in nature, of military necessity, or necessary for enforcing federal laws, will always be corrupt. There is no fixing this in my opinion and my proof is that every President I can remember has said they will fix it and not one dent do I see has been made in this regard and evidence clearly shows that the drain of corruption on our resources by VA has grown steadily. In America nearly community provides health care. So VA healthcare is simply not necessary yet continues to exist and grow as an entity, enriching more and more and more people all the time.

    Once the cycle starts it cannot be reformed. It must be removed.

    1. @Dennis – At this point, I agree that the VA is so damaged beyond repair and control, but if it is removed, there are still Veterans that are in need of health care, so it [the VA] must be replaced with something. Access to Private Sector Health Care since the VA’s Choice Program is rattled with internal, physician availability, scheduling, and monitoring problems? What gives, any clear cut alternatives?

      1. The alternative for veterans entitled to healthcare is to give them identical access to healthcare as every other American who is also entitled to healthcare..

        We do not provide special govermrnt hospitals for the elderly or the otherwise disabled. We instead send them a card and it is up to them to choose from the multiple options available in every community.

        If the private sector doc maims a vet, the vet can hold hem financially accountable on a personal level. If the vet is unhappy about waiting they can take their business down the road. There is absolutely zero reason to continue allowing the VA to attempt to compete with the private sector because they simply cannot as has been proven beyond ANY reasonable doubt these past few lifetimes.

        What on Earth can justify attempting to duplicate the services already provided in such a vast array of options, complete with the assurance that any misconduct on the part of your provider will be dealt with under the same system that every other American enjoys?

        Furthermore, the staff at VA also duplicates an entire legion of workers who have demonstrated for Social Security the ability to adjudicate entitlement claims correctly. Since VA has failed miserably, and since nearly every single VA claim is also processed at the same time as the Social Security claim, it make perfect sense to simply add the VA claim to the inventory of Social Security products the government already offers.

        What I am suggesting is simple. The VA has failed time and again to achieve its mission. America is well beyond the need for any services it provides, even if that service was stellar. Plus the added benefit is that equal protections under the law are already in place outside of VA so the need to maintain a massive security force independent of community law enforcement would evaporate further reducing costs.

        We would lose all need for the million vet program. We would lose all need to maintain at enormous expense redundant healthcare facilities in our communities slated only for veterans, and the healthcare community at large would benefit hugely owing to a much larger customer base along with assurances that treating vets was no riskier financially than treating any other Medicare recipiet or patient. Vets would benefit in a multitude of ways, not the least of which is that they no longer would have to beg congress to make a grossly unfair system offer the due process under law that every other American enjoys. Congress would benefit because it is geometrically easier to legislate and understand a single healthcare product and industry, and the endless hearings to determine how to fix VA decade after decade would no longer occupy their time, nor require them to perpetrate further falsehoods to cover for a system so horibbly broken that even the untimely deaths of our nations heroes through neglect and incompetance cannot seem to stop it.

        The cost saving of shedding a duplication of effort cannot be simply equated to the vast number of $$$ spent soley on the overhead of maintaining such a huge duplication of effort, but clearly a saving of lives, honor, and faith in America would be the reward for this generation of WE THE PEOPLE grow a set of balls and step up to the plate and fix this. Or are we all so spineless that we are going to tuck tail and simply pass his horror down to the generation being born today? … and more vets die.

        VA must end and in its place vets need to take their own place alongside of the millions and millions of Americans entitled to pensions and medical coverage as it is deployed by the Social Security Administration. Vet status would simply be known as SSV, and would supplement SSI or SSDI as appropriate. It is my firm belief that no solution otheriwse exists if the horror is to cease.

      2. @Dennis: There’s not a “Reply” button at the bottom of your eloquent statement; so I’m actually responding to your comments with this one:

        Dennis: You are so very correct! Veteran’s Choice is a disaster, given they don’t pay their bills to all medical facilities.

        There is no reason for the VA medical system, or the VA as a whole, to continue. Role it into the Medicare or Social Security system, including their billions-upon-billions of $$$ in budgets. Simply create an identifying class for Veterans (if even that is necessary). Issue an account and ID, and it’s done. Only benefit I see worth saving from the VA system is the competitive pharma system. That too could be passed to either agency.
        So simple, so easy.

  29. Probably the best way to reform a system like the VA is through self advocacy. I have been thinking along the lines of filing a class action lawsuit. I did some Google research and came across an article written by Attorney Ben in 2014 titled: MMQB How to Sue The Dept of Veterans Affairs, February 3, 2014.
    After reading Ben”s article the reality hits home, hey you realize that this type of litigation costs. Class Actions can cost upwards to a million dollars. Still, I was hoping some of the commentators at this website might feel the way I do. If you file a claim with the VA and you have to wait 10-20-30 years to have the issue adjudicated then there’s a problem ( I had to wait 14 years and I lost my case to boot.)
    I still want to file a class action lawsuit and I hope one day to have other veterans involved. Step one is to set up a GoFundMe page/website find an attorney, law clinic, legal service advocate etc and go for it.
    Look veterans I am serious. When the Board of Veterans Appeals Issued its final ruling in 2012 for my claims I never gave up. In 2016 I contacted the ACLU via their website regarding my case. And although the ACLU politely declined my request I have not stopped searching because I know there are half-a- million veterans out there who filed claims and received the same treatment I received or worse. What pisses me off about the ACLU is that if you burn the American flag they will flock to represent you. Recently someone sent President Trump a Tweet and apparently it got government officials angry. The government contacted Twitter and demanded to know the name of the person. The ACLU got involved in this matter and it appears that this issue is going to go quietly away. The ACLU is not totally to blame, there are hustlers and scam artists that are allowed to pimp out veterans and collect money for bogus causes and rake in millions of dollars.
    The Veterans Legal Service Clinic at Yale University Law School filed a class action in March 2014 called Monk v. Mabus. The issues in this matter consisted of veterans with PTSD as well as upgrading and correcting wrongful discharges. The law school had some success in this matter and I believe it is still being litigated. ( case no: 3:2014cv00260 Connecticut District Court)
    I know I said a lot today and maybe to some folks this seems like a rant, well it’s not. The reason I contacted the ACLU is because I have a story to tell. Hell, it could be worthy of an interview on the CBS program 60 minutes if I could have found an advocate. My anger lies in the fact that the military fails to properly do background checks on new recruits. I did not have a birth certificate when I enlisted, the lady that raised me was not my mother etc. Things got really messed up for me before I even joined the military I had psychological issues that needed to be resolved. I served 3 years and got an honorable discharge but I got in to serious trouble 90 short of ETS and it resulted in a court martial.
    Anyways I look forward to reading the comments today. Veterans its about the money, and the only way the VA is going to respect us is if we begin the process of monetary enterprise, call it what you like but right now its like David vs Goliath and the VA is winning big. And until we Veterans organize and put some money in the game the fight for compensation remains long and arbitrary.

    1. @Fred Locke – What exactly do you mean when you wrote the following statements, and how to go about exposing the hustlers and scam artists, how they rake in the millions of dollars, and how to start a monetary enterprise? Thanks for explaining. ANutterVet

      [1.] “The ACLU is not totally to blame, there are hustlers and scam artists that are allowed to pimp out veterans and collect money for bogus causes and rake in millions of dollars.” and, [2.] “. . . and the only way the VA is going to respect us is if we begin the process of monetary enterprise, . . . “

      1. Yes! Organize! Class Action costs a lot but there are a lot of us. Spreads the money out.

      2. To ANutterVet or anybody else, I am trying to express a viewpoint that deals with class action lawsuits and veterans. It would be nice if 250,000 vets would organize and put some money into a legal fund to pursue VA grievances. IF the veterans who post on this website and ( as well ever organized we could raise money and maybe get some VA benefits for ourselves and a lot of people. Ask Ben if his firm would represent us Veterans in a class action if a million or more dollars were available for representation. He might mull it over.
        My anger at the VA and the ACLU as well has been explained in my post. Read it again!!
        Look I ain’t got no beef with you dude. I am thinking about money and how I can get my rightful compensation I am owed by the VA.
        Ben Has done numerous articles on fraudulent VSO who parade around collecting money for veterans but pocket this money instead of helping veterans. And I am not calling the ACLU a fraud or a hustler. I respect them even though they declined to take on my case. Listen ANutterVet, were both on the same team, the VA fucked me over pretty good. The Army did a good job of screwing around too. (72-76).
        All I am trying to say is if there are any individuals at this site or other places who would like to begin the process of real litigation and putting some cash down let’s try and figure out a coherent way to do it and start talking.
        Me… I am 65 years old college educated and nothing to show for it. I am mad as hell and I ain’t going to take any more. Let’s fight the VA not each other.
        Peace Dude!

      3. @Fred Locke – I read your previous post concerning your anger with the VA, and I understand how you feel, but anger [an emotion based on feelings] is very well in difference compared to law [not a feeling or expressed emotion, doesn’t change as frequently as emotions]. Fred, I also felt a little frustration when you stated, “Read it again!!”

        Hey Brother, I reread my post, and there isn’t any ill contests mentioned. I know you’re taking my post like I’m giving you some sort of attitude, and this IS NOT the case. Sorry you took my comment this way.

        I’m in the same situation as you, college educated, with a lot of fucking bio-research, presenting seminars in front of hundreds of my peers, mentors, and other scientists, and then writing or editing research papers, and then submitting the paper(s) for review to possibly getting published. I understand all of this.

        There is no anger or attitude from me to you. I’m concerned about the same issues that you are. An attorney can be presented with a plan of legal action, then review it for possible further proceedings, then decide if there is a case, then tell us how much it is going to cost.

        After presenting a possible class action suit, the attorney will know if it is feasible or not to pursue such, and then tell us the possibility of kicking the VA’s ass for compensation(s) and pension(s). Make sense to you?

        Never was any ill feelings on my end. You should reread my previous post. Thanks Brother, ANutterVet

    2. It is frustrating to feel like self-advocacy is our best option in trying to uncover & rectify the corruption. I say that because I think many Vets Advocates are overwhelmed with requests for help. I tried contacting Benjamin last year when having issues with the V.A. & had plenty of documented evidence of V.A. wrongdoing. From Leadership, Admin., & medical providers. I could never get a response. At some point, if no one seems interested, even advocates, you give up. Luckily I did not. I’ve kept up the pressure & even worked to expand V.A. Health Town Halls to the CBOC level in my area. I know I’ll keep fighting, not just for myself, but also fellow Vets. Hope there’s enough like-minded Vets & Military Families out there to join us.

    3. Problem with Class Actions is the law firm gets the vast majority of the settlement, if any. The members of the class rarely get much of anything.
      In the case of suing the VA, I think it far better to try a case in the “court of public opinion”. I can tell you that in the Twin Cities (MN), television station KARE11 has run a number of excellent investigative reports. These need to be iterated to other markets as well as get a national audience through shows such as 60 Minutes, 20/20, et al.
      If anyone has contacts with investigative news teams in their area (market), let’s hear about it so that a functional approach can be developed and implemented.

  30. Most Americans prove don’t know that the VA is unionized and the whole system is a money making (money sucking) endeavor for the 1 percenters but we could help let them know. Bell let’s pool our money and hire a PR firm. Like it or not the LGBT community banded together and got a LOT done. We could model off them and they have come a long way and have lots of rights now. Granted its not prefer but it’s better than waiting to Xie and suffer in pain. I say “let’s!”

    1. C[_] Take Pain Meds w/ Java, wife Practicing CNA Techniques, Recover from Pain, then Give Thanks C[_]

      1. It’s starting all over again. Somebody help me, oh please help me, Omarosa is in the building.

  31. @Ben forgot to the VA veterans are dishonest, liars, druggies and oh yeah crazy 🙁 that about sums up what veterans are to the VA besides waiting for us to DIE 🙁

    1. @Jane: They ever say that about you in my presence, they can add “violent” to that list 🙂

  32. I agree with everything said here so far, that is “I concur”. BIGGEST PROBLEM AT THE VA IS THE AFGE. Next is POLITICALY APPOINTED HACK DIRECTORS AND ADMINISTRATORS. Next is QUACK DOCTORS. You know when quack doctors take third place, Houston we have a problem. I say put some doe scent on Santa, and let Rudolph have his way.

  33. “[I like the idea, and my platform is big enough to get the right exposure of the plan.

    But even if it does not help encourage reforms, it will help inform Santa each year when he makes his naughty list.]”

    I like the plan as well but going back to that definition of insanity, those damn AFGE Thugs keep turning Santa’s lumps of coal into gold. Each and every time. I’m thinking Santa is in on a huge scam with the AFGE Thugs: Santa provides the lumps of coals and the AFGE Thug Alchemists turn that crap into gold. Santa splits the loot with the thugs and back North for a year.

    My point is, *something* has to be done with the AFGE Union in the VA. I truly think that’s one of our largest obstacles in reforming the VA. The AFGE fights tooth and nail to keep accountability out of the picture… and since coal burns….send them all back to hell. Satan wants his coal back.

    Rant Out.

      1. @Namnibor – Holy friggin shit Batman, find your buddy Robin, and then get to the Bat Car, and then lets clean up this dam mess, to bring the righteous medical care and proper uncorrupted claims filing for Veterans. The task is at hand to remove the dam criminals out of the VA system, and to keep the fukkers out. Set a dam line in the sand, and dare any VA employee(s) to step out of line by taking advantage of, misleading, or using any Veteran.

        Is the above so complex to do? Because those with the authority can give themselves a raise, or to make changes in policies. Then these some individuals can take action to clean up the VA. Veterans need a dam Bulldog that is solely determined in changing the ways that the VA is treating Veterans. It’s not that complex if the energy or forces are directed in reforming or reorganizing the VA.

        @cj – Thanks for prep call today. Our discussion was quite interesting, uplifting, and encouraging. You may also call me at any time as well. Thanks again for being there for me, and to not have to speak to someone who is trained to answer questions via a dam script. Thank you @CJ for caring for other Veterans, myself included.

      2. @ANutterVet: Nutter, I don’t know what to say to that. It was a pleasure talking with you, and thank you for the kind words. You rock.

      3. @ANuttervet– Paraphrasing The Joker in the first Batman movie, but replacing word ‘city’ with the ‘VA’: “This Veterans Administration needs an enema”!

        However do take heed: The VA’s arch villain is quick with his words because he is none other than “The Riddler” in the VA’s Gotham. ‘The Riddler’ resides within the VA’s Public Affairs Office and can spin coal into golden fleece.

  34. Amen Murph. What can we do?? At one time in all our lives, we assembled to serve what we love and hold dear. Whether it was Army, Navy, Air Force or Marine Corp, we were a force to be reckoned with. Now, to unfuck the current situation happening at the VA, maybe it’s time to assemble once again. Right on the doorstep at Vermont Ave, Washington Fucking D.C. Let the fat scrapple eating pogues waddling into the building see us and hear us.

    For many of us our days are numbered, mine included. I’ve volunteered more than once for the research programs run by DOD and VA. Each and every time they’ve found problems associated with my service, yet I’m in my 4 year of my appeal for benefits. Yes, it’s going to take our presence to unfuck this current situation.

  35. The Veteran’s Administration>Department of Veteran’s Affairs was never intended to benefit veterans as much as other special interests. From the pharmaceutical industry to the bankers that fund VA loans more of that 170 Billion goes to special interest than to veterans. Every benefit law past is a wink and a nod. The code gives something in one place and in another it is converted to benefit a special interest more. It is all wink and nod. The nod to the veteran and their families and a wink to the special interest to be benefited.

    Since that was the intent from the beginning, even before the VA was established and bankers made the money off of the Revolutionary War Warrants while the warrant owners ate shit and died of starvation was to benefit special interests nothing has changed nor will it. President Eisenhower was the only President that tried. And he warned us to beware of the military industrial complex which does things like set up insurance companies to bleed off the Choice program and Tricare program money into the coffers of huge corporations.

    No, nothing will be done by this administration or the next 20. It is written in stone like the names on the Memorial Walls.

    1. Amen Lem, I couldn’t have said it better myself. This behaviour is nothing new with the VA. And as Gen. Smedley L. Butler once stated “War is a Racket”

      1. Right on! Another read that will twist your knickers – “The Creature from Jekyll Island”. Lengthy treatise on the formation of the Federal Reserve. And now we have over 800 bases/outposts in over 135 countries. We used to wag a finger at the Brits and called it imperialism.

      2. Napoleon Bonaparte “A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon”.

  36. I certainly like the idea of your database and would love to help you with it and more than just finacially. All too often, we read only about the VA problems and most Americans are left wringing their hands asking themselves “What can I do?” so articles posting suggestions are most helpful. I also love the idea of us veterans marching or participating in some sort of “strength in numbers” demonstration. I say to my friends often, |If all the lawyers volunteered to help us veterans for just one month like they did for the immigrants, imagine what we could get done??” We are pissed and need to let the rest of the country KNOW that us Veterans are being treated poorly and that we are NOT going back on a shelf for 3 year only to be paraded around for the next presidential candidate. I’m tired of the empty promises. I may not have thought much of the current POTUS but I did believe (and sort of still do) that Trump (not his wussbag looking son in law) CAN be the person to finally unfuck this situation.
    I do try to educate people daily when they say things like “well, you get free healthcare, and money every month for life? you’re all set no?” no… not for many, MANY of us. We are NOT “all set” for life.

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