VA Mental Health

Understaffed VA Mental Health Program To Expand Services

VA Mental Health

Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin just announced his understaffed VA mental health system will expand services to veterans with “bad paper” discharges.

The beleaguered agency will now provide limited services to veterans with “other-than-honorable” discharges. Shulkin credited Mike Coffman, R-Colo, to force the agency to provide emergency mental health care to veterans with lower discharges.

VA Mental Health Expansion

Shulkin said the move is an attempt to help address high veteran suicide rates, “Our concern is those are some of the people that right now aren’t getting the services and contributing to this unbelievably unacceptable number of veterans suicides.”

The secretary’s goal is to implement the program expansion over the next few months.

“So many veterans we see are disconnected from our system, and that’s the frustration,” Shulkin said. “We want to do as much as we can.”

At first, the decision to expand services seemed like a bad idea since VA is already failing to provide adequate mental health services. However, addressing emergency mental health issues for many veterans presenting for help makes sense.

Realistically, veterans experiencing a mental health crisis need help in that moment. I would not want to be the employee who turns away a needy veteran merely because they are not carrying a copy of their DD214.

Veteran suicide is a significant concern VA must address, and god forbid someone inside VA makes a mistake in the moment of judging eligibility for mental health services in an emergency, and a deserving veteran gets wrongly turned away.

Hopefully, this will save the life of at least one veteran, whether they have a bad paper discharge or not.

Let’s not forget that many veterans were wrongly discharged from the military after exhibiting symptoms of PTSD or TBI and then kicked out for bad conduct without receiving the health care or services to which they were entitled.

Remember Army Madigan Fraud?

A major scandal was exposed 5 years ago in the Army, at Madigan, where psychiatrists were wrongfully discharging servicemembers suffering from PTSD to avoid giving these same soldiers medical retirements for extreme PTSD or TBI residuals.

RELATED: 40% Of PTSD Diagnoses Reversed

From at least 2007-2012, the US Army engaged in a fraudulent scheme to reverse PTSD diagnoses for the purpose of reducing the taxpayer burden of the Iraq War. So rather than practice mental health care, these psychiatrists were advocating for the IRS.

The fraud harmed countless veterans, and these veterans are still in the system. No doubt many of these same veterans were given bad paper discharges erroneously.


Similar Posts


  1. –Veteran Drone Program—_______

  2. –Veteran Drone Program—_______

  3. Iam 100% S.C. and cant get any mental heath treatment???? or health treatment at all.W.T.F. When this summer of violence comes from the commies and it will, give me my orders so i can fight and if i die. then i will die fighting. W.T.F. F.T.C.

  4. @cj, @Ex va, @rick b- Let me know when you are ready to learn some new information about a legal organic compound that has been available for pain. And, it comes from cannabis. Plus, the VA can’t do anything about it because you can obtain it without having a Medical Marijuana Card or belonging to a Medical Marijuana Program. Let me know when your ready. And, no one is talking about it on Ben’s blog.

    1. @cj- No offense, but this stuff gets to me. I get pissed off more and more. I won’t read Bens post until later tomorrow. Do you want to know about the legal cannabis compound? If not, this will be my last post. It’s 1:30am.

      1. @cj, @Ex va, @rich b- Brothers, have a good night. I’m going to hit the hay. Good bless all of you, and your families as well. Good night.

      2. @ANutterVet: I will talk with you later about this. You sleep well and God Bless you and your family as well. Goodnight.

      3. @ANutterVet, thank you for the offer, i am on so many meds and i sign an pain agreement with my doctors and due the random drug screening. If it gets too severe i contact them. I take supplements but nothing that might raise a question. I may contact you in future because i don’t know where i will be at and if the medical care fails don’t want to go into despair. Thanks for bringing up the issue. I think that some of it is already legal in Illinois

      4. @Ex va: Hey Ex, I am going to sign out. Hope you sleep well and as always God Bless you and your family. Will talk soon. Goodnight, and goodnight to Bens world as well.

  5. @cj- Hopefully you won’t have to kick it down a notch to fake coffee. That stuff is terrible. Memories. When I lived in Hawaii, I would always get a large cup of Kona Coffee, go to the beach, smoke a doobie while watching the waves. Then I’d call my wife, and we’d go into those bushes for our family time.

    1. @ANutterVet: LOLLLLlllllllll your on a roll tonight……….Rodney Dangerfeild has noting on you.

      On a sadder note…………..Ben just posted about another veteran suicide………….DAMMITTTTTTTTTTT ALLLLLLLLLL.

  6. @rick b: Veterans with OTH discharges have always been able to get va care for service connected injuries, less than that are barred completely. There are many documentaries out there about Iraq veterans who have been screwed over due to TBI’s and PTSD, and other mental issues due to many deployments, I look at it this way, they do deserve to get the help they need, but these men and woman are the probably the ones who need it the most, and if the va can’t take care of the veterans that have way less issues, I wonder how in the hell do they think they are going to help these veterans? I don’t think the va is even capable of helping this group of veterans. In my opinion these veterans need real proffessional help. Not the quacks the va has to offer.

  7. I don’t get it… isn’t it against the law to allow those with bad paper to utilize the VA? There are actually veterans who have honorable discharges who can not get care at the VA. I don’t know about all these TBI’s and giving veterans bad papers just because… not saying its not true, just hard for me to believe it. Factually, they VA can’t take care of those of us that are authorized care now… how in hell is the VA going to take on more … I have a feeling this new Secretary really suck making decisions like this…

    1. @rick b, unfortunately you will learn shocking truths about the va here if you read Ben’s articles and the Veterans posts. Everyone is hoping for positive changes with the new leadership in Washington.

    2. @rick b- Hey Brother, no offense, but this is our therapy time. Your welcome to chime in with us. Only joking. Yeah, I feel the same way. The VA will not be able to handle the influx, they can’t even service me. I’ve been waiting for almost a year now. Dumb fucks.

      Ex va, did you get off the floor yet? @cj – don’t coffee bother your stomach? Or may be I forgot, I think you said you have a knot or something? Pls enlighten me again. The VA has me all doped up and I forget to even take a shit. Oops . . .

      1. @ANutterVet: Your correct definate gi problems, I have had to give up just about everything I love.. Coffee is the only vice I have left. I wll never give up coffee, it’s fake coffee any way decafe….like near beer.

      2. Oh, that felt good. I haven’t had a BM in about a week. Hold on, I got to spray the air freshener.

    3. The discharges for PTSD and TBIs were happening so much, Congress passed a law against it in 2009, which the military ignored.


  8. @ANutterVet,@Ex va: Check out this site I found, has many rare cookbooks for free downloads.
    “” search the web for a book called “Apicius” in English……it’s the oldest known cookbook to exsist, from the roman empire days I believe.

    1. @cj- Interesting. Books from the 18th century. One of the books had a Hobart mixer in it. Most likely the first prototype before going into a so called mass production during that time period. The Hobart mixer is in the first bread book that’s listed.

    2. @cj, that is a great website, i will have to explore that. I didn’t know you could download from the library of congress, that is cool.

  9. @cj, thanks i really appreciate that. Well, if someone is talking about cj badly they are a*******! That jerk needs to get over with it about a stupid sweater. What website is this guy on?

    @ANutterVet, there are so many people i know who hurt from baro changes. Figures a va quack who act like that. There is scientific data to support it too. Well, you know that. Your smarter than these va jerk offs.

    1. @Ex va, @cj- I was only razzing cj. It was a joke and you feel deep for it. LMAO. You’d be surprise at who many doctors don’t believe me when I share about baro-receptors. I can feel a storm heading my way, especially during the colder months. cj, are you eating anything right now?

      1. @ANutterVet, LMAO, yeah i fell for it. I do take it seriously i don’t know why sometimes. Crazy!

      2. @ANutterVet: Not this late heck no. Only coffee this late. When you guys are ready to go, I am gonna watch a movie namnibor suggested “jacobs Ladder”

    2. @Ex va: The guy he is takling about is on a site called the oooogliest Christmas sweaters. No Nutter was just yanking my chain. No such person exsists…at least not a living one hahahaha.

      1. @Ex va: LOL if I did have a stalker, that persons life would be in danger, I am deadly with both knives and firearms, and carry both at all times. Except at va appointments.

  10. @cj- I changed the position of the post because I have to scroll up, then down to make a comment. You’re absolutely right about the not covering the red sauce. Many people think that the condensation only contains water, they don’t realize that the tomato acid is also in the H2O. My Pops taught me that way before I was a teenager. Red sauce was his favorite. Stuffed cabbage, perogies [spelling], stuffed peppers, fried oysters, eggplant, and plenty of Polish red and white horseradish. All kinds of Polish and Italian sausage as well. Oh, and very lean Polish ham.

    1. @ANutterVet;Damn………your making me hungry. I like just about everything you listed there.

    2. @ANutterVet, @cj, You guys are making me hungry. LOL! Sounds so good. Lol. Everything is kinda bland food around here. I need to learn to cook better. Lol!

  11. @ANutterVet,@Ex va: On youtube, that kid Fredie Cooks. I tell you what, he has got me hooked on toasted vienna bread with fresh made ricotta with honey drizzled on top with pepper………….damn addicting as spinach artichoke dip.

  12. @ANutterVet,@Ex va: Ex va, your never gonna order pasta out again lol. Your now spoiled, and you deserve to be.

    1. @cj – How you doing cj? I’m up for a tad. Sleep patterns have been really off this week. Plus, my inbox has been acting up for the past few days. Tried restarting, but to no avail.

    2. @cj, and @ANutterVet, good to see you both tonight, cj, i copied and paste the recipe, made 4 copies so i can take to store when i go. I am looking forward to making some good sauce. Lol.

      i think my anti-virus wasn’t let me copy and paste from this blog. Strange. Inbox acting up too. I don’t get the responses right away. Sometimes hours before i receive reply or new comments. Don’t know if it is internet or iPad.

      @ ANutterVet, does the unstable weather patterns affect your sleep? I get less sleep and more pain. We had a storm front go below us tonight. I like the spring weather hate the rain and storms that come with it.

      1. @Ex va- Yeah, the weather, especially if high humidity, tears me up. I can feel it on the baro-receptors on my skin. Tried to share this with a VA doctor, and he rolled his eyes at me. How are you doing tonight?

      2. Ok, I’m feeding my K9 peanuts and almonds for his late night treats. cj, I was on another blog, and this Veteran told me that he knows you. He said that you stink. I said like shit he does. What’s up with that, does he know you?

      3. @ANutterVet: I am sad to say……………..yes he does…………..that fucker been stalking me ever since I said he looked like shit is a sweater last winter.

      4. @ANutterVet: Yes got the family time in. If you were refering to sex, we have sex almost every night……..almost on monday………..almost on tuesday………..

      5. @cj- Yeah, I like the way you put the almost in there. Ex va is going shopping for the ingredients to make the sauce. Ex, cook it down for at least a few hours. More thicker the better, don’t forget to add a little bit of the pasta water into your spagets and sauce.

      6. @ANutterVet,@Ex va: Also, never ever cover your red sauce, and cook it low and slow. Covering red sauce will cause the condensation to drip back in causing it to be too acidic. This only happens with tomato sauces.

      7. @cj, i didn’t know you don’t cover the sauce up when cooking it. That is why mine gets acidic tasting. Thanks for the advice.

  13. It’s a tough one.@aNutterVet, In the 90’s, the National Center for PTSD, most likely saved my life. Real Dr’s, Really great nurses. Since, the VA has been extremely difficult. Lost applications, lost files and records. Been lied to, lied about, and just plain disrespected. For myself, a usable choice card would work, I hope. If the VA was working, I wouldn’t be on this site. It’s good to the VA is working for some. God Bless the Veterans..

  14. What a joke. My local vet center counselor told me on Saturday, they are short one counselor, the team leader and an office manager. What does that mean? Vets can only see a counselor about once every month, there is no one at the office to answer the phone if the counselors are with a vet and guys drop out of the program because there is so much time between appointments.

    They are all scared to death that a vet they are treating will commit suicide. The put in their notes of the contact, the vet doesn’t have suicidal or homicidal ideation. It doesn’t matter if they do or not, if a vet commits suicide and is being treated by a vet center counselor, they are investigated like they pulled the trigger.

    The vet calling the VA who is in crisis who hears if this is a mental health emergency or you are thinking of suicide hang up and dial 911 or call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1. For all that is holy, why the hell can’t the vet, just press 9 to be connected to someone? He/she most like will not call 911 (would love to see the results of how many suicides call 911). They may call the hotline, but why not just a direct forwarding? The technology is there.

    Also, would a vet really tell a counselor or a psychiatrist he/she has been having thoughts of suicide? If they are at the VA, immediately the VA cops are called and the person restrained. (I’ve witnessed that happen once). Vets mistrust the VA that is the first problem.

    1. @Dan F- It is true, that if a Veteran tells a VA employee that he-she has thoughts of committing suicide, that the employees are instructed to call the VA Federal Police. After the Veteran is restrained, the VA will put the Veteran in holding, and on suicide watch. I wouldn’t want to be in the hands of the VA.

      1. I would rather have brand name “Samsonite” written on me in sharpie marker and locked in a cell with the Samsonite Gorilla Luggage Tester than be locked alone with anyone from the VA. (Any TSA Agent at any airport will also do if the Samsonite gorilla has prior commitments)

  15. More than half of all veteran suicide is from veterans who didn’t deploy to a combat zone. So This NEW Thing THE VA is doing is actually hurting those combat veterans who will be forced to wait longer. All the government needs to do is fix the problem created with these unequitable discharges.

    1. Only about 10% of troops see combat and about 7% of them get PTSD. It wouldn’t be that hard to review those bad discharges and upgrade them. I don’t see why we need to open the door to all veterans with bad conduct discharges. It seems disingenuous to use PTSD to do so.

  16. According to this AP article on this plan by Shulkin, 22,000 combat veterans with mental health disabilities or TBI have been given OTHs since 2009.


    1. Notice that round number of 22,000? Last year’s daily Veteran Suicide number also used to be 22 a day until the VA inched it to 21. I’m sensing some magic numbers here and a backflip cover your ass move here by DoD and VA. Numbers are often imprinted easier, also patterns picked-up easier via numbers or colors. Just saying that seems rather tidy of a number but also a rather large number of OTH discharges like they were giving them out like candy.
      Wouldn’t it also be tidy numerically if there happened to also be 22,000 misdiagnosed TBI Exams or no exams at all?

  17. Let’s not forget the many Project 100,000 aka McNamara’s Morons who could barely fog a mirror. Many of them got booted out of the service as unfit – many were cannon fodder. Local VVA chapter spent a few months trying to help one of them – 70 years old, homeless and hapless. Thrown under the bus for decades.

    1. @Windguy- Are these the Veterans that were originally convicted of crimes that the Army and Navy accepted? They were quite classless on the aircraft that I was on. Although, the VA owes them help if and when they need it, especially if service connected.

      1. Nutter – no – they were low IQ cannon fodder. Google Project 100000 or, google McNamara’s Morons.

  18. @Jo3n – Hey Brother, I need the VA and I’m still breathing. The problem is that the VA practices Evidence Based Criteria Medicine, and don’t take into account each Veterans specific conditions, and how they individually respond to treatment. There are still many Veterans that depend on and need medical care. The problem is that the care comes from the VA. Shit Skin Shulkin is disjointed from what Veterans really need for proper healthcare. FUCK THEM, ASSWIPES

  19. I guess, if this becomes an issue, that will aid the AFGE. Like one issue after another after another…. Isn’t there enough on Dr Shulkin’s plate already? I believe the VA is totally out of touch with Veterans, and Dennis is absolutely right about the Veterans Suicides. How does allowing more Veterans access to the VA help? They would be safer and better off with Medicaid, or some special funding from the private sector. The ones that needed the VA most, are mostly dead.

  20. Exactly what “service” is going to be expanded that boasts the highest suicide rate of already treated patients of ANY healthcare organization you can name???? What exactly is going to expand in a system like that???

    If a rancher complained that a given veterinary consistently killed 30 head of cattle per day through professional “give-a-shitism” they would be shut down. Instead, the veterinary announces that because if the high rate of livestock deaths, they are expanding their services to horses! Does this make sense?!?!?!

    In football they stop tossing the ball to the guy that fumbles play after play; they do not devise even more plays in response to the fumbling – they bench the guy. What absolute arrogance to assume that vets are scattering their brains across VHA campus’ in plain daylight because they just have not been accessible. What intellectual malfeasance to suggest the notion that the reason a vet burns himself to death on their lawn in front of them is because they simply were not allowed to help the guy. They helped him alright. JUST WHY DOES A MAN TORCH HIMSELF ON THE FRONT LAWN!???? Because he is making that point!!! My God take AWAY VA “help” with suicidal ideation, don’t keep burning up veterans with it! VA causes suicide.

    What moron concludes that a forest fire is best fought by sending in more trees? Vets are not suiciding DESPITE VA best efforts – they are dying BECAUSE of VA best efforts. Send more vets into the VA mental health grinder and what you get out is more hamburger – decade after decade after decade.

    1. Non-Human Test Subjects have been redefined now as Bad Papers by the VA. I can only think the VA has some special experimental psycho drugs cooked-up from Shinazi’s cousin named Vinny in his little hobby lab in the subbasement. Some drug placed on good papers that turns every Veteran into an Olympic knitter and macramé plant hanger maker instead of thinking about suicide and all with a twisted permanent joker’s grin from this wonder medication. Vinny tends to the weeds in the gardens and grounds at the VAMC and also thinks agent orange is safe as Tang to drink. Vinny also has a perm. joker’s grin ear to ear.

    2. Wow Dennis – Livestock, veterinarians, ranchers and horses: Football and fumbles: Forest fires and trees: Grinder and hamburger. You do know how to turn a phrase or three. I’m going to vote for livestock and horses because you threw in the bonus “professional give-a-shitism” (PGAS). For a second, I struggled with professional versus unprofessional. But, you nailed it. I realized that unprofessional or UPGAS is a lesser more slothful performance of giving a shit. PGAS however, is a practiced and accomplished form of giving a shit indicative of one’s taking pride in not giving a shit. That’s some good shit.

  21. Great news on Choice. I’m one who received a less than honorable discharge. I already had an honorable. President Carter made my less than, honorable. I was diagnosed unfit for service. I think there may have been many more like me. I was done. If, the VA can do it right. They do so little right, but the idea is good. Sure hope Choice gets usable.

  22. Fantastic Kudos to Congressman Kilmer, for his efforts in this portion of the veteran population!

    Any progress on this is excellent. In the ongoing discussion, other facets are important. Just as two:

    –at least in the Navy circa 1979-83, the “conditions” that merited an “Other Than Honorable Discharge” or a “Bad Conduct Discharge” were often identical. It all depended on the mood and discretion of specific ships, or commanders. An “OTH” discharge was the “fast and easy way” to separate a servicemember who was having issues (often related to mental illness), BUT if a command wanted to be vindictive, the exact same situation could be escalated to saddle the same exact person with a punitive “bad conduct” discharge. Would be nice to see these individuals helped as well.

    –When I was in basic training in 1979 (Navy), there were SEVERAL people in my company that were obviously unsuited for service from mental/emotional reasons, BUT because the “all volunteer force” was so undermanned then, it was very rare to see someone “Separated during basic training.” One of them was sent to a base psychiatrist during boot camp, with a note from the Company Commander to the effect of “Send him home! He doesn’t belong here!” BUT because that person was in one of the high-priority programs (nuclear power), he was retained. Only to, several months later, “melt down” when stationed on a ship, and punished with a bad conduct discharge.

    1. @Vince Magruder: I was in just 2 years before you, the army was no different. Seen it over and over again, no accountability, no wonder it carries over to the va.

  23. I have a question about all of this. Is this new policy being instated because the majority of these suicide veterans have bad paper? We hear about the suicide problem, but never really hear about the personal story of the veteran involved. I remember another documentary that was done when this suicide epidemic started. I recall there being Iraq veterans with many tours in country, highly decorated, and then forced out of the military with an OTH. Many had been exposed to multiple ied’s severe PTSD, cocusions, the list goes on. Then when they became short tempered or showed any signs of acting up, the higher ups would tell them either sign the papers or go to jail. Of course it was discovered this was a false threat, but the soldier didn’t know this. Instead of providing the help the soldier needed, they released him on the US population, some times with disaterous results. One soldier, beat his long time girl friend to death, didn’t remember doing so, and then took his own life while waiting for trial. The record showed he sought out help, and was never treated. I mean both while he was still active duty, and after. Also the same actions by the military occured to highly decorated Veitnam veterans as well. I wonder if there is something we aren’t aware of, as I stated above. Is there a high rate of suicide with this group of veterans? Has this been the case all along and was kept quite to cover the asses of those responsible? I trust nobody, or any source. I smell a cover up. There is much more to this story than meets the eye.

    1. @cj- Yes cj, its called not taking the responsibility of helping a Veteran when they are in time of need. Brother, that smell is so far reaching that my nostrils smell of burnt hair. Like you stated, don’t expect the VA to admit that they did something wrong. “Cover up” has its own separate department in the agency of the VA.

      And, I too believe that there is more to this story. Lets see what seeps out in due time. Time has a way of letting things out through the sieves that the VA didn’t know existed. Shame on these people. A bunch of underwriters of incompetency. They are dangerous and a threat to most Veterans. Especially those Veterans that the system forces them to receive treatment from the VA.

      Veterans need protection and alternative medical services other than from the VA. As a bio-scientist, I don’t trust them. And, I can prove why I don’t trust them. This isn’t a problem. So if anyone of authority or a politician that has some steel gonads, and reads my post, here is what I say to you, “I need to be delivered from the VA’s healthcare system in order to protect my life.” All of my evidence is documented, and I’ll give you permission to evaluate my body, speak with my outside caretakers, and my dear wife who is suffering as well.

      This is an official notice to directly ask for help. If you care about my health, life, wife, and K9, please leave a post on Ben’s blog. If not, fuck you, and all of your other slimy ass dumb mother fucking trolling baboons that are your colleagues. If you have the means to help me and you don’t, you’re a; “slimy dumb mother fucking trolling baboon.”

      I believe that a person can change, but if you’re idle, and don’t do anything to fix the VA’s problems or to help a Veteran in need, than like I’m to you, your dead to me as well. If you have authority or influence to help make the necessary changes in the VA, and you do nothing about it, then your life is worth less than shit. Your life is using up earths oxygen for no good reason.

      1. @ANutterVet: Amen, and Damn straight. I consider myself very lucky indeed, to not “need” the va. I only go to the required appointments so as to, “not lose the benifit”. Other than that? They can kiss my ass.

        ON POINT again with helping veterans in need. Something we should all try our best to do.

        Good, bad, or indifferent paper, they are still my brothers and sisters, and I will never abandon them.

        Till I take my last breath, they all mean more to me than any Senator, Congressman, illegal, anti American or military hating asshole.

        Roger doger, over…………..and…………..out.

      2. @cj – And the VA says, Roger don’t dodge her, bend over, and take the dirty end of the Shick, in and out. Sorry, this Pharmacy doesn’t keep petroleum jelly in their formulary. You’ll have to handle a dry run this time. Now bend over, spread’em, and take a deep breath . . . Sorry, we have to do this again. These cheap Shicks from China always break. They always make these Shicks going with the grain and not against the grain.

      3. @ANutterVet: You got me on that one. Hey I was doing a little looking into all this, and just as I suspected, OTH veteran suicide rates are double those of Honorable. I think this is a cover your ass move by the va, and the dod. Like I thought, these guys had many deployments, multiple ied incidents, PTSD, among other mental problems due to battle. They were kicked to the side without receiving any care, and released upon the unknowing public. They tried to get help, but were turned down by the va. In my opinion only, the dod and va are both responsible for these deaths. Some ass kiking needs to be done in both agencies.

        I will be gone till later. A little family time is needed.

      4. @cj – Should be “going against the grain and not with the grain.” I think that’s right.

      5. @ANutterVet– If your VA Pharmacy kept petroleum jelly on-hand, you can guarantee the VA would find a way to get sand inside it. That’s what the VA would call a Compound Pharmacy Preparation.
        On a similar note, I once had a VA Dr. tell me for hemorrhoids to get a compound prepared that the VA pharmacy did not even have and you would not believe what it was for: basically petroleum jelly with nitroglycerin mixed-in…for blood circulation and healing…never mind if I ate some explosive chili or burritos while using it…I could have gone boom. 🙂

    2. @cj- Brings to mind again that great but also very disturbing movie “Jacob’s Ladder”. It even centers around Vietnam Veterans and the VA and DOD experimental drugs to induce extra violence. Great movie with a ton of symbolism. Hint: God is also personified and it always takes place at his VA appointments. Again, disturbing movie but more truth than fiction in there.

      1. @namnibor: I will have to watch that movie, I think I saw it? But I can’t remember. Will do so tonight, thank you for bringing it to my attention. I love a good movie.

        Reminds me, for those that do not know about, “kodi”, it is a free program for your computer, to stream movies, tv shows etc. It is free and legal, one of my favorite programs ever.

        Easy to setup with the tutorials on the kodi website, for your os.

      2. @namnibor,@all: I don’t know if anyone has watched the movie “Taking Chance” I think it is a movie every single American should see. Fair warning………don’t forget the tissues. I don’t care how bad you think you are…..your gonna need em.

      3. @cj– Be prepared to need to watch it at least an additional time because it’s that deep and multilayered plots and switching from their time in Vietnam and to the present (1980’s), and the two periods easily become blurred if you miss even 10 minutes of this movie.
        Warning: Disturbing, and could easily stir your own PTSD demons up.

        Thanks for the word on that free movie site. Does it play nice with antivirus software such as Norton 360?

      4. @namnibor: It should play nice, no issues I am aware of. Hey, no ptsd here, not a combat vet, unless you can get ptsd from dealing with the va lol.

        I imagine the only resemblance to a battle feild the va may have, is looking around the corner and saying “Wholly shit!! look at all those fuckers, there must be thousands of them”

      5. @cj — Just to be clear, a Veteran need not necessarily be in any combat zone to have incurred trauma in-service and repeated trauma, in order to have PTSD and/or extreme anxiety disorders.
        For instance: Any Military Person victim of Military Sexual Trauma/Assault, or say on a regular missle convoy helicopter fire team and a sudden atmospheric brings the entire helicopter to a crash and the lone survivor has to sit trapped (this is in USA) in wreckage while rescue is launched and meanwhile she watches three of the other survivors succumb to their deadly wounds and die and this f^cks his/her brain with nightmares…(that one happened to a friend of mine at a SAC base USAF), just to name a couple non-combat scenarios where PTSD can haunt a Veteran for life…it’s unfortunate that many people only associate PTSD with combat zones but you have to remember the brain is a very tricky thing and everyone’s hell on earth is a personalized hell.
        I just thought it prudent to point out that PTSD does not easily fit in a one box fits all size nor shape or form.

      6. @namnibor: Sorry I stepped away for a few. Yes of course, your right. I should have just said “no ptsd here” and left it at that. Of course all you mentioned and more. I apologize to any here that do have ptsd, I wasn’t thinking.

  24. Question with No Offensive to Anyone – Where in the fuck is all of this going anyway? What is being accomplished? How is this making any positive changes in the VA system? These are the types of questions that are going through my head.

    It gets very frustrating. I’m thankful for Ben’s blog, but many times I feel that I keep on posting logical, solid, and sound arguments to no avail. I do know this for sure, that the VA is taking advantage of me. The VA knows that at this point, I have no where else to turn too except to them for my behavioral and medical care. Depressing. Can’t see the light due to the cloudiness from receiving medical care in the VA system.

    Does anyone else feel the same way that I do? Please share. Thank you.

    1. ANutterVet, after reading several comments and thinking about this, I am of the opinion that this is nothing more than a feel-good PR story and setup for asking for more money.

      What does the VA have to lose? They get good PR by telling the public they want to do something about veteran suicides, and those that might have been wrongfully discharged.

      The public looks up from their iPhone and says “good”, before going back to Facebook.

      The VA at most might have to make a few appointments with a shrink, they might have to fill a few prrscriptions, but their cost is minimal.

      In a few weeks, if they haven’t already, they will claim this rule change has caused an influx of veterans seeking mental health care…and they will ask for more money.

      Nobody will question why the VA is not doing more to prevent those veterans with honorable discharges from committing suicide.

      Unless the suicide rate stays where it is currently. Even then, the VA PR machine will crank out a few excuses and that will be the end of it.

      1. @91Veteran- I agree with you. And, from what I’ve learned, the VA has a shortage of Behavioral Health staff. How are they going to handle the influx of such Veterans. I have no problem with our Veterans getting care, but saying and doing are two different things.

        My BH doctor is up in years. During the appointment, the doc is busy typing on the keyboard, doesn’t want to be bothered, and offers a couple of options for treatment. In my case, since I receive pain meds, I can’t be prescribed a known benzodiazepine that has been documented to give me relieve. I’m not interested in antidepressants, and out of holistic options. So, again I’m up the creek with options that work.

        I’ll tell you 91, the more I read about the fucking VA, and with my documented fuck overs by these rat bastards, I’m on the edge of losing it. I shared with the wife today, to be prepared because I can feel an explosion coming on. I have all this shit pent up inside. And, the more you share with the VA, the more they use it against you. FUCK THEM!

        I’ve had my PTSD under control by my own measures for almost 3 years. Thankfully, I really enjoy organic chemistry, bio-chem, physics, and many life science fields of study.

        My symptoms have never been to this negative point since I was discharged. Shootz, my own family members don’t even talk to me. They think that I’m off the wall or have some mental problem that can’t be fixed. I stay out of trouble, do my best in keeping a good citizen status, and keep my nose out of other peoples business, unless I’m asked for help.

        If the VA can’t help me, and I’m asking for help, how are they going to do these naïve Veterans any good? I don’t know, but I’m not sold on the VA’s new endeavor. I hope these Veterans get the help they need.

        And the public! What the hell do they know? Like you said, there too busy digitally and electronically caught up on Facebook, tweeter [being recorded], and Snapper Chapper to know what the fuck is happening. Plus, they don’t even know if what they are reading is true or not [Very Fake News].

        As for myself, I think the VA looks for all the ways that it can draw positive PR attention to their efforts. Making those who read about the VA, to think that all is well, nice, smooth, shined, glistened, and then the VA smells like spring roses to the publics olfactory system. More bullshit, on top of bullshit.

        The other issue that the public is not aware of, is the false information that has been put on many Veterans DD214 papers. Shootz, many Veterans don’t even know what a separation code is. Why do people have to keep fucking over Veterans, and cause them additional problems when they are already facing obstacles in the first place? As Veterans, we always get the dirty end of the stick.

        If I’m going to get the Shick [no misspelling], give me the clean end! Just sayin. LMAO

    2. @ ANutterVet, you are right it will basically go nowhere. This article is a half-assed attempt for some public relations gimmick to make the va look like they care about a group of Veterans who were denied a discharge they may or may not deserved to receive so as to attain some va benefits. I see nothing but same avoidance of real problems and the failure of the implementation of real life solutions to those same issues.

      I understand your frustration because of Veterans having to use this broken system and waiting for some justice to end that frustration. I believe in that old saying that the pen is mightier than the sword and you and others share information and knowledge and that helps get the real truth out about what Veterans are suffering with in using health care in the va system. The system is a failure when the majority cannot benefit from it. Any other organization would have closed doors many years ago. I see this blog posts as educating ourselves and others who read and begin to understand what the real problems Veterans suffer with.

      To me people who screw over a Veteran because they have a little authority to do this are the lowest of the lowest in the human race. A disabled Veteran to further cause them more injury disgusts me to no end. I see that is where many of us have that common ground because we have been thru the hell the va wants to put us thru just because they can. The va is losing ground and credibility with articles such as this.

  25. I wanted to add that I do have compassion for fellow Veterans, even those with ‘bad paper discharges’, but see, I tend to look at the entire picture, underneath, periphery, and add to that the VA’s own petulant childish kneejerk reactionary behavior only when the spotlight of truth is shown on them and it has to burn a hole in them for it to even matter…now, when figuring-in how badly the VA uses the Disruptive Behavior Committee and their Stormtrooper VA Police on Honorably Discharged veterans, how do you think the VA’s DBC is going to treat those already thought to have “extra baggage” coming in with ‘bad papers’ will be greeted or better question is the VA ready to open a can of worms or potential or placing existing Veteran population in danger by all the sudden a bunch of gang thugs that were kicked-out for same behaviors are now coming back to haunt the ranks?
    Something to think about at least. I ask because I highly doubt the VA has thought this far ahead…other THAN this will be an excellent icebreaker to congress to put hands-out for money and toss that set of magic words on top “Veteran Suicide Prevention”, which always gets $$$$ but no action…anyone else notice a long-standing pattern here? I say prepare for the cash-grab. Wait for it….

    I guess the VA has already infected the UCMJ in those fraudulent Psych Military Dr.’s giving out those diagnosis to save $$$. Like 91Veteran stated, all the other Branches of Military are likely tainted and by proxy, by the VA’s far-reaching corruption tentacles.
    Rant Out.

    1. namnibor, remember a few years back where the Army was caught “enlisting violent gang members”?
      I wonder how many of them have “bad paper discharges”?

      Can you imagine, “gang members of ‘MS-13’ or others”, with bad paper discharges, being allowed in the VHA’s nationwide!?!?

      I can see it now. The VA “gestapo” police coming around the corner, guns drawn, or night-sticks at the ready, for “Hand to hand combat”! Can you imagine the “flash-backs” many vets would have!

      Complete pandemonium!!!!!!

      (I know that’s stretching it a bit. Only, think about it.
      The Army WAS caught enlisting violent gang members! Did they all get “Honorable Discharges”?)

      1. @Crazy elf – I was on an aircraft carrier back in the early 70’s, and there were Naval personnel that should have done jail time because they were convicted of certain crimes. Instead the judge asked them whether they wanted to go to prison for 4-5 years or do a term of service in the Army or Navy. Therefore, I was exposed to criminals on the ship without first being forewarned of this matter. The Marine Corps and the Coastguard didn’t take individuals that were convicted of such crimes. Do you remember those days, or was it a different time period?

      2. @Crazy elf– That example of the Army at the early days of current wars (under Pres. George W. Bush), of those drastically lowered standards with the Army in particular was one of a few I was thinking of and under Obama we had military breaking the ranks for Black Lives Matter and other crap.
        Then there was Ft. Hood…that was an actual Psych Dr. that went whacko.

        Just thinking of the overall safety of Veterans and you watch, it will be these low-hanging fruit influx of bad paper discharges the VA will suddenly start to hire Veterans from…and then potentially the ticking nerve is just waiting to go *TWITCH*!

      3. @Crazy elf: I seem to remember watching a documentary on gang members in the military, The DOD has no idea how many gang members there are, or are not admitting to it, but it is many. So many that they hired a special task force to document them alll, and yes,……………………..the majority that have fullfilled their time have honorable discharges, even the ones that ambushed the police in L.A. It seems that gang leaders were having it’s member join to be schooled in military tactics, so they could use what they learned in combat against other gangs, and even law inforcement.

      4. ANutterVet,
        Yes, I remember those days! Only, if I remember correctly, those “criminals” were of the “NON-VIOLENT type!
        I may be wrong, then again, I may not be wrong!

      5. @Crazy elf,@ANutterVet: “” A documentary about this very issue.

      6. @Crazy elf- There were individuals on ship that were convicted of robbing a bank. They weren’t recorded as being violent, but a weapon was involved. Don’t know how this adds up though. My life was threatened by a gang of these hoodlums that were stalking me. And, I was completely outnumbered and outflanked.

    2. Your comment Nam, makes me ask, how did the VA figure out vets with bad paper are at risk for suicide?

      Do they know the numbers of vets who have committed suicide after being denied benefits?

      I ask if this action might be related to that veteran who killed himself in the Durham VA parking lot 3 days ago after the VA turned him away.

      It was 5 days before the VA police found him in his car.

      The article says he was getting care at the VA and partial benefits, but says he was denied full benefits, without describing what those full benefits were.


      1. Could be, 91Veteran. That’s yet another outside a VAMC and I wonder how many the VA effectively keeps out of the news entirely that happen right outside their faulty towers? I just am not understanding how the VA somehow pulled it out of their rears that this group of Vets are particularly prone to suicide when we already have a steady 21 Veteran Suicides a day on average in these United States. I wonder too, if the VA has had the ugly dirt and statistics on Veteran Suicide all along but never bothered to apply the data or metrics? I still smell a rat in the woodpile.

      2. @namnibor,@91 Veteran: I am leaning in the direction of, that maybe the majority of those 22 per day, may be in that very class of veterans. Could there be a class action in the works, we haven’t heard about yet? Sure sounds like soldiers with many deployments, were just fucked over, instead of being given the help they so desperately needed. I can see the families of those veterans compiling data with each other, and going after the DOD, VA and anyone else who conspired to screw them over, resulting in loss of life. I can’t even imagine the horror these families must have been subjected to. I just have a very sick feeling about this. I am feeling ill, at the torment these young men and women must have gone through, and kicked to the side like a piece of garbage, by the DOD and the VA. when they needed them the most. How the hell can you possibly give these families justice? Nothing can repair that kind of damage. They fought for freedom, they fought for peace, and in the end they had neither. My heart goes out to each of them and their families.

  26. The Decision Makers.

    This list is of the Officials Pres Trump has Positioned for Veterans Affairs that did not need Senate approval. List Includes Name, Position Title, Pay Grade Level & Start Date.

    Lydia Blaha, Special Assistant/Deputy Press Secretary, GS-12, 1/23/17.
    Lawrence Connell, Senior Advisor, GS-15, 1/20/17.
    Lynda Davis, Senior Advisor/ Veteran Experience, SES, 1/20/17.
    Jacquelyn Hayes-Byrd, Senior Advisor, No grade level, 2/6/17.
    Thomas Leinenkugel, Senior White House Advisor, SES, 1/20/17.
    Michael Lukach, Special Assistant/White House Liaison, GS-15, 1/20/17.
    Matthew Miller, Senior White House Advisor, SES, 1/23/17.
    Bert Mizusawa, Senior Advisor, SES, 1/30/17.
    Peter O’Rourke, Senior Advisor Appeal Mod, GS-15, 1/20/17.
    Darin Selnick, Senior Advisor VHA Policy & Planning, SES, 1/23/17.
    Brooks Tucker, Senior Advisor, GS-15, 1/30/17.

    The pay scale: “”””
    The rest of the list of gov’t positions is at: “”””

    1. Is that the beer mogul on that list, Michael Leinenkugel? Reason I ask is we have only heard the gurumphs of the VSO’s and sure have not heard of anything Shuklin’s little helpers have been doing. Are they all waiting for interior decorators and movers, what’s the chronic case of ass-drag?

    2. NiteWish,
      I’m not trying to be rude. Please don’t take it that way!
      I’m of the position, NOT to trust any “SES’rs” or anyone in the highest “GS” levels.
      Had bad — real bad — experiences with them over the years. Don’t need any more!
      Sorry, just saying!

    3. Namnibor, good catch I wonder if Thomas Leinenkugel is brother/spouse to Michael Leinenkugel?

      Crazy elf, Pres Trump made the hires, I found the list & only thought some research should be done on our new “advisors” working for the VA.

      1. Nepotism is the glue that keep the meat grinder moving, that’s why I thought to ask if any relation or one and the same?

  27. If you are able to get up to supervisors after calling the “crisis number” you eventually get to a private contractor who will admit they can’t do anything.

  28. I’m “lucky” enough to have a disability rating that derives from a blood test that documents that I was killed in action while serving in the Navy in what should have been the safest, most fulfilling and educational billet in all the military—an NRMC. The nature of a deadly,blood born virus has changed all that for all of us with that career track. The fact that for some crazy reason, unknown to medical science, I’, I’m still alive seems to be just one of those unexplainable quirks of fate that can’t be explained. There are times when I wish they would just shoot me and get this rocky horror show over with and throw my cadaver into some niice adirondadk swamp to rot with all my slithery friends who have come and gone naturally with something at least approaching the dignity of “normal” life. I count myself lucky, in fact, to still have access to those bug and crawdad infested sanctuaries and that has made this life, sudh that it is, at least moderately tolerable.

  29. If the Army committed fraud to give bad conduct discharges at Madigan, you can bet it happened at other posts and in other services.

    The next step should be a program where vets can get help getting their discharges upgraded, and not some BS jobs program where nothing happens, but a serious program.

    I do wonder though whether any VSOs argued against this change behind the scenes. Why would this be any different than them throwing other vets under the bus?

  30. Question- How is the VA going to fulfill a standard of quality treatment for those with bad paper discharges, when the agency has a hard time taking care of Veterans with good paper discharges that has the same behavioral health problems?

    I have no problem with the VA wanting to help Veterans with bad paper discharges. It seems to me that the VA is going to overextend itself by trying to fulfill this behavioral health objective. At this given moment, there are Veterans who have reached out to their VA medical provider for behavioral health services, and they are in agony waiting for help. Why do I say this, I’m one of those Veterans with an Honorable Discharge.

    Due to my medical condition, I’m not as mobile as I use to be. And, I refuse to take additional pain medication in order to go to an appointment at a VA Medical Center. In the meantime, I have no other alternative but to stay confined at home, only hoping for a phone call from a Behavioral Health Provider.

    On top of this, the VA has failed miserably in supporting me with the additional help or back up in maintenance and extended training a PTSD K9 Service Dog. Do you think that I feel confident with the VA’s current Behavioral Health program or services?

    Also, with the new prescription drug policy that the VA is implementing, how is a Veteran going to get relief from a condition that may warrant the prescribing of a benzodiazepine, when the Veteran has chronic pain and is already taking an opiate medication? Is the VA’s solution to prescribe an antidepressant that will take 2 weeks in order to possibly receive some relief, and up to 6-8 weeks to possibly receive major relief?

    In the meantime during the waiting period for an antidepressant to work, what does the Veteran do until the medication possibly works? And then, what if the antidepressant doesn’t work? Does the Veteran then have to go through a round of trial and error in order to determine what antidepressant will work? When it is already known that a benzodiazepine may and can give the Veteran almost immediate relief from the misery he-or-she is experiencing.

    Currently, there are many Veterans that are stuck in this delima and no one is doing anything about it. Yes, the VA does have a great top end Behavioral Health Program doesn’t it? I know bullshit when I smell it. VA, stop playing and messing up the lives of Veterans. Truly, just sayin.

    1. Why can’t the VA’s medical personnel read a Veterans medical record, and then keep up with the laid out treatment plan or program which was designed by a VA medical service provider? Why does the Veteran have to keep these so called professionals on track of a plan that was created by his-her provider in the first place? The VA PCP wants to have total control of your treatment, but yet they can’t keep your treatment plan on schedule, the Veteran has to remind the treatment provider of the medical service which they approved, and then the Veteran has to nag the other VA service providers to get the VA approved treatment(s).

      Because the VA medical provider doesn’t keep up with the treatment plan in which said provider has final word for approval, this is a form of malpractice. Then this is compounded by the Veteran’s medical or behavioral condition becoming worse than it was in the first place.

      Therefore, I have concluded that if the VA CAN’T keep up with or take care of the first tier of treatment for Veterans with a good paper discharge, they WILL NOT be able to successfully take care of treating those with bad paper discharges.

    2. Everyone’s comments are making me wonder if this is just a setup in anticipation of asking congress for more money at some point.

      Or keeping their budget as high as it is.

    3. #ANutterVet A small thanks to the VA pcp nurse practitioner that decided to have my vitamin D checked, but had no clue what to do once discovered. As it turned out, my D level was 13 and it being that low it showed in symptoms. Vitamin D is huge, it’s actually a hormone. Long story short, vitamin D is one vitamin that 80% of the population is deficient. Oh, my point, vitamin D deficiency impacts the brain…yet the VA, to the best of my knowledge, does not screen for it despite all the connections that have been made to D deficiency. There’s a protocol for taking D, and it entails taking synergistic minerals; zinc, potassium, magnesium, etc. Where I live, it’s $28 to get tested.

    4. @ANutterVet: You know what? You reminded my of an article I read, it was years ago, so I forgot about it till I just read your post. I am not sure how to word this. There are facilities, and I can’t remember if they are in every major city or what, but they receive funding from different sources, like foundations and such. These facilities get this funding for treating veterans that are not allowed to get help at VA’s. In other words they are setup for veterans with bad paper. Now, since you jarred my memmory to this fact. I am now questioning everyting I posted. Now I am confused about exactly what they are trying to do here. Maybe namnibor and Crazy elf are right. Maybe this is some sick way of providing more jobs, and job security. Fuck I hate the government and how they can spin your thoughts around, because they just can’t be trusted…….ever.

      And I fucking hate the way they turnned me into a non trusting person. I use to be a nice person who always gave people the benifit of the doubt. I am not that person any longer, and I blame the government for making me this way. FUCK THEM…..

  31. Urgent;
    “ News”
    8 Mar. 2017
    Richard Sisk

    “House Committee OKs Bills on VA Choice Program, Accountability”

    IF it’s approved, the Choice Program will be extended, to allow veterans to receive outside healthcare. Of course, IF it doesn’t work now, will it work later?

    This gives Shulkin more power to get rid of all the asswipes, from SES’rs down to the low-level ingrates!
    Of course, It’s also pertinent to point out, Doesn’t this also mean; “How will the VHA’s and VBA’s interpret the law?” They’ve been notoriously ‘interpreting laws’ how they want to!
    Remember how Rubens and Graves “interpreted the laws!” Of course, all of the asswipes could also fall back on the ‘old standby’ of “Pleading the 5th” if caught!

    Just saying!

  32. Clearly this is a distraction, and falls well short of resolving anything. At this point, given the understaffing, it’d be better to outsource care. I called the crisis line a few years ago, and my call was routed to a non VA organization, and they even did a follow up on me.

    For those of us that have had our medical record flagged for being disruptive, a psychiatrist sits on the board that flagged your record. If you’re like me, your curtness and demand for quality health care was enough to get flagged.

  33. I lean towards you’re opinion. Depending on the reason for the bad paper I’m not on board for that move. I am sure in many instances some poor reason were used to issue those papers, but that would take a review and investigation. In the case of Vietnam Vets I question why it would take a vet this long to make a move to correct a bad or undesirable discharge.

    1. This seems like the VA trying to “save face” on the pie they are wearing from such a piss poor approach at Veteran Suicide…so in sort of a PsyOps kind of way, open it up to be inclusive to ALL…just like the butthurt liberal snowflake’s approach in public schools these days: everyone is a winner, everyone, including the losers receive a trophy so when in real life they will not know what it means to actually ASPIRE to an honorable life.

      Also, how about placing all those military Psychiatrists in Federal Prison, no matter where they currently haunt?
      This seems like the VA trying to safe face on their piss poor TBI diagnosis, and slapping Veteran Suicide on the turd to make it marketable…because who really is going to say ‘no’ to funding anything going towards Veteran Suicide Prevention?

      1. namnibor and touchavet,
        I agree, it’s almost like saying an (NON)Honorable Discharge is as good as an Honorable one.

        Ben, said something I’m not in agreement with.
        If a vet, (who may not be in the system), comes in without a DD-214, how would the VHA know he’s a veteran? I’m paraphrasing what I read.
        Therefore, “IF” a non-veteran seeks help, what should be done about it? Isn’t, or wouldn’t, that a criminal offence?
        Just asking!

      2. @Crazy elf: I wish I would have seen your post earlier. It works like this, even the medical staff at the VA cannot get medical care at the VA they are working at, because they are not veterans. Now, if any of the medical staff, or and veterans family members, or anyone who walks in off the street are in need of emmidiate medical attention, the VA will provide that care enough to stabilize the person, so that they can then be transfered to a private facility. They will then be billed at what the VA calls “the humanitarian rate” about a thousand dollars for the night. I don’t think it is legal for any hospital to turn away any person in need of emmediate medical care. But they sure are not going to get it for free. I would much rather have the private sector come after me for an unpaid bill then I would the feds.

  34. I’m going to be a bit painfully honest here about today’s article in that albeit a bit selfish on my part, but I can’t help but think that by the VA lowering it’s standards even LOWER (while understanding there’s some erroneous bad paper discharges in mix), but at same time it feels like it’s the VA now somehow “cheapening” (lack of better word) all our Honorable Discharges.
    (ducking rotten fruit and stones thrown at me, I’m sure by now)

    I truly fear this is the VA’s backdoor entry into affecting the UCMJ directly. There, I said it. Painfully honest.

    What say you? Am I the only one being an ass in thinking this way? If so, I am okay with that as I have been referred to as a pain in the ass to many humans in this life, so be it. I think this somehow cheapens the “Honorable” part of serving, withstanding and acknowledging the complications of past military Psychiatrists fudging the numbers to save $$$ down the pipe…this subject tells me they need to address this from a more peripheral angle because in the end, is the VA going to “assist” to get these “bad paper discharges” upgraded? In the end, how does the UCMJ fair in the fallout? Cheapened?

    1. Nam, I agree that it can be cheapening those of us with honorable discharges, but in my opinion that would only be the case if the VA does this without regard to the veterans history. If they thrown open the door to ALL bad conduct discharges, then yes, it will cheapen everyone.

      TBI and PTSD are specifically mentioned. Will this new practice specifically require records showing the veteran was treated in service for those? If so, that would still bar many vets with bad conduct discharges for other reasons from getting care, which I don’t have a problem with. If some dirtbag was booted for rape or robbery, I don’t have any problem with them being barred no matter what their mental state is.

      I read several news articles years ago about veterans who had two, there or more combat tours, and eventually spiraling out of control because they either did not get proper treatment in service, or the military just ignored their condition and put the screws to them.

      I have also read news articles about soldiers being injured with a TBI, and some chickenshit commander ignoring the need for their medical care, or even if they were getting medical care, taking actions against those soldiers to force them out of the military.

      If they can no longer be returned to service because of whatever condition, then the military should do the right thing and release them for medical reasons. Taking the easy way out by forcing a bad conduct discharge is chickenshit, and should make anyone wonder about that commanders fitness.

      This issue reminds me of the early years of Obama’s first term where the military, particularly the Air Force liked to refer service members they did not like asking questions for a mental health evaluation, and some bullshit diagnosis of personality disorder would force them out.

      1. Yes, and the VA has been screwing with Veteran’s well-established PTSD diagnosis and trying to change them to….Personality Disorder, which by the way, is NOT a compensable disabling service condition. Rat Bastards!

        This whole thing stinks and guess why? Lack of accountability and that cancer infected the active military branches via the medical and commanders too chickenshit to do the proper thing after 9/11 and that is …enact the DRAFT. Nobody wanted to dare go there so we sent troops back and forth, even went as far as to use activated guard only days from the magical number in which they would qualify for full VA benefits…24 months active duty and collectively in war zone…but many of those Guard units were recycled for fresh batches, keeping a tally on those # of activated days…all to save a buck, meanwhile you still have war profiteering contractors working the system for billions…on the back of Veterans.

        We humans really are just humanary stew. “Alice Cooper”

  35. This is not a realistic approach to the beginning of solving the suicide crisis in the Veteran population. It does not address the closing of crisis beds for Veterans in va hospitals nationwide and why suicide prevention teams where created and have failed. Partly do to the fact they do not want to respond to telephone calls and only want to treat Veterans in a crisis on an outpatient basis.

    A Veteran in crisis does not need to be jerked around and given medications and sent home if they are not stable in their mental state. In illinois a Veteran in crisis is talked to, given meds and sent home. If a failed attempt or attempts the Veteran is talked to and sent home with medications. Now if the average civilian fails attempts they are put in a crisis center and treated and monitored. The va wants to treat Veterans in crisis on an outpatient basis, it does not work because these Veterans are too sick and Lack the mental capacity to care for themselves on their own so how are they to become stable again? THEY Are IN A CRISIS THEY NEED IMMEDIATE MEDICAL TREATMENT.

    What about the Veterans that become in crisis because their medications begin to fail them? What about the population of the most severely mentally ill Veterans with active hallucinations and traumas those numbers show negligence and failure also because of lack of treatment of their disabilities?

    If Veterans are in a mental health crisis they are being neglected by the va because they are not being properly treated. Their crisis and suffering is not being treated or alleviated and it continues. The va does not want to address the real issues that they have failed in many areas on the treatment of Veterans in mental health. Follow the evidence of changes of the treatment of Veterans in mental health. Decisions were made on how to treat suicidal Veterans and they have failed the Veteran population.

    1. Very well said “Ex va”!
      I would add, VHA’s and VBA’s have miserably failed a majority of veterans across the board! By not living up to the laws, regulations and incompetencies of work/healthcare providers, veterans are either going outside VA for help, or they’re just not getting any help at all!

      I have mixed feelings about this. I believe all veterans should receive proper healthcare. At the same time, these VHA’s are understaffed due to WHAT? It was reported a few years ago, REAL “HONEST” HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS/PROFESSIONALS DON’T WANT TO BE EMPLOYED BY VA!
      That’s all I can say for now!

      1. @Crazy elf– There you go again, riding the same brainwave as I this beautiful morning! 🙂

    2. @EX va– Could not have stated it better myself. Ditto what you just wrote!! This does not seem well-planned-out one bit and sounds more along the lines of a feel-good philanthropy tossing Veterans a bone with several strings attached to that bone. Those strings are all attached to some sort of VA f^ckery, which will no doubt include future VA Suicide Hotline calls where the VA hack on other end calls the police and swat
      team for yet another suicide by cop when “concerning words” are heard by the VA hack on phone in India. Wait for it……

      The VA fails miserably at any angle of suicide prevention and I will go as far as suggesting the VA actually instigates Veteran Suicide…by design.

      This is all well and good what VA Sec. Shulkin has put forth but as Ex va said, the VA cannot handle proper suicide prevention in existing Veteran population utilizing the VA. What makes the VA so confident they can handle additional work-load?
      You all may not like my theory on this: My theory is the VA is only doing this as a sick form of job security in the hopes they will have even more claims to deny and send to the BVA for recycling and back again…bonus $$$$…..bonus $$$$.
      Why do I say this?
      Because wouldn’t it make sense for the VA to get their act together on Veteran Suicide Prevention firstly before opening the gates to f^ck with more minds by the VA? This is ONE THING the VA does particularly poorly and consistently poorly….this is only yet another band aid placed upon the other three dozen peeling-off band aids on same problem decades old.

      1. I dunno. I’m torn on this. On the one hand the VA cannot properly handle the vets it has in the system now. I don’t care to see veterans left behind though that were injured in service.
        I think the VA not being to handle their load now is the case because the VA refuses to be flexible in how it handles its resources, and how it looks at veterans needing mental health care in a one-size-fits-all manner.
        Just within the past few days there were comments here about entire floors or wings that are closed supposedly because there is not the nursing staff to handle them.

        Many of the claimed problems with treating veterans with mental health problems and why they are turned away is a lack of beds for mental health.

        Rather than treating every mental health patient as a violent maniac needing a bed in a secure facility, why can’t they properly evaluate veterans to determine if they need that additional security, and if not, put them in a bed on these closed floors or wings where they can at least get observation and care? Hell even if a vet had to be moved to a secure facility at a later time, at least they would be under observation.

        How many problems could be defused if the vet was just initially treated with compassion from the start?

        Yes, there will be additional veterans at least getting some kind of treatment, but at least they will have their foot in the door and can possible have a wrong discharge upgraded such that they can receive other care at some point.

        It just irritates me to think of how many TBI/PTSD veterans may have been railroaded into getting a bad conduct discharge.

        It also makes me wonder how many have been told once they are out they can go to the VA, only to go to the VA where they encounter some 400 pound donut chewing whale screaming at them for interrupting her snack, then telling them to get the hell out because the only thing she cares about is what is shown on their DD-214.

        Encountering an indifferent whale can put anyone over the edge. Particularly if the whale senses a donut being threatened.

        In some respects, I also look at this change as a way for the VA to blame previous suicides on something other than their indifference and lack of compassion to all veterans.

        With this change, they now have no excuse.

      2. @91Veteran- “[It also makes me wonder how many have been told once they are out they can go to the VA, only to go to the VA where they encounter some 400 pound donut chewing whale screaming at them for interrupting her snack, then telling them to get the hell out because the only thing she cares about is what is shown on their DD-214.]”

        Funny, that’s also the mental imagery I have of any VSO office as well. Except that 400 LB whale would be using a Veteran’s claim file page to wipe the crispy cream from it’s snout.

Comments are closed.