VA Bureaucratic Problems Solved… By Disney 50 Years Ago

Disney Pigs is Pigs

Do yourself a favor and watch the first 5 minutes of this. You’ll feel just like I did today, and like every other vet stuck in VA’s goofy system of “rules.”

I just had another DRO hearing today – it wound up like a typical veteran turned guinea pig moment. After arguing this way and that, I came out of the meeting feeling dumber than when I went in.

And, wouldn’t you know that the DRO could not tell me with certainty how to best document my situation?

I wanted to take a minute to write about the experience and share an amazingly accurate video from Disney on bloated bureaucracies.

Before the DRO hearing, I spent tons of time trying to best document my conditions, but the DRO did not even read my evidence prior to the meeting (sigh, no surprise there).

She had zero mastery of the issues at hand despite getting a letter from my VSO two weeks prior reminding the DRO of our upcoming hearing today.

The DRO bungled a bit before telling me some input. “Maybe if you try this it will work.”

“How ridiculous,” I thought, “that she would not state the plain meaning of things. After all, VA claims it is here to help the veteran.”

Given the copious notes VA takes after hearings like mine, I couldn’t help but wonder if they were being obstinate and ambiguous on purpose. Maybe the purpose was to see what tactics work best to get vets to just go away.

It made me feel like a human guinea pig, which is appropriate since I was one for so long while in the military; a poorly paid guinea pig at that.

So, my guinea pig nature, I couldn’t help but wonder why VA is fighting so hard about explaining in a simple way what the rules are. Hell, the disability regulations remind me of the crazy tax code we have, in many ways. Then it dawned on me.

Here, with VA, the jack around with the rules to see how best to manipulate them for the purpose of keeping the cost of war low. The lower it is, after all, the more likely we are to enter into a war in the future. Good marketing.

Is a guinea pig a pig or a pet? Won’t you believe Disney made a video capturing the ridiculousness of bureaucracy and how long it takes to move one inch forward?

“There were rules for each occasion that applied from tools to mules. There were rules about behavior, and rules defining rules.”

Do yourself a favor and watch the first 6 minutes. This is exactly what the problem is with VA, and all over bloated governmental bureaucracies.

Comment below if you feel like a guinea pig…


Attribution: the movie above and photo are from the Disney cartoon referenced herein, Pigs is Pigs.

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  1. All military personnel, i.e. GIs, been guinea pigs for many many years now! Every since our own government brought the German scientists over here after WWII to continue their horrid experiments!

  2. Hey guys … it is me Honolulu “slick Rick” Shinseki! Aloha baby! Don’t mean to chime in but “hey guys!”, didn’t you know with the VA, the best documentary record is not to have a documentary record, at all? Just “asting”.

  3. You’re welcome for the video and I can’t tell you how many times I have felt exactly like this. Now I wonder if the VA realizes that the Guinea pigs have indeed turned into elephants! Show this to those in positions of interest and watch their reactions to the implication. I doubt if any of them will catch the intent, but one can only hope.
    Dave C.

  4. Ben, you’re right. If we accurately accounted for the costs of war, which includes truly taking care of the veterans when they return, we would never enter another war again, unless it were absolutely necessary to the survival of our country.

    It is maddening going into these meetings that feel as though they are trying to send you out the door with less than you came in with, all while citing their rule books, and claiming to be there to support our vets, and really not giving explanations that make any sense for anything nor guidance that is meaningful.

    I feel like a guinea pig every time I go to the VA, and it’s why I try to limit my interaction with them. It’s a catch 22 however, because in order to continue receiving benefits and services, one must interact with the system. Though I earned these benefits, there are many times where I consider cutting my losses.

    It’s a sad state of affairs with the VA, and they’re full of excuses, and there are plenty of apologists and those trying to look at the silver lining (ie., they are trying!………. and….. well, at least you’re not getting spit on….).

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