Failure After Failure: The VA Is A Complete Wreck

There are times when I believe that the biggest enemy of our veterans, disabled or not, is our own country. With more disgraceful behavior being reported in Los Angeles, a new poll shows that over half of our fellow countrymen agree that the VA is not helping our vets.

First, the Los Angeles VA was caught shredding benefit claims without processing, or in some cases, reading them. A surprise inspection (instigated by an anonymous tip) sent a team from the Inspector General of the VA to the office in February of 2015. The report from the IG was just released and it is harsh in its condemnation of the activities that it uncovered.

“Although we cannot quantify or identify claims-related documents that the VARO may have shredded prior to our review, we found nine claims-related documents that VARO staff incorrectly placed in personal shred bins for non-claims related documents. Eight of the nine documents had the potential to affect veterans’ benefits and one had no effect on the veteran’s benefits. We did not substantiate that VARO supervisors were instructing their staff to shred claims-related documents.”

VA SealVARO stands for Veteran’s Affairs Regional Office.  Because the VA has a history of shredding claims without review, a special position, Record’s Management Officer (RMO), was created to stop the problem. Unfortunately, the Los Angeles VA’s RMO was promoted in 2014 and the position was left unfilled.

Second, a poll created by Ipsos/ScoutComms found that over half of the respondents felt that the United States government is doing an unfavorable or highly unfavorable job meeting the needs of veterans. This poll found that the area of healthcare is the most in need of improvement. Polls are funny things. It’s fairly simple to tweak a question and the sample to get just about any answer you might want, but looking at the results, and seeing what the CEO of ScoutComms said about the results, was enlightening.

“One of the challenges we face is that a lot of corporations and groups are doing great things to help veterans, but we typically are only talking to veterans about it,” said Fred Wellman, founder of the communications and advocacy firm ScoutComms, to Military Times. “We’re not doing an effective job informing the American public.”

The impact of the support that corporations offered was anemic in the poll, with a majority of the respondents thinking it wasn’t enough. Charities and non-profit organizations fared slightly better, but were still not doing well. Even with an error rate of 3.5 percent, it’s pretty clear that the American people think more needs to be done for our veterans. Unfortunately, producing scandal after scandal in VA offices around the country is not the kind of effort that they need.

What is it going to take for this administration to seriously look at the problems of the VA and get serious about cleaning house?

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

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Matt Towns

Matt is a former military journalist who spent 10 years in the US Navy. He served in various posts during his career, including a couple of deployments on the USS Valley Forge (CG-50). After leaving the Navy, he worked in management for a number of years before opening his own businesses. He ran those businesses until 2012 when he chose to leave the retail industry and return to writing. Matt currently works as a freelance writer, contributing to the US Patriot blog and other websites about political affairs, military activities and sailing.
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