Veteran gets VA hospital appointment two years after he died

Two days ago President Obama announced his selection of former Proctor and Gamble CEO Bob McDonald — a former Army Airborne Ranger Infantry officer and West Point graduate — to head up the ailing Veterans Administration. Maybe this will work out better, after all, “Rangers Lead the Way” — and that ain’t from behind. McDonald must be given the freedom to fix the issues and not be told to be a figurehead.

Here’s an example of what lies ahead for McDonald. As reported by CBS Boston, a local veteran there finally got a VA doctor’s appointment — two years after he died.

Doug Chase was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2011. In 2012, his wife, Suzanne, tried to move his medical care to the VA hospital in Beford so he wouldn’t have to take the ambulance ride into Boston. The couple waited about four months and never heard anything. Then Doug died in August of 2012.

But two weeks ago, Suzanne got a letter, addressed to Doug, from the VA in Bedford, saying he could now call to make an appointment to see a primary care doctor.

“It was addressed to my husband and I opened it,” said Suzanne Chase. “I was in complete disbelief.”

Will the new VA Secretary be able to make the call and tell the person responsible for this — as Donald Trump would say — “you’re fired?” Not all VA hospitals are guilty but the cancer that has metastasized in the VA system has to be surgically removed and we’re talking about an emergency procedure. This cannot be about the politics of rhetoric. People – veterans such as Doug Chase — are dying, undeservedly so.

At the bottom of the letter addressed to the now-deceased Chase, dated June 12, it reads: “We are committed to providing primary care in a timely manner and would greatly appreciate a prompt response.”

Can any of you imagine reading that statement and what your response it would be?

The sad thing is, it’s not just a political game being played, but also a deceitful one perpetrated by the liberal media to protect “their guy” at the expense of those who were willing to make the last full measure of devotion to this country.

What is even more appalling about Doug Chase’s case is that there was no way the VA did not know he had died — other than blatant incompetence. Per the CBS report, “the VA had to know her husband was dead because she applied for funeral benefits two years ago and was denied.” And the reason for the denial? Hold onto your seats: because her husband was never treated at a VA hospital.

The investigative team at CBS Boston tried to contact the VA Hospital and got this response:

“We regret any distress our actions caused to the Veteran’s widow and family.
“At the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, our most important mission is to provide the high quality health care and benefits Veterans have earned and deserve – where and when they need it.

“Thank you for bringing this regrettable issue to our attention. We apologize for our error and any difficulties this has caused you. We will examine our process, do what we can to fix it, and institute measures to prevent this from happening again.

“We are reviewing this Veteran’s case; however, we require a Release of Information to allow us to comment on the specifics of his case.

“As part of the corrective actions taken to address scheduling issues, VA launched the Accelerating Access to Care Initiative, a nationwide program to ensure timely access to care. VA has identified Veterans across the system experiencing waits that do not meet Veterans’ expectations for timeliness. VA has been contacting and scheduling Veterans who are waiting for care. We regret causing any pain in this effort.

“The Acting Director called the Veteran’s widow to apologize. We were able to leave a voicemail with the Director’s phone number. The Acting Director will call the Veteran’s widow again tomorrow. We want to be sure that she is, as well as other Veterans and their family members are, treated with dignity and respect.”

How many of these letters have been sent out in the past ten years? Let me be clear, one is too many.

98 COMMENTS

  1. Disgraceful. Can anyone lose their jobs in this administration? Its really time for a change before our country is destroyed completely.

  2. I sense Barack Obama becoming more and more desparate in advancing his agenda, and that includes covering up the corruption and incompetency which seems prolific in his administration. There is also a desperation in his most avid supporters – they are becoming more and more vitriolic in their attempts to defend him. I suppose this should signal a real upheaval in Congress this year, but I really don’t have any high hopes for the Republicans. They seem to be able to mess up everything…

    • “I sense Barack Obama becoming more and more desparate in advancing his
      agenda, and that includes covering up the corruption and incompetency
      which seems prolific in his administration.”
      The cover ups have been going on since he started. They never admit they are wrong and do all they can to shift blame… to Bush. And when the doesn’t work he claims to have only heard about it on the news.. or they suddenly “lost” their emails, or captured/let go enemy’s of the state…

    • It appears the democraps are the ones with the big bucks (gee, I wonder how that came to be???). They, with their big bucks will be able to buy anything, and any election.

  3. The most uncaring have been put in charge of caring for our country’s defenders , So sad and maddening at the same time.

  4. Hate to say this, but it is the 1970s all over again. I was in a youth group while in high school in the late 1970s and we did visits to a local VA hospital that has since been closed down.

    NOTHING IS NEW, and if it is to the elected politicians, they were PURPOSELY IGNORING IT!

  5. So many many issues with this Administration, We need change now. VA, IRS, Benghazi, Foreign Issues.. We need to end this and bring back what America is about.. Impeach OBAMA NOW! Uh Oh Now Im Audited!! Im scared.

    • Of course it’s all his fault. You dumb schmuck. Like you could do better job. Stop whining. You should be scared, I just turned in your address to the IRS.

      • Moron! Obama is the one who SHOULD be doing something, and he continues, pursing his lips, faking outrage, and going on vacations, as his bank account grows by leaps and bounds, think he’ll be audited? Eat some bacon, and grow some brain cells, idiot!

      • You’re the one that should be scared since you have an intelligence rating of zero and a stupidity rating of 100%.
        And for Paul,,,all he has to tell the IRS is,,,,his hard drive crashed,,,I’m sure they would understand that. You MORON!!!

      • …and the purpose of that was….what? ANYONE can do a better job that this failed excuse of a human being. He is the lowest of the low. He can’t even talk without someone else writing it down for him.

      • Go back to watching your child porn. You brainwashed Moron! Yeah Jaime lol Im realy scared! lolol.

  6. This is positively inexcusable!!! What kind of people do they have working there…$15/hour burger flippers? They should all be fired. No benefits. No severance. No nothing. Not even unemployment. The one who sent this letter should also be publicly admonished…and also, fired. In addition to firing and closing the IRS, the VA also needs to be completely restaffed and re outfitted with up to date equipment. They could probably get by with half the staff, if they did not hire morons in the first place.

    • Half the staff? Is that half of those taking one smoke break after another or half of the losers who are on their cell phones all day?

    • I think “burger flippers” is being too generous. At least when I go into a fast food joint and order a burger, I don’t have to wait two years.

  7. The problem with the VA, like most of the government, is it’s massive bureaucracy. For every VA worker that actually deals with patients there are 7 more who push paper, and 5 of those 7 aren’t necessary at all. Even worse those paper pushers don’t answer to anybody but higher level paper pushers. Is it any wonder that so many Vets fall through the cracks when the system only exists to feed it’s own appetite?

  8. If I were Doug Chase’s widow I’d be tempted to take that letter and go to the closest VA facility and shove it up somebody’s ass.

  9. We have a very dim future if this is what we have to look forward to with ACA (Obamacare) Also the website is STILL on the fritz. The goverment doesn’t have the competence nor the experience to deliver healthcare to every American citizen in an expedient manner.
    If this is the way the government is going to handle healthcare……they won’t need ‘death panels’?

    • Worse than that Eric,when you reach 73 if you should be so lucky, the ACA will stop all medical treatment. Let you have pain pills and a death pill. period. This is what Obama has written this is what SCOTUS has authorized. It is nothing more than Genocide. However, FEMA is there to make sure not one already 73 will never make it 73 unless they are willing to buy into the cult of muslimhood. Otherwise the FEMA camps have a guillotine set up for all of us, especially Christians and those who despise the very name of Obama. As long as this 73 year old has the Constitution allowing freedom of speech, I will use it. If the IRS wants to take this old lady down, guess that will be that.

  10. Keep in mind not only are many of the employees hired and practically given jobs because of the “welfare to work” program, most of them really are not educated and simply don’t care nor really want to be in the position they are in. They are lazy and uneducated in other words. Then you have layers and layers of managers which is simply unnecessary. I worked at a military facility during the Vietnam war and we had one supervisor for our division, communications, and he was in the military. He was over the civilian employees as well as active duty working while stationed there. That was it! Simple, got the work done! We worked by what was expected of us civilians in a military facility, taking care of active duty troops, by military standards and law. That is not the way it is any more.

  11. This story really pisses me off! I am a Vietnam Veteran (’68-69) and became a neurosurgeon who has operated on more than 7300 brain tumors. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that treatment for a brain tumor requires early diagnosis and early, competent treatment. But the “system” failed this poor guy, The US Government asks us to put our asses on the line in Vietnam, Afghanistan,Iraq and other Hell-Holes, then, when it’s time to collect some of the “benefits” they promise, it’s “F**k You” I’ve been on the staff of two VA Hospitals which were run by bureaucrats who more interested in keeping their pathetic jobs and benefits than actually serving the best of Americans: our veterans!

  12. Find the responsible individual(s) and FIRE SAME, IMMEDIATELY…!!! Then begin an investigation into murder charges.

  13. Well I have a story. I have a service related hearing loss. Waited a month or so and got an appointment with a hearing specialist, waited another month so for the aids to show up at the VA, and waited another month or so to get an appointment to get the hearing aids. Well I can still hear so doing without aids for a while was just an inconvenience. A couple months later I received a bill for the visits (not the hearing aids). I started calling and got past through several persons to someone who I thought fixed the problem. Not a chance – a month later got another bill. I retrieved my VA paperwork and visited the VA (Washington, DC). Again I was passed through several persons to someone who said the problem was fixed. Not a chance – a month later got another bill. But that is not all, VA also sent a statement to MEDICARE asking for reimbursement. Got fed up and wrote my Senator for help. Well it got fixed, but I got a call from a VA rep saying you didn’t have to write your Senator, all you had to do was tell us about the problem and we would fix it. She had no clue about the earlier calls and visits trying to get it fixed. Well you can guess what I said to the rep.

  14. Been to a VA hospital lately? Far too many of the non-medical bureaucrats are ignorant, affirmative action quota fillers, who got on the public job/ welfare to work gravy train and know it takes an act of God to get rid of them, like most federal workers. When I worked in Washington, we used to joke that the only way to get rid of a worthless federal worker was to pray for a fatal car accident on the Beltway, a training accident, or follow them to the subway and push them off the platform.

  15. My husband a Vietnam Vet was diagnosed with CLL (Leukemia) about 4 years ago, so far all they have done is watch it even though it is very active, we have to hound them to do his blood work that his doctor said should be done every 3 months. They would not schedule surgery to remove the growth that developed on his kidney, they had us drive about 200 miles to Salt lake City just so an intern could try to scare us out of removing it. On the advice of his oncologist (who they pay for us to see only once a year) he had it removed using Medicare and we made payments on the remaining balance.Vets who do not have Medicare or cannot pay the 20% are stuck in this system that is letting people die.

  16. If the government can’t run a brothel in Nevada, what makes them think they can run health care for anybody. I’m just glad that my hubby is not dependent on VA for his care

  17. I am a VA patient and have a masters degree in Health Administration. My thesis was on why a ‘single-payer system’ would never be successful in the US. Now, we have a bastardized version of one being bastardized (to lower the damage caused before midterms) by Executive Order by the Chief Bastardizer of the United States, against the rule of law as defined in our US Constitution. Just this week, Harry Reid was told by the Bastardizer that he was to stop all forward progress of any legislation pending in Congress until after the midterms as well. Gee Whiz, Wally, wasn’t it the libtards who screamed and gnashed teeth calling the Republicans “obstructionists”? I wonder when the B-I-C will sign that EO that anoints him El Presidente for Life of the Communist State of Amerika?

  18. This is exactly why the government should not be entrusted to (mis)manage anything other than what the Founding Fathers intended. Government is the problem.

  19. I hope they get to move his body to Arlington where it belongs…These poor souls should be given a place of honor for all the DISHONOR they’ve received on behalf of our disgusting government.

  20. As the son of a veteran and having spent a good portion of my childhood and young adulthood in VA hospitals with him, I think the system needs to be privatized in terms of management. Much of the staff of VA hospitals are like many county employees…doing as little as they can, don’t do anything outside of their pay grade, don’t really care about individuals as long as they keep getting paid. There’s practically no accountability from the janitor’s to the directors and therefore they are all getting away with it.

    My father was put in a VA psych ward for a week because he became emotionally and mentally erratic and actually checked himself into the VA hospital. He was heavily medicated and went from a healthy, vibrant person to a drooling idiot. It took an act of congress for me and my mom to find him in the hospital and to get him out of there. The doctors didn’t want to listen to us when we tried to explain his history.

    When we took him to a local hospital and explained his history, they immediately put him in for a CT of his brain. They found a tumor. MRI confirmed a cancerous tumor that was growing and could be removed with a good prognosis. Unfortunately, it was the radiation therapy after the surgery that killed him. But the story I tell to show the incompetence and unwillingness of the VA staff to try and actually help a vet. Instead they just tossed him in the rubber room and let him suffer.

  21. My husband was notified last May (2013) that he was diagnosed with cancer in the form of a LETTER! No phone call from a doctor and to this day he has NOT seen an oncologist! Oh, he’s had appointments but they were changed by the VA and never rescheduled! He also received a letter saying that he had been scheduled for 30 treatments of radiation at the Dorn VA Hospital in Columbia, SC. (which would have been a 3 1/2 hour drive daily for those treatments) We asked if he could be outsourced at our local cancer facility in our city and he was told, “No”. I was livid that they could do this without us seeing an oncologist first, after all, shouldn’t the plan of treatment be considered and decided upon by the patient and their family…NOT the government?!?!!! When he called to dispute the radiation treatments he was told that his diagnosis was actually incorrect, instead of adenocarcinoma it was actually neruroendocrine carcinoma. He went in for multiple tumor removals and still not a word from a doctor! As a matter of fact, when he went in on July 31st for the last tumor removal he was told that they didn’t know what he was there for…they couldn’t “find” any orders in the computer. Seriously? My husband told them why he was there and they took his word for it…What is WRONG with this picture? My husband is a medically retired Vet with multiple health problems and he’s gotten nothing but sub-par care for the last 18 years! SHAME on the VA for they way they treat ( and don’t treat) our Veterans for the sacrifices they made for our country! My prayers are with Suzanne Chase and her family as they are left to deal with the aftermath of this debacle! Doug Chase deserves a full military funeral and burial with honor!

    • Hey, but they made sure they got their bonuses! And let’s not forget the politicians pushing for single payer healthcare. Um, we already have it and it’s killing our vets.

  22. Many of us Veterans have been trying to tell you all this for YEARS but no one listens. or if they do initially, when the hoopla dies down it gets forgotten. The question is this.. will this too go the way of forgotten or will the people finally say enough and FORCE the politicians to do something about it?

  23. The VA killed my brother. He was in a motorcycle accident when he was on active duty in The US Navy back in the 80’s. He lost a lot of blood and was given a transfusion. Years later he started to have kidney and liver issues. The VA misdiagnosed his Hep C for 20+ years, telling him he was experiencing an ulcer. When they finally made the correct diagnosis, He was given a year to live. He made it 2, but it was incredibly hard for him to even get the treatment from the VA. He died three years ago, at the age of 49. Is this the way we treat our veterans? Shame on you VA.

    • They killed my cousin about 15 years ago. They gave him anti-depressants for pnuemonia. Told him the panic he was feeling because he couldn’t catch his breath was all in his head (ignoring his defective, needing to be replaced heart valve). He couldn’t get another appointment when he wasn’t getting better. He died a couple of weeks later of massive respiratory failure and circulatory infection in a city hospital, dubbed, ‘the morgue’. He was 40.

  24. The American people have to speak up for our Veteran population. Only about 12% of current population has ever served in the military

  25. “We veterans are among the few who still pay attention to the mostly
    unnoticed and pointless dying in a war that 84 percent of Americans are
    against, and we also find ourselves cursing under our breath during the
    cheers and ovations for the veteran without
    legs in the wheelchair who gets free tickets to a baseball game, but
    who can’t get timely or thorough physical and mental health care and who
    has a pretty good chance of killing himself someday. According to
    Veterans Administration figures, some 22 veterans are now committing
    suicide every day—and the average hasn’t fallen below 18 a day since
    9/11, which means that something like a total of 100,000 veterans have
    killed themselves since then. Loud clapping, free food and your face on
    the Jumbotron during a rousing rendition of a Lee Greenwood song seems
    to be what you are owed, not health care, disability assistance,
    adequate job training or a public and truthful accounting of why these
    wars were fought and why they were lost.” http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/06/stop-persecuting-bowe-bergdahl-108461.html#.U7LSo5RdW-l

  26. As a Veteran Myself, I am very upset by these acts. Will I be one of these vets dying later do to people not taking responsibility? Where will it stop?

  27. I think it is time for us as taxpayers to final sit down and look at the product we pay for, and it cant even be graded, maybe you still think voting is the answer, I am no longer in this boat, I will still vote mind you, but I beginning to think a stick
    & poster describing how disgusted I am about our government’s policy’s of lets help everyone around the world and not our own., Prayers for you Ma, I am deeply Sorry for your decisions that you should have never had to make.

  28. Once again when government bureaucrats get involved (they believe they have all the answers to all our problems) it’s never logical because they can’t think outside the box. Sound familiar with other politicians in our current administration and local governments. We need to remove these incompetent people and start term limits on every member of Congress, VA execs and local / county / state officials – ASAP! While were at it get rid of the cops that aren’t obeying the laws and that’s abusing innocent citizens. America we need to take our country back before it’s too late. I don’t know about the rest of you but I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore. WAKE UP and stop waiting fir others 5o fix this mess – we need to do it.

    • I’m with you Kathy. I’ve been saying the same thing for several years now. We Patriots MUST unite and begin to exercise the rights we have UNDER THE CONSTITUTION!

    • Then good for you, many of our soldiers don’t have that option and rely on them for their health care after they get home because they have no other option. The VA where I live have a good relationship with our soldiers thus far. I have not heard anything bad yet, though they have been a bit slow at times. My ex and a lot of his buddies were well taken care of. He started seeing them when Bush was in office, perhaps that’s the difference, I don’t know, but I know we aren’t having the problem others are having.

    • I hope you continue to have such good medical coverage you never have to resort going to the VA. Not everyone is that fortunate.

  29. I feel quite fortunate that the Puget Sound VA system up here in the Seattle/Tacoma Area is awesome. I am very sorry for this situation and wish that all of the VAs were as good as mine. That should be our National goal.

    @hal_mccann:disqus To try and say this is how Obamacare will end up being when there are regions of the VA that are being run quite well with effective partnerships to top notch medical universities is a self-defeating argument. Not all of the VAs are terrible pits of despair.

    • The Puget Sound VA is an awesome facility. My husband suffered an Aortic Dissection and not only did they cover the emergency surgeries there at Saint Joseph’s, they gave amazing follow up care at the Seattle VA branch. Thanks to them, my husband is still with us today. Now for the other spectrum, we moved since to Arkansas and the LR VA, took forever to get an appointment and when we showed up for that appointment, they didn’t even know anything about his prior care with the VA, because in their words, “They are not connected to the system for the Puget Sound VA”. Seriously, shouldn’t all the VA’s be able to share medical files between each other????

  30. I believe that every person who serves in the military should be provided with private insurance. They should not have to pay any kind of premium, deductible or copay. They should be able to choose the doctor of their choice. The VA as it is run now is a corporation and wants to bill the government as much as they can and do as little as they can.

  31. I have a friend and former co-worker who waited a long time to receive a knee replacement through the VA. He finally got his surgery, however, they botched the surgery and now he can no longer walk at all. This man who fought in the Vietnam War deserved far better than this as well as every other veteran. Some Veterans cannot afford to go through anything else but the VA. I can’t believe what our government has allowed to occur. It’s time to add a new job requirement for our Commander-In-Chief, he or she must have served in the Armed Services. Maybe if this were the case they might actually have a better understanding of what their doing as well as actually care.

  32. How about this. Did you wear a pair of dog tags? Where you stationed in Europe, Korea, or any other duty station the US Military has around the world? Did you serve in combat? Did you earn a General, or Honorable Discharge? This should AUTOMATICALLY earn you benefits. No Bureaucratic nonsense. No red tape. No denials, delays, or damn excuses. The government has no problem sending these young men and women into harms way. The government should be there to help Veterans deal with what happens with serving in the military. No questions asked. You have a DD-214, then you get taken care of. What the HELL is wrong with this country? Since when are Veterans second class citizens? Money shouldn’t be an issue. If we can take care illegal immigrants, and provide Welfare for those who don’t want to work, then we can provide the care that our Veterans earned, and deserve. The VA has done nothing more than abandon these men and women to their fate, and it is time for these bureaucrats to pay for what they have done.

  33. Here’s an idea. Why don’t they first fire the incompetent VA staff, THEN fire about half of the IRS employees. That will free up the money for decent pay checks to hire NEW employees (not the irresponsible VA or IRS old staff) who are capable. Maybe family members of Veterans who at least would be committed to excellence. (Didn’t that used to be a motto for some big corporation?)

  34. A Veteran in my family has been driving more than 4 hours roundtrip every month for followup appointments with the VA for being affected by Agent Orange. I think by serving his country (he volunteered, was not drafted) that he’s already gone the distance! He should have a doctor of his choosing and where of his choosing. Meanwhile, he should be reimbursed for mileage, as well as for restitution for the very fact that our govt never locked up Hanoi Jane for treason.

      • Sorry, but you’re missing the point. Vets should be allowed to use their benefits where they want, when they want and how they want. Period.

      • You made a few different points.I was just giving you something that can actually be handled now.there is talks of vouchers that us vets can use to go to other doctors rather than just the va hospitals.

      • Please tell us how to do that? Some of my loved ones are Vets, and could really use it.

      • There are a few ways.you have a webiste called ebenfits.va.gov that you can go to.u have to be signed up first.also,before the next appt(1hour)go to travel pay office and tell them you want to get travel pay.you can also go to the clinic you are in at the time of the appt and you can ask/tell the receptionist you want travel pay.lastly you can call your va and ask the operator to direct you in the right direction.I like face to face,so in person I spoke with a travel pay clerk,filled out the paper work quick and was on my way.dont expect to get the travel pay that first visit. The new way is by direct deposit so that is an option for your family.

  35. VA hospitals shouldn’t be the only place veterans can get treament. They should be able to choose the doctor and facility.

    • I’m going to say this right off the bat, I don’t know much about how the military handles things so excuse my ignorance. Veterans are free to go elsewhere for medical treatment like any other American aren’t they? I find it hard to believe that wouldn’t be the case..

      • Yes, they are free to, but if they have benefits through the VA, they get that care a great deal cheaper than on the outside, if not for free.

  36. Imo personally if they can’t get an appointment within a week or two, they should be allowed to go to a private care physician at the VAs expense.

  37. Mrs. Chase, Sue the HECK out of them!!!!
    You are a Civilian…. You NEVER signed a contract with the Government! You & your late husband were EMOTIONALLY RAPED!
    Your husband was left to Die!
    They MUST be PUNISHED!!!!

  38. How can a person who has NEVER SERVED in the Armed Forces, be allowed to have the title of COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES!?
    There is our first mistake.

    The second mistake is not vetting the background of those applying for that title.

    Why would ANY COUNTRY (especially ours) allow any person whom was found (through this vetting) to have made negative statements about their patronage of the country or who had been part of, or party to, ANY group or movement that had disdain for, or malicious intent against the country???!

    What truly evil forces infected our country long ago and culminated in the election of a creature so vile as Obama and those who surround him.
    Make no mistake. I don’t blame Obama alone for this. He is merely the miscreant who was positioned to accept the heat. It’s not just him but the other demons who whisper in his ears day and night. How can he possibly sleep at night. What propaganda does he (and his equally guilty partner in this crime, Mrs Obama) indoctrinate their children with and how do THOSE children sleep at night.

    Now it’s hard for ME at sleep because I know that we have a Muslim in our midst who is welding power like a tyrant. I have NEVER been asked my opinion on anything he has rolled over. My vote seems to have never counted. Why is that? Maybe because NONE of our votes count. There is so much corruption and collusion in EVERY branch of our federal and state govts that it will be impossible to EVER correct these damges!

    How long will it take until our lifes blood is drained from our country?

  39. This angers and sickens me beyond belief. To add total insult to this, those thousands and thousands of illegal immigrant children flooding across our borders are receiving housing, food, clothing and medical care while American veterans beg for help. Far too many are homeless, in need of medical and psychiatric care and receive little or no help. Help the people who were willing to die for our country. Send those thousands of children and others to Mexico for deportation to their home countries. They had to come through Mexico to get here, let Mexico sort it out. And while you’re at it, send the Liar-in-Chief with them.

  40. The only way to “fix” the VA is for the Congress to pass legislation that establishes TIME LIMITS for processing claims and PERFORMANCE METRICS that limit the number of appeals and remands. VA officials MUST NOT BE EVALUATED on measures that penalize veterans – e.g., reducing the number of approved claims from year to year or dollar value of claims at a particular VARO. VBA and VHA MUST NOT be allowed to point fingers at each other and leave veterans hanging. There must be punitive measures attached – e.g., if the VARO fails to process a timely claim, the claimant should then be presumed to have standing for benefits and file suit in US District Court for summary judgement. Right now we have to wait years – in some cases DECADES – because the greatest power any civil servant has is the almighty power to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

    • don’t forget the veterans left in a morgue in California for OVER A YEAR to rot before their burial, plus those discarded in a landfill in the eastern USA in Virginia, I believe> ??? and also the indignity that too many face – by an uncaring, unwilling to stand up for them – ‘American Legion’ and ‘VFW’ – THEY hoo rah their GREATEST generation’s actions, and don’t care (it seems) for the current 1990’s onward veterans (and their troubles), as they were in an eventually ‘unpopular’ war / conflict… and these veterans should not be ‘penalized’ regardless … OF WHO IS IN THE office of director of veteran’s affairs …

  41. Well the vets aren’t getting the care they deserve. My lil cousin fought for a yr and 9 months to get help to pay for chemo and a stem cell transplant he needed. He died last week, he never got the help. He served 2 1/2 yrs active duty in Iraq. This was how he was repaid. He lost his life at 28 yrs of age.

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