Monday, March 05, 2007

VA scandal widens beyond Walter Reed

I'm really glad to see that the Walter Reed debacle has exposed the widespread dysfunction and neglect of our veterans within the greater VA health care system. It's simply criminal that the White House and the Pentagon and to some extent the Congress continue to fund billion dollar research into things like next generation aircraft that we really don't need, while shortchanging the men and women who sacrificed life and limb.

Perhaps the administration could sacrifice some of those R&D funds that go straight into the pockets of the corporate cronies and take care of the soldiers who paid the price for their reckless strategies. I suspect the Pentagon could give up one new superjet and fund the VA properly for years.

This is at least one "war plan" that wouldn't miserably fail and they are way overdue for a real victory. Why not let it be for the 600,000 new veterans who left the service after Iraq and Afghanistan who fulfilled their commitment to our country?
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the attention this has gotten in the blogosphere has helped to raise awareness and, hopefully there are lots of folks like myself who felt compelled to write our reps in congress demanding action. I can't imagine that all this attention has been brought to bear without the media/ internet outcry and I'm grateful for what looks like positive changes in the VA system. We just need to continue the pressure on our elected officials and not let this slip once again into obscurity.

1:43:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

It is heartening Rocky. I think this one has developed a life of its own. I feel pretty sure the WaPo will keep tracking it for a while. It's been a big winner for them and everyone else will follow suit.

I might note though that one of my "fans" at DetNews, who's a reasonable liberal said some very good things about the system and he's using it so perhaps it's not all bad.

3:54:00 PM  
Blogger RoseCovered Glasses said...

We need to be careful to differentitate between the Active Service Hospitals and the Veteran’s Administration. There are major differences.

I am currently a resident in a Veteran’s Home after having undergone treatment through the VA for PTSD and Depression, long overdue some 40 years after the Tet Offensive that cap stoned my military 2nd tour in Vietnam with a lifetime of illness.

My blog has attracted the stories of many veterans such as myself and other sufferers from PTSD who were victimized by elements of society other than the VA system of medical and mental treatment. I, for one, became trapped in the Military Industrial Complex for 36 years working on weapons systems that are saving lives today but with such high security clearances that I dared not get treated for fear of losing my career:

When my disorders became life threatening I was entered into the VA System for treatment in Minneapolis. It saved my life and I am now in complete recovery and functioning as a volunteer for SCORE, as well as authoring books and blogging the world.

When I was in the VA system I was amazed at how well it functioned and how state of the art it is for its massive mission. Below is a feature article from Time Magazine which does a good job of explaining why it is a class act:,9171,1376238,00.html

I had state of the art medical and mental care, met some of the most dedicated professionals I have ever seen and was cared for by a handful of very special nurses among the 60,000 + nursing population that make up that mammoth system. While I was resident at the VA Hospital in Minneapolis I observed many returnees from Iraq getting excellent care.

I do not say the VA system is perfect but it is certainly being run better on a $39B budget than the Pentagon is running on $494B.

We have bought into the Military Industrial Complex (MIC). If you would like to read this happens please see:

Through a combination of public apathy and threats by the MIC we have let the SYSTEM get too large. It is now a SYSTEMIC problem and the SYSTEM is out of control. Government and industry are merging and that is very dangerous.

There is no conspiracy. The SYSTEM has gotten so big that those who make it up and run it day to day in industry and government simply are perpetuating their existance.

The politicians rely on them for details and recommendations because they cannot possibly grasp the nuances of the environment and the BIG SYSTEM.

So, the system has to go bust and then be re-scaled, fixed and re-designed to run efficiently and prudently, just like any other big machine that runs poorly or becomes obsolete or dangerous.

This situation will right itself through trauma. I see a government ENRON on the horizon, with an associated house cleaning.

The next president will come and go along with his appointees and politicos. The event to watch is the collapse of the MIC.

For more details see:

8:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rosecovered,it heartens me to hear that you had a positive experience with the VA. Perhaps the whole system isn't FUBAR.

10:38:00 PM  

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