US Army Retired here. 100% VA, 90% Army. I will not step foot on a VA Property. The level of incompetence and lack of caring has dissuaded me from ever going. You have accomplished your Mission VA - to run yet another "Customer" off so you have less work to do. I will not bore you with my tales of VA Woe - most of you have your own to tell anyway.
So as not to be a bi#ch$r/whiner...here are my recommended solutions:
A thermite grenade needs to be placed on the Organization and it should be abolished.
1. Give all Veterans Medicare and allow them to choose Doctors/Services.
2. Pay Veterans at either the 0%, 50%, or 100% compensation rate. Up the compensation dollar amounts by 40-50% (to provide a livable income). Do away with the convoluted Compensation and Pension System that is rigged to deny benefits. Sadly, the dirtbags will get through the system - but, they are already.
3. Sell of all of the properties, vehicles, equipment, facilities, etc... to assist in paying for above and below listed items. The savings in Salaries and Benefits for the gazillion GS-13,14,15, and SESrs will be tremendous!
4. Pay a private contractor to Administer Benefits portion of the mission and only renew the contract if Customer Satisfaction Surveys warrant it. = HOLD ACCOUNTABLE!
5. Vet and Pay Non-Profits to conduct some areas of therapy, counseling and recreation (Carrick Brian Center, etc...) Again, only renew the payment of Non-Profits if Customer Satisfaction Surveys warrant it. = HOLD ACCOUNTABLE!
For the high performing employees of the VA, this message doesn't refer to you. Since there are only a small percentage of you - under the above plan, I would hope you "land" well and find employment Serving Veterans. WE desperately need you! However, for the greater good - this dysfunctional Organization needs to be abandoned and quickly.
The American Tax Payer is throwing bad money after bad. And, they have thrown a lot of money at the problems - BUDGET is not the PROBLEM = LACK OF QUALITY LEADERSHIP is the Albatross around everyone's neck. It is pulling down generations of Veterans into a morass of lack of caring, lack of competence and a lack of performance, for those that fought and were wounded, injured, or ill from defending their country! You can't teach people how to care - you have to find caring people, hire them, recognize them, and let them thrive. The VA has no idea of this concept.
For those of you that have had a good experience at the VA - I am very happy for you! But, as I do my volunteer work to assist hundreds of fellow Combat Veterans, I hear one central theme (see above). So, please don't say - "The VA is great to me - leave it alone." We pledged a bond to one another and if you are getting serviced well and ten of your Ranger/Battle/Marine/Sailor/Airmen Buddies are getting shart upon - you need to head into the fight for them! We don't leave fallen comrades - Service doesn't end with a DD-214. DO NOT THINK JUST ABOUT YOURSELF in this discussion please!
Demand better, come up with solutions (mine may not be the best and may have a 0 Meter Effective Range), contact your Elected Leadership, Serve your Brothers and Sisters in any way that you can. We are Warriors and need to fight like the Third Monkey on Noah's Ark for Service that is reflective and deserved for every returning Veteran.
Fellowship of American Patriots - IM3