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Serving the U.S. Veteran's Community since 1995
  Viewed by over 240,000 Veterans monthly
veteransunited.org - richard.buckner@comcast.net

The name Veterans United was created in 2004 and is in no way associated with any other agency or business. And to the best of our knowledge we are the originator of this name.

We started this "project: 21 years ago. During this time we have had the pleasure to receive email & phone calls from thousands of fellow veterans. The purpose of this site is to provide information & knowledge on the "political arena" & how it affects veterans & military retirees. Thank you fellow Veterans & Retirees

1970 to 1995

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  It's interesting that Politicians & Political Appointees can simply quit or resign but the troops are in it for the long haul. It's easy to talk commitment & honor & obligation but it's another thing to follow thru with what you have started.

Web Sites for Veterans

Seamless Transition
VA Directory
VA Forms
Education & Trainingl
Home Loans
National Cemetaries
Archives -Personnel

 800 # for Veterans

VA Benefits 827-1000
Health Care 222-8387
Education 442-4551
Insurance 669-8477
Debt Mgnt 827-0648
Mammography 492-7844
Telecommunication Device for the Deaf 829-4833
CHAMP VA 800-733-8387
Headstones 697-6947
Special Health Issues: Gulf War, Agent Orange, Project 112/Shad 749-8387


This is how we are thought of by the Washington Insiders

"Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy."Henry Kissinger

VA Disability Categories 

          VA Schedule Rating Disabilities
Click Here 

House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Note: Representatives & Senators have ended the use of real email addresses and only use web forms.


Gov. Robert Bentley R
Phone: 334-242-7100
Fax 334-353-0004

Sen. Jeff Sessions R
Fax 202-224-3149

Sen. Richard Shelby R
Fax 202-224-3416

Rep Jo Bonner R
Fax 202-225-0562

Rep Martha Roby
Fax 202-225-8913

Rep Michael Rogers R
Fax 202-226-8485

Rep Robert Aderholt R
Fax 202-225-5587

Rep Mo Brooks 5
Fax 202-225-4392

Rep Spencer Bachus R
Fax 202-225-2082

Rep Terri Sewell D
Fax 202-226-9567


Gov. Sean Parnell R
Phone 907-465-3500
Fax 907-465-3532

Sen. Lisa Murkowski R
Fax 202-224-5301

Sen. Mark Begich D
Fax 202-224-2354

Rep Don Young R
Fax 202-225-0425


Gov. Jan Brewer R
Phone (602) 542-4331
Fax 602-542-1381

Sen. Jon Kyl R
Fax 202-224-2207

Sen. John McCain R
Fax 202-228-2862

Rep Paul Gosar R
Fax 202-226-9739

Rep Trent Franks R
Fax 202-225-6328

Rep Benjamin Quayle R
Fax 202-225-3462

Rep Ed Pastor D
Fax 202-225-1655

Rep David Schweikert R
Fax 202-225-3263

Rep Jeff Flake R
Fax 202-226-4386

Rep Raul Grijalva D
Fax 202-225-1541

Rep Gabrielle Giffords D
Fax 202-225-0378


Gov. Mike Beebe D
Phone: 501-682-2345
Fax 501-682-1382

Sen. John Boozman R
Fax 202-228-1371

Sen. Mark Pryor D
Fax 202-228-0908

Rep Rick Crawford R
Fax 202-225-5602

Rep Tim Griffin R
Fax 202-225-5903

Rep.Steve Womack R
Fax 202-225-5713

Rep Mike Ross D
Fax 202-225-1314


Gov. Jerry Brown D
Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax 916-558-3160

Sen. Barbara Boxer D
Fax 202) 224-0454

Sen. Dianne Feinstein D
Fax 202-228-3954

Rep Mike Thompson D
Fax 202-225-4335

Rep Wally Herger R
Fax 202-226-0852

Rep Dan Lungren R
Fax 916-859-9976

Rep Tom McClintock R
Fax 202-225-5444

Rep Doris Matsui D
Fax 202-225-0566

Rep Lynn Woolsey D
Fax 202-225-5163

Rep George Miller D
Fax 202-225-5609

Rep Nancy Pelosi D
Phone: 202-225-4965
Fax 202-225-8259

Rep Barbara Lee D
Fax 202-225-9817

Rep John Garamendi D
Fax 202-225-5914

Rep Jerry McNerney D
Fax 202-225-4060

Rep Jackie Speier D
Fax 202-226-4183

Rep Pete Stark D
Fax 202-226-3805

Rep Anna Eshoo D
Fax 202-225-8890

Rep Mike Honda D
Fax 202-225-2699

Rep Zoe Lofgren D
Fax 202-225-3336

Rep Sam Farr D
Fax 202-225-6791

Rep Dennis Cardoza D
Fax 202-225-0819

Rep Jeff Denham R
Fax 202-225-3402

Rep Jim Costa D
Fax 202-225-9308

Rep Devin Nunes R
Fax 202-225-3404

Rep Kevin McCarthy R
Fax 202-225-2908

Rep Lois Capps D
Fax 202-225-5632

Rep Elton Gallegly R
Fax 202-225-1100

Rep Howard McKeon R
Fax 202-225-0683

Rep David Dreier R
Fax 202-225-7018

Rep Brad Sherman D
Fax 202-225-5879

Rep Howard Berman D
Fax 202-225-3196

Rep Adam Schiff D
Fax 202-225-5828

Rep Henry Waxman D
Fax 202-225-4099

Rep Xavier Becerra D
Fax 202-225-2202

Rep Judy Chu D
Fax 202-225-5467

Rep Karen Bass D
Fax 202-225-2422

Rep Lucille Allard D
Fax 202-226-0350

Rep Maxine Waters D
Fax 202-225-7854

Rep Jane Harman D
Fax 202-226-7290

Rep Laura Richardson D
Fax 202-225-7926

Rep Grace Napolitano D
Fax 202-225-0027

Rep Linda Sanchez D
Fax 202-226-1012

Rep Ed Royce R
Fax 202-226-0335

Rep Jerry Lewis R
Fax 202-225-6498

Rep Gary Miller R
Fax 202-226-6962

Rep Joe Baca D
Fax 202-225-8671

Rep Ken Calvert R
Fax 202-225-2004

Rep Mary Bono Mack R
Fax 202-225-2961

Rep Dana Rohrabacher R
Fax 202-225-0145

Rep Loretta Sanchez D
Fax 202-225-5859

Rep John Campbell R
Fax 202-225-9177

Rep Darrell Issa R
Fax 202-225-3303

Rep Brian Bilbray R
Fax 202-225-2558

Rep Bob Filner D
Fax 202-225-9073

Rep Duncan Hunter R
Fax 202-225-0235

Rep Susan Davis D
Fax 202-225-2948


Gov. John Hickenlooper D
Phone: 303-866-2471
Fax 303-866-2003

Sen. Mark Udall D
Fax 202-224-6471

Sen. Michael Bennet D
Fax 202-224-1933

Rep Diana DeGette D
Fax 202-225-5657

Rep Jared Polis D
Fax 202-226-7840

Rep Scott Tipton R
Fax 202-226-9669

Rep Cory Gardner R
Fax 202-225-5870

Rep Doug Lamborn R
Fax 202-225-1942

Rep Mike Coffman R
Fax 202-226-4623

Rep Ed Perlmutter D
Fax 202-225-5278


Gov. Dan Malloy D
Phone: 860-566-4840
Fax 860-524-7395

Sen. Richard Blumenthal D
Fax 202-224-6593

Sen. Joseph Lieberman D
Fax 202-224-9750

Rep John Larson D
Fax 202-225-1031

Rep Joe Courtney D
Fax 202-225-4977

Rep Rosa DeLauro D
Fax 202-225-4890

Rep Jim Himes D
Fax 202-225-9629

Rep Chris Murphy D
Fax 202-225-4488


Gov. Jack Markell D
Phone: 302-744-4101
Fax 302-739-2775

Sen. Christopher Coons D
Fax 202-228-3075

Sen. Tom Carper D
Fax 202-228-2190

Rep John Carney R
Fax 202-225-2291


Gov. Rick Scott R
Phone: 850-488-7146
Fax 850-487-0801

Sen. Marco Rubio R
Fax 202-228-0285

Sen. Bill Nelson D
Fax 202-228-2183

Rep Jeff Miller R
Fax 202-225-3414

Rep Steve Southerland R
Fax 202-225-5615

Rep Corrine Brown D
Fax 202-225-2256

Rep Ander Crenshaw R
Fax 202-225-2504

Rep Richard Nugent R
Fax 202-226-6559

Rep Cliff Stearns R
Fax 202-225-3973

Rep John Mica R
Fax 202-226-0821

Rep Daniel Webster R
Fax 202-225-0999

Rep Gus Bilirakis R
Fax 202-225-4085

Rep Bill Young R
Fax 202-225-9764

Rep Kathy Castor D
Fax 202-225-5652

Rep Dennis Ross R
Fax 202-225-0585

Rep Vern Buchanan R
Fax 202-226-0828

Rep Connie Mack R
Fax 202-225-6820

Rep Bill Posey R
Fax 202-225-3516

Rep Tom Rooney R
Fax 202-225-3132

Rep Frederica Wilson D
Fax 202-226-0777

Rep Ileana RosLehtinen R
Fax 202-225-5620

Rep Ted Deutch D
Fax 202-225-5974

Rep Debbie Schultz D
Fax 202-225-8456

Rep Lincoln Balart R
Fax 202-225-8576

Rep Allen West R
Fax 202-225-8398

Rep Alcee Hastings D
Fax 202-225-1171

Rep Sandy Adams R
Fax 202-226-6299

Rep David Rivera R
Fax 202-226-0346


Gov. Nathan Deal R
Phone: 404-656-1776
Fax 404-657-7332

Sen. Saxby Chamblis R
Fax 202-224-0103

Sen. Johnny Isakson R
Fax 202-228-2090

Rep Jack Kingston R
Fax 202-226-2269

Rep Sanford Bishop D
Fax 202-225-2203

Rep L Westmoreland R
Fax 202-225-2515

Rep Hank Johnson D
Fax 202-226-0691

Rep John Lewis D
Fax 202-225-0351

Rep Thomas Price (R-6)
Fax 202-225-4656

Rep Rob Woodall R
Fax 202-225-4696

Rep Austin Scott R
Fax 202-225-3013

Rep Tom Graves R
Fax 202-225-5995

Rep Paul Broun R
Fax 202-225-8272

Rep Phil Gingrey R
Fax 202-225-2944

Rep John Barrow D
Fax 202-225-3377

Rep David Scott D
Fax 202-225-4628


Gov Neil Abercrombie D
Phone: 808-586-0034
Fax 808-586-0006

Sen. Daniel K. Akaka D
Fax 202-224-2126

Sen. Daniel K. Inouye D
Fax 202-224-6747

Rep Colleen Hanabusa D
Fax 202-225-0688

Rep Mazie Hirono D
Fax 202-225-4987


Gov. Butch Otter R
Phone: 208-334-2100

Sen. James Risch R
Fax 202-228-1067

Sen. Michael Crapo R
Fax 202-228-1375

Rep Raul Labrador R
Fax 202-225-3029

Rep Michael Simpson R
Fax 202-225-8216


Gov. Pat Quinn D
Phone: 217-782-0244

Sen. Dick Durbin D
Fax 202-228-0400

Sen. Mark Kirk R
Fax 202-228-4611

Rep Bobby Rush D
Fax 202-226-0333

Rep Jesse Jackson, Jr. D
Fax 202-225-0899

Rep Daniel Lipinski D
Fax 202-225-1012

Rep Luis Gutirrez D
Fax 202-225-7810

Rep Mike Quigley D
Fax 202-225-5603

Rep Peter Roskam R
Fax 202-225-1166

Rep Danny Davis D
Fax 202-225-5641

Rep Joe Walsh R
Fax 202-225-7830

Rep Janice Schakowsky D
Fax 202-226-6890

Rep Robert Dold R
Fax 202-225-0837

Rep Adam Kinzinger R
Fax 202-225-3521

Rep Jerry Costello D
Fax 202-225-0285

Rep Judy Biggert R
Fax 202-225-9420

Rep Randy Hultgren R
Fax 202-225-0697

Rep Timothy Johnson R
Fax 202-226-0791

Rep Donald Manzullo R
Fax 202-225-5284

Rep Robert Schilling R
Fax 202-225-5396

Rep Aaron Schock R
Fax 202-225-9249

Rep John Shimkus R
Fax 202-225-5880


Gov. Mike Pense R

Sen. Dan Coats R
Fax (202) 228-1820

Sen. Richard G. Lugar R
Fax 202-228-0360

Rep Peter Visclosky D
Fax 202-225-2493

Rep Joe Donnelly D
Fax 202-225-6798

Rep Marlin Stitzman R
Fax 202-225-3479

Rep Todd Rokita R
Fax 202-225-2267

Rep Dan Burton R
Fax 202-225-0016

Rep André Carson D
Fax 202-225-5633

Rep Larry Bucshon R
Fax 202-225-3284

Rep Todd Young R
Fax 202-226-6866


Gov. Terry Branstad R
Phone: 515-281-5211

Sen. Chuck Grassley R
Fax 202-224-6020

Sen. Tom Harkin D
Fax 202-224-9369

Rep Bruce Braley D
Fax 202-225-9129

Rep David Loebsack D
Fax 202-226-0757

Rep Leonard Boswell D
Fax 202-225-5608

Rep Tom Latham R
Fax 202-225-3301

Rep Steve King R
Fax 202-225-3193


Gov. Sam Brownback R
Phone 785-296-3232
Fax 785-368-8788

Sen. Jerry Moran R
Fax 202-228-6966

Sen. Pat Roberts R
Fax 202-224-3514

Rep Tim Huelskamp R
Fax 202-225-5124

Rep Lynn Jenkins R
Fax 202-225-7986

Rep Kevin Yoder R
Fax 202-225-2807

Rep Mike Pompeo R
Fax 202-225-3489


Gov. Steve Beshear D

Sen. Rand Paul R
Fax 202-228-1373

Sen. Mitch McConnell R
Fax 202-224-2499

Rep Ed Whitfield R
Fax 202-225-3547

Rep Brett Guthrie R
Fax 202-226-2019

Rep John Yarmuth D
Fax 202-225-5776

Rep Geoff Davis R
Fax 202-225-0003

Rep Harold Rogers R
Fax 202-225-0940

Rep Ben Chandler D
Fax 202-225-2122


Gov. 225-342-7015

Sen. Mary Landrieu D
Fax 202-224-9735

Sen. David Vitter R
Fax 202-228-2577

Rep Steve Scalise R
Fax (202) 226-0386

Rep Cedric Richmond R
Fax 202-225-1988

Rep Jeffrey Landry R
Fax (202) 226-3944

Rep John Fleming R
Fax 202-225-8039

Rep Rodney Alexander R
Fax 202-225-5639

Rep Bill Cassidy R
Fax 202-225-7313

Rep Charles Boustany R
Fax 202-225-5724


Gov. Paul LePage R
Phone: 207-287-3531
Fax 207-287-1034

Sen. Susan Collins R
Fax 202-224-2693

Sen. Olympia Snowe R
Fax 202-224-1946

Rep Chellie Pingree D
Fax 202-225-5590

Rep Michael Michaud D
Fax 202-225-2943


Gov. Martin O'Malley D

Sen. Benjamin Cardin D
Fax 202-224-1651

Sen. Barbara Mikulski D
Fax 202-224-8858

Rep Andy Harris R
Fax 202-225-0254

Rep D Ruppersberger D
Fax 202-225-3094

Rep John Sarbanes D
Fax 202-225-9219

Rep Donna Edwards D
Fax 202-225-8714

Rep Steny Hoyer D
Fax 202-225-4300

Rep Roscoe Bartlett R
Fax 202-225-2193

Rep Elijah Cummings D
Fax 202-225-3178

Rep Chris Van Hollen D
Fax 202-225-0375


Gov. Deval Patrick D
Fax 202-624-7714

Sen. Scott Brown R
Fax 202-224-2417

Sen. John Kerry D
Fax 202-224-8525

Rep John Olver D
Fax 202-226-1224

Rep Richard Neal D
Fax 202-225-8112

Rep Jim McGovern D
Fax 202-225-5759

Rep Barney Frank D
Fax 202-225-0182

Rep Niki Tsongas D
Fax 202-226-0771

Rep John Tierney D
Fax 202-225-5915

Rep Edward Markey D
Fax 202-226-0092

Rep Michael Capuano D
Fax 202-225-9322

Rep Stephen Lynch D
Fax 202-225-3984

Rep William Keating D
Fax 202-225-5658


Gov. Rick Snyder R
Phone: 517-335-7858
Fax 517-335-6863

Sen. Carl Levin D
Fax 202-224-1388

Sen. Debbie Stabenow D
Fax 202-228-0325

Rep Dan Benishek R
Fax 202-225-4744

Rep Bill Huizenga R
Fax 202-226-0779

Rep Jestin Amash R
Fax 202-225-5144

Rep David Camp R
Fax 202-225-9679

Rep Dale Kildee D
Fax 202-225-6393

Rep Fred Upton R
Fax 202-225-4986

Rep Tim Walberg R
Fax 202-225-6281

Rep Mike Rogers R
Fax 202-225-5820

Rep Gary Peters D
|Fax 202-226-2356

Rep Candice Miller R
Fax 202-226-1169

Rep Thad McCotter R
Fax 202-225-2667

Rep Sander Levin D
Fax 202-226-1033

Rep Hansen Clarke D
Fax 202-225-5730

Rep John Conyers D
Fax 202-225-0072

Rep John Dingell D
Fax 202-226-0371


Gov. Mark Dayton D
Phone: 651-201-3400
Fax 651-797-1850

Sen. Amy Klobuchar D
Fax 202-228-2186

Sen. Al Franken D
Fax 202-224-1152

Rep Tim Walz D
Fax 202-225-3433

Rep John Kline R
Fax 202-225-2595

Rep Erik Paulsen R
Fax 202-225-6351

Rep Betty McCollum D
Fax 202-225-1968

Rep Keith Ellison D
Fax 202-225-4886

Rep Michelle Bachman R
Fax 202-225-6475

Rep Collin Peterson D
Fax 202-225-1593

Rep Chip Cravaack R
Fax 202-225-0699


Gov. Haley Barbour R

Sen. Thad Cochran R
Fax 202-224-9450

Sen. Roger Wicker R
Fax 202-228-0378

Rep Alan Nunnelee R
Fax 202-225-3549

Rep Bennie Thompson D
Fax 202-225-5898

Rep Gregg Harper R
Fax 202-225-5797

Rep Steven Palazzo R
Fax 202-225-7074


Gov. Jeremiah Nixon D

Sen. Roy Blunt R
Fax 202-224-8149

Sen. Claire McCaskill D
Fax 202-228-6326

Rep William Clay, Jr. D
Fax 202-226-3717

Rep Todd Akin R
Fax 202-225-2563

Rep Russ Carnahan D
Fax 202-225-7452

Rep Vicky Hartzler R
Fax 202-225-2876

Rep Emanuel Cleaver D
Fax 202-225-4403

Rep Sam Graves R
Fax 202-225-8221

Rep Billy Long R
Fax 202-225-5604

Rep Jo Ann Emerson (R-8)
Fax 202-226-0326

Rep B Luetkemeyer R
Fax 202-225-5712


Gov. Brian Schweitzer D

Sen. Max Baucus D
Fax 202-224-9412

Sen. Jon Tester D
Fax 202-224-8594

Rep Dennis Rehberg R
Fax 202-225-5687


Gov. Dave Heineman R
Fax 402-471-6031

Sen. Mike Johanns R
Fax 202-224-5213

Sen. Ben Nelson D
Fax 202-228-0012

Rep Jeff Fortenberry R
Fax 202-225-5686

Rep Lee Terry R
Fax 202-226-5452

Rep Adrian Smith R
Fax 202-225-0207


Gov. Brian Sandoval R
Phone: 775-684-5670
Fax 775-684-5683

Sen. John Ensign R
Fax 202-228-2193

Sen. Harry Reid D
Fax 202-224-7327

Rep Shelley Berkley D
Fax 202-225-3119

Rep Dean Heller R
Fax 202-225-5679

Rep Joseph Heck R
Fax 202-225-2185

New Hampshire

Gov. John Lynch D

Sen. Kelly Ayotte R
Fax 202-224-4952

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen D
Fax 202-228-4131

Rep Frank Guinta R
Fax 202-225-5822

Rep Charles Bass R
Fax 202-225-2946

New Jersey

Gov. Chris Christie R

Sen Robert Menendez D
Fax 202-228-2197

Sen Frank Lautenberg D
Fax 202-228-4054

Rep Robert Andrews D
Fax 202-225-6583

Rep Frank LoBiondo R
Fax 202-225-3318

Rep John Alder D
Fax 202-225-0778

Rep Chris Smith R
Fax 202-225-7768

Rep Scott Garrett R
Fax 202-225-9048

Rep Frank Pallone D
Fax 202-225-9665

Rep Leonard Lance R
Fax 202-225-9460

Rep William Pascrell D
Fax 202-225-5751

Rep Steven Rothman D
Fax 202-225-5851

Rep Donald Payne D
Fax 202-225-4160

Rep Rod Frelinghuysen R
Fax 202-225-3186

Rep Rush Holt D
Fax 202-225-6025

Rep Albio Sires D
Fax 202-226-0792

New Mexico

Gov. Susana Martinez R
Phone: 505-476-2200

Sen. Jeff Bingaman D
Fax 202-224-2852

Sen. Tom Udall D
Fax 202-228-3261

Rep Martin Heinrich (D-1)
Fax 202-225-4975

Rep Stevan Pearce R
Fax 202-225-9599

Rep Ben Lujan D
Fax 202-226-1528

New York

Gov. Andrew Cuomo D
Phone: 518-474-8390

Sen. Charles Schumer D
Fax 202-228-3027

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand D
Fax 202-228-0282

Rep Tim Bishop D
Fax 202-225-3143

Rep Steven Israel D
Fax 202-225-4669

Rep Peter King R
Fax 202-226-2279

Rep Carolyn McCarthy D
Fax 202-225-5758

Rep Gary Ackerman D
Fax 202-225-1589

Rep Gregory Meeks D
Fax 202-226-4169

Rep Joseph Crowley D
Fax 202-225-1909

Rep Jerrold Nadler D
Fax 202-225-6923

Rep Anthony Weiner D
Fax 202-226-7243

Rep Edolphus Towns D
Fax 202-225-1018

Rep Yvette Clarke D
Fax 202-226-0112

Rep Nydia Velazquez D
Fax 202-226-0327

Rep Michael Grimm R
Fax 202-226-1272

Rep Carolyn Maloney D
Fax 202-225-4709


Rep Charles Rangel D
Fax 202-225-0816

Rep Jose Serrano D
Fax 202-225-6001

Rep Eliot Engel D
Fax 202-225-5513

Rep Nita Lowey D
Fax 202-225-0546

Rep Nan Hayworth R
Fax 202-225-3289

Rep Chris Gibson R
Fax 202-225-1168

Rep Paul Tonko D
Fax 202-225-5077

Rep Maurice Hinchey D
Fax 202-226-0774

Rep Bill Owens D
Fax 202-226-0621

Rep Richard Hanna R
Fax 202-225-1891

Rep Ann Buerkle R
Fax 202-225-4042

Rep Christopher Lee R
Fax 202-225-5910

Rep Brian Higgins D
Fax 202-226-0347

Rep Louise Slaughter D
Fax 202-225-7822

Tom Reed R
Fax 202-226-6599

North Carolina

Gov. Bev Purdue D

Sen. Richard Burr R
Fax 202-228-2981

Sen. Kay Hagan D
Fax 202-228-2563

Rep G.K. Butterfield D
Fax 202-225-3354

Rep Renee Ellmers R
Fax 202-225-5662

Rep Walter Jones R
Fax 202-225-3286

Rep David Price D
Fax 202-225-2014

Rep Virginia Foxx R
Fax 202-225-2995

Rep Howard Coble R
Fax 202-225-8611

Rep Mike McIntyre D
Fax 202-225-5773

Rep Larry Kissell D
Fax 202-225-4036

Rep Sue Myrick R
Fax 202-225-3389

Rep Patrick McHenry R
Fax 202-225-0316

Rep Heath Shuler D
Fax 202-226-6422

Rep Melvin Watt D
Fax 202-225-1512

Rep Brad Miller D
Fax 202-225-0181

North Dakota

Gov. Jack Dalrymple R

Sen. Kent Conrad D
Fax 202-224-7776

Sen. John Hoeven R
Fax 202-224-7999

Rep Rick Berg R
Fax 202-226-0893


Gov. John Kasich R
Phone: 614-466-3555

Sen. Sherrod Brown D
Fax 202-224-6519

Sen. Rob Portman R
Fax 202-228-1382

Rep Steve Chabot R
Fax 202-225-3012

Rep Jean Schmidt R
Fax 202-225-1992

Rep Michael Turner R
Fax 202-225-6754

Rep Jim Jordan R
Fax 202-226-0577

Rep Bob Latta R
Fax 202-225-1985

Rep Bill Johnson R
Fax 202-225-5907

Rep Steve Austria R
Fax 202-225-1984

Rep John Boehner R
Phone: 202-225-6205
Fax 202-225-0704

Rep Marcy Kaptur D
Fax 202-225-7711

Rep Dennis Kucinich D
Fax 202-225-5745

Rep Marcia Fudge D
Fax 202-225-1339

Rep Pat Tiberi R
Fax 202-226-4523

Rep Betty Sutton D
Fax 202-225-2266

Rep Steve LaTourette R
Fax 202-225-3307

Rep Steve Stivers R
Fax 202-225-3529

Rep James Renacci R
Fax 202-225-3059

Rep Tim Ryan D
Fax 202-225-3719

Rep Bob Gibbs R
Fax 202-225-3394


Gov. Mary Fallin R
Phone: 405-521-2342
Fax 405-521-3353

Sen. James Inhofe R
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West Virginia

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Vets Prefer the VA

Our fight is not with the Doctor's - Nurses & Staff at the VA Hospitals. Our fights is with the politicians who make us fight endlessly for the benefits promised to us. It is time that the Administration & Congress understand The VA Budget is not an ATM Machine for their other federal projects.

The federal government mistreatment of the veterans is systematic and a continuous series of acts. It has the appearance of being willful and when you weigh that promises were made to get the soldier to sign the enlistment document it appears to be fraudulent inducement on the part of our government.

"No member of Congress has to wait 6 months or more for a doctor's appointment, why should 130,000 vets have to? We need to be more than passive observers of history, because the decisions made right now are our future." Richard E. Buckner

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this web site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research & educational purposes. VeteransUnited has no affiliation whatsoever with the originators of these articles nor is VeteransUnited endorsed or sponsored by any of the originators.

Richard E. Buckner - USMC - USAF & US Army Retired

God Bless America

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

"No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.

Thomas Jefferson

The frustrated follow a leaderless because of their faith that he is leading them to a promised land than because of their immediate feeling that he is leading them away from their unwanted selves. Surrender to a leader is not a means to an end but a fulfillment. Whither they are led is of secondary importance.

"Those who would trade liberty for security deserve neither" Benjamin Franklin

“Fulfill America’s promise to care for those who have borne the battle,”
"We must care for those who have fought the nation's battles" Abraham Lincoln

"A nation, that forgot its fighters and defenders will itself be forgotten"  Calvin Coolidge

“To find out who rules over you simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.


The estimated population of the United States is over 316,896,672
so each citizen's share of this debt is over $53,912.22.

The National Debt has continued to increase an average of
$2.63+ billion per day since September 30, 2012!
Concerned? Then tell Congress and the White House!

Even They Realize The Mess We Are In

Mt Rushmore

This is addressed to all Hoosier Veterans that utilize the VA Marion, IN Gymnasium Facility
One of the best benefits that the VA provides is called KT. What is KT ? Simply put it is the Gym and workout equipment. The Gym in Marion at the VA Facility at Marion, IN Northern Indiana Healthcare Facility is a special place. It definitely provides and excellent place for veterans to help themselves by utilizing the equipment as well as the inside ability to walk miles and miles. And believe me they do. How do I know ? Because I am one of those veterans that utilize the facility 3 times a week.

But it also a place that veterans can leave off a little steam while riding the exercise bikes or walking on the treadmill. The staff at the Gym as it is referred to are Lisa Miller and George Lindsey. They are more than just VA personnel to the hundreds of veterans that come to the morning and afternoon sessions per week. They are someone that veterans can talk with while they are exercising and after exercising. Both Lisa and George are trained therapists in the physical sense but to us veterans they are just as much on the mental side as well.

When you think of multi-tasking that describes George and Lisa. Some veterans require that extra care and receive it from them. Others need that extra bit of encouragement and once again they both are there to assist us. While they can be a friend they also can and do become task masters in their jobs. Many a time either Lisa or George have stated "Get back on the bike Rick" or "How about getting on the treadmill Rick for 10 minutes or more". When I come into the Gym I am always met with the blood pressure cup from George and a get busy from Lisa. And you know what I would not have it any other way because these two people have no doubt saved my life with their concern on my health in the Gym and elsewhere with the VA.

Recently I had an problem with my legs which was the result of my diabetes. Rather than simply say you should get that looked at Lisa who was on duty that day said "Rick, I am going to call your Pac and get you looked at today" And she did. The same happened another time when I was not feeling up to pair and a phone call from the Gym quickly put me into the ER at the Main Building.

To sum it up Lisa and George and the other veterans who attend the Gym have became a "family" who actually care about each other, greets each other by their first names. And shows actual concern for each other. This is what no other health care service can or will provide. This is why the VA, the Gym and all the people at the facility from Lisa and George to Kathy Brown at travel who also goes way beyond her job description to serve the countless veterans who utilize the VA facility at Marion. If you you need help at Building 138 or elsewhere on the Campus go to Kathy. She may seem gruff sometimes but believe me she isn't. Other caring VA employees are Sue Germain, Dietician, the ladies in the various Pacs. The Patient Advocate, the ladies and gentleman in the Pharmacy. There are many others at the VA I know I am missing but I am thankful for their services. But to George, Lisa and Kathy and Sue I want to say thank you, you all make a big difference in my life and I truly appreciate you all.


Congress Stole Millions from Our Veterans to Resettle Afghanis!

In what can only be described as a disgusting move on the part of the united States Senate, they took money from cuts to military veterans in the 2016 budget in order to fund the resettlement of Afghan interpreters to the United States.

Rachel Soltzfoos reports:

The Special Immigrant Visa program allows Afghan interpreters who aide the U.S. government to get out of harm’s way by resettling in the United States, and last year the Senate authorized a major expansion of the program. The $336 million price tag of the expansion fell on U.S. military veterans in the form of increased pharmacy co-pays, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.

“That’s bullshit,” former Army combat veteran Alex Plitsas told TheDCNF. “Military families shouldn’t be paying for the SIV program through a pseudo tax. The program should be funded outright because of the service our interpreters rendered. This is infuriating.”

Last year’s defense bill increased co-pays for military families, saving the government about $1.5 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). A portion of the money saved was used to pay for the extra Afghan visas, a spokesman for the Armed Services Committee told TheDCNF, although the bulk of the money went elsewhere. Budget caps require lawmakers offset increases in spending with budget cuts.

This is all about the Judiciary Committee’s consideration of expanding this same program into 2017.

You might guess that John “Songbird” McCain is at the center of the push, along with Senator Jeanne Shaheen. Both senators are pushing for more visas, on top of the 7,000 already allocated through Fiscal Year 2017. However, neither of the senators have publicly addressed how to pay for it.

The CBO estimates the proposed increase would bring the cost of the program up to $446 million over the next ten years, from its current cost of $336 million.

So, as far as I’m concerned, how can any veteran or American support such representatives who care more for America’s enemies than they do their own veterans? Shame on those who support this!

On top of everything, I want to ask these senators where they are getting their authority to spend this money to bring foreigners to the US. They certainly didn’t get that authority in the US Constitution!

“Senate Republicans recognize the contribution of certain Afghan citizens who have been helpful to our war effort,” a spokesman for Republican Sen. Roger Wicker, who sits on the Armed Services Committee, told TheDCNF. “However, any bill to expand the SIV program should contain acceptable offsets and go through regular order through the Judiciary Committee.”

No, Senator Wicker! There is no authority in the Constitution for this to even be considered. If individuals want to help Afghans, fine. However, this is a usurpation of the Constitution to fund such migrations and rob those who have served to protect America. Again, shame on the US Senate for even considering these measures.

America’s veterans are committing suicide 22 times a day and those who represent us are more concerned with spending our money unconstitutionally to bring Afghan interpreters over here than they are getting the Veterans Administration in order and caring for those who have served America faithfully.

Am I the only one that sees a problem with what is being considered here?

Perhaps, these Senators would do well to learn something from Col. Davy Crockett.

 Strawman Proposal To Close VA Makes Veterans Fearful

A straw man is a common form of argument and is an informal fallacy based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent's argument, while actually refuting an argument that was not advanced by that opponent.

Strawman Proposal

Benjamin Krause A “drastic” strawman proposal for VA closure of hospitals nationwide now has many veterans fearful of being left without health care.

The proposal is supposedly a preliminary recommendation that Veterans Health Administration be drawn down and that veterans be allowed to choice whether to get care at VA or not.

The VA Commission on Care issued what is now called a “Strawman Document” that asserts VA health care “is seriously broken and, because of the breadth and depth of the shortfalls, there is no efficient path to repair it.”

Confused about what all the hubub is about? Isn’t the above claim already well known? Is it ironic that the information name of the document in question is nicknamed for a type of logical fallacy? Was that intentional or was the author misguided about language and instead referencing Wizard of Oz?

Do you like the strawman proposal or hate it?

The commission is apparently fragmented because of a sharp disagreement on the politics of the VA wait list scandal, which was initially downplayed by certain veteran organizations and democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Seven of its members independently penned the recommendation.

In response, Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and other veteran orgs wrote a scathing letter to the committee about the document. DAV has long opposed the extent of “choice” many veterans seek, which would allow full choice of health care. DAV claims allowing veterans “choice” would outstrip funding for the ever growing VHA that never seems to end the laundry list of scandals.

DAV and these other orgs has long opposed the extent of “choice” many veterans seek, which would allow full choice of health care. Specifically, DAV claimed allowing veterans “choice” would outstrip funding for the ever growing VHA that never seems to end the laundry list of scandals.

Here is an excerpt from the letter on the DAV website:

“What is most unsettling about the “proposed strawman document” is the utter lack of consideration that veterans would want to improve and expand the VA health care system. There is also no discussion of how this proposal would affect the coordination of care, the quality of medical services and the health outcomes for veterans. While there are numerous references to “bold transformational change” and letting “the money follow the veteran,” there is no discussion about strengthening the VA health care system for veterans who would choose to receive care at VA medical facilities rather than seek care from disparate community providers.”

Thanks DAV, I sure hope you enjoy your fantastically high salaries that you pay yourselves on the backs of veterans’ sympathy from donors and members.

Why is it that the same organization that opposes a veteran’s choice to hire a lawyer is the same that opposes a veteran’s choice of health care provider? Does DAV truly stand for us or its own interests?

One health care blogger, Suzanne Gordon, says the proposal is to “totally eliminate the Veterans Health Administration by 2035 and turn its taxpayer-funded functions over to the private sector.” Gordon hyperbolically titled her blog post “Group Drafts Secret Proposal to End Taxpayer-Funded Veteran Care.” The title has created quite a ruckus.

This is not the firs time Suzanne Gordon hammered against the Veterans Choice Program or those who support it. Gordon is actually an ivory tower intellectual whose writing supports VA health care initiatives and the union.

Back in reality, the plan was not secret and the recommendations within it do not include destroying the Veterans Health Administration. Instead, it calls for “drastic changes” because VA continues to fail its mission regardless of efforts to increase accountability.

Instead, the plan calls for a “closure of numerous VA healthcare facilities, with funding following the patients to community providers.”

Opponents to privatization of any kind, including the Legion and Paralyzed Veterans of America, believe the report is actually a call to shut down veterans’ health care.

Meanwhile, the Washington Monthly called current outrage against VA for current fraud and misconduct as being merely a policy conspiracy. This is basically what Hillary Clinton claimed during her interview with Rachel Maddow on MSNBC last October.

Clinton harkened back to her famous claim about the “vast right-wing conspiracy” that she said was attacking her husband during his presidency. Now, she and others like her claim the wait list scandals and apparent deaths are make-believe products of political theater.

Does Hillary Clinton have a clue? Are veteran service organizations out of touch with the pulse of modern veterans?
What do you think about the issues with “choice” and your health care?

Veterans Service Organizations Against Privatization and Strawmen

This letter was just sent to the Commission on Care by eight of the nation’s largest Veterans Service Organizations on March 31, 2016

Ms. Nancy Schlichting, Chairperson Commission on Care
1575 I Street, NW, Suite 240
Washington, DC 20005

Dear Chairperson Schlichting:

On behalf of our combined 5 million members, the vast majority of whom use the VA health care system, we write to express our grave concerns with the “proposed strawman document” that was discussed and disseminated during your March meetings in Washington, DC. We appreciate opportunities we have had to discuss our concerns with the Commission and its staff, and hope to have similar ones in the future, but given the limited time remaining before your final report is due, we feel it necessary to present our objections to any proposal that would limit the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) ability to provide timely access to high-quality, comprehensive, and veteran-centric health care by reducing the role of the VA health care system from a provider of direct care to merely a payer of health care for veterans.

We are greatly alarmed by the content of the “proposed strawman document” that was developed and drafted outside the open Commission process by seven of the Commission’s fifteen members – without the input or even knowledge of the other Commissioners. This document – which became the centerpiece of the Commission’s discussions this past week – proposes to privatize veterans’ health care and completely eliminate all VA health care treatment facilities within the next twenty years.

The Commission’s Interim Report submitted to Congress last December stated that the “Guiding Principles” would require that “Deliberations and final recommendations…be data driven and decided by consensus” and “focus on ensuring eligible veterans receive health care that offers optimal quality, access, and choice.” We certainly agree with these principles. We completely disagree, however, with the essence of the “proposed strawman document” that would completely transition veteran care to the community without properly evaluating how such change would impact the quality, access, and choice of health care for veterans.

The summary section of the “proposed strawman document” includes the following:

“VA facilities that are under-utilized will be dispensed with…No new facility construction or major renovations will occur… A BRAC-like process will begin to close the other facilities. All enrolled veterans should now be given the option of community care… A deliberate plan should be developed to transition the others to community care over the next two decades…”

– “Strawman Document”, pages 19-20

In other words, all enrolled veterans would immediately be given the “choice” to switch to private health care paid for by VA; over the next two decades all VA hospitals and clinics would be closed; and the option to use VA health care would be phased out over the next two decades for all veterans, even those who are 100% service disabled and rely on VA for all of their complex health care needs as well as those who rely on specialized VA services that do not currently exist in the private sector, such as the Spinal Cord Injury and Disorder System of Care and the Polytrauma System of Care. In short, the VA health care system – the nation’s largest integrated health care system – would be abolished if these proposed recommendations were adopted and implemented.

What is most unsettling about the “proposed strawman document” is the utter lack of consideration that veterans would want to improve and expand the VA health care system. There is also no discussion of how this proposal would affect the coordination of care, the quality of medical services and the health outcomes for veterans. While there are numerous references to “bold transformational change” and letting “the money follow the veteran,” there is no discussion about strengthening the VA health care system for veterans who would choose to receive care at VA medical facilities rather than seek care from disparate community providers.

Instead, the proposed “Summary” section of the document simply asserts that, “…the current VA health care system is seriously broken, and… there is no efficient path to repair it.” In addition, this provocative statement, repeated in different forms several times throughout the 34-page document, is not backed up by any evidence or data to sustain such a broad and unequivocal condemnation.

It is distressing that the authors of the “proposed strawman document” have ignored ample authoritative evidence and data presented to them that clearly contradicts these unsubstantiated allegations. For example, the Independent Assessment mandated by Congress concluded that: “VA performed significantly better, on average, on almost all 16 outpatient measures when compared with commercial, Medicare, and Medicaid HMOs” In fact, the Independent Assessment’s conclusion is consistent with dozens of independent peer reviewed studies conducted over the past two decades, which is documented in Assessment B (Health Care Capabilities). As RAND recently said in a press release summarizing their findings, “…the quality of care provided by the VA health system generally was as good as or better than other health systems on most quality measures.” (www.rand.org/news/press/2016/02/08/index1.html)

Last December, a number of our organizations were provided an opportunity to present to the Commission our visions for the future of VA health care, based on feedback from our members – users of the system. We laid out a number of comprehensive reforms for the VA health care system, which were centered on veterans’ health care needs and preferences. We proposed a number of transformative changes, including the development of local Veteran-Centered Integrated Health Care Networks to seamlessly integrate community care into the VA system to provide a full continuum of care for veterans. We called for VA to eliminate arbitrary federal access standards – such as the current 40-mile and 30-day standards – and allow decisions about when and where veterans can receive medical treatment to be clinical decisions made between a veteran and his or her doctor; not by legislators, regulators or bureaucrats. We recommended expanded public-private partnerships, a new Quadrennial Veterans Review strategic planning process and audits of VA’s spending and a number of other serious reforms to evolve the VA system of care.

We believe that our recommendations, if adopted, would restore and sustain a veterans’ health care system worthy of the men and women who served this nation with integrity and honor.

We are also supportive of VA’s plan, with some recommended changes, and believe it too would put the VA health care system on a path to meeting veterans’ needs in the future. However, we are convinced that the “end state” envisioned by the “proposed strawman document” would decrease access to high quality, comprehensive and truly veteran-centric care for millions of veterans, particularly those who were injured or made ill through their service. That is why we would strongly denounce the Commission’s final report if the Commission recommends privatizing the VA health care system or making VA simply a payer of health care for veterans.

As you know, the law authorizing the Commission requires you to make recommendations about how, “…to improve access to health care through the Veterans Health Administration.” Unfortunately, the “proposed strawman document” does not include options to strengthen VA health care; instead it calls for transitional changes towards eliminating the VA health system altogether within 20 years.

By contrast, we note that the Commission’s work groups developed and reported last week on a number of ideas to improve and strengthen the VA health care system, some of which are similar to elements in our framework. While we do not agree with all of the work groups’ findings or recommendations, we welcome a discussion with the Commission about how to find common ground among our recommendations and improve health care for America’s veterans.

We are confident that any objective, unbiased analysis of all the relevant data and evidence about the VA health care system compared to private sector health care will demonstrate the benefits of maintaining and strengthening a dedicated veterans’ health care system. We look forward to continued discussions on these vital matters and working with you to develop and implement real reforms designed to fulfill the promise to America’s veterans, especially those who have been injured or made ill as a result of their service.


GARRY J. AUGUSTINE - Executive Director
Washington Headquarters
DAV (Disabled American Veterans)

VERNA L. JONES Executive Director The American Legion

ERNESTO P. HERNANDEZ III National Adjutant - Military Order of the Purple Heart

Executive Director for Policy
And Government Affairs Vietnam Veterans of America

ROBERT E. WALLACE Executive Director Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States

SHERMAN GILLUMS, JR. Executive Director Paralyzed Veterans of America

JAMES B. KING Executive Director AMVETS

PAUL RIECKHOFF - Founder and Executive Director
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

Key facts about the Veterans Health Administration

The Department of Veterans Affairs health-care system is the focus of the appointment scheduling scandal that generated calls for VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki’s resignation. But the system, central to the massive agency, has been plagued with service delays & scheduling manipulation for years.

Enrollees: About 9.3 million of the nation’s 22 million veterans are enrolled in the VA health-care system. Veterans qualify for health-care benefits if they have served in the active military and have not been dishonorably discharged.

Facilities: The VHA is home to the largest integrated health-care network in the nation, with 150 VA hospitals & 820 outpatient clinics, as of 2013. The agency operates at least 1 medical center in each state, as well as in the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Utilization: The health system handled about 84 million outpatient visits in 2012, representing a 23% increase compared with 2008. In March of 2015 it was projected that 6.7 million patients probably would use the network, representing a 17% increase compared with 2009. In the VA’s 2010 national survey of veterans, 16% of respondents said they use the system as their primary source of health care, while 35% said they use it as a safety net and 32% indicated they don’t plan to use it.
VA inspector general's report on hospital allegations

A watchdog report substantiated allegations that VA health clinics used inappropriate scheduling practices that concealed treatment delays.

Patient satisfaction: Despite its troubles, the VA health system earned marks equal to or better than networks in the private sector in the 2013 American Customer Satisfaction Index. The health system earned overall satisfaction indexes of 84 for inpatient care and 82 for outpatient services, while the U.S. hospital industry earned scores of 80 & 83, respectively. Jacob Gadd, the American Legion’s deputy director for health care, said the scores probably reflect “pride among veterans that there’s a system for them that understands their unique needs.” A history of scheduling problems: Since 2005, the VA inspector general’s office has issued 18 reports identifying appointment scheduling problems, some resulting in long wait times and having a negative effect on patient care. In 2010, a top VA official issued a memo to the department’s medical centers listing 17 schemes that VA clinics were known to be using to cover up treatment delays. The memo said the practices would not be tolerated.

Spending: In general, slightly more than 40% of the VA’s annual budgets went toward medical care between 2000 & 2013, although the percentage dipped last year to 38% of the VA’s $139 billion budget for benefits and services. The VA spent $52.5 billion on hospital & medical care in 2013, more than double its expenditures in that category for 2000.

Staffing: VHA employees accounted for nearly 89% of the VA’s 278,565 workers in 2008. An audit two years ago determined that the agency had not developed an effective method for determining whether staffing levels were appropriate at any given clinic. VA health official Thomas Lynch said at a hearing Wednesday that the department is not sure whether it needs to add or shift personnel to address the scheduling problems.

Origins: The first national effort to provide medical care to veterans started in 1812, with the Naval Home in Philadelphia, according to a VA history. The U.S. government created homes for disabled veterans after the Civil War, with the facilities offering limited medical care at first and eventually providing hospital-level care.


By Bob Gutsche, VietNow National VA Chairman

As part of a new program, the VA is issuing a Veterans Choice card as a way to help veterans with the long wait times for health-care appointments. This gives veterans who have waited over thirty days for appointments or who live over forty miles from a VA facility, the opportunity to see a private doctor instead of a VA facility. As part of a new program, the VA is issuing a Veterans Choice card as a way to help veterans with the long wait times for health-care appointments.

The one requirement for use of the card is that the veteran must contact the VA and get permission to use the Veterans Choice card, rather than just going to a doctor’s office for care. Some veterans are showing up at emergency rooms only to discover that the card is not valid. In fact, many doctors do not fully understand the process to provide service to card holders and how to bill for services.

This program could be a great help to many veterans, but it seems that the VA could have done a much better job of rolling out the program.

Help for hearing-impaired veterans

The number one claim for service-connected disability right now is for hearing loss – and veterans are waiting a long time to get their initial evaluation for their hearing loss due to the large number of claims and the small number of audiologists available to administer the tests.

Legislation H.R. 353, the Veterans Access to Healthy Hearing Act, has been introduced to effectively alleviate the long waits for evaluations. This legislation would allow for veterans to utilize hearing specialists in their own community.

This had previously been introduced in the 113th session of Congress, and was well received by the Veterans Affairs Committee. This should help to alleviate the long wait times and the travel time for veterans waiting to be tested. And what a great use of the VA’s new Veterans Choice card this would be.

Why won’t you talk to me?

The VA has seven dedicated call centers around the country to respond to veterans inquiring about their benefit claims. So why are calls going unanswered, ignored, or hung up on?
Veterans calling the call centers are subjected to long waits of up to an hour, and many just give up, feeling that they are being discounted.

Recent statistics show that in 2014, 55 percent of veterans’ calls never got through to a representative. And so far in 2015, the number has increased to 59 percent.

Veterans calling the call centers are subjected to long waits of up to an hour, and many just give up, feeling that they are being discounted. To add to the frustration, the VA has established guidelines that require the call-center employees to spend less than ten minutes on each call. This gets frustrating when the veteran has a complicated claim. Employees who exceed the allocated time too often can be subject to disciplinary action, including termination.

Meanwhile at a different call center

Even more disturbing is when a homeless veteran calls the VA National Call Center For Homeless Veterans. Those homeless veterans calling for help end up with an answering machine to take their inquiry, and are not referred to a medical center. Investigations have revealed that call-center counselors often did not log in or spend the entire day logged into the telephone system. Night-shift counselors were not logged into the system an average of four hours each evening, thereby causing incoming calls to be forwarded to an answering machine. In total, there were identified 40,500 missed opportunities where the call center did not refer the veteran to a medical center or where referrals were closed without assurance that the homeless veteran was provided the needed care.

Does anyone give a damn about our nation’s veterans?
Gulf War illnesses

The VA has begun an in-depth evaluation of a correlation between Gulf War service and brain cancer among certain Gulf War veterans. The study of incidence of brain cancer among veterans who may have been exposed to chemical weapon agents during the demo-lition of the munitions depot in Khamisiyah, Iraq, during March of 1991 should be concluded by this spring.

For more information about the Khamisiyah depot, go to 
I just can’t find them

Fourteen thousand unprocessed veterans claims – some dating back to the 1990s – were improperly filed and then lost, at the Oakland VA office.

In 2012, staff from the VA’s Office of Inspector General was in the Oakland VA office to help sort out problems in the office, and discovered the files secreted away (my words) in a filing cabinet.

In July of 2014, the Inspector General’s Office staff paid an unannounced visit to the Oakland VA office, and it appears that none of the records could be located. At the present time, the office has approximately 30,000 veteran’s claims that are pending in excess of 125 days.

Closely following the case, Rep. Doug LaMalfa, (R-Oroville, CA) had already heard about veterans getting the runaround, and said, “If those records are unfindable . . . then someone needs to pay a price for allowing that to happen.”

Long Wait-Times At VA Hospitals Haven’t Improved

April 14, 2015 — An investigation has found that wait times are not improving at VA hospitals, especially those located in the South. Meanwhile, a 60 year-old Navy veteran has been awarded $21 million after he received inadequate care that left him trapped in his body with “locked-in syndrome.” 

January 29, 2015 — The family of a man who died of melanoma has been awarded $900,000 by the VA hospital to settle allegations of malpractice due to treatment delays. VA Puget Sound has paid out $15 million since 2001 for 16 wrongful deaths and 33 major injuries that were preventable.

October 14, 2014 — A federal judge has awarded $725,000 to a 75 year-old veteran who was permanently paralyzed during a botched surgery at a Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital in Arkansas.

Examples of VA Hospital Malpractice Claims
Delayed care resulting in worse diagnosis or death
Wrong diagnosis of a disease or cancer
Failure to diagnose or treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Surgical errors (such as leaving a foreign object inside a patient)
Infection from non-sterile equipment, lack of bed-sheets
Inadequate treatment of a disease
Medication errors
Unneeded medical procedures resulting in injury
“Secret Wait List” Linked to Veteran Deaths

April 2014 — At least 40 American veterans died while waiting for treatment at the Phoenix VA hospital. According to CNN, they were placed on a “secret wait list” to avoid scrutiny by officials in Washington.

“Secret Wait List” Linked to Veteran Deaths

April 2014 — At least 40 American veterans died while waiting for treatment at the Phoenix VA hospital. According to CNN, they were placed on a “secret wait list” to avoid scrutiny by officials in Washington.

A former doctor with over two decades of experience at the hospital told CNN that the hospital shredded evidence to hide the fact that 1,400-1,600 veterans waited months or years before getting an appointment. Nationally, VA hospitals are supposed to provide care within 14-30 days.

Investigators found over 7,000 veterans on backlog lists at just a few hospitals, including some who died while frantically seeking appointments.

Slipped Through the Cracks

In one example, 71 year-old Navy veteran Thomas Breen visited the Phoenix VA hospital in September 2013 complaining of blood in his urine. Breen had a history of cancer, and the emergency physician recommended an “urgent” appointment with a urologist within the week.

Breen was sent home. Over the next few months, his family members called repeatedly to request an appointment. By the time they got an appointment in December, Breen was already dead from stage-4 bladder cancer.

In the Last 12 Month Period I Have Had 6 Doctors 3 I actually met

This is starting to become a complete joke. I have had 6 doctors assigned to my clinic in a 12 month period. I actually met 3 of them 1 time. Out of the 6 doctors 3 were extremely competent. As I have stated in earlier post I have absolutely no problem with the quality of care and the skills of of the medical personnel, when you actually get to meet them.

I have not been informed that my 6th doctor will be leaving. I seen her in July of this year (2015) and I had a appointment scheduled with her again in September of this year. But alas is it not to be. Today I was informed by a VA employee that the good doctor was leaving. I say good doctor because she was just that a great doctor.

Whatever is going on in VISN 11 at the Marion VA Hospital that they cannot seem to hold on to their doctors ? They have a fantastic KT Department and a Physical Therapy Section. Their CATSCAN and Ultrasound Technician are top notch. The Optometry and Podiatrist Doctors are 100%, however and this time at no fault of the VA we will be losing the Podiatrist soon do to her retiring after a long successful career. The two VA employees of the KT program at the Gymnasium are there for the veterans 110%. Lisa and George will go that extra mile for the patients and will work with you to make your experience at the Gym a successful one.

Sue Germaine the VA Dietician and Ann Friend, Diabetic Nurse are also angels in disguise who are really concerned for their patients. I have had the pleasure to have worked with them several years. However it seems now we have lost Ann Friend now at Marion. Another individual who always makes an individual veterans feel like they are not a bother id the Travel Clerk Kathy Brown. Her sometimes dry humor makes you sometimes forget that ache in the back or the shortness of breath. She a in all the others mentioned here become an extended part of the a VISN 11 veterans "family".

Now the reason I am giving praise is two fold. One, is because those mentioned do deserve it. And secondly, if VISN 11 can maintain this quality of medical personnel why not the Primary Care Physicians ? Is a pay thing ? I do not think so. I think it is a work load problem. I also feel it is a upper management micromanagement problem. I believe the doctors are good doctors, at least the 3 I met were. But each of these doctors left the system in less then 2 months in the position.

When a doctor picks up a new patient as in a patient takes on a new doctor there is a period of time that both of these individual require to establish a trust. Sometimes that period is instantaneous other times may be days, weeks and even months. Getting to know a veteran is as important for the doctor to do as is the doctor diagnosing that veteran's illnesses' and ailment's. When will the VA realize that it is their responsibility to the veteran to treat them as human and not just a series of 4 numbers.

U.S. Declared War On Vet Homelessness & It Actually Could Win

This is a tale of two cities. In New Orleans, there are signs of hope that veteran homelessness can be solved. But Los Angeles presents a very different picture.

Daniel Harmon, a veteran of the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq, looks out the window of his room at the Hollywood Veterans Center in Los Angeles. The facility provides housing to homeless vets.

Daniel Harmon, a veteran of the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq, looks out the window of his room at the Hollywood Veterans Center in Los Angeles. The facility provides housing to homeless vets.

Under the deafening highway noise of the Pontchartrain Expressway in central city New Orleans, Ronald Engberson, 54, beds down for the night. Engberson got out of the Marines in 1979, plagued even back then by problems with drugs and alcohol. He says that's mostly the reason he's been homeless the past 10 years.

"My longest stretch sober was 14 months," he says. "Being out there on the streets, it's tough."

About 50,000 vets are homeless in America. In 2009, then-Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki declared that all of them would have housing by this year. At the time, even inside the VA that goal was considered aspirational at best. But last year, cities across the country said it was looking achievable. New Orleans was the first to declare, in January, that the city had done it.

So if New Orleans has zero homeless vets, why was there a Marine sleeping under the expressway?

It's called "functional zero," according to Melissa Haley, director of supportive services at Volunteers of America in New Orleans.

"Homelessness is a continuous process. There's a veteran right now who is in a home who could very well be homeless tomorrow," she says. "Functional zero is defined as having a process and the resources in place where we can immediately house a veteran."

Marine Corps veteran Ronald Engberson says alcoholism had made it hard to keep a job and an apartment. His new apartment has few possessions, but he is clean and sober.

So if a vet loses a job today, misses the rent and gets evicted in New Orleans, the city can get him or her housed within a month. Haley says it's often faster; they got Marine Corps veteran Ronald Engberson housed in one day.

A Volunteers of America caseworker, DaVaughn Phillips, met Engberson under the expressway and started asking him questions from a survey. When he heard Engberson's name, he looked down at a list on his clipboard.

"Mr. Engberson, we've been looking for you!" Phillips said. "When you said Ronald Engberson, I'm almost about to get up and shout!"

Nonprofits, the New Orleans VA and the mayor's office now coordinate to keep one constantly updated list of homeless veterans. Because Engberson was on the list, his military record had already been confirmed, and Phillips could get him into an apartment.

The next morning Phillips met Engberson by the expressway overpass and took him to a modest, clean apartment. First thing Engberson did was shave off his ragged beard.

"Last night I was under the bridge," Engberson said. "I'm thankful I'm inside. I have AC, don't have to deal with the rain, the lightning, people walking up on you all the time."

New Orleans went from 470 homeless vets in 2011 to functional zero today, using what are now considered best practices — such as the master list — and powered by a huge cash injection from Washington.

Nationwide, spending on homeless vets is up 300 percent since President Obama took office, hitting near $1.5 billion last year. That tracks with a reduction in homeless vets by about a third.

"We've been able to house more vets in the last five years than at any point in our history ... 30-plus years," Vince Kane, special assistant to the VA secretary, says of the agency's housing programs. "In the past, both inside and outside of VA, we were focused on models more about managing homeless than on ending homelessness," Kane says.

Part of that shift is to embrace a philosophy called "housing first."

"It's about getting guys in housing first and then treating whatever ails them afterwards," says Kevin Kincey, who does outreach for the group U.S. Vets in Los Angeles.

"Back in 2005, to come into a program ... you needed to be sober," Kincey says. "[Now] once you get in housing, if you need substance abuse treatment, mental health treatment, they'll wrap that around you."

Kincey says he's seen housing-first programs arrive just recently in Los Angeles — which VA officials acknowledge is lagging behind many other cities in the race toward the goal.

LA has the most homeless vets in the country. It also has a housing shortage that makes it hard to find places even with the funding available. And there were other problems the Los Angeles VA was embroiled in a lawsuit about misuse of resources. Kane was sent this year from headquarters to get the Los Angeles VA back on track.

Still, LA would need to house 3,000 more homeless vets by the end of the year to reach zero, and no one expects it to happen on schedule. Angelenos say it's not fair to compare the scale of their homeless problem to smaller cities like Houston or New Orleans.

"They've all done great work, but no one has done as much as Los Angeles has done in total volume," says Greg Spiegel, who advises the mayor of Los Angeles on homelessness.

For perspective, New Orleans housed 227 vets last year to reach zero. Los Angeles housed about that many last month and the month before that. LA has found homes for about 4,000 veterans since January 2014. But Spiegel says as fast as they can house them, about seven more veterans become homeless every day in LA.

"That inflow of vets becoming homeless is so big, it essentially neutralized the incredible progress we made. That had never been done before and is more than anywhere else in the country," Spiegel says.

Many of the vets becoming newly homeless are from recent wars, raising fears of another generation of combat vets winding up spending a life on the streets.

"I don't want to see these guys homeless 40 years from now," says Jim Zenner, who runs the Hollywood Veterans Center, a barracks-style halfway house for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Zenner moved to LA when he got back from Iraq in 2008 and started pursuing a master's degree in social work at University of Southern California. The war still had a grip on him, though even the LA freeway reminded him of routes he had driven in Iraq. Anger and depression put him on edge. At home with his wife and kids, he'd yell so loud the neighbors would call the cops.

"The fourth time the police ... basically told me that if one of us don't leave the house, then they're going to take our kids. So I packed my stuff, slept in the car that night and then got a hotel room, took my oldest son, and we stayed there for four days," he says.

After that, he had nowhere to go. He and his wife were both students. They were living off loans and GI bill money not enough to pay two rents in Los Angeles.

He went to the VA for help, but none of the shelters at that time would take in a father and son. Then a place run by Volunteers of America did him a favor and bent the rules to house them both. He stayed seven months. Then they asked him for a favor.

"I did some volunteer work for them," Zenner says. "And in early 2010 they offered me a position to take an empty building and turn it into a readjustment facility for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans."

That facility looks a bit like one of the makeshift barracks troops made out of buildings in Iraq and Afghanistan right down to the free weights and boxing gear in the covered alley next to the building. There's a TV lounge and a group therapy room, too.

They try to get us to talk about it, but you know how vets are. We like to talk about it privately together. And that's the stuff that helps out the most," says Joe Scogan, who did two combat tours to Iraq.

After a divorce, he wound up living in his truck. He went to stay at a VA housing program before landing at the Hollywood Veterans Center this May.

"At the VA, I was there with some Vietnam vets, and they were great. But it really helps being with guys that you went through something with. They're different wars," Scogan says.

Zenner says his mission is to be flexible and fit treatment around school and job possibilities, even if it means bending the rules, like they did for him when he and his son had nowhere to stay.

He's got mixed feelings about the goal of ending homelessness.

"I don't think it's possible," says Zenner. "And the play-with-words like 'functional zero' and all that crap — I don't like to do that. Everybody knows in LA it's not going to end in 2015. [But] it's a good way to get people to work extra hard."

The deadline also has some worried.

"My fear is that someone will claim victory at the end of this year and funding will start going away," says Steve Peck, president of U.S. Vets.

He's already seeing it happen. This summer Peck planned to raise funds for a homeless veterans' event in Houston. Then the city declared in June that it had reached "functional zero."

"It was only weeks after that we began making calls to our community partners to help us. We get donations from all over. And one of them actually said, 'Well, wait a minute, I thought we'd ended this.' "

Peck worries that once the deadline passes with the end of this year, the momentum in Washington will disappear, regardless of how many vets are still living on the street.

Homeless Veterans Problem?
Estimated number of homeless veterans

United States 49,933
Alaska 89
Alabama 542
Arkansas 361
Arizona 858
California 12,096
Colorado 753
Connecticut 295
District of Columbia 406
Delaware 93
Florida 4,552
Georgia 1,443
Guam 36
Hawaii 593
Iowa 202
Idaho 215
Illinois 1,234
Indiana 725
Kansas 393
Kentucky 600
Louisiana 437
Massachusetts 1,264
Maryland 654
Maine 152
Michigan 1,122
Minnesota 317
Missouri 652
Mississippi 279
Montana 256
North Carolina 1,164
North Dakota 151
Nebraska 241
New Hampshire 171
New Jersey 630
New Mexico 318
Nevada 1,369
New York 2,542
Ohio 1,236
Oklahoma 408
Oregon 1,292
Pennsylvania 1,411
Puerto Rico 87
Rhode Island 108
South Carolina 703
South Dakota 132
Tennessee 1,142
Texas 2,718
Utah 317
Virginia 620
Virgin Islands 32
Vermont 120
Washington 1,433
Wisconsin 520
West Virginia 333
Wyoming 116

Veterans’ health records lost in VA

A soldier at Ft Drum questioned Def Sec Ashton Carter about what he’s doing to make sure service members are able to make a smooth, easy transition to civilian life. “The way I think about it is there’s only one 

When former USMC Sgt Chris Morey went to the VA for excruciating back pain & migraines, doctors said they couldn’t do anything for him because they had not received his deployment medical history from the military.

Sgt. Morey, who separated from the Marine Corps in 2007 after serving 4 years, was told by the Department of Defense that the VA would be sent a copy of his deployment history that included things like a concussion he’d suffered in an improvised explosive device blast during his 3rd tour in Iraq. But it never happened.

“I’m telling you I get headaches; I’m telling you my back is messed up,” he told The Washington Times of his visit to the VA. “You’re telling me it doesn’t matter because it’s not in this record.”

Veterans advocates are urging the Defense Department and VA to collaborate better so electronic health records can simply be clicked and dragged from one system to another when a service member transitions to civilian life, eliminating problems like the ones faced by Sgt. Morey.

While the new secretaries of the Defense & Veterans Affairs departments have publicly said their priority is providing seamless customer service, advocates say they have seen little progress in solving the decade-old divide between the 2 bureaucracies.

Under the current system, troops are given a compact disc with PDF copies of their health records when they leave the military that they must bring to the VA. The PDFs are essentially just photos of records and can’t be manipulated or updated with current health information.

John Stovall, national security director at The American Legion, said implementing a new system to make the transition of medical records easier for veterans should be “a top priority” for leadership.

“It’s easy to see in terms of just bureaucratic infighting or protecting their turf, but, ultimately, it comes down to the positive outcomes for our veterans and service members. It’s a very personal issue to them,” he said.

Mr. Stovall stressed that in addition to increasing interoperability between Defense and VA medical records, it’s also important for the military to use health records that can also be accessed by private doctors.

Sgt. Morey has stopped going to the VA because of “the time commitment that it takes to actually be that squeaky wheel” to get an appointment, but sees private doctors through his employer-provided health care plan. After a VA doctor never followed up on the results of X-rays taken of his back, he has been unable to even get a copy of the X-rays sent to his private doctor.

A soldier at Fort Drum questioned Defense Secretary Ashton Carter about what he’s doing to make sure service members are able to make a smooth, easy transition to civilian life.

“The way I think about it is there’s only one soldier. Why should they have to put up with 2 Cabinet departments, right?” Carter responded. “You guys shouldn’t have to see all that. It should be seamless to you.”

But that’s easier said than done.

Both Mr. Carter, who became the leader of the Defense Department in January, and Bob McDonald, who took over the VA in August, have inherited an ages-old problem that has haunted their predecessors: how to restructure their departments to better work with each other and provide veterans with a world-class health service that is transferable from one branch to another without the bureaucratic infighting for turf protection.

2 years ago, the Senate & House Veterans’ Affairs committees sent letters to then-Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel calling for the Pentagon a VA to adhere to a plan to improve disability claims processing by speeding records transfers to the VA.

At the time, lawmakers were concerned the delay in transferring records slowed veterans’ disability claims by as much as 175 days because it took that long for the VA to receive complete records from the Defense Department.

The 2013 plan required the Pentagon to hand over service treatment records to VA “immediately” and establish an electronic transfer capability for the records by the end of 2013. “Immediately” was translated into a PDF document handed to the veterans upon their release, and the establishment of transferable electronic records is still in progress.

Last year, the Pentagon issued a final request for bids for an $11 billion contract to replace its obsolete electronic health record system and improve data-sharing between it and the VA. However, both branches of the government seem to be moving down different modernization paths.

The Pentagon is working on its Defense Healthcare Management System Modernization program (DHMSM), and the VA is in the process of implementing the next generation of its Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture, known as VistA.

The DHMSM contract will be awarded in June. PricewaterhouseCoopers is among the bidders, along with IBM and a team consisting of Computer Sciences Corp., Hewlett Packard and Allscripts. Each bidder is working with a different electronic health records vendor. PricewaterhouseCoopers currently runs the VistA health record system.

Department of Defense aims for initial operational capability for the new system by next year.

In February, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) added the lack of interoperability between the Pentagon and VA health records to its list of “high risk” areas that flags government systems and programs that are particularly vulnerable to fraud, waste, abuse, mismanagement or transformation.

“The two departments have engaged in a series of initiatives intended to achieve electronic health record interoperability, but accomplishment of this goal has been continuously delayed and has yet to be realized,” the GAO said in its report. “The ongoing lack of electronic health record interoperability limits VA clinicians’ ability to readily access information from DOD records, potentially impeding their ability to make the most informed decisions on treatment options, and possibly putting veterans’ health at risk.”

The Pentagon is doing its best to give veterans the best experience possible, said spokeswoman Laura Seal.

The Defense Department “is sharply focused on supporting transitioning service members — this is our commitment to those who serve and their families,” Ms. Seal said in an emailed statement. “Sharing healthcare resources and health information between DoD and VA continues to evolve. This support includes timely and accurate submission of personnel and health information to VA to determine eligibility for benefits and/or demonstrate service connection for disability payments.”

Mr. McDonald told Congress earlier this year that the administration’s $4.1 billion budget request for fiscal 2016 would make progress in efforts to more easily share health records with the Defense Department by “enhancing and modernizing VA’s electronic health record, enhancing data security and achieving health data interoperability with the Department of Defense.

Walinda West, a VA spokeswoman, highlighted several initiatives the department is working on to better work with the Defense Department, including a joint committee to institutionalize sharing and collaboration, an agreement to share health care resources and a congressionally authorized fund to enhance collaboration from 2003.

Defense Department was not able to provide a comment.

Joe Davis, a spokesman for the Veterans of Foreign Wars, said that each of the new secretaries has had other issues to deal with since taking over their respective departments.

“They inherited departments in different forms of crises,” he said. “The VA, obviously, is still working hard to overcome its nationwide crisis in care and confidence. DOD is transitioning to a smaller force but with a growing list of requirements and threats, not the least of which is mandatory sequestration returning.

Benefits available for vets who served at Camp Lejeune

(This includes veterans who served on LeJeune & lived /off base for a period of 30 days or more.)
From the 1950s through the 1980s, people living or working at Camp Lejeune, NC, were potentially exposed to drinking water contaminated with industrial solvents, benzene and other chemicals.

This chemical exposure may have led to health conditions.

These 15 health conditions qualify regarding the contaminates: esophageal cancer, breast cancer, kidney cancer, multiple myeloma, renal toxicity, female infertility, scleroderma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, lung cancer, bladder cancer, leukemia, myelodysplastic syndromes, hepatic steatosis, miscarriage or neurobehavioral effects.

You may be eligible for VA health benefits if you served on active duty or resided (family members) at Camp Lejeune for 30 days or more between Aug. 1, 1953, and Dec. 31, 1987.

If you are eligible:

• Veterans receive health care for qualifying health conditions at no cost at all.
• Family members receive reimbursement for out-of-pocket medical expenses incurred from treatment of qualifying health conditions.

Veterans need to gather documents showing they served on active duty at Camp Lejuene. They can use military orders or base housing records.

They then need to enroll in VA Health Care. Veterans already enrolled can contact their local VA health care facility at  www.va.gov/directory/guide/ to sign up for the Camp Lejeune Program and receive VA care. If not yet enrolled, veterans can apply online at va.gov/healthbenefits/apply/, call toll-free 877-222-8387, or visit the nearest VA Office.

Family members need to gather documents to show their relationship to a veteran; they can use a marriage license or a birth certificate.

They also need to show that they served at Camp Lejeune for a period of 30 days. They need the military orders sending their veteran to Camp Lejeune. Then gather receipts for qualifying expenses. By law, VA may only compensate for eligible out-of-pocket expenses after family members have received payment from all other health plans. Family members may request reimbursement for expenses incurred on or after March 26, 2013, which is the date when Congress began to fund this program.

To apply for reimbursement, visit clfamilymembers.fsc.va.gov or call 866-372-1144.
This information is from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, March 2015.
For more information, call Brenda Stormer at the VA Office at 724-465-3815.
VA officials suspended after audit uncovered misconduct

2 senior officials at the Department of Veterans Affairs were suspended after an audit found they charged subordinates money to attend a work-related party that featured psychic readings.

In a notice to Congress, the VA said it had temporarily suspended Lucy Filipov, the assistant director of the Philadelphia regional office & Gary Hodge, who heads the Pension Management Center. Both employees will remain on the VA payroll pending an internal review to determine disciplinary action.

The VA said neither employee would be available for comment. Phone messages left Monday at Hodge's Philadelphia home and Filipov's residence in southern New Jersey were not immediately returned.

The department said it took allegations by the VA inspector general "seriously" following the audit released last Thursday in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by The Associated Press. That audit faulted Filipov for misusing her position and referred the matter to the Justice Department, which declined to take criminal action in favor of administrative discipline by the VA.

The audit found Filipov hosted a party where employees were charged $30 or more to attend, specifically for the purpose of having fortunes told by Hodge's wife. It found employees "were generally not enamored of the psychic experience," with one employee describing the payment as a "donation."

The IG said Hodge acted improperly because he did not disclose his wife's income on mandatory disclosure forms. Her profits from that party had been deposited in a joint bank account and used by the couple to pay for a vacation last year.

In comments included in last week's report, Filipov said she considered the party a gathering of friends, rather than one involving subordinates. Hodge said his wife's business was separate from his work and didn't know what his wife's income was.

Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., on Monday applauded the VA's action, saying he hoped it was a sign the department will now hold officials strictly accountable for "reckless and harmful actions."

He said both whistleblower reports and IG reviews had found "a level of systemic mismanagement" at the VA that demanded staff changes.

The Philadelphia office has been under close scrutiny following an initial IG report released in April that documented widespread problems such as neglected mail, untimely responses to more than 31,000 veterans' inquiries and manipulation of dates to make old claims look new. Linda Halliday, the assistant inspector general, has suggested that Philadelphia's problems might be indicative of a wider VA problem.

The VA is already conducting a separate review of the Philadelphia office to determine punishment in response to that April audit and had temporarily reassigned Hodge to a Washington D.C. post. He has now been suspended from Washington duties

Vet Killed By Police Trying To Leave Hospital After Waiting 4 Hours

“This kneeing and stomping on his neck by the VA Police Department police officers caused the dissection of his carotid artery, that resulted in immediate (or very soon thereafter) blood clotting, which resulted in [his] suffering a stroke. Moreover, the brutalization of Jonathan Montano resulted in him suffering other serious physical injuries, and associated physical, mental and emotional pain, suffering and distress.”

A doctor initially told the widow her husband's death was caused by a fall, but a conscience nurse informed her of the police brutality.

A veteran died of a stroke after Veterans Affairs police beat him because he refused to wait any longer for treatment at a VA hospital in California. Now his widow is suing the government over the brutality that led to his death.

Jonathan Montano had been at the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Loma Linda, Calif. for 4 hours with a shunt (a needle apparatus) in his arm, awaiting dialysis. Tired of biding his time, he decided to head to a different VA hospital in Long Beach, and asked his wife Norma to get the car. But instead of allowing the patient to leave with the shunt still in his arm so the Long Beach staff wouldn’t have to insert a new one Loma Linda nurses called VA police, who beat him to keep him from leaving, Courthouse News Service reported, citing the lawsuit by Norma Montano.

“The summoned VA Police Department police officers then stopped Jonathan Montano from leaving the VA Hospital in Loma Linda, by tackling him to the floor, slamming his head on the floor, and kneeing and stomping on his neck, and otherwise brutalizing and restraining him,” the lawsuit said.

“This kneeing and stomping on his neck by the VA Police Department police officers caused the dissection of his carotid artery, that resulted in immediate (or very soon thereafter) blood clotting, which resulted in him suffering a stroke. Moreover, the brutalization of Jonathan Montano resulted in him suffering other serious physical injuries, and associated physical, mental and emotional pain, suffering and distress.”

Norma, who had been waiting in the car for her husband, went inside after he did not leave the hospital. There, she was told Jonathan had suffered a stroke and was in the emergency department. Upon arriving in the ER, a doctor told her Jonathan “had fallen down and suffered a stroke, an untrue statement,” she says in the complaint.

But later on, a nurse pulled Norma aside and told her what had really happened: that police had thrown her husband to the ground, that hospital staff were lying to her and that it wasn’t right what the VA cops had done, CNS reported.

The incident occurred on May 25, 2011, and Jonathan died of complications from the stroke two-and-a-half weeks later, on June 11. He was 65. The couple had been married for 44 years.

Norma and the couple’s son and daughter are suing the United States in federal court. They are seeking punitive and other damages for wrongful death, false imprisonment, constitutional violations, negligence, loss of consortium and intentional infliction of emotional distress, CNS said.

The suit comes at the same time the VA is under fire for the so-called “Veterangate” scandal. Earlier in May, a Veterans Affairs (VA) employee alleged that at least 40 patients died waiting for an appointment at a VA hospital in Phoenix, Ariz. Several whistleblowers told reporters that, in an effort to salvage their own reputation, VA administrators mandated that thousands of patients’ names be moved to an unofficial waiting list. If those veterans died, the whistleblowers claimed, the names would simply be removed from the list quietly.

An agency report linked 23 deaths in multiple states to delayed treatment. Congress is investigating the agency, and many politicians have called for VA Secretary Eric Shinseki’s resignation. President Barack Obama defended Shinseki last Wednesday. He has also asked deputy chief of staff Rob Nabors to examine the allegations. An inspector general has also been assigned to look into the scandal.

Is the VA Going Broke Financially and Morally ?

I go to the VA 3 times a week because of my medical condition sometimes 4 times a week. I receive approximately $25.00 per visit in travel pay. Last month on September 29, 2014 I received my last travel payment in my bank account ? Why ? No one seems to be able inform myself and other veterans at the VA Hospital in Marion, Indiana. Currently they have not updated by travel account for the last 8 to 9 visits or about $200.00 in travel pay. When you attempt to contact the Patient Advocate they are never in their office, or in Fort Wayne in training or do not return their telephone calls. I thought about asking someone at the VA in Marion but after reading about the above 2 incidents and seeing several of the VA Police walking around with their ands on the weapons I decided I do not think I want to put myself and my spouse in a situation that could become dangerous for either one of us. Having once before experiencing the results of a non situation that the VA Police responded to. It is getting to the point that going to the VA is a stressful trip when it should be the exact opposite.

I realize that many veterans are stressed out and some even have PTSD problems. But from what I have seen and heard at Marion VA first hand the Hospital Administrator might want to send her officers to some sensitivity training. Veterans do not go to the VA Hospital because they want to, they go there because the want need to medically. The hospital staff, doctors, nurses, physical therapists and technicians and veteran contact individuals like Pay Clerks and Pharmacists are all great at Marion. And they go out of their way to assist the needs of the veterans. Going to the VA sure is not what it was before the scandal. Before the scandal in some ways was better. It almost seems as if the administrative personnel at the VA is trying to punish the veterans for getting caught doing things they were not suppose to have done in the first place.
Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuits

The federal government is trying to convince a federal court to dismiss lawsuits filed on behalf of former U.S. Marines who were allegedly sickened by polluted water while stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC. In several of the lawsuits, the government is claiming that the so-called Feres doctrine bars the Marines from suing the U.S. government.

From the mid-1957 to 1987 an estimated 1 million people at Camp Lejeune were exposed to water that was poisoned by benzene, trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE) & vinyl chloride, which the Department of the Navy eventually blamed on an off base dry cleaner. As we’ve reported in the past, many scientists have called the drinking water contamination at Camp Lejeune the worst in the nation’s history. Lawsuits involving toxic water at Camp Lejeune have been consolidated in a multidistrict litigation & transferred to the U.S. District Court, N. District - GA. The lawsuits allege the U.S. government was negligent in disposing of the toxins that contaminated water supplies at Camp Lejeune.

According to a report the Justice Department has filed motions in the multidistrict litigation to have it dismissed. In one motion, the government maintains 3 of the complaints are barred by the Feres Doctrine, a 60-year-old Supreme Court decision which holds that service members may not sue under the Federal Torts Claims Act for injuries “arising out of or sustained incident to military service.” Advocates for military personnel have long insisted that the Doctrine was meant to cover situations that occur during battle or in the course of armed forces activities. However, over the years, Courts have extended that restriction to medical care received stateside, and U.S. troops are prevented from suing the U.S. government if they are injured by a negligent doctor or other medical practitioner within the military healthcare system. Recently, the government has been trying to convince courts that the Feres also applies to the families of military men & women.

Advocates for military members long decried the expansion of the Feres Doctrine. For years, they’ve been lobbying Congress to amend the Federal Tort Claims Act to protect the legal rights of active duty military personnel & their families. Although there have been attempts to do this over the past 60 years, they’ve not gone anywhere. The most recent attempt came in 2009, Republican lawmakers balked because an amendment would allow malpractice cases to trial, something that runs counter to their goal of enacting tort reform.

The 2nd motion filed by the Justice Department claimed all 7 Camp Lejeune lawsuits currently pending in the multidistrict litigation should be dismissed, based on the so-called discretionary function exception to the Federal Tort Claims Act, which bars litigation based upon the performance or failure to perform a “discretionary function or duty” on the part of the government. The motion argues that because the Plaintiffs’ cannot point to any statute that imposes duties upon the U.S. to provide safe water, such duties are “discretionary.”

It’s important to note that in both motions, the government concedes that the water contamination at Camp Lejeune was due, in part, to the military’s disposal practices,
Richard E. Buckner USMC stationed at Camp LeJeune from October 1971 to May 1974

A Day At The VA - Friday July 11, 2014

Friday I went to the VA facility in Marion, Indiana to have a blood draw before I was to see my doctor next Friday. A rather regular procedure. The hematologist definitely knew her job. I did not even feel the needle. A pleasant experience overall. I was in and out in less than 10 minutes, then I went to the Eye Doctor at the facility to have my glasses fixed. The technician in the optical department stripped the screws in my glasses when she repaired them because she put the screws in the glasses upside down against the normal treading of the screw. Then I went down to my doctor's receptionist area to ask whey my pain medicine that was prescribed by my doctor (a non narcotic pain medicine called Gabapentin) who I seen once and now he is no longer my doctor because he decided not to renew his contract with the VA, had not been sent out in 10 days since I ordered it online. This is the 5th doctor I had been assigned in 1 year. The first quit before I even seen him, the 2nd was transferred to ND because of a personality problem with the Hospital Chief of Staff. The 3rd also quit. The 4th I seen once & he was an excellent doctor who I really liked & he and I had a very good respect for each other. And my wife like his professionalism also. Now I have doctor number 5 who incidentally is the same doctor who is the head of the other VA hospitals who was swamped with the 19 patients. So we can safely assume doctor number 6 is on his or her way soon.

I was then asked to sit out in the outer area & wait. The reason was that the 1 doctor covering 19 patients that afternoon, who was the head of several VA facilities was a bit overwhelmed at the moment. As I sit there I was asked by a male nurse how I was doing. I stated so far not so good, I then very calmly stated that I had seen absolutely no improvement of VA customer service since the scandal broke. He calmly nodded his head in the affirmative. I told him about my glasses and he smiled. I never raised my voice once or had I expressed any type of outward anger towards the nurse or anyone in the facility.

It was about then that 2 of the VA police entered the area & asked my why I was here. I calmly informed them that I was awaiting an appointment. They asked the male nurse "Is everything OK here" He said yes, then one of the policeman called on his radio to dispatch that the situation was OK so far. At that point I had enough and said calmly to the Nurse to inform the receptionist when he or she came out for me that I had left (after waiting over an hour) that they could send my medicine to my home. He said OK & said have a safe trip home. The policemen said "You need to calm down Sir" I then informed the Policeman that if anyone needed to calm down it was him and his young partner who constantly had his hand on his service weapon in his holster all the time he had been standing here.

I then walked out to my car with my wife and was followed outside until I reached my vehicle. I then departed the VA facility and as I looked into me rear view mirror I noticed the VA police car had followed me nearly to the gate leaving the facility. Nice to be treated like a terrorist at your local VA facility.

To make certain things clear, no I do not suffer from PTSD, no I do not take any psychotropic medications, my pain medicine which was for nerve pain (2 crushed vertebrates in my back and one leg damaged with only half a knee cap - left leg). No I have had no anger issues and no I have absolutely no criminal - felony or misdemeanor arrests regarding any anger issues. The nurse and I was simply having a nice conversation when Wyatt Erp and Doc Holiday decided to come up and play Bad Cop & No Clue Cop.

It is sad that the VA personnel have so a low morale issue after the scandal that they have to fabricate "incidents" to appear to justify whatever it is they attempt to justify. The Inspector Generals office of the VA warns that VA Whistleblowers - VA employees that are speaking out against the VA treating patients incorrectly, are now being harassed by other VA employees especially higher ranking VA employees. Perhaps added to this by the IG should be law abiding veterans themselves who are also harassed & treated without respect by VA Police.

It is a shame because my gripe is not with the doctors, nurses and medical technicians of the VA it is with the Administration and Higher Ups within the VA that wants to keep the VA in the intimidating and veteran abuse era that was so prevalent before, during and evidentially even post scandal era. The more the treat the veterans poorly and without the respect the more it comes down on them by congress and the senate. Will it be required that all GS-9 and above employees must be terminated from the jobs by the OPM, and others who can provide quality and compassionate medical services take their places before the entire problem is solved ? It appears we are going in this direction.

They Have Not Learned A Thing
June 17, 2014

A week ago I was contacted by our local Community & Family Services Organization to inform me that I was eligible to receive a Window Mounted Air Conditioner for my home since I did not have Central Air in my home. I was informed that all I needed was to have my doctor verify my current medical condition. I am a insulin dependent diabetic & I have 2 crushed vertebrates & half of a knee cap (left knee) - hypertension and high cholesterol. I told them I really appreciated their kind offer. I then contacted the VA in Marion, Indiana where I currently have my medical care taken care of. I am a retired U.S. Marine and have my health care needs are taken care of through the VA.

I informed them I need my doctor at the VA sign my paperwork & they said no problem go ahead and fax over the form & that they would have it signed & promptly faxed back to the Community Family Services office. That was a week ago, on June 18 the paper work was required or I would be taken off the list for the Air Conditioner.

Today I called the Community Family Services (June 17) & was informed that the form had not been received from the VA. They also told me that they had resent the form by fax to the VA & received a message that was a bit on the nasty side making reference that they had received multiple faxes regarding this matter. Only 2 were sent.

I then called the VA in Marion, Indiana. A total of 3 attempts to contact my doctor's office. And 2 attempts to the the Patient Advocate & the another attempt to the doctor's office. On the 1st attempt the number I was transferred to stated it was not in operation, on the 2nd attempt by a young lady that was laughing & when I asked if this was the VA she said "Yeah" then hung up. Then I called Congresswoman Brook's Office & spoke with a young man name Jack who basically told me "I do not know what to tell you" after I explained my problem. I then called Senator Coats office & spoke with a young lady. She listened to my story & then said I am going to put you on hold, after 10 minutes she stated she had left a voicemail with the VA in Marion, IN & she would follow up on this. I informed her that this was the 17th and this matter would basically self destruct on the 18th when the offer for the Air Conditioner goes off the table.

I then informed her that if I did not hear anything by 4:00 PM June 17th my next step would be to take this to the public through various contacts & sources. Her comment to this is "That's not fair, your not giving us enough time to take care of this". My comment was that I gave the government 7 days to handle this matters & that I had to take charge now & take care of myself. She did not seem too happy with that comment.

I also contacted several VA governmental agencies in Washington, D.C. and was hung up on twice. I did not get loud, angry or disrespectful when attempting to convey my problem. I was informed by them that I had called the wrong agency and when I tried to explain why I had called them they simply hung up. So much for a compassionate VA.

I want to say I have nothing but the highest respect for the doctors and nurses and technicians of the VA and I have always received the absolute best in medical attention while I have utilized the VA. The problems we Veterans have is not with the medical personnel it is with the bureaucrats and political appointees within the organization.

It appears the VA has not learned a thing from they scandal & resignation of their director & senior administrators. It is the same old MO don't worry about the Vet, do as little as possible & this time it was not putting a Vet on a List it was taking one off one.

The problem with political appointees, bureaucrats and politicians and staffers is that for the most part they do what they want and they do not worry about it because for the most part no one ever finds out what they do or do not do. But not this time. This time you also know about their actions or better yet their lack of actions.

It is now 4:45 PM and no phone calls returned and no emails received. The only thing is I am keeping my promise here by posting this as I said I would at 3:30 PM today.

Follow Up June 18: It appears this website has caused a stir because this morning at 9:00 AM I received 4 phone calls. 2 from Congress 1 from the Public Affairs Office at Marion VA & another from Community & Family Services. It appears that the VA is concerned about their image. I would have rather gone through normal channels to solve a problem. But, as you can read above this was a situation that required immediate action. I would like to restate Community Family Services is a wonderful organization & did not deserve being treated like this by the VA for simply resending a request by fax. I would also like to state that I have absolutely no problem with the medical care I receive from the VA. My problem is with some (I underline some political appointees, bureaucrats, politicians & staffers) that only jump up & take notice when a vet is forced to take action to protect his benefits & health. What is sad is to think of the millions of veterans that do not have the resources & mental strength to act in their own behalf & have their rights, privileges & health needs go unfulfilled.

And the Hits Just Keep On Coming : June 18, 2014 1:30 PM

As of 1:25 PM things are getting really interesting now. It appears that the VA does not even know to turn their Fax machine on. They requested that Community & Family Services fax over the request yet another time (even though they complained when they faxed the request twice before) Now the request has been attempted to be resent yet another 1-2-3-4 & yes 5 more times. Why? Because the fax number that they were provided with by the Public Affairs official at the VA is not working. Great way to cause even further problems by providing a non-working fax number to an agency trying to help out veterans. So does anyone now wonder why we are losing it in Iraq & Afghanistan. Well at least there the government (ours) provides the opposition with weapons, stinger missiles, humvees & other assorted hardware... humm wonder if they left any air conditioners at that base that the Taliban would be kind enough to send me.

At 3:35 PM I finally received confirmation from Community Family Services that at 3:30 PM today the VA finally faxed over the form. 25 minutes before the deadline on June 18, 2014 at 4:00 PM. However, even before that Community Family Services took it upon themselves to order the AC. Their representative even called me and apologized (for what reason I have no idea, they have been great!) for the problems. And as of 4:00 PM no word received from either the Senator's or Congressman's or the VA to inform me about the situation. Which once again confirms my earlier statement regarding the total lack of respect given to veterans. But thanks to organizations such as Community Family Services, I greatly appreciate their professionalism and service to veterans.

White House Review of VA Finds 'Corrosive Culture'

An interim report on the VA delivered to Obama found that the VA’s medical system is hobbled by management with little accountability & a “corrosive culture” that has led to widespread personnel problems. A summary of the report by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rob Nabors released today also said the 14-day standard set for scheduling appointments is “arbitrary, ill-defined and misunderstood” and may have motivated personnel at VA facilities to falsify records. The department must address “significant and chronic systemic failures” & restructure the VA, which oversees more than 1,700 facilities delivering health care to military veterans, it said. The department also needs to hire more doctors & other health care professionals, the report concludes.

Rep Miller, R-FL Chairman - House VA Committee issued statement:

“It appears the White House has finally come to terms with the serious & systemic VA health care problems we’ve been investigating and documenting for years. While it’s extremely unfortunate Obama did not heed our warnings about the very real and very deadly problems within the VA health care system sooner, we stand ready to work with stakeholders inside and outside the administration to institute VA reforms that will improve services to America’s veterans while bringing real accountability and efficiency to the department.”

The White House released the report summary after Nabors delivered it to Obama during a meeting that also included acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson. Obama asked Nabors to remain in his temporary role assisting the VA. Former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki stepped down May 30 amid a growing scandal over revelations of extended waits for veterans seeking medical appointments & falsification of records regarding those wait times. An internal VA audit of 731 veterans’ medical facilities released June 9 found more than 120,000 veterans were either waiting for care longer than 90 days or hadn’t received an appointment. The FBI’s Phoenix office is conducting a criminal investigation of the delays.

Manipulated Records

An earlier review, before Shinseki resigned, found scheduling staff were told to manipulate appointments to cover up wait times at 64 % of VA facilities. As part of the effort to speed care to veterans, Nabors’ report suggests convening a panel of health-care experts and industry leaders to develop a set of best practices. It also cautions against using performance measures, such as wait-time data, as a gauge of the quality of care. Congress is working on legislation that would authorize billions of dollars to shorten long wait times for veterans seeking medical care at Veterans Affairs facilities and to make it easier to fire employees at the agency. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Senate version would cost as much as $35 billion over 10 years while the House version would double VA health spending and cost as much as $44 billion over 5 years. A House-Senate conference committee will resume talks on the measure next month when Congress returns to Washington. The VA has an influx of patients as about half of the 1.9 million troops discharged after serving in Afghanistan or Iraq return to the U.S. in need of medical care, according to VA data. The department operates the U.S.’s largest integrated health system.

VA Audit Finds Thousands of Vets Waiting for Care

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs said on Monday that roughly 100,000 veterans have experienced long waits for healthcare appointments at VA facilities and more than three-quarters of locations had misreported waiting times. In an internal audit, the agency said 57,436 new veteran patients had been waiting 90 days or more for an appointment. The agency said it was abandoning a two-week scheduling goal after finding that it was "not attainable." "This data shows the extent of the systemic problems we face, problems that demand immediate actions," Sloan Gibson, acting Department of Veterans Affairs secretary, said Monday in a statement. "As of today, VA has contacted 50,000 veterans across the country to get them off of wait lists and into clinics." The audit examined 731 VA hospitals and large outpatient clinics and found long wait times across the country for patients seeking their first appointments with both primary care doctors and specialists. A 14-day target for waiting times was "not attainable," the auditors reported, because of growing demand for VA services and poor planning. The 2011 decision by senior VA officials setting that target, and then basing bonuses on meeting the target, was "an organizational leadership failure." The audit found that in some instances schedulers were instructed to enter different desired dates than the one requested by the veteran, thus masking waiting times. A separate inspector general's report this week found deep-seated problems in the veterans' sprawling healthcare system, which provides medical care to about 6.5 million veterans annually. "This report makes it clear that the only people benefiting from our current VA healthcare system are the bureaucrats who put their own bonuses over veterans' care," said Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas in a statement. "Now that we have further confirmation of the systemic nature of these problems, President Obama must direct the FBI to investigate the allegations of criminal misconduct." Medical care for the nation's 22.1 million veterans has become a top priority for Congress amid reports that the Veterans Health Administration, the country's largest integrated health system, hid excessive waits for veterans trying to see a doctor. Half of the 1.9 million troops discharged after serving in Iraq or Afghanistan have come back to the United States in need of medical care, VA data show. At least 18 veterans died while awaiting medical care in Phoenix, Gibson has said. House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller, a Florida Republican, has said there were as many as 40 deaths. Miller and other lawmakers have blamed VA performance goals for motivating hospital staff to falsify official waiting lists. The audit is the third in a series of reports in the past month into long wait times and falsified records at VA facilities nationwide. The controversy forced VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign May 30. Shinseki took the blame for what he decried as a "lack of integrity" in the sprawling system providing healthcare to the nation's military veterans. The audit, released Monday, said 13% of VA schedulers reported getting instructions from supervisors or others to falsify appointment dates in order to meet on-time performance goals. About 8% of schedulers said they used alternatives to an official electronic waiting list, often under pressure to make waiting times appear more favorable. Here is a list of the facilities with the longest average waits as of May 15 for new patients seeking primary care, specialist care and mental healthcare, according to audit results released Monday.
New Patient Primary Care Longest Average Wait Time:

Honolulu, HI, 145 days;
   VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend HCS, Harlingen, TX, 85 days;
   Fayetteville, NC, 83 days;
   Baltimore HCS, MD, 81 days;
   Portland, OR, 80 days;
   Columbia, SC, 77 days;
   Central Alabama Veterans HCS, Montgomery, Ala., 75 days;
   Providence, RI, 74 days;
   Salt Lake City, UT, 73 days;
   Richmond, VA, 73 days.
New Patient Specialist Care Average Wait Time:

VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend HCS, Harlingen, TX, 145 days
   El Paso, TX, 90 days
   White City, OR, 88 days
   Clarksburg, WV, 86 days
   St. Louis, Mo., 86 days
   Middle Tennessee HCS, Nashville, TN, 71 days
   Durham, NC, 69 days
   Hampton, VA, 68 days
   Mountain Home, TN, 67 days
   VA Central Western Massachusetts HCS, Leeds, MA., 67 days.

New Patient Mental Healthcare Average Wait Time:

Durham, NC, 104 days
Clarksburg, WV, 96 days
Amarillo, TX, 61 days
El Paso, TX, 60 days
Erie, PA, 57 days
Central Alabama Veterans HCS, Montgomery, AL, 57 days
White City, OR, 57 days
VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend HCS, Harlingen, TX, 55 days
Hampton, VA, 54 days
Dallas, TX, 50 days

Tricare for Life Cuts Discounts for 400K Retirees

Starting this spring, more than 400,000 military retirees and senior dependents in the Tricare for Life program will owe the full amount for certain prescription refills if they use a retail pharmacy rather than a military pharmacy or a mail service. The change, part of a pilot program created by Congress, is meant to help control the cost of military health care and in its first year, is expected to cut $120 million from the $3.3 billion that the U.S. Department of Defense pays annually for Tricare For Life pharmacy needs. The government insurance serves about 2 million military retirees and their dependents over 65, supplementing Medicare. Tricare for Life accounts for nearly half of the $7.1 billion that the Defense Department spends each year on its pharmacy program. The pilot includes more than 400 medications mostly brand-name for chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and asthma. Prescriptions for pain relievers, antibiotics and other medicines for acute conditions aren't affected. With the program, members can fill eligible prescriptions three times at a retail outlet, usually a 30-day supply for a $17 copayment. Then, if they don't switch, they're responsible for the drug's entire cost for subsequent refills, charges that quickly could climb into hundreds of dollars. If they do switch, they'll owe $13 for each 90-day supply through the Express Scripts mail service or nothing when they use a base pharmacy. After a year, members can opt out of the pilot and return to paying $17 for a 30-day supply for their retail refills. 9 out of 10 people who switch to the home delivery program decide to stick with it, according to Tricare. Tricare for Life will grant waivers on a case-by-case basis due to "personal need or hardship, emergency, or other special circumstance." Beyond savings and convenience, Tricare officials said the move to mail delivery can help patients adhere more closely to their drug regimens by requiring less effort to get their prescriptions refilled. That compliance can keep patients healthier, an obvious plus for them. It also can save insurance plans the expense of hospitalizations or other medical care, said health economics consultant M. Christopher Roebuck. But brick-and-mortar pharmacies say it takes more than access to ensure that patients take their medicines correctly. "A lot of people, they have medications that they just don't take," said John Norton, a spokesman for the National Community Pharmacists Association. "Or they have medication and they start to feel better, and they don't take it to its conclusion." Some, including members of the U.S. House of Representatives have expressed concern about over-reliance on mail delivery for pharmaceuticals. In a March 31 letter to the Pentagon, nine congressmen, including North Carolina Republican Walter Jones, stressed the value of in-person counseling from community pharmacists. Though the pilot program offers around-the-clock phone access to pharmacists, they said that might not be enough. "We urge Tricare to allow patients who prefer to utilize their local community pharmacist as opposed to a telephone hotline to do so," they wrote. Tricare for Life members in South Hampton Roads offered mixed opinions about the pharmaceutical mail service. Jerry Walton, 69, said he hadn't wanted to switch, and he remains apprehensive about the potential impact of inclement weather. "A 100 degree day, what's the temperature in a metallic mailbox and what's the status of the drugs after eight hours in that?" the Virginia Beach resident said. "Maybe they're fine, maybe not, maybe it depends on the drug." Doris Plock tried mail delivery last year after surgery made it difficult for her to get around. She was surprised to discover a new $15 charge for insulin she'd been getting for free and unhappy that her doctor was required to undergo a complicated verification process for a medicine she'd been taking for years. After she recovered, she abandoned the mail order program for the military pharmacy at Sewells Point Branch Medical Clinic. "If something like that happened again, I guess I would have to go back to it," Plock, 69, of Virginia Beach, said, "not that I would want to, but I would have to."

Chuck LeGeyt feels differently.

In three years using Tricare's mail order program, he experienced just one hiccup a delayed delivery during last winter's snows. "I couldn't even tell you how to improve it," said LeGeyt, 66, of Virginia Beach. "It's unbelievable.

US military suicide rate higher than believed: Pentagon

Rates of suicide in the US military were worse during the war years than what the Pentagon previously reported.
The suicide rate in the United States military was worse during the war years than previously reported by the Defense Department, according to new calculations.

New arithmetic released by Pentagon officials on Friday shows that during the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, the true suicide rate across the US military was actually up to 1% or more higher than what was being reported. Defense officials said the problem with the old, now-abandoned calculation, was that it relied partly on an estimated figure in determining the suicide rate rather than using precise numbers. "It's jaw-dropping that the Pentagon would use this kind of crass calculation to measure the impact of the suicide epidemic within their ranks," Senator Patty Murray, a senior member of the Veterans Affairs Committee, said. "It took us time and effort to sit down and really just kind of figure out a better way to do the math," said Jacqueline Garrick, director of the Defense Suicide Prevention Office. Since 2003, suicides among active-duty members of the military and veterans has soared, increasing to record levels every year. For full-time troops across the US military, the suicide rate stood at 22.7 per 100,000 in 2012 and fell to 19.1 per 100,000 last year, according to the Pentagon.

Among full-time soldiers in the Army, the suicide rate soared to 29.7 deaths per 100,000 in 2012, well above a 25.1-per-100,000 rate for civilians of a similar age group during 2010, the latest year available. Among male soldiers, the rate was 31.8 per 100,000. There were a record 164 soldier-suicides that year.Earlier this month, US military officials said suicides among US special operations forces, including elite Navy SEALs and Army Rangers, are at record levels.

14 Republicans Who Abandoned Our Military

Republicans joining Democrats to Screw Retirees & Active Duty

Paul Ryan (WI) - Never Served in military - Voted for COLA & Pension Cuts
Lamar Alexander (TN) - Never served in the military
Roy Blunt (MO) - Never served in the military
Saxby Chambliss (GA) - Never served in the military
Susan Collins (ME) - Never served in the military
Jeff Flake (AZ) - Never served in the military
Orrin Hatch (UT) - Never served in the military
John Hoeven (ND) - Never served in the military
Johnny Isakson (GA) - Georgia Air National Guard (1966 - 1972)
Ron Johnson (WI) - Never served in the military
Lisa Murkowski (AK) - Never served in the military
Rob Portman (OH) - Never served in the military
Jim Bridenstine (OK) - USN - Voted for lowering cost-of-living & pensions
John McCain (AZ) - USN Officer/Aviator - POW - Son of USN Admiral

Poorly Treated Wounded Warrior – In His Own Words

We hear of so many instances where our Veterans Administration drops the ball so frequently, but here we see an example that it is not just them. It appears to be a problem that pervades all branches of our armed forces. Our wounded warriors are not all treated equally it appears, nor are they all treated properly. Is this the way we treat our Wounded Warriors? This needs to change and NOW! This is a US Marine who was poorly treated after he was wounded in Afghanistan. In 2010 Matthew William McElhinney's platoon was ambushed in Marjah. During which he was shot in the back. After a vicious firefight, and the efforts of his fellow Marines and corpsmen, he was stabilized and med-evaced to Camp Bastion, where he had life-saving surgeries. He was transported to Germany, then to a hospital in Bethesda, MD., where he had more surgeries and then given a month of convalescent leave at his home in Vernon. When he returned to base, he was placed in the “remain behind element” of his unit, consisting of 20 or so Marines who had either returned from deployment or hadn’t deployed for one reason or another. No one had any idea what to do with him as far as doctors or administration on Camp Lejeune. He assumed he would be placed in Wounded Warrior Battalion, which is set up to care for Marines as they adjust to their new disabilities and enter a new phase in their lives, then have an expedited medical out-processing. He was incredibly wrong. He soon realized there was no one to lead him to the next step, so he took it upon myself to make appointments to see the regimental medical officer (since his battalion medical officer was in Afghanistan for the duration of our deployment). He eventually had several appointments for post-operative check ups but when he asked for a doctor’s assistance with getting into WWB, no one had any idea how to do it. After months of no intel, a case manager informed him that only my battalion medical officer could recommend him for WWB. This was a problem because he was still in Afghanistan dealing with the horde of wounded Marines and sailors operation Moshtarok produced. It became clear that he was stuck until they returned stateside. He waited 5 months, watching as the stateside portion of our unit filled with wounded Marines in the same limbo he was in. Together they pooled their intel and resources because they realized no one else was going to help them. The WWB didn’t even know they existed. He spent those months in limbo following leads about obscure medical administrators that could possibly help as if he were hunting some elusive mythical creatures. Eventually his medical officer returned stateside and started his paperwork to enter the WWB and place him on a medical board to be evaluated and eventually medically retired from the USMC. This was the beginning of an absolute disaster that almost ruined his life. He started his med board and was told it could take two years to be medically separated from the Marine Corps. But what other option did he have? He went to all the VA appointments, and awaited placement into WWB. But that was denied because it’s impossible for anyone on a medical board to be accepted. His battalion & regimental medical officers along with his chain of command did everything in their power to find a loophole to no avail. His only option was to sit in my unit and wait for my medical board to process. This may not sound all that bad but infantry units are well oiled machines with no place for the wounded; why would they be? That’s what wounded warriors is for. There were constant conflicts with getting anything done for a wounded Marine because training and mission readiness take obvious priority over paperwork. He spent the next YEAR in this endless loop of trying to expedite my medical board dealing with the most incompetent people he ever met. He had people dodge phone calls or tell him bald-faced lies. He finally contacted his congressman. His inquiry led to the discovery that his paperwork had been stuffed into a filing cabinet and no one had ANY intentions of doing anything. The congressional inquiry restarted the process and he resubmitted my paperwork. After over 12 month of waiting, his medical board findings came back and the the USMC intention was to separate him with no medical care and a VA disability rating of 30%. He had a bullet hit him in the small of his back, go through his pelvis & then get pulled out of his abdomen. At 20 years old he made peace with God on a helicopter ride to Camp Bastion & again on a plane to Germany. He hobbled with a cane for almost a year & had to have back injections every 6 weeks just to walk & the possibility of getting a decent job was slim. After all this these people decided he was unworthy of even medical assistance after they kicked him out the door.

So of course McElhinney appealed and after 4 months he eventually got his disability ratings bumped up to 40%. He took a bullet for this country and these people repaid him by flushing 2 years of his life down the drain. He's crippled; his life’s in a shambles. He was afforded none of the opportunities that WWB Marines receive. These are the ugly truths about the inner workings of WWB and he's angry. When you think of Wounded Warrior Battalion, you think of selfless young men wounded horribly in combat brought there to transition into the rest of their lives. But in reality most people in WWB don’t even have Purple Hearts; a lot have never even seen combat. There are Marines who, through some perverse loophole, found a way to enter WWB without being wounded in combat! There are people there injured in motorcycle crashes, DWI accidents or because they have some vague chronic illness. All the while Marines wounded in combat are turned away. With all the corruption, It is a wonder how it hasn’t been dissolved. McElhinney doesn't know if sharing this will accomplish anything, but he is the kind of person who stands up for what’s right. He doesn't care if any of this has an impact on his life, but his friends are trapped in this endless hell while the USMC does nothing.

Next time you think your "Screwed" by Congress Remember This

The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States consisting of 2 houses: the House of Representatives & Senate. Congress meets in the Capitol in Washington, D.C. Both representatives & senators are chosen through direct election. Members are affiliated to the Republican Party or to the Democratic Party, and only rarely to a 3rd-party or as independents. Congress has 535 voting members: 435 Representatives and 100 Senators. The members of the House of Representatives serve 2-year terms representing the people of a district. Congressional districts are apportioned to states by population using the U.S. Census results, provided that each state has at least one congressperson. Each state regardless of population has exactly 2 senators; at present there are 100 senators representing the 50 states. Each senator serves a 6-year term, with terms staggered, so every 2 years approximately 1/3 of the Senate is up for election. Each staggered group of 1/3rd of the senators are called 'classes'. No state of the United States has 2 senators from the same class.

Remember Bill (Laws) are developed in the House & are then passed on to the Senate for Ratification & then sent to the President for signature or veto. Also remember that the "President" of the Senate is the Vice President (Joseph Biden-D), with the power to cast tie-breaking votes

Military Purge High Officers

Look at their service records. MOST have perfect services, highly decorated.

Commanding Generals fired in 2012 & 2013


Gen John R. Allen - Commander International Security Assistance Force
Col James Christmas - Cmd 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit & Cmdr Special-Purpose Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response Unit
Major Gen C M. Gurganus - Region Cmdr SW & I Exp Force Afghanistan
Major Gen Gregg Sturdevant-Dir-Strategic Planning & Policy Pacific Cmnd & Cmdr-Aviation Wing-Camp Bastion, Afghanistan
Gen James Mattis-Chief of CentCom
Col Daren Margolin - U.S. Marine in Charge-Quantico’s Security Battalion


Major Gen Michael Carey-Cmdr in Charge 9,600 people & 450 ICB Missiles

US Army

Major Gen Ralph Baker - Commander of the CJTF Horn in Africa
Major Gen Peter Fuller - Commander in Afghanistan
Gen Carter F. Ham - African Command
LG David H. Huntoon, Jr. - 58th Super. Military Academy West Point, NY
CSM Don B Jordan - 143rd Expeditionary Sustainment Cmd
Gen Stanley McChrystal - Commander Afghanistan
Gen David D. McKiernan - Commander Afghanista
Gen David Petraeus - Dir CIA: Sep 2011-Nov 2012 - Cmdr International Security Assist. Force & Cmdr US Forces Afghanistan
Brigadier Gen Bryan Roberts - Commander 2nd Brigade
Col Eric Tilley - Commander of Garrison Japan
Brigadier Gen Bryan Wampler - 143rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command-1st Theater Sustainment Command

US Navy

Admirals fired:

R-Admiral Charles Gaouette - Cmdr John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group 3
Vice Admiral Tim Giardina (Demoted to 2 Star) Dep.Cmdr Strategic Cmd, Cmdr Sub Group Trident-Sub Group 9 & Sub Group 10

Naval Officers fired: (All in 2011)

Capt David Geisler - Commander Task Force 53 in Bahrain
Commander Laredo Bell - Cmdr Naval Support Activity Saratoga Springs, NY
Lt Commander Kurt Boenisch - XO Amphibious transport dock Ponce
Commander Nathan Borchers - Commander destroyer Stout
Commander Robert Brown - Commander Beachmaster Unit 2 Fort Story, VA
Commander Andrew Crowe-Executive Officer Navy Region Center Singapore
Capt Robert Gamberg - XO - Carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower
Capt Rex Guinn - Commander Navy Legal Service office Japan
Commander Kevin Harms - Cmdr Strike Fighter Sqdrn 137 Abraham Lincoln
Lt Commander Martin Holguin - Cmdr mine countermeasures Fearless
Capt Owen Honors - Commander aircraft carrier USS Enterprise
Capt Donald Hornbeck - Commander Destroyer Squadron 1 San Diego
Rear Admiral Ron Horton - Commander Logistics Group, Western Pacific
Commander Etta Jones - Cmdr Amphibious transport dock Ponce
Commander Ralph Jones - XO - Amphibious transport dock Green Bay
Cmdr Jonathan Jackson - Cmdr Elec. Attack Sqdrn 134 USS Carl Vinson
Capt Eric Merrill - Commander submarine Emory S. Land
Capt William Mosk - Cmdr Naval Station Rota, Naval Activities Spain
Cmdr Timothy Murphy - Cmdr Elec. Attack Sqd 129 NAS Whidbey WA
Commander Joseph Nosse - Commander ballistic-missile submarine Kentucky
Commander Mark Olson-U.S. Navy Commander destroyer The Sullivans FL
Commander John Pethel - XO - Amphibious transport dock New York
Cmdr Karl Pugh - Cmdr Electronic Attack Squad 141 Whidbey Island, WA
Commander Jason Strength - Cmdr of Navy Recruiting District Nashville, TN
Capt Greg Thomas - Commander Norfolk Naval Shipyard
Commander Mike Varney - Commander attack submarine Connecticut
Commander Jay Wylie - Commander Destroyer Momsen

Naval Officers fired: (All in 2012)

Commander Alan C. Aber - XO - Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 71
Cmdr Derick Armstrong - Commander missile destroyer USS The Sullivans
Commander Martin Arriola - Commander destroyer USS Porter
Capt Antonio Cardoso - Commander Training Support Center San Diego
Capt James CoBell - Cmdr Oceana NAS’s Fleet Readiness Mid-Atlantic
Capt Joseph E. Darlak - Commander frigate USS Vandegrift
Capt Daniel Dusek - Commander USS Bonhomme
Commander David Faught - XO Destroyer USS Chung-Hoon
Commander Franklin Fernandez - Commander Mobile Construction Btn 24
Cmdr Ray Hartman - Commander Amphib dock-landing ship Ft McHenry
Commander Shelly Hakspiel - XO - Navy Drug Screening Lab San Diego
Commander Jon Haydel - Commander - USS San Diego
Commander Diego Hernandez - Commander missile sub USS Wyoming
Cmdr Lee Hoey - US Navy Cmdr Drug Screening Laboratory, San Diego
Commander Ivan Jimenez-Executive Officer frigate Vandegrift
Commander Dennis Klein - Commander submarine USS Columbia
Captain Chuck Litchfield - Commander assault ship USS Essex
Capt Marcia Kim Lyons - Commander Naval Health Clinic New England
Capt Robert Marin - Commander Cruiser USS Cowpens
Capt Sean McDonell - Cmdr - Mobile Construction Battalion 14 FL
Commander Corrine Parker - Cmdr Fleet Logistics Support Sqdn 1
Capt Liza Raimondo - Cmdr Naval Health Clinic Patuxent River, MD
Capt Jeffrey Riedel - Program manager, Littoral Combat Ship program
Commander Sara Santoski - Cmdr Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Sqdrn 15
Commander Kyle G. Strudthoff - XO - Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25
Cmdr Sheryl Tannahill - Cmdr Navy Operational Support Ctr Nashville, TN
Commander Michael Ward - Commander submarine USS Pittsburgh
Capt Michael Wiegand - Commander SW Regional Maintenance Center
Capt Ted Williams -US Cmdr amphibious command ship Mount Whitney
Commander Jeffrey Wissel -Cmdr of Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron 1

Naval Officers fired: (All in 2013)

Lieutenant Commander Lauren Allen - XO Submarine Jacksonville
Captain Jay Bowman - Cmdr Navy Operational Support Center Ft Dix, NJ
Captain William Cogar - Cmdr Hosp. Ship Mercy’s Med treatment facility
Commander Steve Fuller - XO - USS Frigate Kauffman
Capt Shawn Hendricks - Program Manager Naval Enterprise IT Networks
Capt David Hunter - Cmdr Maritime Exp Squadon 12 Coastal Group 2
Capt Eric Johnson - Chief of MEPS Cmd Great Lakes NTC, IL
Capt Devon Jones - Commander Naval Air Facility El Centro, CA
Capt Kevin Knoop - Cmdr Hosp ship Comfort’s medical treatment facility
Lt Commander Jack O’Neill - Cmdr Operational Support Ctr Rock Island, IL
Commander Allen Maestas-Executive Officer Beachmaster Unit 1
Commander Luis Molina-U.S. Navy Commander Submarine Pasadena
Commander James Pickens-Executive Officer Frigate Gary
Lt Cmdr Mark Rice - Commander Mine Countermeasures ship Guardian
Cmdr Michael Runkle - Commander of Mobile Diving & Salvage Unit 2
Commander Jason Stapleton - XO - Patrol Squadron 4 in Hawaii
Commander Nathan Sukols - Commander Submarine Jacksonville
Lt Daniel Tyler - XO - Mine Countermeasures ship Guardian
Commander Edward White - Commander Strike Fighter Squadron 106
Capt Jeffrey Winter - Commander of Carrier Air Wing 17
Commander Thomas Winter - Commander Submarine Montpelier
Commander Corey Wofford - Commander Frigate Kauffman


Air Force majors forced into early terminations, no retirement or benefits.
All 157 had been twice passed over for promotion & were within 6 years of retirement.
If you want to cripple the Field Grade Officer Corps kill the lower ranks.
How our Military being taught how to treat Americans

(Except for the over 200 that were fired in the last 2 years )

Who are the “extremists” and the “terrorists” that the U.S. military should be concerned about? For years, we were told that the “terrorists” belong to an organization known as al-Qaeda in the Middle East and other radical jihadist groups that are affiliated with them. But now that has all totally changed. We are discovering that time after time U.S. military personnel are being taught that evangelical Christians are “extremists” that belong to “domestic hate group” and that they are potential terrorists that could use violence at any time. This vilification of Christians started about the time that Barack Obama was elected and it has greatly accelerated over the past couple of years. Stunned Christian service members can hardly believe what they are hearing in some of these training sessions. They are being told that they cannot be affiliated with any of these “hate groups” and that anyone found to be supporting such groups could be disciplined under the UCMJ. The U.S. military later publicly disavows many of these training sessions when they are revealed to the public, but the demonization of Christians has not stopped. In fact, it appears to be getting more frequent. The following are 8 examples of the U.S. military being taught to treat Christians as extremists and potential terrorists…

From The Truth Wins:

#1 Soldiers at Ft. Hood were instructed that evangelical Christians are a “threat to this nation” Soldiers attending pre-deployment briefings at Ft Hood say they were told evangelical Christians & members of the Tea Party were a threat to the nation & any soldier donating to those groups would be punished under the UCMJ.

A soldier who attended a briefing stated a counter-intelligence agent in charge of the meeting spent nearly a half hour discussing how evangelical Christians and groups like the American Family Association were “tearing the country apart.”

#2 During a recent U.S. Army briefing, the American Family Association was identified as a “domestic hate group“ Several dozen U.S. Army active duty & reserve troops were told the American Family Association, a well-respected Christian ministry, should be classified as a domestic hate group because the group advocates for traditional family values. The briefing was held at Camp Shelby, MS and listed the AFA alongside domestic hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazis, the Black Panthers & Nation of Islam.

#3 A battalion commander assigned to the 101st Airborne Division at Ft Campbell, KY sent out a mass email to those under his command last year that included the “Christian Right”, the Family Research Council & Focus on the Family founder James Dobson under the heading of “Domestic Hate Groups”.

#4 An unclassified guide for military leaders published in Aug 2011 identifies those that exhibit “extreme religious intolerance” as potentially violent radicals. If you claim your faith is the only true faith like Christians do, that put's you into this category.

#5 Earlier this year, the Pentagon issued a written statement to Fox News that stated that “religious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defense” and that “court martial's & non-judicial punishments are decided on a case-by-case basis”.

#6 One of the top consultants that Barack Obama has brought in to the Pentagon to work on issues related to religion in the military, Mikey Weinstein, has described evangelical Christians as “human monsters” & “enemies of the U.S. Constitution“.

#7 Weinstein teaches that when evangelical Christians shares their faith, it is equivalent of “spiritually raped by fundamentalist Christian religious predators“.

#8 In April of last year, a U.S. Army training presentation specifically identified evangelical Christians as religious extremists. On a slide entitled “Religious Extremism”, “Evangelical Christianity” was at the very top of a list of extremist religious groups that also included al-Qaeda, Hamas and the Ku Klux Klan.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Along with evangelical Christians, Tea Party activists, “conspiracy theorists”, anti-abortion protesters and those concerned about a “New World Order” have also been identified as dangerous extremists in a whole host of official U.S. government documents. For a large number of examples of this phenomenon, please see my previous article entitled “72 Types Of Americans That Are Considered “Potential Terrorists” In Official Government Documents“. And the frightening thing is that the federal government has actually been doing research into methods that change the way that people view the world. As I have written about previously, the government is actually developing technology that would enable it to brainwash people and change their religious beliefs. So who would the government do that to? They would do it to “extremists” and those that belong to “hate groups” of course. Once you are identified as a “terrorist”, then that gives authorities legal permission to treat you just like they would treat members of al-Qaeda. That is why it is so important for evangelical Christians to stand up and denounce this kind of vilification. In Nazi Germany, they didn’t just wake up one day and decide to start shipping Jews & other minorities off to prison camps. It all started with years of propaganda and demonization. And now a similar thing is happening in the U.S. We would have to be completely blind not to see what is happening right in front of our eyes.
Obama Refers to U.S. Armed Forces as ‘My Military’

In case you missed it, President Obama referred to the U.S. Armed Forces as “my military” during a statement to the media regarding the Syrian crisis. “But as I’ve already said,” Obama noted, “I have had MY military and our team look at a wide range of options.” I wonder how many jobless Americans are aware that their tax dollars went to a Canadian firm to build the Obama's HealthCare.gov website. CGI Federal is the company that built most of HealthCare.gov

Article II, section 1, of the US Constitution clearly states about the president: "Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." Further, Article I, section 1, states "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."

Oct 2011, Obama, seeking to circumvent congressional opposition and to jump-start the economy, pushed a series of “executive branch steps,” beginning with “new rules” to make it easier for homeowners with little or no equity to refinance their federally funded mortgages, through Fannie May & Freddie Mac, which posted larger losses than expected, sought $6 billion in additional aid.

July 2011, Obama told the National Council of La Raza that the idea of “doing things” on his own was “very tempting” when bypassing Congress on immigration.

Sept 2011 Obama told the Congressional Hispanic Caucus he’d like to work his way “around Congress.”

July 2011, during the debt limit debate, Obama asked lawyers if there was a way to interpret the 14th Amendment so as to get around Congress and establish a “long-term extension of the federal borrowing limit” on his own.

In Article I, section 8 (Powers of Congress) of the US Constitution, there is the phrase “To declare War…” But Obama said the US actions in Libya didn’t amount to war, so he didn’t need the approval of Congress. And he ignored the War Powers Act.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;….”

"A nation can survive its fools, even the ambitious, but it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly, but the traitor moves against those within the gate freely. The traitor speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and wears their face and their arguments. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear." Marcus Tullius Cicero
The U.S. Constitution

“I am constrained by a system our founders put in place.”
Actual quote by Obama


Amendment I : Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Every year on Memorial Day & Veterans Day, Barack Obama & our other politicians make very nice speeches, but the truth about how they feel about us vets can be seen in how they are treated every single day. In the U.S. today, there are well over half a million veterans that have been waiting for at least 125 days to have their benefit claims processed. Many of them will ultimately have their claims sent back or denied just so a government employee somewhere can get a bigger bonus. Meanwhile many veterans have to wait more than half a year just to get an appointment at one of those facilities. Once you start looking into how this country really treats military veterans, it becomes easier to understand why 22 military veterans commit suicide in America every single day. Our vets have a higher rate of unemployment, a higher rate of poverty, a higher rate of homelessness, a higher rate of depression and a higher rate of divorce than the general population. It is a crying shame. One of the ways that any society is judged is by how it treats military veterans, and the truth is that America has failed miserably.

Hello Sir:

My name is Gina Gabriele and I served in the USAR in 1973-74. I live in Ft Wayne, area. I had 2 appointments in Indy, was reassured by Ft Wayne VA that travel pay was approved. When it was time to leave Indy, the lovelies at the travel pay window said I wasn't eligible.  The Ft Wayne VA was closed and I was extremely angry and hysterical !!!!!!! Like you, I had to go beg for mercy in the ER to get a gas card. Fort Wayne Travel Pay (Jan, a male) apologized and gave me the travel pay in Ft Wayne. But, I am afraid to go back to Indy and get treated like that again. Dan Stauffer gave me your name. He also told me someone in Ft Wayne screwed up my approval papers. I don't quite understand that.
Just thought Id share with you. I assume you were a Col? I SALUTE you!
Gina Gabriele RN (jobless also)

No jobs in NE Indiana. I have no money, no nothing, point of despair. I had a very good interview at Parkview Hospital but they seem to drag their feet. I'm okay until the end of the month, then the electric & house payment is due. Do you know anyone that helps vets out with this situation? I don't qualify for unemployment, & I refuse to be disabled. I want to work.
Thanks, Sir!
Gina Gabriele
August 24, 2011

Below is a email I received regarding VA Travel Pay problems at the Indianapolis VA Hospital. Is this how veterans are to be treated? Obama said that Veterans were to be honored and respected. Talk is cheap.

Honorable Mr. Mike Pence,

On Aug 22, 2011 I traveled from Dunkirk, IN to Indianapolis, IN for the purpose of a MRI at the VA Hospital Indianapolis. After receiving the MRI I then went to travel to pick up my travel pay. I was informed that the computers were down and that no pay could be processed. I informed them that I had traveled 86 miles one way and that I was a little short on funds as my check would be in my account the next day.

They informed me that there was nothing they could do. They informed me that I could go to Social Services in the hospital & perhaps they could help. I asked the social worker & was told that she would give me a $10 Gas Card but I would forfeit the remainder of my travel pay.

That would amount to a loss of approximately $65 as my travel pay to Indianapolis & back would be approximately $75 for the total 172 miles traveled. I informed the VA social services that was unacceptable. Sir, as a 20 year retiree of the U.S. Military that is one of my benefits. Just as you in Congress also have your benefits they should not be used as a "Let's Make A Deal" by the social services part of the VA.

I was informed that I would receive my travel pay in the mail in about 4 weeks. I usually utilize the Marion IN VA Facility for my medical needs which include Diabetes, a compression fracture of my lower back, knee and leg injury. In the 16 years that I have utilized the VA Health Care I have always been treated with respect & a high degree of professionalism. The personnel at the Marion & Ft Wayne Facilities & the CBOC in Muncie, IN are true professionals.

I find it completely unprofessional & verging on criminal that I be offered assistance for a benefit I earned by serving my country for 20 years by asking me to give up my benefit in lieu of a $10.00 Gas Card. I will state that the medical services provided to me while at the VA in Indianapolis were excellent as were the medical personnel that I encountered. While I was receiving the MRI my wife was asked by the Deputy Director of the VA Facility there in Indianapolis how we were being treated.

At that time it was perfect and my wife stated that. I realize you are a very busy individual and I realize that this is a small matter. But as a constituent, and voter (for you I might add) I would appreciate it if you would look into this matter so another veteran is not subjected to this type of treatment.

Respectfully yours,
Richard E. Buckner

Post Note: Received a phone call from Indianapolis VA Travel Section. After a lengthy conversation with their main Travel Section Representative I was informed that I had already received a "Gas Card" for my travel pay back home. Also it was questioned why I had contacted a Congressman about this matter. It appears that Travel was more concerned with a Congressional Investigation than they are doing their own jobs. However, no card was issued or wanted. As I and my wife were standing there next to the Travel Section Pay Window talking with another veteran from Vincennes, IN in the same situation, a young Hispanic woman came up to us and handed both myself and the other veteran $20.00 each and said please accept this. We both stated that we could not do this but she insisted and said. This is my way to thank you for defending our freedoms. I asked her how we could send the money back to her. She said "Just pay it forward to another veteran in need".

On a good note after talking with the Deputy Director of VA Hospital who was extremely helpful & a true professional & 2 Patient Advocates who were equally professional & helpful the problem quickly was taken care of. The check is being mailed & everything is like it should be. It is a shame you have to assert yourself to receive the benefits you earned. And to the young lady who helped my wife & I return home, I did.

Day At The VA - Richard E. Buckner - Veterans United

His name is David, he is a military veteran like his father. His father was a POW in Vietmam and his son is a U.S. Army Special Forces soldier in Iraq who was wounded and a recipient of the Purple Heart. His day started when he left Van Buren to visit the Marion VA facility in Marion, IN. He was instructed to pick up medicine by the VA.

But when he visited the Pharmacy he was informed that the medicine he was instructed to pick up would not be released for another 5 days ? Frustrated David asked the Pharmacist to contact his Doctor at the VA there in Marion and clarify the problem. He was informed that they could not do that and he would have to go up several stories and talk with the doctor himself. David explained that he had an injured foot but the Pharmacist insisted he could not help him.

When David asked if there was a Patient Advocate he was informed there was not. This is when I entered the picture. Knowing that there is required by law for a Patient Advocate to be assigned to each facility I informed him that this was not the truth. I explained to him that the position was vacant for nearly 8 months and the position was manned in a rotational order. I told him to check at the front administration desk and that the Advocate if he or she was in was across from the administration desk.

David thanked me & proceeded to go to the desk. I waited several minutes & my name was called & I picked up my medicine. My wife & I then proceeded to leave when we came upon David standing next to the advocate's cubby hole area across from the Admin Office. I asked him if he was being helped & he informed me that he was waiting for someone to assist him. Not being in any particular hurry I decided to wait with him. As we were standing there talking with David an elderly vet accidentally spilled a Orange Soda.

We then informed the VA employee working at the desk that there was a spill in front of their window and that perhaps it should be cleaned up to prevent an accident from someone slipping on it. After 2 more attempts to have someone clean up the mess my wife decided that since 10 minutes had gone by perhaps it would be just as easy to clean it up herself. The VA Administrative Workers action to this was not even a thank you. All this time David, myself and another VA employee was discussing David's problem. The VA employee named Chad was extremely polite & helpful & departed to make arrangements for David to get his medicine. While he was away David and I spoke about other problems he had lately at the facility. Several weeks earlier David asked about the Means Test and how much it was for veterans in his area.

The Means Test is a Financial Chart that shows exactly how much to the dollar a veteran can make without going over a mandated amount to receive free or Co-Pay assistance for medical services and medicine. This particular VA employee who David had spoke with informed him that according to an order given her by her supervisor that this information was not to be given out. I found this puzzling since that information did not even require a Freedom of Information Request since it was posting in VA Booklets & Manuals and was on the Internet. I asked David if he asked her why she was not able to give out the information. His answer floored me. It seems she was informed by her supervisor that and I quote "Veterans are thieves & are crooked and conniving and that they would use the information to circumvent the paying for services."

David requested to speak with her supervisor and was directed to another VA Supervisor who asked David in a sarcastic tone "What do you want a Cash Settlement? That's what you want cash, right?" David was completely aghast and asked to speak with her supervisor. The next meeting was between David & a VA Employee when David happened to mention that his father had been a POW and his son was an Army Special Forces soldier who had received a Purple Heart after being blown out of a tank and received injuries. The comment made by this supervisor was completely unbelievable. His comment was "Yes, business is good" I then left David & remembered I needed to make an appointment with my VA Health Care Physician.

My wife & I went back up several floors and patiently waited for over 10 min while the VA Reps behind the counter talked with her bank regarding her mobile home. It seems she was not clear about some papers she signed & wanted clarification. From the conversation it sounded like she was in a hurry to get it cleared up. When she finally got off the phone I asked her to see when I could make an appointment as I had received a Reminder Card to make an appointment. She informed me that I had to go next door office. My wife and I then left her counter and walked to the next office only to find it locked and vacant. It appears that the VA Supervisors are out of touch with reality much like their political leaders who make the policies.

Rates of suicide in the US military were worse during the war years than what the Pentagon previously reported.

Below is a email I received regarding VA Travel Pay problems at the Indianapolis VA Hospital. Is this how veterans are to be treated? Obama said that Veterans were to be honored and respected. Talk is cheap.

Projections of Vet Population
US, PR, VI, Guam, & Foreign April 1, 2000-Sept 30, 2015

(Number of Veterans in Thousands)


G=Gulf - V=Vietnam - K=Korea - WW II - Gulf War 2 & 3

  Census (5) Projections
  4/1/00 9/30/06 9/30/07 9/30/08 9/30/09 9/30/10 9/30/15
All_Vets_(1) 26,745 23,977 23,532 23,071 22,606 22,148 19,988
Wartime Vets (1) 20,100 17,835 17,484 17,110 16,714 16,302 14,074
Gulf (2) (3) 3,065 4,647 4,877 5,076 5,242 5,379 5,671
Gulf Only 2,733 4,297 4,531 4,733 4,902 5,043 5,359
Gulf, Vietnam Only 325 343 341 338 335 331 308
Golf, Vietnam, Korean 7 6 5 5 5 5 3
Gulf, Vietnam, K, WWII 1 1 1 1 1 1 0
Vietnam (2) 8,477 7,956 7,849 7,736 7,616 7,487 6,714
Vietnam 7,705 7,287 7,203 7,112 7,015 6,910 6,254
Vietnam and Korean 277 221 210 200 189 178 120
Vietnam, Korean, WWII 163 99 90 81 72 63 29
Korean(2) 4,105 3,086 2,912 2,736 2,557 2,377 1,497
Korean 3,268 2,531 2,400 2,265 2,127 1,987 1,280
Korean, WWII 389 229 207 185 163 144 64
WWII (2) 5,786 3,151 2,795 2,458 2,143 1,850 750
WWII Only 5,233 2,822 2,498 2,192 1,907 1,642 657
Peacetime Vet (4) 6,646 6,142 6,048 5,961 5,891 5,846 5,915
Post Gulf War  (3) - - - 13 47 111 791
Between Gulf-Vietnam 3,497 3,448 3,437 3,426 3,413 3,399 3,308
Between Korea-Vietnam 2,903 2,538 2,467 2,391 2,311 2,227 1,753
Pre-Korean not WW II 245 156 143 132 120 110 62

Detail may not total or subtotal due to rounding

(1) Vets serving in more than 1 period are counted once in totals.
(2) Subtotals include some counted in other subtotals, they served in more than one period.
(3) For purpose of allocating vets to period of service, GW end Sept 30, 06 in these estimates & projections.
(4) Vets serving in war & peace are counted serving in wartime.
(5) These data differ slightly from published census data because they include 17 year-old vets & vets in foreign countries, neither of which are included in the published census.

Last year data as of 4/1/2000 was a blend of rounded census & administrative data. This year ungrounded census data was relied on to the extent possible.

WEBMASTER: VA created Category 8 then put a Moratorium on it creating a No Benefit Class of 267,000 Veterans


Number of vets in each state & territory who applied for VA-provided health care & who were refused enrollment in FY 2005 because of the VA's decision to bar access for Priority 8 vets.

AL 5,004 IA 4,762 NE  1.991

SC 5,964

AK 578 IN 5,700 NV 2,111 SD 1,201
AK 5,835 IL 8,944 NH 1,434 TN 6,165
CA 17,378 KS 2,878 NJ 4,808 UT 1,361
CO 3.599 LA 4,893 NM 1,851 VT 751
CT 2,651 ME 2,403 NY 9,357 VA 5,459
DE 877 MD 3,051 NC 10,405 WA 4,584
D.C. 164 MA 3,509 ND 927 WV 2,550
FL 27,465 MI 5,942 OH 9,764 WI 6,622
GA 7,062 MN 5,310 OK 4,013 WY 777
Guam/PR/VI 1,059 MS  4,308 OR 4,162 Unknown 793
HI 710 MO 5,552 PA 13,262  
ID 1,608 MT 1,956 RI 1,045 TOTAL 263,257