VA not forthcoming with Congress

| November 29, 2012

Tequila Volare sends us a link from the Atlanta Journal Constitution that recounts the battle that Veterans Affairs is having with their oversight committee on their irresponsible spending that is not helping veterans one whit;

“There is a culture at the VA that doesn’t put the veterans first,” complained Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX), who said videos of dancing bureaucrats in Orlando brought back memories of the GSA conference in Vegas.

“I don’t want you testifying about this kind of crap,” Flores told the VA’s Gould.

Of course, the battle is over the $6 million that DVA spent on training conferences last year, which we discussed earlier. The article says that the DVA has finally admitted that they spent $85.6 million on conferences last year, if I’m reading the article correctly, but the article is as convoluted as the DVA’s responses to 66 responses for the House Veterans’ Committee which has arrived at that number.

It seems to me that $85.6 million dollars would go a long ways to cleaning out the VA’s backlog of veterans’ claims, not that it matters, apparently, since it looks like Veteran Affairs has more to do with entertaining it’s employees than doing the business of veterans.

With the large number of phonies we’ve seen getting benefits they didn’t earn, I guess the DVA is more interested in rewarding everyone except veterans.

Category: Veterans' Affairs Department

Comments (21)

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  1. VTWoody says:

    Here’s my dumb question for the day. What would be the reason to not fire all the govt employees who currently work these jobs and replace them with clerks from the military? Our people would be more invested in the job I would think. Our people don’t need Million dollar conferences to get training on what to do either.

  2. RandomNCO says:

    #1 Not to mention they wouldn’t have the same attitude problem that most of the VA civilians have.

  3. NHSparky says:

    And I can’t even get my bosses at work to send me to a work-related conference on my dime. Go figure.

  4. CUNextTuesday says:

    VA is horrible. I retired out of the Navy in 2007 and am still waiting on my disability claim. Can never get any answers out of them. Just – still waiting for final determination……….

  5. RandomNCO says:

    #4, are you representing yourself?

    It seems like the VA ignores anyone who isn’t part of an advocacy group or a lawyer. I have been waiting for my combat related disability be approved since April of 2008. I finally got a lawyer group to represent me this past May, and suddenly the VA keeps making updates and paying attention to my claim.

  6. AndyFMF says:

    Sounds like my experience with them as well. Rude on the phone, completely unhelpful, and filled with some sense of purpose to protect the tax dollar from being sent to anyone who truly deserves it.

    I had forgotten about the conferences…..maybe a dollar saved (by not paying deserved benefits) is a dollar earned (for the conferences)?

  7. Virtual Insanity says:

    Meanwhile, because of this and the GSA, i can’t send my turbo-nerds to a conference that would actually benefit training to the force.


    Or, in homage to Green Thumb…well, you know.

  8. FltMedic says:

    Well I don’t know that I have come across a “rude” VA rep on the phone. They are nice as can be, but don’t get anything done. (Still waiting for my compensation to get restarted after coming of Title 10 orders).

    On the GI Bill side of the house I guess I have been extremely lucky. They got my Montgomery GI Bill switched to Post 911 in less than 2 weeks and had me certified at my school and paying the bills in less than a month.

    Maybe I should have bought a Power Ball ticket with that kinda luck…..

  9. USMCE8Ret says:

    @8 – I had similar luck after transferring some Post 9/11 education benefits to my eldest daughter who is currently attending college. The application and disbursements process took some time (2 1/2 months), even with the pro-rated amount, but the whole process went a little faster than I thought it would. As for my disability, it’s still under review/determination and has been so since April of this year. Still learning how the process works but I’m not holding my breath. I doubt I’ll hear anything for the next year or so, and my calls usually garner the same answer.

  10. OWB says:

    It is absurd that anyone should need an attorney to get an earned benefit! I blow up each time I hear a commercial for attorneys who specialize in VA claims.

    So, yeah, fire them all and start over. (I know, I know, there are some extremely good people who work at the VA. They can certainly reapply to go through the hiring process.) This nonsense must stop. This is an actual bill that We the People really do owe, as opposed to all those vote buying schemes (be they individual or corporate) we pay out the wazoo for with no actual reason for doing so.

  11. OWB says:

    Oh – and a bunch of bureaucrats not being forthcoming with Congress? Shocking.


    They feel no responsibility to those who hold the pursestrings or those who contributed to the purse. Most of them are really just welfare queens who have managed to land a “job” where they are accountable to no one and are not expected to do the job for which they were hired.

  12. Flagwaver says:

    I’ve been waiting for about a year now for anything. The last letter I received was 6 months ago and they said they were still determining the validity of my claim. Tried calling yesterday, and the damn automated phone messenger told me the lines were full and I should call back another time… then hung up on me! This is frakking ridiculous.

  13. Twist says:

    I’m a year out from retirement. Maybe I should start my claim now.

  14. RandomNCO says:

    @13 Should have started it about a year ago if the time frame for most of us is the same for you…

  15. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    “The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation.”
    – George Washington

    “On the battlefield, the military pledges to leave no soldier behind. As a nation, let it be our pledge that when they return home, we leave no veteran behind.”
    Dan Lipinski

    Some Americans get it, too bad they are not working for the VA…

  16. skh.pcola says:

    It took the VA about 2 years to okay my claim, but I have had nothing but good experience with them since then. My doc spends time explaining stuff to me and listening to me. I use the VA for all of my medical needs, because I haven’t had health insurance since I got out of the army. That might make my expectations lower than people that have experience with civilian docs…

  17. Joe Williams says:

    I dream about E&s,E8s and E9s running the VA’s processing after their retirement. I think a big upgrade in processing would occur after many firing for poor work performance. Joe

  18. Anonymous says:

    Firing for poor work performance? Fuck, if that was the case I would fire 90% of the people I work with. It is an extremely frustrating and confusing system to work in. Sometimes it is rewarding, but the majority of time it is extremely stressful and aggravating because of the incompetence of employees. Sometimes it’s a give and take between the patient/Vet and the employee, but the horror stories are numerous.

  19. DaveO says:

    The VA is a jobs-for-votes program.

    Never sign a contract to have only one National Service Officer represent you. When an NSO is good, the VA loses money. When an NSO is not so good, the VA posts profit while also counting coup for helping a vet. By signing a contract, you can get tied to a not-so-good NSO, and you could spend up to a decade getting your claim(s) addressed.

  20. Dusk says:

    I have been waiting on my disability paperwork to go though the system. I turned it in August this year when should I expect to hear from them?

  21. DLM says:

    I guess I was lucky on my claim. Filed in July and received approval the following March.