Vets in line

| May 25, 2014

From CBS Los Angeles we learn of 28 veterans still waiting in line for their turn at VA benefits. Veterans wait for years for their claims to the benefits they’ve earned, they wait for treatment at VA hospitals, now we find veterans waiting to be buried;

The law states veterans are supposed to receive a proper burial.

The Veterans Administration says they were never notified the bodies were processed and ready to be buried.

More than two dozen bodies were transported to the Riverside National Cemetery Friday afternoon and more could be moved as they are identified.

On Friday evening, KCAL9?s Stacey Butler reported the LA County Morgue and the Veteran’s Administration were blaming each other for the mistake.

At this point, the Veterans’ Affairs Department has no credibility in the discussion about veterans waiting for what they earn and deserve. I’m pretty sure that a morgue would want to clear out space in their facility, and it’s more believable that some lazy bureaucrat would ignore notifications from the city.

I may be wrong, it happened once before when I thought I thought I was wrong about something, but I was right.

Category: Veterans' Affairs Department

Comments (19)

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  1. OWB says:

    No problem, man. They will read that notification when they get back from the long weekend. They have been out spending their bonus money. Much too busy to actually do their jobs.

  2. Ex-PH2 says:

    Maybe someone should let the bureaucrats pile up in a morgue or sit for hours in an emergency room.

    • Mustang2LT says:

      *Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding*
      Get that lady a Kewpie doll! How’s about we cancel ALL bonuses, leaves (including family, medical, and maternity), vacations, and put ALL VA employees on half salary until this shit gets straightened out AND is verified by a 3rd party auditing firm?

      • Sparks says:

        Mustang2LT Sir I agree. I think it would be cleared up fairly quickly. Touch someone’s pay, leave and bonuses and they get motivated. They might get pissed also but who cares. Then they would know what it is like for a vet to sit and wait or wait at home for months and years being pissed waiting for help they desperately need.

        • Mustang2LT says:

          The other thing that would happen would be that the good employees would dime out the shitbags. Of course, the good employees might also quit, but it would make it easier to clean house at that point since anyone left could be assumed to be a problem child. Oh, and fire Shinseki publicly and do not accept a resignation at this point. “Relieved for cause” has such a nice ring, does it not?

          • Eric says:

            Problem is, the only person Obama’s ever fired was the Twitter Guy who was working in the white house and talking smack about the same white house. Look how much effort they put into finding that guy out.

            Obama’s a narcissist and won’t fire someone for failing because it’ll make his self-inflated image look bad.

  3. Hondo says:

    Not sure I’d blame the VA for this one, Jonn. The LA County Coroner’s Office and morgue have been in the news quite often over the years. And not in a good way.

    Like the VA, they also appear to have serious issues regarding administrative efficiency and proper function.

    • HMCS(FMF) ret says:

      It’s how the LA Coroner’s Office has done business for years… if you’re a star that has OD’ed while snorting half of Peru, you may get a half-assed autopsy and be released for burial in 24-36 hours. But, if you’re a vet that doesn’t have a next of kin, you can stay in the morgue for 12 to 18 months before they act.

      It’s priorities for the LA Coroner, and deceased vets aren’t one…

      • Just an Old Dog says:

        I saw a documentary on what LA does with the John Does and unclaimed. If there are no funds from an estate or a relative the body ends up being cremated and stored. After a certain time period all the John Does that are over two years old have their ashes dumped in a common grave, mixed in with others.

  4. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    It does strike me as quite incredible that the best the VA spokesliar can say is that the VA was not contacted regarding the Veterans. That was a stupid response for which the morgue no doubt has rebuttal in the form of written notices to the VA. What’s more, I bet there was not a lone notification from the morgue but a number of them. Now, I’d like to know whether any of the deceased Veterans were (and are)also on a VA list for treatment they never received.

  5. Sparks says:

    Be the the VA or the LA County Morgue. It is still a sad and unacceptable situation to me. A terrible way to remember our veterans. Everyone shouting paperwork and we know how well and how much the VA cares about that. I guess the LA County Morgue is as fouled up in their paperwork as the VA. Still in my mind, veterans should be at the front of the line for all services they earned. I repeat earned. But since both agencies are by and large civilian run, they simply don’t care.

    • Sparks says:

      2/17 Air Cav did bring up a question I would like answered. “Now, I’d like to know whether any of the deceased Veterans were (and are)also on a VA list for treatment they never received.”

    • Hondo says:

      Sparks: when a body is at the morgue for a while, often it’s because they cannot be identified or are never claimed by NOK (or their NOK cannot be located).

      I’m guessing this is a case of the latter. If the bodies were not identified their veteran’s status would likewise be unknown.

      2/17 Air Cav could be correct in that the VA ignored notice and never arranged for burial of these individuals. However, based on the LA County Coroner’s Office’s track record I would not automatically assume that to be the case.

      As to whether any were awaiting treatment when they died, unknown at present. Statistically, it’s likely one or more probably was awaiting VA medical care of some type – anything from a routine follow-up to much-needed treatment. Whether an excessive wait contributed to any of their deaths is also presently unknown, and at this point may be unknowable.

  6. ANCCPT says:

    Having to had to handle post-mortem paperwork and affairs before, I can tell you there is little that is more tragic than dealing with bureaucratic nonsense and filling out forms when someone just needs to move on to their final rest, and to begging the healing process for their families.
    I hate it. I always have. It takes everything in me to contain my anger and disappointment in people that play stupid games at that time in someone’s life.

  7. ANCCPT says:

    *begin the healing process

  8. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    The VA says it never received notice. Five will get you ten they are playing the Clinton game of it depends on what the meaning of is, is. What is notice? The morgue says there are emails to the VA. The VA says it received no notice. I bet that in VA lingo and procedures, official notice is notice that is completed form XYZ-2-A and that the form is signed and dated only by a coroner whose name appears on a list certified to the VA, provided the certification was submitted using form XYZ-2-B and is faxed or mailed only to a VA particular office. Failing any of that, the VA gets to say it received no notice. It depends on what the meaning of is, is.

  9. Green Thumb says:

    Wait forever in line or be rapidly pushed through and receive a bullshit and unqualified evaluation?

  10. RunPatRun says:

    Little off topic, but MIAP is canvassing funeral homes for unclaimed Veteran cremains. Over 2000 located so far:

  11. Aysel says:

    I certainly hope and pray that this is an isolated case, but my fear is that this sort of thing is happening all over the nation. Especially as the story says that there could be as many as 60 vets awaiting burial.