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Command Post What is this?
Posted on Mar 9, 2016
SSG Gerhard S.
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MAJ Armored Combat Command Commander
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Edited 6 y ago
One of the poisons that the VA faces is leadership. Much of the top managers are corrupt and crap runs downhill. As a case in point, the IG will not be truthful as they are caught in the tentacles of upper management.

However, I do have to give Kudos to the Ft Leavenworth VA for the superb service.

What would be interesting is a survey by VA Hospitals and their efficacy to meeting veterans medical needs.
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SSG Don Maggart
SSG Don Maggart
6 y
You are correct @ Sir...MiliutantCrip
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MAJ Armored Combat Command Commander
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6 y
Not knowing the inner workings of the VA, I wonder what they are doing to significantly reduce waiting lists? Why did they let it get so bad? What are the limitations to reduction by system or leader?
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Lt Col Scott Shuttleworth
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My experiences are varied. I am a person that usually is polite, courteous, and patient especially when it comes to bureaucracies and know that sometimes things are out of some folks control.

First experience - Pre Retirement Physical at the VA hospital in Big Springs TX...Showed up and all of the parking anywhere close to the building outside of Handicap was marked employee parking. Went inside and the first person I saw checking into the facility acted and talked like she was doing me a favor by getting me "in" when I had an appointment. There were also hospital employees talking trash about their jobs and their clinics in front of patients. At this point my patients was wearing thin. When I finally got to the doctor he said half the things I listed weren't chronic when I had been seen about them for years on end. Needles to say my disability was screwed up when I got it and since had to have it reevaluated.

Second experience - Went to the VA in Tuscaloosa AL...Unbelievable place. Treated like family from the moment I walked in. I was turned around so the tech stopped what they were doing, and escorted me to the next stop for some verification stuff for disability. Me and my father in law go together once a year for hearing and vision and he gets his meds re-upped for the year. Great place. Should be the model for VA's around the nation for patient care.

Third experience - Had to go to the Jackson MS VA for a re-eval on the disability claim. three hours away from my house. Tuscaloosa is 50 minutes away but couldn't go there because they are in different regions. Again, difficult parking at best. When I walked up to the door, there were two techs looking at a 90 year old wife trying to get her husband in the car from a wheelchair and didn't offer to help..10 feet away. That pissed me off right off the bat...and the fact I had to drive 3 hours versus 30 minutes. Went to the office to check in and I asked if there was anything I needed to do prior to seeing the doc. They said no so I went to the cafeteria to eat on the complete other side of the facility. Came back only to find out they had to send me to another clinic right across the hall from the cafeteria. When that was done, I came back to see the doc (for less than 5 minutes) and he told me all he had to see was the paperwork...not me. I was pissed off by this time that I wasted a whole day.

I say all that to say this.
1.) Kindness goes a long way in setting up the stage for care. But some people are just mean...be firm back and if they are mean ask for the Patient Advocate and don't leave until you see them.
2.) Just like military units, the VA is going to take on the mentality and attitude of it's leadership. Jackson and Big Springs both I could tell were soured. I have heard nothing but praise for the VA director at Tuscaloosa. Leads by example.
3.) Predetermined expectations. We have all had them. "man you are going to that unit...good luck". That sets the stage for anyone going to that VA prior to them getting their and making up their own mind.

Some are good and some are bad...just have to make up your own mind and don't let anyone sway you till you have experienced it first hand.
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SSG Gerhard S.
SSG Gerhard S.
6 y
Great advice, there is a great variance of service, and you are correct that culture, good, or bad does sprout from the top.
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SFC Dr. Joseph Finck, BS, MA, DSS
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SSG Gerhard S. My experiences with the VAMC in Orlando and the VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Kissimmee, FL have been favorable. I am able to get appointments as needed and am treated with courtesy and respect at each visit. Moreover, the diagnostic and treatment options seem to have no limits.

My experiences with the VBA are totally different. The processing of my claims has been mostly quite slow and laborious with only a recent claim being processed quickly and efficiently. Change may be on the horizon, only time will tell. The largest issue faced, in my opinion, is when you call the national service center for information pertaining to your claim. The information is limited at best, and no "real time" answers are available. The greatest degree of frustration I have felt is due to the VBA and the lack of real time information or person to speak with who actually knows about your claim. I recognize the fallacy of my last statement as if the person who knows about your claim spoke with you, little claims would ever get processed. However, that is the specific reason for a computer system which provides real time updates.

My VA home loan and education have been great. Its a mixed bag with patience and courtesy being the cornerstone of success when dealing with anyone working for the VA.

Thank you for your post,
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SSG Don Maggart
SSG Don Maggart
6 y
your Representative is Rep Alan Grayson who also sits on the select committee next to Rep Miller and Hon Ms. Brown all from Florida glad yall get great care down there
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