Posted on Apr 22, 2015
Sgt Aaron Kennedy, MS
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We speak a lot about the Department of Veterans Affairs, and its failures (Health & Pension).

I pose this question.

"Does the US Government actually possess the capability to take care of Veterans 'As promised,' or are we setting them (us) up for failure?"

If we are setting 'us' up for failure, because it is an unreasonable expectation, do we need to adjust our expectations?
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Responses: 10
PO3 Steven Sherrill
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I would say Sgt Aaron Kennedy, MS that they shouldn't promise what they cannot deliver. If it is a system issue, fix the system. If the system cannot be fixed, rebuild it from the ground up. If the means to fullfill the promise don't exist, don't make the promise.
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Sgt Aaron Kennedy, MS
Sgt Aaron Kennedy, MS
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PO3 Steven Sherrill I generally agree.. however we as a country encouraged enlistment since the days of the Continental Congress. The Current Dept of VA is 84 years old.

This isn't a case of making promises they can't deliver. It's a case of our great great great great grandfathers making a promise they couldn't deliver because they didn't have enough data at the time.

They were ill prepared for the reality of the situation. Not just now, but then.

I've quoted it before, but the first director of the modern VA (Forbes) was literally choked in the Oval Office by the President for incompetence.

I reiterate. Are we setting this organization up for failure? As leaders of men, would we find this situation acceptable if we were doing this to a Troop vice an Agency?
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MAJ Armored Combat Command Commander
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It takes initiative for the VA to find veterans who are homeless, need medical care, and the veterans who feel betrayed and are broken, refusing to be found.
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MAJ Armored Combat Command Commander
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Sgt Aaron Kennedy, MS - I think part of the problem is the military as they don't screen people well upon redeployment. At least that was the case for me. I have heard from soldiers with PTSD that they were expected to work and sometimes the leaders were unsympathetic to them. When one has a severe case of PTSD they start making mistakes and are often punished or chaptered out. I like the concept of Wounded Warrior Battalions to shelter them and give them the flexibility to pursue therapy.
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SPC James Duggin
SPC James Duggin
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Some of us want to be found, but are ignored! So we just try to survive while we wait for the process to help (waiting for us to die) after our death the VA is off the hook for all the lies they told and in the meantime my family has to suffer because I can't provide for them. Nor do my kids receive any help for thier schooling. We Support Our Troops!! And Thanks For Your Service has become an insult to most vets. (Triggers my PTSD). But hell who cares ,rite?
Thanks Uncle Sam!
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MAJ Armored Combat Command Commander
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Sgt Aaron Kennedy, MS - For the homeless veterans, it is imperative to find the veterans who are hurting and homeless. Provide them a place to live and given therapy and detoxification. Then assimilate them back to society. That should be on the Mission Essential Task List.
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MAJ Armored Combat Command Commander
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SPC James Duggin - Keep fighting.
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SPC Human Resources   Labor/Employee Relations
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Wow! This is a really great question!

I think one of the biggest problems with the system is that a large majority of the VA leaderships has never served. They don’t know what it’s like to be a SM or a Veteran. And they will never know what it’s like to use the VA for their CARE or have to rely on them for benefits. They may be making progress but for me... any veteran who commits suicide is one to many... it’s NOT a reason to celebrate over saving one... I want to save them all. I don’t want to remove 500 vets from the streets, I want them all to have shelter and a bed. They jump for joy over the backlog being down to 150,000, but to me, that 150,000 vets that are still waiting, and probably struggling for a little extra to help their family every month. So for me progress isn't enough. I want success. I want MORE. And I think we are setting us up for failure in that sense. because in every data released it about the improved numbers... not about the ones still behind.
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Sgt Aaron Kennedy, MS
Sgt Aaron Kennedy, MS
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In essence, the status reports show how the VA is still failing, vice how it is is successful.
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SPC Human Resources   Labor/Employee Relations
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That is how I see it, yes. And how I think many other veterans see it too.
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SSG Program Control Manager
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I don't believe you need to have served, in order to have empathy for those who have... I believe it's more a matter of competent managers being stolen by a private sector with much higher levels of compensation while marginally and incompetent managers are left running the organization. A civilian hospital CEO is making on average well over 500K a year, I doubt the person managing a VA hospital makes half that... if their good at what they do, why wouldn't they go and double or triple their paycheck?
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SSgt Richard Kensinger
SSgt Richard Kensinger
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As a clinical psychologist, and based on my clinical research and experience, it is important to competently understand military and combat culture. at our local VAC in altoona, PA, very few front-line clinicians have military experience, let alone, combat experience. And when i counseled combat vets and medics, the fact that i served as a medic during Vietnam, afforded me instant credibility beyond my clinical skills.
Rich
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