Posted on Nov 12, 2014
SSgt Forensic Meteorological Consultant
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I have a mixed message because of some of my troubles with the VA. I have never had a problem with the doctors, PAs and Nurses. In fact the staff at Hillandale I and II Clinics is generally above reproach.

However let's backtrack to early 2013, when I was homeless. Sleeping in my car at a variety places, including truck stops, Walmart Parking Lots, Denny's, Flying J Truckstops and Rest Areas.

Just me and my cat and a litany of dangerous people always lurking especially with those Party Buses and some of the party goers. But a person's choices become more and more limited. My therapist called me a survivor, but I was NOT the ONLY and I was not the only vet.

CW2 Joseph Evans is doing a bang-up job and I might have a job for someone on this site. I have been talking to a graduate of the University of Arkansas myself and vet friends from Linkedin and elsewhere. I also have a plan and it is networking to help people at this site and other veterans who are under bridges and taking their chances at 24hr a day businesses.

Now the biggest rub and think that CW2 Evans has the right idea. The state of NC is also embarking on a project that will help the homeless with treatment and HOUSING. I am going to be honest with you, the homeless advocacy sucks and I was to the point of possibly being a danger to myself. Finally I was getting help from a local Human Society. The helped me with my cat who got fixed at no expense to me. Provided food and litter, etc. More on that later.

Their biggest concern was the fact that winter was approaching and I was in my car. At the Human Society they were worried about me and so was Sen. Burr of NC. I told him my situation and within a month I had some help and a stable place to live.

But just because I am safe now doesn't mean I forget what I went through, struggling with a left hand which is getting weaker and Stress, GAD and Severe Depression, not to mention Petit Mal Seizures. The Dr handling my case noted that my situation was dire so I got the help and I think Senators who do this, should be lauded for their initiative.
Posted in these groups: Vietnam 20veteran Homeless
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1SG Drill Sergeant
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1. Cut out the layers of bureaucrap between doctors and patients
2. Make vouchers available so veterans who don't live near a VA hospital can get medical care from a private physician.
3. Increase veterans' outreach to attack the homeless problem. If need be, expand existing hospital physical space and let homeless vets live there.
4. Encourage veterans to attend college by removing the roadblocks to VA tuition assistance. Right now, if you're going to college less than full time, you might as well forget any tuition assistance at all. That's fine -- unless you work.

Just my little bit for the cause
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SGT Steve Vincent
SGT Steve Vincent
7 y
1SG, I may have misunderstood you. I took what you said to mean only vets who were too far away from a VA facility. I think this would be a good idea/option for any veteran, even if they live next door to a VA hospital.
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1SG Drill Sergeant
1SG (Join to see)
7 y
SGT Steve Vincent - actually, I meant any qualiifying vet should have the choice of using the local VA hospital (if close by) or using a voucher which is good at his personal doctor's. Sometimes competition is good. For too long, vets have been subjected to the monopoly exercised by VA - it's time that ended.
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MSgt Scott Gaston
MSgt Scott Gaston
7 y
Noble cause and I'm sure many are scrambling now that they've found out at least 1,000 heads will roll, but as far as I'm concerned , you're seeing more CYA than anything right now. As I sit and write this, never mind...I'll just leave it that I had people contact me who said they would help me (a 50% Disabled registered in the VA's Health System)...until they weren't getting any more pressure...I'm in pain and seething right now...and it's not just on the health front! How many jobs are out there that the VA and other agencies are just dragging their feet on?! I'm sorry to be so negative and am normally a very positive guy, but all I'm experiencing is lip service and window dressing. I pray that those worse off are experiencing better!
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SGT Steve Vincent
SGT Steve Vincent
7 y
1SG, in that case, we are in complete agreement. I fully agree that it is long past time to fix this system. The tricky part, seeing as everything is politically motivated these days, and you have bureaucrats acting outside of the powers given to them, and everything is completely FUBAR'd at a lot of VA hospitals, especially the one I am assigned to here in Phoenix. It seems to me it is way past time to try and fix the system, as it is beyond the point of just putting in a new figurehead. I think each facility that falls under the auspices of the VA system, needs to be completely overhauled, top to bottom. The reason this hasn't happened is because there is too much bureaucracy involved, and it would mean a whole hell of a lot of people losing their cushy government paycheck. I think that a number of individuals need to be held accountable for the travesty that has been operating for decades. People need to not only lose their jobs, but a lot of them should be prosecuted and sent to prison. When you have veterans dying because of bureaucratic malfeasance, they should be prosecuted for their role in the deaths. There have been at least 46 deaths uncovered during the investigation into the Phoenix VA, and that number is much higher, according to several whistleblowers. People need to pay for this, as they were receiving bonuses, pay raises, etc., based on false numbers that were being sent to their bosses, and it was a deliberate, willful cover-up. It absolutely sickens me beyond words, because I had one of my friends move out here to live with me while he got on his feet. Once he moved out, I didn't get to talk to him very much, but I knew he was having issues with them telling him they had him scheduled for various appointments, and then when he would show up for them, he was told he didn't have an appointment. He wound up taking his own life last year, just before the whole scandal erupted. I place his death and blood squarely on the hands of the administration at the hospital. Furthermore, I myself have had the same issue several times with this hospital. It is gross malfeasance, and downright criminal, the way they have been running things. Give all vets using that facility vouchers for private medical care, and then start firing people at the top, and work your way down the chain, until you have eliminated all the corruption. Then, bring in a staff that actually does their job, and actually cares about the persons in their care. These men and women are there in the first place, because they were messed up in some way, serving this country of ours, and to see them get treated this way is beyond the pale. These people should be getting the absolute best care that can be provided, and instead they would be better off going to some free clinic set up for people on the government dole. Absolutely sickens me. Sorry for the long response, but I am on a lot of meds right now, and I keep spacing out.
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MAJ Robert (Bob) Petrarca
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In 1961, JFK challenged this country to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. With no experience, resources, personnel, plans or direction, this country gave birth to NASA and put a man on the moon in 8 years. Today after billions in spending, we're about to "try" to land a probe on a comet.

Yet we can't fix problems here on earth - WTF?

The VA as we know it has been around since the 1920s, we've been dealing with veteran issues since the Revolutionary War, our government through its actions keeps creating new veterans by the day, yet we're still "trying" - WHY??
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CW4 Robert Goldsmith
CW4 Robert Goldsmith
7 y
MAJ Petrarca,

The reason that we're still trying is that the lawmakers are not real stakeholders. The vast majority of them never served a day in uniform and the majority that have are seniors in Congress and the Senate who are career politicians. The VA is a pig that Congress puts lipstick on. The agency is understaffed and underfunded with a workload that far exceeds the capacity that was promised to the President and Congress, much like DOD. The two agencies are joined at the hip and Congress could truly care less about either. They care about Wall Street, Political Actions Committees and lobbyists, which is their constituency.
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SGT Eugene Faber
SGT Eugene Faber
7 y
Mr. Goldsmith,

As a VA employee and a Veteran I agree with all of what you said; however, with the problems the VA is having right now you do not neccessarily need to be a Veteran to fix. Alot of these problems can be fixed by putting people of power(I use that term loosely) down on the front lines to observe what is going on. We have already established that no one and I mean no one in our leadership can be trusted to report the truth. So send the analyst down to the VA's themselves to see first hand what is going on. It is frustrating to see the lack of expediency we have in repairing this system. More barriers than wide open lanes here. I hope that one day it will get worked out.
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SSgt Forensic Meteorological Consultant
SSgt (Join to see)
7 y
When I was in Tampa I had no idea that I could use the VA and I did not know, and Josh Dadoff can bite me, because when I needed help (also a former vet) he did squat....
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MAJ Robert (Bob) Petrarca
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Try my a$$. Its time for DO or DO NOT. I'm sick & tired of hearing the word "try" when it relates to government's ability to do something. When you're in a combat zone, you don't have time for trying, you do it. The only time I want to hear "try" is when we try these idiots in the court of public opinion for doing, accomplishing and being successful at nothing.

I always bust my brother who's a dentist - when are you going to stop practicing and do it for real :-)
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