A former solider who served most of 2003 in Iraq as a cavalry scout and is now suffering from PTSD was turned away from a VA facility in Georgia. When he went to another VA facility to make the same request, he made a record of the encounter on his smartphone. As Patricia Kime ofMilitary Times writes:
On the video, Dorsey is heard waiting patiently in line for more than 5 minutes. When he reaches the check-in counter, he informs the desk he needs a transfer from the Athens, Georgia, VA system and an appointment.
"We're not accepting any new patients — not this clinic," the VA employee behind the desk says, without providing any extra information, assistance or follow-on guidance for treatment.
Dorsey is still seeking treatment but:
… it seems unlikely he'll get that care close to home. His only remaining VA option is the medical center in Atlanta, more than 50 miles from his home.
The VA last year introduced a program — VA Choice — that would allow Dorsey to see a civilian therapist, but until he spoke with a fellow veteran at a nearby veterans' outreach group about his recent experiences at the two clinics, he'd never heard of VA Choice.
And none of the employees at either clinic mentioned it either.
So if the VA is taking no new patients, is the Army still enlisting new soldiers?
The government doesn’t seem to have many good days, these days. If it isn’t a vast hacking of its employees’ personal information by, presumably, the Chinese, then it is the revelation that the people who are supposed to keep air travel safe, the crack agents of the TSA, missed some 95 percent of the dummy bombs that a task force attempted to slip by them in a recent test. Ninety-five percent.
A year after news broke of the waiting list scandal at the Veterans Affairs medical facility in Phoenix, Arizona, President Obama finally visited the facility in March. And while they didn't quite roll out the red carpet for the president, they did clean the floors -- and spent $5,000 to do it.
The Veterans Affairs secretary lied about serving in the special forces, a report in the Huffington Post alleges.
"Robert McDonald, the secretary of veterans affairs, wrongly claimed in a videotaped comment earlier this year that he served in special operations forces, the most elite units in the armed forces, when his military service of five years was spent almost entirely with the 82nd Airborne Division during the late 1970s," the report reads.
If you work for the government and you don’t stay on the straight and narrow, then you risk being told to go home and take some time off … with pay and benefits. Might be for three months to a year – time enough to catch up on those overdue home improvement project. Could be for one to three years. Long enough to write that novel you’ve been thinking about.
Problems at the VA were largely – but not entirely – in the realm of scheduling. No one argued in favor the current system, which had veterans waiting in line for medical attention for months and even years. Even if the supervisors who cooked the books and paid themselves bonuses were all shown the door, the system would not be working as it should until the scheduling SNAFUs had been dealt with.