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CNN recently published a scathing report detailing the behavior of a Veterans Affairs office in Phoenix. The office manufactured their records and submitted false reports to higher headquarters to appear as if they were compliant with standards.
Meanwhile, veterans died waiting for healthcare and recognition.
Earlier this year, Task & Purpose brought you a story originally published by the Daily Caller that spoke of a similar practice at the VA’s Los Angeles office. “The VA’s Plan To Beat The Backlog Reportedly Involved Just Destroying Medical Records,” the headline read.
At the time, some remarked that the practice was only one office.
“That headline does not match the details in the piece at all. Actions by one office in 2008 do not reflect on the national strategy developed in 2010,” one commenter said. “Disappointed you would post something so inflammatory.”
I never understood the phrase “I hate to say I told you so.” I absolutely love to say I told you so.
According to the CNN report’s principal source, a recently retired VA doctor, Dr. Sam Foote, “the elaborate scheme in Phoenix involved shredding evidence to hide the long list of veterans waiting for appointments and care. Officials at the VA, Foote says, instructed their staff to not actually make doctor's appointments for veterans within the computer system.”
This is all wrapped in the context of the VA’s backlog of unanswered disability claims, which had at one point ballooned to more than 600,000, but now rests at roughly 350,000. The backlog is beat in the trenches -- in the VA offices in Los Angeles, Phoenix, and all across the country. That’s why the conduct of individual offices are endemic of the national behavior.
But the critics’ larger point is right -- the buck stops with Eric Shinseki, the Obama Administration’s secretary of Veterans Affairs.
In a piece in Time Magazine more than a year ago, Joe Klein called for Shinseki’s resignation. He said he may not be the right man for the job.
“He is universally regarded as an exemplary man. But even his supporters say he's old-school military, stoic, wary of the press,” Klein wrote. “In any event, he has been in office for four years, and the problems our veterans face are worse than ever--and about to get still worse as the military demobilizes tens of thousands of additional troops in the next few years. It is time for him to step down.”
The time has long passed for Shinseki to right the ship here, or hand the reigns to someone who will.
Editor's Note: This article by Hope Hodge Seck originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.
In the wake of a heartwarming viral video that was featured everywhere from Good Morning America to the Daily Mail comes a disheartening revelation: The 84-year-old self-described Army nurse cranking out push-ups in her crisp Vietnam-era uniform might not be who she said she was.
Maggie DeSanti, allegedly a retired Army lieutenant colonel who rappeled out of helicopters in Vietnam, was captured in a video challenging a TSA agent to a push-up competition ahead of a flight to Washington, D.C., with the Arizona chapter of the organization Honor Flight on Oct. 16. The video soon was everywhere, and many who shared it, including Honor Flight, hailed DeSanti's toughness and spirit.
‘Nice girls don't join the military': New commander of Air Force refueling squadron proves her critics wrong
The summer before sixth grade, Cindy Dawson went to an air show with her father and was enamored by the flight maneuvers the pilots performed.
"I just thought that would be the coolest thing that anybody could ever do," she said, especially having already heard stories about her grandfather flying bombers during World War II with the Army Air Corps.
So by the first day of school, she had already decided what she wanted to be when she grew up.
We salute the 93-year-old WWII veteran who refuses to retire, and opened up a 'boozy bakery' instead
Peach schnapps, sex on the beach, and piña colada may be familiar drinks to anyone who's spent an afternoon (or a whole day) getting plastered on an ocean-side boardwalk, but they're also specialty desserts at Ray's Boozy Cupcakes, Etc, a bakery in Voorhees, New Jersey run by a 93-year-old World War II veteran named Ray Boutwell.
A former senior Coast Guard official has been accused of shoplifting from a Philadelphia sex shop.
Rear Adm. Francis "Stash" Pelkowski (Ret.) was accused of stealing a tester item from Kink Shoppe on Oct. 8, according to an Instagram post by the store that appeared online two days later. In the post, which included apparent security camera footage of the incident, a man can be seen looking at products on a counter before picking up an item and placing it in his pocket before turning and walking away.
The Instagram post identified the man as Pelkowski, and said it wished him "all the best in his retirement, a sincere thank you for your service, and extreme and utter disappointment in his personal morals."
SAN DIEGO —The Marines say changes in the way they train recruits and their notoriously hard-nosed drill instructors have led to fewer incidents of drill instructor misconduct, officials told the Union-Tribune.
Their statement about training followed an Oct. 5 Washington Post report revealing that more than 20 Marines at the San Diego boot camp have been disciplined for misconduct since 2017, including cases of physical attacks and racist and homophobic slurs. The story also was published in the Union-Tribune.