An open letter to Government.
I am writing you to illustrate an issue that you have created for us. By us I mean “We the people”. You may have heard of us? I know that for the most part you only think of us during election cycles, but we suffer at the hands of your political wrangling every day.
Today an issue crossed my desk that I can not ignore. It appears you are considering increasing the salary of the Veterans Administration's administrators. As a retired USAF veteran this is not only appalling, but an insult to every veteran in this nation.
I am lucky. I do not have to use the VA for my healthcare, but many of my fellow veterans do. I have friends caught up in the system just to get the healthcare. Others, are caught up in the system receiving sub-standard healthcare. This is an issue that I personally find a failure of Government. And you, our elected representative are Government.
Let me illustrate something you may not be aware of. In the military we are a team. We give everything we have both physically and mentally to completing our responsibility to the team and this country.
If we fall down and get hurt, we get up and continue to push ourselves to reach the objective. Whether it is war time or not is not the issue. Military members are hurt and killed everyday, even in the politically defined era of peace. Only in those cases where we have been hurt so badly we can no longer reach the objective to we seek medical help. That is what we are expected to do.
Yet, when we finish our terms of service, we are expected to prove our injuries are related to military service. Why are you requiring this? If I had gone to the hospital for every boo boo that might cause me issues in the future, I would have not been very effective. This is the problem of Government, I am expected to do my best, and rewarded with the least.
Oh I have medals, and shiny ribbons. Even letters that say really nice things about me. Ever tried putting those things on a wound? They don't do much. Yet my fellow veterans must prove to you that they have injuries that apply to their military service. News Flash, everything that is wrong with me today is related to my military service. And there are no records of them, because as a kid I had no idea they would be required.
So I will be as gentle as I can with my recommendations. I am only gentle because I am aware most of you never served in the military.
Lets make it so the VA has to prove that our present issues are NOT related to military service. Lets stop pretending to worry about fraud, waste and abuse, and start holding the VA administrators responsible for perpetrating fraud, waste, and abuse. For a VA official to claim they were not aware is an admission of their incompetence. FIRE THEM. If I had told any of my commanders that I was not aware of my troops screwing up, they would have taken my stripes and sent me packing.
As our representatives I hold you personally responsible for this issue. I consider the issues with the VA to be an indicator of your ability to other parts of your job. Don't waste my time telling me what you are Going to Do, Do it.