The Veterans Administration Controversy

In response to the ongoing Veterans Administration Controversy  and as the VA Rep for the Echo Co Website and Organization I feel a need to respond.
Bear in mind that these are my personal opinions and personal experiences after being in the VA System since 1971 which calculated to over 44 years.

We have heard the stories about veterans who have allegedly been put on the back burner and rescheduled only to never have had any care from the VA  and consequently they have passed away or became terminal etc etc   Veterans who have not been able to get appointments with Doctors or Counselors and have in the process have not been able to obtain medical care through the VA.

When I first was discharged from the USMC I was told to report to my Regional VA Facility as I was separated with two cast on my arms from broke bones .  I did as I was told thus began my journey into the System of the Veterans Administration. This was in June of 1971.

As we all know Behavior problems were manifest at that time , and they were recognized by the VA and I was sent to the Psychiatric Dept for Evaluation.  I then was sent on a  trip through the Bio Feedback, Group Meetings,One on One counseling and Psychiatric examination and many many hearings to determine whether or not I was a victim of PTSD.  The determination was that I did have a problem.  Through all of this there were times when I did not have appointments  or there was no scheduled follow up It seemed the the VA ran 100 mph then just stopped and forgot me in those times I took it upon myself to call the VA ask questions and reestablish my presents .  When I did this I was scheduled with appointments and hearing   Its called proactive health care.

I am reasonable sure that the VA is a honest and contentious organization.  As in any organization there may or may not be some problems.  Bear in mind that the VA at this time is overwhelmed with a influx of new Veterans from the recent wars.  Our current administration in my opinion has neither the means or the intention of solving the problem that exists.

Keeping the above statement in the forefront if you are a Veterans you must follow up on all health care issues.  If you don’t hear from the VA call them and ask questions but above all..............
Connect with a Veterans Service Officer VSO.   These  people are in all the Veterans organizations such as  VFW, American Legion, DAV , Vietnam Veterans of America.  And easiest of all in the Veterans Administration its self  (Just ask)  Have correct information available to this VSO ie service number dates etc etc although the Officer can obtain them it goes a lot faster if you have your correct documentation.  The most important piece of paper you have is your DD-214 separation paper guard this with your life....

So even if the VA is having problems it is the Veterans responsibility to be instrumental in his or her personal health care.  As you would in private practice,  the same holds true at the VA.

This is an organization that has never failed me in 44 years.  I may not have always gotten what I wanted .  But I have always received what I needed.

Dave Cota
VA Rep  Echo Company