In the military there are two ways to get a job done, and they both work hand in hand. Tactics and Strategy. An overall strategy cannot work unless the low level tactics are used to make the strategy a success. When you are in Basic Training you have no knowledge of what is going to happen next, that's tactical knowledge and as a "boot" you have none. The strategical end of Basic Training is graduating and becoming a Solider, Marine, Airman or seaman. Yes, you may know that tomorrow you will be going to the rifle range but you probably didn't know about the O dark thirty PT session planned early the next morning. Those things can be nasty! The rifle range (and the countless PT sessions held way too often early in the morning) are all part of the tactical training every military recruit needs to make the strategy of graduation day a successful one.
Where is this guy going with all this? Well, I just want to make sure that everyone that reads this blog knows I don't expect a snap of someone's fingers and the problems at the VA will be solved. Just as the VA problems didn't just begin within the last year, those strategical solutions to for the VA won't come to a successful completion for years or longer.
Even now, VA centers in Philadelphia & Baltimore are coming under scrutiny. There are more problems than just medical backlogs, as almost any Veteran knows, and they are all around the country. The sheer magnitude of the VA Scandal can be found in the latest headlines of the media. Acting Secretary Gibson is asking for $17.6 Billion to help fix the problems in the VA.
The request has apparently given some fiscal conservatives with a bad taste in their mouths. While I am a conservative in just about every sense of the word (OK I do like some reggae music, I admit it), I will say that the VA problems existed during just about every conservative Republican administration that has existed since I was born in 1967. Indeed, this is not a problem just for conservatives but for liberals too. Very little, indeed if anything, was done to fix the VA during any administration. Hope that alleviates the bad taste. Yes, it will take money to fix the VA scandal, but that is not all it will take. It will take changing the way the VA operates in just about every way. That means the bureaucracy must change. That takes time. And a strategy.
In the meantime, the American Legion has taken steps with the VA to create (tactical) crisis centers in areas where the root of the medical appointment backlog are the worse. More whistleblowers are coming forward and, as I pointed out earlier, the problems are becoming more evident all across the country.
While holding a preliminary hearing today, The Senate will hold a confirmation hearing in the full Senate for Robert McDonald before they go in recess at the end of the month, supposedly. I hope that happens. Because the strategy will ultimately be a big part of what McDonald brings to the VA.
What we the people have to do is keep up the tactical firefight by keeping this in the public's eye. Letters to the editor. Talk radio programs. Blogs. Tweets. Facebook posts. This is not a new problem but it is in the media spotlight right now. That is our tactical advantage. Make no doubts about it, this is as grassroots as it gets. We have to keeping putting wood on the VA scandal fire so it is noticed. So it is fixed The VA scandal started decades ago. It starts to end now. Our Veterans are owed that much.
That is all.