Freedom Isn't Free

Freedom Isn't Free

05 September 2014

A foxhole is never done

   I know it's been longer than usual for this post.  With the kids going back to school it has been a rather active week.  It's kind of like a foxhole, the work is never done.  For those of you who either weren't in the military or were in a non land based branch of the military, let me explain.
   Once you make your defensive position foxhole, you are never done making it better.  There is the constant camouflage replacement (can't have dead leaves giving it away), along with improving your position.  Adding grenade sumps, left & right limits for your areas of fire, etc.  It's kinda like your house.  You improve things as you get time and resources to add different things. 
   Of course, one thing that Veterans deal with could use a lot of improving.  You guessed it, I'm talking about the Veterans Administration.  I've been saying (and I will keep on bringing it up) that the VA Scandal is not over.  Since he has taken over, Sec. McDonald has been making improvements.  There is now a pilot program for rural Veterans who live far away from VA Medical Centers.  Yes, this is only in five different areas, but it is a start.  Two of the programs are run by state entities (Maine and New Mexico) while the other three (Westcare Washington which includes Washington state and Oregon, Volunteers of America of Northern Louisiana which includes areas of Arkansas and Texas as well as Louisiana, and the Nebraska Association of Healthcare Directors for Nebraska) are all non profit organizations.  It's also interesting to note that Maine's pilot program is being run by the state's department of labor.  This will be a test to see if non profit organizations can handle Veterans' healthcare better than governmental organizations, to say the least.
   In addition to the rural pilot program, other larger hospitals are also taking care of VA medical benefits as well.  And Sec. McDonald has also created a push to hire more medical professionals for the VAMCs.  And then, there are VA town hall meetings.
   As I am sure you've all heard by now, the VA wanted to train their members on how to deal with Veterans during the town hall meetings in my native Pennsylvania.  The above image of Oscar the Grouch was supposed to represent Veterans and how they can be "grouchy".  While the VA publicity officials have tried to say Oscar was supposed to represent the VA officials themselves, most other stories by the media have mentioned that the title of the slideshow was "Dealing with Veterans during town hall meetings." 
   I also want to point out something I haven't seen mentioned in reports of the slideshow.  Look at Oscar's garbage can.  It's gold.  Normally, his garbage can is the normal steel type color.  Could it be that the VA is trying to "paint" Veterans as having a lot?  Like they have it all and want more.  I would hope that that isn't what was meant but, we are dealing with bureaucrats in the VA. 
   And all I've talked about is the VAMCs.  We haven't even touched the other parts of the VA Scandal.  I'm sure, however, that we can all agree on two things.  The VA Scandal isn't over and Sec. McDonald needs to realize just how alike the VA Scandal and a foxhole really are. 
   To borrow a cable news network's slogan, I'm trying to be fair and balanced with the VA.  Sometimes, however, it just comes down to the fact that a massive overhaul has to be undertaken.  That's why I am constantly saying the VA Scandal isn't over.  It didn't just get broken overnight during the Obama administration.  It's been broken a long, long time.  For the VA to be fixed new approaches like the rural Veteran care program have to be tried out.  But changes will have to be made to the entire VA.  And that includes the ability for Sec. McDonald to be able to fire people and make changes as needed.  And that is where the politicians come into play.  And that, dear reader, is where you come into play as well.  We have to keep the their feet to the proverbial fire.  It's the only way the VA Scandal will ever truly be over.
   That is all.

The 7th Annual Jan Argonish Ride will be held Sunday September 7th. Registration is from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.   For more information please click here.
Rockin Fest will be held Sunday, September 13th in Newton, NJ from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.  For more information on this event please check out their website.
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1 comment:

  1. The fox hole needs a lot of work. I hope it can be done in a timely enough way even if it can't be fixed over night, hopefully with some of the changes so far there will be enough results (good or bad) coming in the next few months to see if more changes need to be done or a new foxhole needs to be dug.
    Thank you Soldier for keeping us updated. I'll be keeping my representatives updated with the fact that I'm watching to see what they do to help make this right!