Author Archives: Marcari, Russotto, Spencer and Balaban

VA’s New Wait-List Scandal: Delays in Seeing Outside Doctors

VA’s New Wait-List Scandal: Delays in Seeing Outside Doctors

A recent report by Fox News exposed a simmering scandal at the Shreveport VA hospital, where, according to a whistleblower, more than 2,900 veterans are waiting to see non-VA doctors, which is their right under the Veterans Choice Program. Three years ago, clinical social worker Shea Wilkes revealed a secret wait-list of 2,700 veterans seeking… Read More »

Vets Walking Across the Country Plan to Arrive in D.C. on Veterans Day

Vets Walking Across the Country Plan to Arrive in D.C. on Veterans Day

A group of vets who began a cross-country walk in June to raise awareness of the high rate of suicide among veterans is set to reach its destination on Veterans Day.  The vets who make up Walk of Life left Santa Monica, California, on June 16 with a plan to make it to Washington, D.C.,… Read More »

VA Secretary Suggests Cut to Unemployability Benefit

VA Secretary Suggests Cut to Unemployability Benefit

Asserting that it doesn’t make sense to average Americans to pay unemployment benefits to persons 80 years of age and older, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin has proposed cutting the Individual Unemployability benefit for disabled veterans once they qualify for Social Security. According to the Daily Courier, the mere suggestion of cuts to IU has… Read More »

President Trump Signs VA Whistleblower Law

President Trump Signs VA Whistleblower Law

Surrounded by veterans representing various advocacy groups, President Trump recently signed the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017. The act grants additional protections to VA personnel who come forward to report corruption, abuse, and inefficiency within the Department of Veterans Affairs. This is an important reform to an agency with… Read More »

Iraq War Fund to Compensate Vets Injured by Explosive Devices

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The deadliest threat U.S. military personnel faced in the Afghan and Iraq wars came from improvised explosive devices and other explosive weaponry supplied by agents of the Islamic Republic of Iran. But how could a nation, buckling under the weight of international sanctions, finance insurgents in two large-scale wars? The answer, terribly enough, was that… Read More »

Huntington, WV 9/11 Memorial to Open on Patriot Day, 2017

Huntington, WV 9/11 Memorial to Open on Patriot Day, 2017

Following enactment of bipartisan legislation in the winter of 2001, the first Patriot Day was observed on September 11, 2002. Then with passage of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act in 2009, the president has each year proclaimed September 11 to be Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance. The exercises of… Read More »

La Jolla Workshop Nurtures Veteran Playwrights

UC San Diego MFA candidates work with veterans in the playwriting workshop.

Reporting recently for Southern California Public Radio, Hannah Harris Green visited a theater workshop at the famed La Jolla Playhouse outside San Diego, where veterans come together to write stage projects. Iraq War veteran and playwright Maurice DeCaul began the workshop and others around the country with a grant from the Theater Communications Group. When… Read More »

No End in Sight for Improper VA Payments

VA’s Improper Payments Are Getting Worse

In May, James Clark, writing for Task and Purpose, told readers, “The Department of Veterans Affairs cost taxpayers $5.5 billion dollars in improper payments last year.” That estimate came from a report by the Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, and it represents an increase of $500 million from 2015 to 2016. Mr. Clark’s analysis… Read More »

Has Congress Reached a Bipartisan Deal on VA Accountability?

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., the bill’s lead sponsor

On Thursday, May 11, the Associated Press reported that Congressional Democrats and Republicans had reached an agreement on legislation that would make it easier for the Department of Veterans Affairs to fire employees. Progress on this issue has been stalled since wait-time scandals erupted in 2014, when it was revealed that employees attempted to cover… Read More »

NOVA Advocates for Changes to S. 1024 Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017

NOVA Advocates for Changes to S. 1024 Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017

On May 17, 2017, the National Organization of Veterans’ Advocates, Inc. presented a statement to the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs concerning pending legislation entitled S.B. 1024, Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017. Founded in 1993, NOVA “represents more than 500 attorneys and agents assisting tens of thousands of our nation’s military veterans,… Read More »