A Legacy of Service, Hope for the Future

DAV is the most long-lasting veterans advocacy and assistance group in this country. We’ve watched this country change and grow, and we’ve grown along with it. However, DAV has never wavered in its core mission to fulfill our country’s promises to the men and women who served. We invite everyone, veterans and civilian, men and women, young and old, to join us as we stand up for those veterans who risked it all when they stood up for us, our country, and our ideals.

J. Marc Burgess, National Adjutant

A Steady Voice in the Storm

When are they going to start listening?

As many of you undoubtedly know, the VA is embroiled in a maelstrom of negativity stemming from allegations of wrongdoing and misconduct at multiple facilities. The short-term result was the resignation of Secretary Eric K. Shinseki and a great deal of finger-pointing.

Each year, DAV and other leading veterans’ service organizations submit an Independent Budget before Congress  and the Administration. This collaborative budget is a recommendation of how Congress should fund the VA for the coming fiscal year, based on what the VA reports they need to effectively operate and care for our nation’s veterans.

But the Independent Budget is consistently ignored. Over the past ten years, DAV has repeatedly testified to Washington that the VA was being funded at $17 billion less than what their own internal analysis projected.

So while it’s clear there have been major wrongdoings within the VA system, DAV believes the time is now to start focusing on immediate and long-term solutions. First and foremost, there must be an open and transparent investigation, and those guilty of breaking the law should be held accountable. Veterans who have been waiting for medical care and treatment should be treated quickly and immediately, even if this means they
have to be treated outside the VA system.

Recently, President Obama said many VA systems are out of date. This is something DAV has been telling Congress for years. The system is simply
overburdened and underfunded.

The main issue at hand here is not one of quality care; studies show that most veterans are happy with the care they receive through the VA. The problem is getting access to that care in the first place. There are simply not enough medical professionals and treatment clinics. In some places, infrastructure is horribly outdated. Computer systems and scheduling technology in many cases are more than 20 years old.

This is a complex issue, but one with a simple answer: resources. Congress must adequately fund the VA now, as these challenges will only increase as the drawdown from 13 years of war continues and more veterans transition out of uniform.

The VA is the best source of care for veterans, as they have trailblazed advances in medical science for unique veteran-related issues such as PTSD, amputation injuries and rehabilitation and traumatic brain injuries. I sincerely believe they’re the best choice to care for our wounded, ill and injured who’ve sacrificed for our freedoms.

But the bottom line is they can’t do it without proper funding. Please join the DAV CAN (Commander’s Action Network) and demand that your Congressional representative do the responsible thing by fully funding the VA with no political infighting or budget gimmicks.

You and our fellow veterans deserve no less.

If you want to find out more about the National Adjutant, you can find his biography here.