Ex-servicemen feel betrayed due to the sluggish nature of Veteran Affairs. A rally recently brought out by some outraged soldiers in Ottawa, Canada, echoed the same grudge against the Veteran Affairs which can be heard across the Globe. The delay in releasing benefits has always struck a note of discord among war veterans across all geographical boundaries. As Lord Alfred Tennyson stated in his poem years ago “Into the valley of Death : Rode the six hundred” These soldiers are fearless in the battle field, but what keeps their blood pressure running high is within the country; fighting a perpetual battle for claims which they rightfully deserve. In this David vs Goliath battle, these men and woman who are taught to fight against all odds, seem too feeble and lackadaisical.
Finding a good and competent lawyer can be their best way to get some respite. The bone of contention in most cases lies with the bureaucratic problem and the goof ups that have stemmed, perhaps due to the surge in the number of pending cases and also the devil-may care attitude of the department. However, there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel as The President has expressed concerns about the way the department of VA is functioning. He is seeking help from other quarters as well, outside the cordon of the army, when he expressed his intention to nominate Mr. Robert. A McDonald, a former chief executive of Procter and Gamble, with the speculation that a person from a global corporate world can turn around the system which is rocked by allegations of mismanagement. It certainly won’t be easy for Mr. McDonald as he, if confirmed, will take over a department plagued with operational and technological dysfunctions, ebbing morale, hostility towards whistle blowers, and skepticism among veterans fanning the flames. Along with these he will be faced with an uphill task of helping those returning from the battlefield with serious injuries or psychological problems to get their benefits in a timely manner.
As the onus is on the VA to significantly increase their transparency and accountability, there is also a huge requirement for doctors, nurses and other medical staff, which stems up from the surge in claims from those new veterans returning from the battle field of Iraq and Afghanistan. What needs to be seen is how the VA handles the situation going forward into the next few years.