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So Simple It HurtsJohn Paul Rossie for Salem-News.com
The DVA must be stopped from implementing regulations and procedures that fracture the unity and solidarity that is the shared bond of brothers in arms.
(LITTLETON, Co.) - It might be too late to believe that a magical duct tape can be found to fix the problems of the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) and hold its structure together. But if it weren't, I would be happy to report that there are only four things that need to be done to cure its ills and save its very existence.
- There needs to be a consistency of ruling that is shared not only among the 57 Regional Offices, but by the Board of Veteran Appeals.
- There needs to be a shift over to Precedent Standards, replacing the idea that each and every claim has to be treated as a new and unique entity. The use of precedent provides an ability to draw upon previous rulings as guidance in standardizing the results of nearly identical claims, of which there are many.
- The concept of auditing needs to be instituted so that the standardization and categorization of claims can move along without believing each claim submission is from some low-life bastard attempting to rip off the system. Auditing spot-checks can verify not only the veracity of a claim, but can provide verification on the application of standards with the goal of perfecting them in order to gain more confidence in them.
- The DVA must be stopped from implementing regulations and procedures that fracture the unity and solidarity that is the shared bond of brothers in arms.
If these four items were implemented, the underlying structure that supports the compensation claims process would operate efficiently and effectively, and would fulfill the purpose of the DVA's mission as a support to veterans and their families. Implementation of these four changes would prevent backlogs and maintain a swift and judicious operation where veterans would see justice, predictability, and validation of their sacrifices given in the name of patriotism to this country. Without an immediate application of these elements, the DVA will continue on its path to hell and ruination that has the potential of pulling down with it several other sick, broken and corrupt government agencies that need the same or similar revamping in order to survive the next several years.
A good place to start reassuring veterans of this country -- past, present and future, that America still honors and cares for a veteran and their family -- is to put the Agent Orange Equity Act into place and deny the DVA the right to isolate a specific group of veterans simply to deny them the benefits intended for all. House Bill 2254 and its Senate companion S-1939 need to be codified as federal law to hold the DVA's feet to the fire to avoid its move to fragment the ranks of veterans. With that law enacted and those claims processing procedures in place, the DVA might have a chance of survival. If any one of them is missed, the DVA will continue its half-assed antics leading to its deterioration and the total loss of confidence and support of every American veteran.
Today he stays busy advocating for American veterans through his role with the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Association.
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