“It is time to speak. It is time that veterans use social media, personal demonstration, and activism to make change happen instead of waiting on it.”
In every Veterans Administration job announcement, there is a copy of the VA’s mission statement. It reads:
OUR MISSION: To fulfill President Lincoln’s promise – “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan” – by serving and honoring the men and women who are America’s Veterans.
There is no greater failure in that promise than when a man is so distraught that he commits suicide to send a message, a message that screams “FAILURE” written in a veteran’s blood. Yet exactly that happened on the very grounds of the VA headquarters building in Phoenix, Arizona yesterday.
This is just the latest outrage visited upon the veteran community by the VA. How does something like this even happen? What drives a veteran to not only kill himself, but to do it in such a powerful way? We have former members of the military throughout the Veterans Administration. How is it that those men and women, who served, are comfortable with the travesty of death lists, failed medical care, and pill dispensing instead of treatment?
Why do the rest of us accept it? Partially, we, the veteran community, are still bound by the discipline which we learned. We expect, with the same certitude that we felt while in uniform, that the chain of command will fix the issues. They will make it right. But little has been done. read more
Leonard Benton, Veteran Kills Himself At the VA: A Failure Written In Blood, Havok Journal, 11 May 2016.