medical-563427_640Malpractice Money: Over the past ten years, the VA has spent over $870 million to settle allegations of medical malpractice made against its doctors and healthcare workers.

Lying to Congress: After VA executives told Congress that efforts to discipline employees were delayed due to pending criminal investigations by federal prosecutors, the top watchdog at VA has said that the criminal investigation ended over six months ago.

Congress Attacks: Apparently upset over the massive delays and expenses associated with building a Colorado VA healthcare facility, Congress has passed a law specifically barring the construction manager from working for the government.

Hot Potato, Hot Executive: After plans were revealed to demote and relocate the two VA executives implicated in the relocation scandal, the Congressman representing the area to which one of the disgraced officials was to relocate is asking that she be sent elsewhere.

Robotic Veterans: The VA has given in to pleas and agreed to pay for cutting-edge robotic legs that allow veterans with spinal cord injuries to walk once again.

Delay, Delay, Delay: A Texas Marine Corps veteran says that after the VA canceled and refused to reschedule a surgery that would alleviate his pain, he was forced to spend his own money on outside treatment.

Deported Veterans: Many veterans who entered the country legally and served in the Armed Forces have been kicked-out of the country they fought for due to relatively minor missteps.

Did you see an interesting story about veterans or the VA in the news today? Let us know by sending us an email (links@brokenVA.com) or by visiting the contact page. We’ll try to include your link in our next edition of Veteran Links.

VAlogoDamning Report: The Washington Post got its hands on a confidential VA memo that shows that VA managers in Phoenix extensively retaliated against employees who blew the whistle and revealed major problems within the agency.

Congress Investigating: After several medical students made an unspecified complaint regarding a surgeon at a VA medical center in Kansas, a Congressional committee plans to investigate.

Laying on the Floor: An Army veteran who served in Afghanistan claims that he was forced to lie on the floor of a VA emergency room for four hours in order to receive medical attention for his military-related disorders.

The Opposite Effect: Yet another veteran is complaining that the Choice Program has had the exact opposite effect of how it was envisioned, resulting in longer delays and wait times than with traditional VA healthcare.

Fighting Homelessness: In Boston, a nonprofit organization is doing its part to take a bite out of the homeless veteran problem by providing housing to female vets who are down on their luck.

Graduates at Last: Two Vietnam Veterans in Illinois were granted a special honor, finally receiving their High School diplomas after the war forced them to leave school 46 years ago.

Did you see an interesting story about veterans or the VA in the news today? Let us know by sending us an email (links@brokenVA.com) or by visiting the contact page. We’ll try to include your link in our next edition of Veteran Links.

HomelessSecretary on Homelessness: In a blog post, Bob McDonald, Secretary of the VA, discusses what has been accomplished in the fight to end veteran homelessness, and what still needs to be done.

No Improvement in Phoenix: During a hearing in Arizona yesterday, a former whistle-blower said that “not much as changed” at the Phoenix VA, while a VA executive admitted that “overall wait times are probably not going to go down.”

Choice Program Delays: The entire purpose of the Choice Act was to offer veterans access to more timely healthcare. Yet, as many have discovered, the Choice Program can be just as bureaucratic and prone to delay as the VA system.

Staffing Cover-up: After reporters uncovered a system apparently designed to create the appearance of timely medical appointments, a member of Congress is stepping-in and demanding answers from the VA.

Abolish VA Healthcare: Capitalizing on the attention his paper gets during primary season, the Des Moines Register’s editor argues that it is time to get rid of VA healthcare and simply provide traditional insurance to veterans.

Wreaths Across America: Over the past week, a special movement has been happening, as volunteers have laid over 900,000 Christmas wreaths on the graves of veterans at cemeteries across the country.

Christmas Cards: Two women in Massachusetts have accomplished a remarkable task by collecting and mailing over 300,000 Christmas cards to active service members and veterans.

Did you see an interesting story about veterans or the VA in the news today? Let us know by sending us an email (links@brokenVA.com) or by visiting the contact page. We’ll try to include your link in our next edition of Veteran Links.

SkyeMcDougallNot at my VA: After protests stopped Skye McDougall (pictured) from overseeing VA facilities in the southwest, she was shuffled over to the south-central region. Now new protests are forming against the VA executive who lied to Congress.

No Choices for Choice Program: An Iraq veteran who was injured in combat says that he has been trying to get a test to assess the severity of his injuries since July, and that the Choice program has been no help.

Billing Mess: After a Veteran gave the wrong insurance card in the emergency room, he has faced nearly a year of bureaucratic hurdles to get the VA to pay for his treatment.

VA Trashes Christmas Decorations: After a Vietnam veteran volunteered to decorate a hospital ward for Christmas, she was dismayed to find that many of her decorations bearing the phrase “Merry Christmas” had been thrown in the trash.

Treatment, not Jail: In Ohio, we hear another success story about a veterans’ treatment court system that is designed to send veterans to treatment rather than prison.

Delayed Homecoming: 65 years after he was declared Missing in Action, a Korean War veteran from Massachusetts was finally given the honors that he deserved.

Did you see an interesting story about veterans or the VA in the news today? Let us know by sending us an email (links@brokenVA.com) or by visiting the contact page. We’ll try to include your link in our next edition of Veteran Links.

republican-presidential-debateVA and Politics: As we move into the primary season for the presidential election, proposals to fix or dismantle the VA have been announced by nearly every major candidate for the nation’s top office.

Ethical Lapses: A VA doctor who sits on agency’s national ethics committee has some ethical problems of her own, including inappropriate relationships with students and a questionable educational background.

Accountability Issues: In a scathing piece, the editorial board of the Washington Examiner takes the VA to task for its attempts to push-back against calls for greater accountability within the agency.

Veteran’s Wife Fed Up: The wife of an Iraq veteran suffering from traumatic brain injury and PTSD says that the VA “treats us like crap” and says that “they need to scrap the whole thing and rebuild it.”

Celebrity Dog: One service dog has become something of a celebrity at his owner’s office, and has helped his owner adjust to civilian life after being diagnosed with PTSD.

Did you see an interesting story about veterans or the VA in the news today? Let us know by sending us an email (links@brokenVA.com) or by visiting the contact page. We’ll try to include your link in our next edition of Veteran Links.

SloanGibsonHearingVA Pushes Back: During a hearing on Capitol Hill yesterday, Sloan Gibson (pictured),  the second highest-ranking official at the VA defended his agency to Congress, saying that “you can’t fire your way to excellence” and claiming that alleged ethical breaches have been exaggerated.

Killer Employee: A Louisiana VA employee who faces charges of manslaughter for his alleged role in the death of a veteran at a VA facility has remained on the VA payroll for two years despite the serious allegations against him.

Waiting for Treatment: A Missouri veteran was diagnosed with cancer four months ago and claims that the VA still has not began to treat the disease, which has now spread and worsened.

Painkiller Legislation: A bill that is aimed at curbing the over-prescription of highly-addictive opiate painkillers in VA facilities cleared a Senate committee yesterday and will now be voted on by the whole chamber.

Sexual Harassment: A lawsuit filed in federal court alleges that VA administrators ignored complaints by employees at a VA hospital who state that they were subjected to repeated incidents of sexual harassment and assault.

The VA Hotel: Apparently, the VA owns a ritzy hotel in Paris that was once used by General Pershing during WWI. Now, members of Congress are calling on the VA to sell the property in order to fund projects here at home.

Did you see an interesting story about veterans or the VA in the news today? Let us know by sending us an email (links@brokenVA.com) or by visiting the contact page. We’ll try to include your link in our next edition of Veteran Links.

HouseCommitteeAccountability Hearing: The House Committee on Veterans Affairs (pictured) is holding a hearing today to grill top VA officials over a perceived lack of accountability. You should be able to watch it live at 10:30am EST.

Fancy Artwork: The VA apparently spent millions of dollars on pieces of art over the last couple years, all the while complaining about a lack of adequate funding to care for veterans.

Sad Story: The veteran who held a nurse at gunpoint at a VA facility last week apparently hoped to end his life by being shot by police. (If you or anyone you know has thoughts of suicide please reach-out for help: call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255, or chat online by visiting their website. You are not alone.)

VA Tried to Kill me: A Texas veteran says that he nearly died by trying to follow the medical advice given by physicians and administrators at the VA.

Deadly VA Delays: A terminally ill veteran says that his health situation would not be so dire if the VA had not delayed the initial testing to detect his cancer.

Ending Homelessness: Officials in and around Las Vegas have proudly announced that they now have the resources to provide housing to all homeless veterans in the area.

Did you see an interesting story about veterans or the VA in the news today? Let us know by sending us an email (links@brokenVA.com) or by visiting the contact page. We’ll try to include your link in our next edition of Veteran Links.

CampLejeunePoisoned Veterans: After a former Marine lost his kidney due to cancer caused by the water at Camp Lejeune (pictured), his claims were denied by an anonymous group of experts within the VA.

Die in a Timely Manner: In a heart-wrenching op-ed, a man tells of the struggles encountered by his father as he faced cancer and was continuously denied treatment from the VA.

Inconsistent Treatment: On the heels of reports indicating that veterans are being denied expensive treatments for Hepatitis C, the VA in St. Louis says it is giving the treatment to anyone vet that needs it.

Improper TBI Treatment: A recent ruling by a state medical board suggests that the VA is using an improper test to detect traumatic brain injury, and that this may have lead to wrongly denied claims.

Protests Stop New Director: After many objected the the promotion of a VA employee who had lied to Congress to a top position in Phoenix, the VA has decided to send her to Mississippi instead.

Mold Problems: After mold was found in the air-handling units of a VA hospital in Pittsburgh, officials of shut-down the Intensive Care Unit and other areas of the hospital.

Did you see an interesting story about veterans or the VA in the news today? Let us know by sending us an email (links@brokenVA.com) or by visiting the contact page. We’ll try to include your link in our next edition of Veteran Links.

In the Washington, DC area, a news station investigation has revealed that VA whistle-blowers have been subjected to harsh punishments for their attempts to bring problems to light. Meanwhile, VA employees caught breaking the rules or even doing criminal things have been allowed to keep their jobs. Investigators uncovered instances of VA employees keeping their jobs after having sex on the job, sleeping at work, being drunk at work, selling drugs, and bringing guns to work. Hear the full story by watching the video above.

(Hat Tip to NBC4 in Washington for uncovering this story)

Note: If you have an advertisement-blocking enabled on your browser, it may prevent the video from playing properly. If the video does not display properly, click here to be taken to NBC4’s website to view the piece there.

PearlHarborA Date that Lives in Infamy: Seventy-four years ago this morning, the Japanese attacked America at Pearl Harbor. To some veterans, it seems like it happened yesterday.

Search for Accountability: The House Committee on Veterans Affairs will grill top VA officials on Wednesday in an attempt to get to the bottom of the lack of accountability for VA employees.

Disgraced Inspector General: Reporters have obtained records giving a glimpse into the alarming behavior of a former top official in the VA Inspector General’s office who resigned in 2008.

Troubled Choice Program: The Houston Chronicle takes a close look at the many problems plaguing the program which allows veterans to see private doctors on the VA’s dime.

Reshaping Views of Veterans: In a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed, a veteran who has risen to the top of a prominent financial firm argues that its time for Americans to stop treating veterans like “heroes and charity cases.”

Forgotten Vets Remembered: Up to 25 years after their deaths, 14 veterans were finally laid to rest with proper honors after being discovered as “unclaimed remains” though the help of a unique non-profit.

Did you see an interesting story about veterans or the VA in the news today? Let us know by sending us an email (links@brokenVA.com) or by visiting the contact page. We’ll try to include your link in our next edition of Veteran Links.