Billboards are popping-up around the country proclaiming “VA is Lying, Veterans are Dying.” According to a spate of news reports from the past few days, these billboards have gone up in Phoenix, Indianapolis , and Tampa , with one source reporting that the billboards now appear in at least six states.
The man behind the billboards is Ron Nesler, a Vietnam veteran from southern Indiana who has launched a social media campaign to draw attention to the problems veterans encounter with both VA healthcare and the VA claims process. “The point of these billboards is to embarrass the VA and embarrass the Congress and force them to do something right for the veterans,” Nesler said to KTAR News, a Phoenix-based radio station.
Nesler’s Facebook group, simply called “VA is Lying,” represents one of many grassroots movements by veterans who have grown frustrated by their encounters with the VA. The group’s Facebook page, which has nearly 20,000 followers, represents a place where veterans and their families can voice their dissatisfaction with the VA.
The billboards, which are funded by Nesler and donations, have been strategically placed near various VA facilities, with one billboard directly facing the windows of VA executives at the Phoenix VA. The VA in Phoenix in particular has been mired in controversy in recent years, starting with a CNN investigation revealing that at least 40 veterans had died while waiting for appointments at their facilities.
The billboards “came about as way to voice our concerns. (It’s) a movement – a peaceful movement to show that us veterans have kind of had enough of the rhetoric with Veterans Affairs,” said Mike Stifner, a Marine associated with Mr. Nesler. We at brokenVA applaud Mr. Nesler and his group for its creative approach to highlighting the issues veterans face at the VA. To learn more about Mr. Nesler and his group, you can visit their website by clicking here.