Since my early childhood years, VA has always been part of my life. I remember my weekly visits to the Veterans hospital (as it was known at that time) in Puerto Rico to visit my father while he was receiving health care services.

 Roberto Quinones

ARMY Tank Mechanic Roberto Quinones (Vietnam, 1966-1968).

As the daughter of a Vietnam Veteran with several challenges, I was always very aware of the needs of Veterans and their families. I grew up with the certainty that every day would bring one more battle, and early in my life I decided that I wanted to dedicate the rest of my existence to serving and easing the pain of those who, like my father and my family, were willing to sacrifice all and courageous enough to continue fighting even in the most difficult circumstances.

I joined the VA in an informal way. While I was in high school in the 1980s, I served as a volunteer at the VA Medical Center. This experience, along with the desire I already had to make a difference in the lives of men and women who once served in uniform, inspired me to pursue a career path at  VA. Many years have passed since then, and each new year strengthens my commitment to be part of the solution to the challenges the VA faces.

The VA is now undergoing the largest transformation in its history. As VA employees, my co-workers and I have been supportive of and actively involved in this process, putting into action the VA organizational values – integrity, commitment, advocacy, respect and excellence – to make the necessary improvements toward transforming the VA into the high-performing, Veteran-centric organization our Veterans deserve. We are convinced that, in these times of uncertainty and rapid change, our focus on our Veterans must be our constant. Changes will continue, but Veterans will always be there expecting our utmost respect and service.

I also want to take this opportunity to highlight the observance of National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15). As a very proud native Puerto Rican, I want to salute all Hispanic-Americans and Latin-Americans and to recognize their contributions to the United States through their important presence in the armed forces and the VA workforce.

I want to make a call. If you are driven to high-quality service and enthusiastic about providing both excellent service and health care, and an exceptional experience of care to all Veterans, please consider joining our workforce. VA is looking for people with passion for their careers and a commitment to our Veterans. Even as a volunteer, you can make a difference. Let’s be part of the solution! Every Hispanic Veteran like my father, and Veterans of all cultures and origins will appreciate your service.

Interested in joining our team? Go to the VA Careers website to find out more about careers in VA and open job opportunities.

Editor’s note: Our feature image is from Wednesday, April 13, 2016, when the Congressional Gold Medal was bestowed upon the U.S. Army’s 65th Infantry Regiment, the hard fighting military unit from Puerto Rico, at Emancipation Hall in the U.S. Capitol. The “Borinqueneers” proudly served beginning in WW I and continue as a fighting unit today.  (VA photo/Robert Turtil)

image of edda quinones-romeroEdda Quinones-Romero, M.D., currently serves as the chief of Compensation and Pension (C&P) Service, at VA Northern California Health Care System. She is responsible for overseeing and managing clinical and administrative operations of the largest VA C&P program in her region. The Northern California program provides disability evaluations to Veterans in collaboration with the Veterans Benefits Administration and fitness for duty examinations to Active Servicemembers who are in the process of being discharged in partnership with the Department of Defense in several joint programs.

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Published on Sep. 15, 2016

Estimated reading time is 3.4 min.

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  1. Raymond English. Frame September 20, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    I totally agree with the man that was stabbed in 1961. I was stabbed 9 times with a butcher knife in 1968. Once in the user left chest, twice on both arms 3 times on left thigh, once on right thigh and cut between my legs 5 inches in all 152 stiches. When I went for an evaluation. They only looked at the one on my arm. There reasoning was stupid, even though they service connected it there was no compensation. The man that did it was dishonorable discharged an given 20 years in prison for attempted murder. I have done suffered for 40 plus years with dreams, anxiety problems, on my 7th wife, moved more often than I care to remember, an was given 100% Social security disability at 49 years old and yet VA says like don’t have ptsd. Have been turned down 2 times now I guess will get a lawyer. By their own website site if you have suffered a trauma to your self that could cause ptsd. If being stabbed 9 times and losing massive amounts of blood, and 152 stitches isn’t trauma to you what is. HELP, PLEASE

  2. Efrain Reyes September 16, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    I like the heading of this article!,,, Doctors working for veterans.I was stab on my back in 1961 since then I been suffering of pain I just apply(claim) for benefits they said that my pain to them is mild but for me it hurts like crazy for 55 years.why if they see the scars of the wound don’t approve at least a10%Drs from Pitt.

  3. Patricia Kelly-Banks BMsc September 16, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    7 members of our family served in various Military Service Branches.
    3 incurred serious illnesses which caused their death or debilitation.
    VA needs to focus on finding those who have had to result to other
    means of alternative methods. We have lived and survived several
    severely stressful situations involving our loved ones, and are more
    capable of creating positive progress for other Veterans than VA’s
    have provided. VA needs to acknowledge the families who’ve had
    years of experience dealing with Government Bureaucracies which
    delayed and blocked adequate care. CDC’s lack of competencies
    cause significant backlogs when it comes to modern technologies
    and other options that are helping people heal at much faster rates.
    Our experience with a rigmarole from Appeals processes causing a
    great deal of enormous stress upon Veterans and their families is a
    complete disgrace. We turned to nutraceuticals which provide these
    components to take health into our own hands without relying on an
    incompetent established medical system any longer at the risk of our
    loved ones’ safety. We feel VA’s technology is archaic and competes
    with real solutions already available without dangerous side effects!

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