Veterans deserve a leader who will “fight relentlessly” for them, said Denis McDonough, President Joe Biden’s nominee for VA secretary while speaking before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee today.

McDonough said caring for Veterans and their families by providing health care, benefits and cemetery services will be his guiding principle.

“I’ve been given a clear mission by President Biden: to be a fierce, staunch advocate for Veterans and their families,” he said. “If confirmed, I will embrace that assignment with the solemnity it demands.”

Priorities

McDonough laid out five priorities the president directed him to focus his efforts if confirmed as VA secretary.

The first priority McDonough addressed is getting Veterans through this pandemic. As the pandemic continues to claim Veteran lives, he said the path ahead won’t be easy.

“The Department of Veterans Affairs faces great challenges – challenges made even more daunting by the coronavirus pandemic,” he said. “Its capabilities have not always risen to the needs of our Veterans. If confirmed, I promise to fight – every single day – to ensure that our Veterans have the access to world-class, compassionate care they have earned.”

McDonough cited four other priorities. These included helping Veterans build civilian lives of opportunity with the education and jobs worthy of their skills, talents and service. He also said he wants all Veterans, including women Veterans, Veterans of color and LGBTQ Veterans, to feel welcome at VA. Lastly, he plans to work to eliminate Veteran homelessness, mentioning also that reducing suicide is a high priority, as is keeping faith with families and caregivers.

Background

McDonough previously served as a former White House chief of staff, deputy national security advisor and chief of staff of the National Security Council. In his role with the National Security Council, he helped lead work on behalf of military families and Veterans.

“I understand how to untangle and solve large, complex challenges – both across and within large agencies,” he said. “I have seen firsthand that when our government is at its best, it can help serve the American people – including our Veterans – and allow them to live in security and dignity.”

Although not a Veteran himself, McDonough previously said his Marine grandfather, his World War II Veteran high school football coach and troops he met during visits to Walter Reed all inspired him.

“Most of all, like every American, I owe a profound debt of gratitude to those who have worn the cloth of our nation,” he said. “It would be a tremendous honor to serve our Veterans and their families, caregivers, and survivors by leading VA – to ensure our nation serves our Veterans as well as they have served us.”

Veteran sacrifice

McDonough hailed the sacrifice Veterans and families make.

“When visiting our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen on our bases in Afghanistan and Iraq, I have witnessed the heavy burdens of long deployments away from their families,” he said. “Beside their hospital beds when they come home, I’ve seen their resilience in the face of wounds – visible and invisible – that can last a lifetime. Standing there at Dover when our fallen heroes come home one final time, I’ve seen the unimaginable grief of military families, to whom we owe a debt that cannot be repaid and whom we stand by forever.”

He also said Veterans make an impact in other roles.

“Inside and outside of government, I’ve been inspired how our Veterans continue to strengthen our communities and our country out of uniform – as teachers, coaches, first responders and public servants,” he said.

The VA secretary nominee said those who served allowed the hearing to happen.

“We can meet today, in peace and freedom, because generations of service members have stepped forward and sacrificed in our name,” McDonough said. “And though only a small percentage of Americans have served in our armed forces, the president has called on every American to embrace our responsibility to support our Veterans and their families.”

Watch the hearing

By Air Force Veteran Adam Stump is a member of VA's Digital Media Engagement team.

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Published on Jan. 27, 2021

Estimated reading time is 3.3 min.

Views to date: 1,351

325 Comments

  1. Brian February 17, 2021 at 7:13 pm

    It would be nice if they could close down all VA healthcare facilities and allow all veterans to go to doctors of thier choosing. All you would need is your dd-214 and the economy would be stimulated by all the veterans who have been denied care due to regulations, policies, and the intentional inefficiencies built in to the system.
    Please write your elected representatives! You’re just preaching to the choir in this blog. “If you want peace don’t talk with your friends, instead talk to your enemies. “

    • kb February 26, 2021 at 12:22 pm

      As a disabled veteran Brian, THANK YOU FOR SAYING THAT,,that is exactly what we want,,,,there is policy piled on top of policy and a herd of people hired through each policy change that so much money is going to just that,,,policy on top of policy that there is very little left for the actual veteran,,,

  2. Steven Bolander February 11, 2021 at 9:50 am

    Denis McDonough’s qualification to be the new Secretary of the VA is that he once knew a high school football coach who was a veteran? (Gosh, I watched the movie “The Right Stuff,” so that makes me qualified to be an astronaut??)

    Out of the millions of veterans who served our country, President Biden couldn’t find just ONE of us to take the helm who is actually familiar with the true needs of vets? Mr. President, I am very disappointed in your apparent lack of concern for the men and women that have protected this country that we love so much.

  3. Ronald L Thayer February 11, 2021 at 12:56 am

    I would really appreciate it if someone could tell me why the VA stopped the 21 gun salute for veterans being buried in one of the VA cemeteries. I spoke with the daughter of a close Veteran friend of mine and I asked how the VA did with her dad’s funeral. The only negative thing she said was that they did not to the traditional 21 gun salute.

    When did that change and why?

  4. Francisco E Juarez February 10, 2021 at 10:21 pm

    SECRETARY, DR. LYNDA DAVIS LEFT YOU WORD.
    VA, WLA, “LAND-GRAB” AWAITS YOUR IMMEDIATE ENGAGEMENT.
    PLEASE REPLY TO ME ASAP.
    UNHOUSED VETERANS ARE DYING IN THE STREETS

    • Lee H February 11, 2021 at 10:23 am

      S. Bolander – right you are! A non-veteran running the VA is an insult to all veterans.

  5. Benjamin February 10, 2021 at 6:25 pm

    The VA was made better under the prior administration. I have no faith in a SECVA that is not a veteran, but is a lifetime politician and bureaucrat.
    To appointment a non veteran to such a position is an appalling spit in the face to those that had the guts to serve.

    • SW February 11, 2021 at 3:37 pm

      A CIVILIAN president was better??? Really? I think not. If this guy really wants to improve care for veterans the first thing he needs to do is allow us back into the facilities that treat us instead of insisting we use video for our appointments and our home computers to do our travel so the va empolyees hired to do our travel can earn a paycheck without working for it.

  6. Ronald February 6, 2021 at 1:14 pm

    I will admit that the VA has been a great help to me at times. If it hadn’t been for the helping hand I received from time to time I would likely be homeless by now. But the reason I would have been homeless is because the VA failed to help me on problems related to my disability. When a Medical professional hears that I am suffering from a condition that other Vets are receiving benefits for then I shouldn’t be given the run around. Even last week meeting with another medical professional instead of addressing those side effects I am expected to believe it may be genetic!

  7. DB February 5, 2021 at 6:43 pm

    Maybe the new guy can also look out for the American people as well… you know stop the fake disability system where millions are getting tax free disability income, along with all expenses paid, while working often in preference based systematic jobs making more than the average American. This just scratches the surface. VA caregiver, education, health, housing, etc. They don’t sound disabled to me if it doesn’t affect their ability to work. It does sound like laws being applied unequally and a systematic destruction of the American people. How does the average American compete in this environment?

    • BT February 10, 2021 at 6:45 pm

      DB, what Branch of the military were you in? What was your military job/specialty and how long did you serve?

    • USMC Veteran February 11, 2021 at 6:27 am

      Your comment is thoughtless. The position at hand is for a VA representative… it is not for the representation of the average American people. The VA serves men and women who have chosen to serve this country… People who have rightly earned the benefits they were promised before signing the dotted line. We as veterans go through a lengthy legal process, which is determined by multiple Veteran laws as to whether we qualify for benefits or not. It is not the “free-bee” you so implied. So if you as an American civilian, have a problem with what a Veteran has rightfully earned with his or her sacrifices, and happens to improve their lifestyle or economic position, then your jealousy and envy is your own problem. You want to compete? then suck it up, take the lumps, and move forward. But don’t trash what someone has earned when you haven’t even walked in their shoes.

  8. Rey Torres February 4, 2021 at 12:55 pm

    Will this will be a Big Talk and not Action? I believe it when I see it. Will workers be held accountable when they don’t do good service or they will just get a pad on the back for no doing their job or answering questions? Like I said: I doubt if anything will change for those Veterans requesting service. They did their time and mission, give them what they deserve. I took me nearly 20 years to get where I am now. Veterans, keep pushing,

    • Lee H February 11, 2021 at 10:29 am

      BT – I am waiting for DB’s reply. Even if DB wore a uniform, he was most likely a rear-position office pogue.

  9. Henrietta Mcghee February 2, 2021 at 1:57 pm

    I agree with everyone about not getting help. My husband served in the Army 4 yrs and then the Army Reserve for 2 yrs. Got out and then Served in the National Guard. He still has CoPay on Dr visits and Meds. We have tried to Use the VA loan to buy a House twice and have been turned down. We worked hard to get our Credit up to their standard and still they wouldn’t budge. My husband has problems with his hearing and we have tried to get the VA Drs to Examine them over and over but they just keep shoving hearing aids at him. They tried putting a set in and the Nurse that did it shoved one in pushed too hard and hurt him really bad. That was a year ago and everytime he tries to talk to someone about it they won’t talk to him about it. We really don’t know what else to do about it. Now his hearing is worse and The Drs won’t even see him about his hearing. If he calls about an appt for His hearing they never call him back. Don’t know what to do. Really could use some advice. This is when We could Really use The VA’s Help. HELP

    • Robert ottwell February 3, 2021 at 2:43 pm

      The va turns off the ringers so they don’t have to answer the phones. Everything goes to voice mail and they always drag their feet in returning calls. In three years of being in the va not ever once has anyone ever answered the phone when I have called. All my January appts were cancelled until the end of April for no reason or explanation. I live in a small community and it’s never that busy to not answer a call or return one in a timely manner. The VA is mostly good with a lot of bad people in it that should not be in the service of Honorable Veterans.

      • Bernard Kruppa February 10, 2021 at 10:28 pm

        There are veteran advocates who will take your complaints at VA installations. Try and start there. Or call the VA in Washington DC. The phone # is in these notices somewhere. Good Luck.

      • Brie Smith February 10, 2021 at 10:49 pm

        Local level personnel are sorely needed to respond to Veteran’s needs. That would be good customer service.

        Right now there is a consolidated so-called national call center which is ill equipped to resolve issues.

    • Jeffrey Miles Keeran February 7, 2021 at 12:03 pm

      Hearing tests are available at my Sam’s Club and most hearing aid sales locations. And they are free. I prefer Costco!

    • A.O February 10, 2021 at 11:41 am

      He has co-pays and deductibles everyone without the right disability rating does. I doubt they issue hearing aides without a hearing exam. Just because you served does not mean free health care for life.

      • Brie Smith February 10, 2021 at 10:44 pm

        I say let it start with the VA paying for all and any healthcare needs (both in and out of the VA system) of Veterans (including dental) without the eligibility (related to service-connected disability, 72 hour notice, etc) restrictions.

        Show rather than tell them that we truly thank them as a nation for their service.

      • Michael McLaughlin February 11, 2021 at 9:28 am

        Co-pays and deductibles are based on the collective income of a family, minus any non-reimbursed medical expenses like Medicare payments, prescriptions, dental, glasses, etc. In order to bypass the financial barriers, one must file, and win, a claim for a service-connected issue, such as tinnitus, bilateral hearing loss, back and knee injuries, etc., incurred on active duty. Vietnam veterans have about 17 conditions that are “presumptive” to Agent Orange exposure, which are compensated. If you’re disability rating is 30% or greater, your medications are free and you get travel pay if you take your own vehicle to any appointment, whether at a VA facility or a civilian hospital, specialist or other healthcare professional if authorized by your VA Primary Care Provider. Burn Pit Exposure claims will be the next ‘Agent Orange”. Upper respiratory and lower gastrointestinal problems will eventually become “presumptive”.

        • Richard Clark February 12, 2021 at 7:47 am

          That and PFAS exposure in the drinking water of most bases that trained using the fire suppression foams that drained into the base’s water treatment plants. Especially overseas bases that didn’t rely on external water systems.

      • Raymond R. Gadreault February 18, 2021 at 9:36 pm

        For the person that said just because you served you do not get health care for life. That is very wrong you are guaranteed health care for life at the VA when you join. This person sounds like one of the people who spit on us when we came home from Vietnam. Lets go back to the old saying LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT. GOD BLESS AMERICA !!!!!

    • Brie Smith February 10, 2021 at 10:39 pm

      I say let it start with the VA paying for all and any healthcare needs (both in and out of the VA system) of Veterans (including dental) without the eligibility (related to service-connected disability, 72 hour notice, etc) restrictions.

      Show rather than tell them that we truly thank them as a nation for their service.

  10. debra webber February 1, 2021 at 6:20 pm

    Good day President Biden!
    There are only two things that a veteran wants 1/ rightful benefits under rule of law Title 38 and 2/ Optimal healthcare
    The VA’s bureaucracy needs to be addressed once and for all, so that veterans don’t have to fight for their rightful benefits. Caregiver’s of Vietnam veterans need to be respected and dignity needs to be upheld with the I CARE motto. This veteran has been denied rightful benefits going back to 1972 because the VA refuses to uphold the law. This error has created a whirlwind of problems because this SC disease doesn’t have a “golden standard of care”.

    Your prompt attention to this matter is needed so that this veteran doesn’t have to live in hell with a disease that has no cure. God willing, you will reach out, so the war of fighting with the VA for rightful care and a VHA directive is enacted, so protocol can follow. There is too much waste attached to the care of this veteran. I am tired of throwing out $ thousands of dollars because of VA errors, because they don’t read the veterans file or they choose to ignore our knowledge of this disease that affects 1/50000 in population. Rare disease have their own laws attached to them.

    Thank you.

    Sincerely,
    Debra and Jay Webber

    • A.O February 2, 2021 at 1:21 pm

      Do not hold your breath waiting for action. Think about this “MEDICAID” not Medicare that many veterans pay for every payday has benefits way beyond those the VA might provide if you wait long enough. The VA has co-pays – medicaid does not. VA may cover some drugs – hearing – vision -dental. All three depend on your compensation rating and your disability.
      Now Medicaid covers everything with no co-pays or deductibles. Also covers immediate family members. That and you can choose your physician and appointments do not have long waits. One would think that those that served would at least get equal treatment.

  11. George R Robert February 1, 2021 at 12:50 pm

    Robert McDonald would have been a good choice if he was willing to come back… Just saying…

  12. James Robinson January 31, 2021 at 6:47 pm

    Thailand veteran who were exposed to Agent Orange are still being denied are benefits from VA because H.R. 4843 (2017) and S. 2105 (2017) hasn’t been passed yet. However H.R. 299 (2017) Blue Water Navy Act was passed (2019) just saying we are still waiting and some have died waiting.

    • David warren Inman February 1, 2021 at 12:44 pm

      Still waiting. The men and women of the 553rd are needing supported for their Agent Orange exposure. Looks like we will die first.

  13. Neil Buckley January 31, 2021 at 9:46 am

    Here we go again… sounds just like Biden… “ He also said he wants all Veterans, including women Veterans, Veterans of color and LGBTQ Veterans, to feel welcome at VA.
    Why would any veteran not be included? Identity politics right out of the gate, before ever being confirmed. How about we just simply be identified as Veteran’s, what could possibly be wrong with that?
    No agenda there. Not
    It’s time…
    The CBOC and it’s staff that Is here in Mountain Home, Arkansas has been nothing but great. And that stems from their dedication.

    • A.O February 2, 2021 at 9:25 pm

      News report today that the VA has given over a million vaccine shots. 582,000 veterans. Now the VA employs 322000 all of which did not get the vaccine. That means they gave 80,000 plus to non-veterans. Who comes ahead of veterans at the VA

      • Helpful February 3, 2021 at 9:07 am

        My guess is that as both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require 2 dose given 3 weeks apart, the total vaccinations shots given includes veterans and employees who have received two doses. Thus the math isn’t adding up as we don’t know how many have received the 2nd dose.

    • R. Latson February 2, 2021 at 11:27 pm

      There’s no agenda! Please stop watching Fox News talking about identity politics, like it takes some rights away from you. When the VA Doctors & staff say things like “I deal w/crocodiles & alligator problems, big things. But your Dad is a salmon, his problems are tiny.” So nothing was done to solve my dad’s problem. That’s said to me, b/c my father is Black & therefore he’s unimportant! It’s nice if you don’t have VA staff discriminating against you, but it’s been happening for a long time, & it needs to be solved. At least this man, knows it’s a problem, & is willing to stop it! The VA state isn’t identical in every state.

    • Mayra S Luria February 11, 2021 at 8:26 am

      It will be awesome when we can just be seen for our service and not for our looks or preferences in life but that is not the reality. I served in the 70’s and 80’s and have a service connected disability but as an Hispanic/Black lesbian I can tell you that equal anything was never true. I have always had excellent care through the VA but I have also faced discrimination and abuse from staff whose religious beliefs don’t include how I live or who I am. So for now, we need to clarify equality.

  14. Francisco A. Lopez January 31, 2021 at 7:12 am

    Everyone they assign to run the VA always gives lip service. I currently try to use the Houston VA medical and have encountered the same problems I encountered in 1995. No returned calls from the clinics, runarounds, even the Patient Advocate (Texas City) does not return calls. waited over a week for a return call (stated via the clerk) that he would call back.
    I was giving a drug screening test without my knowledge (apparently my PCP who I have never met in person assumed that I was a veteran, I must be using illicit drugs. For an acute rotator cuff tear on a shoulder I injured and have been rated on, he provided me with an X-Ray and Rheumatoid Arthritis and an appointment 10 months after my initial complaint of the problem. So if the VA has changed, I have yet to see it.
    Frank

    • A.O February 1, 2021 at 11:29 am

      The “patient advocate” is a VA employee. The VA is the second largest employer in the Federal Government, The majority of their facilities are managed by Non-Veterans. Each draws a hefty six figure salary plus a bonus for telling DC how great job they did. VA department heads are also well compensated and also non-veterans whose bonuses are based on telling the facility management how great a job they did. Promotions depend on who you know with diversity playing a major role.
      Currently Ohio is providing vaccine to 70+ and teachers and school employees. At 81 with underlying health conditions I am still waiting for the VA. This guy will sit in DC issue orders that will be watered down as they trickle down to the medical centers. To many layers of self serving management insures little or no change.

      • Timothy R. O'Connell February 2, 2021 at 1:09 pm

        I agree totally, the hidden buyers in the V.A. procurement are giving non listed purchases ( avoiding the Bid Process ) to suppliers that the FDA and THE FBI classify as Felons or have large quality problems ( major recalls ). These are some of the suppliers the hidden buyers set up as SOLE Source contracts,
        I believe if someone talked to the V.A. hospital health care personnel, they could give you a list of these preferred vendors.

  15. Buster Beaver January 30, 2021 at 9:57 pm

    They already repealed Trumps EO because it was an attack on federal workers. Trumps made it easier to remove crappy employees. Now they are allowing the VA union to take back control of the VA. That is a direct threat to Veterans. VA and bureaucrats giving Veterans a second chance to die for their country.

  16. Gary G McCartin January 30, 2021 at 5:42 pm

    Welcome Sir to the VA or I should say the twilight zone,
    I was 17 years old when enlisting into the US Army in 1970 I believed it was my duty as an American. It surely was not for the money, my pay was somewhere between 50 and 100 dollars per month. 3 yrs later, I was just shy of 400.00 per month no complaints like I said; it was not about the money it was duty. I was promised free health care for life, as part of my enlisted contract. Somewhere along the way that changed, and I started to get charged co-pays for Dr visits and my medicines. I am now 67 and in poor health. I have been waiting since 2013 for disability claims from injuries I received in my time of service. After 7 years of waiting, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals finally heard my case and it took another year for the decision and remanded the most serious issue. As I said, I am in poor health and hoping for compensation. I would appreciate if something could be done for myself and thousands of my brothers who served and are going through the same things year after year, promise after broken promise, that the long waiting could be rectified. Some of us from the Vietnam era are getting closer to end of life. This is unconscionable and humiliating. I am no hero, but many are that are waiting. We feel that the country we so proudly served, has let us down. I hope your mission is to rectify this horrific state of affairs within the VA system.

    • Jim W Glanz February 10, 2021 at 7:40 pm

      Gary, Same problem for me. I called an attorney in San Diego who handles Vets problems with getting benefits. Got them within 6 months. A very sizeable check since they paid me for the previous 5 years of waiting time. I urge you to call him and get him on your team. Yes, it will cost you 20% of what you get, but getting it while you are alive is the important thing. Tell him Jim from Montana referred you. If you don’t call him, you will probably not be alive when they finally make a decision. Good Luck!

  17. Karen Holloway January 29, 2021 at 6:33 pm

    This position should be filled by a vet who understands what the vet has gone through. After listening to this, it was all about improving the health care for the vets (which is needed). However, the claims process for disabilities is ridiculous. My husband spent 12+ years fighting appeal after appeal going from 20% to 90% disabled. Its a shame that the vet is forced to hire an attorney to get the VA do anything! His disabilities are all service connected. If you add up the percentages they gave him, its 160% but that is not the VA’s math!! If the vet’s disabilities do not fit in the particular “square” that the ratings are calculated, they deny the claim. They refuse to give him the back pay from this with the only answer being, “they no longer do that”. The stress and anger that this places on the vet is uncalled for. How sad that our bureaucrats treat the vets like this

  18. Walter January 29, 2021 at 10:09 am

    Welcome aboard Sir. First, I submit to you that following the pandemic suicide should be your #1 priority. It has risen through the pandemic and isn’t going away. Second, with your former positions on the NSC and White House Chief of Staff you know the un-released truth about many of the things that are making our OIF/OEF veterans sick with serious and many times fatal diseases. To be frank Sir, please don’t attempt to blow smoke up our… We were there, you had access to the un-redacted reports. Do what is right for my brothers and sisters who seem to be dropping like flies. Third, you have your work cut out for you. You don’t know who what it is like to serve in uniform and what it is like to serve in combat. Spend time on the deckplates with vets from all wars and walks of life to learn who and what we are.

    Having spent the majority of your career inside the beltway I would hope you look forward to using your DC insider connections to help us- the veterans you will soon swear an oath to serve.

    • A.O January 31, 2021 at 12:56 pm

      Was expecting so much more from Biden. What we are getting is an Obama administration playing musical chairs. One must remember that political appointments are nothing more than a political “good old boys” network. That and rewards for campaign work (endorsements) or nice political contributions. Experience is not a qualification

  19. Charles Ledford January 29, 2021 at 10:03 am

    WOW another one promising to be a fierce, staunch advocate for the Veterans and “fight relentlessly” but wasn’t he already on the National Security Council and, if I’m not mistaken, didn’t he say as his role that he help lead work on behalf of Veterans families and Veterans? And so when he was where he COULD HAVE MADE A BIGGER DIFFERENCE DIDN’T HE DROP THE BALL? Did anybody see any diffence in VA help? Oh yeah didn’t they cut some programs? How boutLIFETIME EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS for Veterans/service people getting out on or before 1975 and getting OUT ON OR AFTER 2001, ARE YOU PURPOSELY TURNING YOUR BACK AND FORGETTING THE VETERANS/SERVICE PEOPLE THAT GOT OUT THE YEARS IN-BETWEEN, 26 YRS OF VETERANS AND SERVICE PEOPLE? How can you say that you are going to “fight relentlessly” when you had a chance to make a difference and YOU ALREADY FAILED THEN???
    Here’s another one for you: I had cancer so they removed my whole right lung and I have severe asthma and COPD in my left lung and my lung dr and cancer dr said that if I caught COVID that I’d have a 90% chance of dying, and of the other 10%, I’d have 8% chance of being on a respirator, 1% chance of having to use oxygen and 1% of recovering but probably more health problems that I already have, so both Drs wrote a letter stating that me catching COVID That IT WOULD CAUSE DEATH OR SERIOUS HEALTH PROBLEMS so when I called the DublinVA Hospital(for the vaccine) they told me that they are through with the First Responders and are working only on 65 or older Veterans first and working by the CDC guidelines. Well the CDC guidelines say that people that ARE HIGH RISK: THOSE THAT THE COVID VIRUS WILL CAUSE DEATH AND/OR SEVERE HEALTH PROBLEMS are in the group right after the first responders, nursing homes, caregivers, home bound, homeless, and long term hospitalized patients so which CDC guidelines are they using? When I did bring this up to them they repeated that they are using the CDC guidelines. But they did say that since they do sometimes have some leftover vaccines that they would notify me when my name came up?? So much for following the CDC guidelines huh? I’m also rated at 100% DAV but that evidently doesn’t matter. Also I DO RECOGNIZE THAT THERE ARE MORE PEOPLE THAT ARE WORSE OFF THAN ME AND DESERVE THE VACCINE FIRST, I’M JUST TELLING WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO ME ABOUT GETTING THE VACCINE.

  20. Michael Teyer January 29, 2021 at 8:09 am

    They stand by the deceased veteran’s family?!?! Thats why they reduced death benefis to at most $327.00? Yeah, tell that to my widowed sister.

    “I’ve seen the unimaginable grief of military families, to whom we owe a debt that cannot be repaid and whom we stand by forever.”

    ” the president has called on every American to embrace our responsibility to support our Veterans and their families.”

    Words, words, and more empty words, from people who never had boots on the ground. They forgot the VA motto:

    Currently, VA’s motto is: “To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan,” a phrase from President Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address on March 4, 1865.

    So, put your money where your mouth is…

    • John Haluska January 29, 2021 at 9:32 am

      As a life time member of the DAV and VFW , I think I can say we don’t need a political person running the VA. If you haven’t put on the uniform and served our USA, You need not apply , I have said my 2 cents.

  21. Daniel Shinn January 28, 2021 at 11:48 pm

    I was and Air Force Airmen new the end of the Vietnam war and served in and around Vietnam, Thailand, Guam, Philippines, and mostly Okinawa. I was unaware at the time that I was being exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam but more so in Okinawa as we used this chemical as weed killer around the base flight line every week. I have begun to suffer from some of that standard AG related illness albeit not nearly as severe and many of my brethren. My concern is my children and more so my grandchildren. I have grandchildren that are suffering from very strange and unusual illness that are seriously impacting their health. However, the VA is not recognizing their illness as AG related. I am a member of a veterans group that is made up of member and families experiencing the same issues. WHY WON’T THE VA TAKE OWNERSHIP OF THIS and provide the care and services that are required???

    • John Haluska January 29, 2021 at 9:41 am

      Mr. Shinn , If you are getting the run around from a service officer contact a veterans benefits lawyer with documents that prove what you claim.Good luck.

    • Saleem saad January 30, 2021 at 8:19 pm

      Why is it that the veteran has to show certain things happen especially with the agent orange because it’s true it was one of the most or largest holding area in south east Asia they try to link it with Just Vietnam and since that’s how they worded compensation or recognition when you come in contact with agent orange the weird thing is they use agent orange all over Okinawa especially on the Marine Corps training base camp Schwab which is the northern training areaI have not only news reports about this but they covered it up I’m not trying to point the blame to just one agency. But they need to compensate the victims of agent orange and don’t let the word compensation meaning looking for money but meaning that in order to survive and to be made whole you’re going to have to do a lot of things instead of walking around here looking like a lizard scaly skin from being exposed today

  22. Bruce Jacobs January 28, 2021 at 10:38 pm

    Why should I think Denis McDonough will be any different than the ones before him. The VA has remanded my disability claim back to Roanoke again (4th time) for the same reason. This has been going on since 2011. It’s a shame that the VA would rather give out shame bonuses to senior management than approve veterans’ proven disability claims.

  23. Jack Gill January 28, 2021 at 9:32 pm

    “I’ve been given a clear mission by President Biden: to be a fierce, staunch advocate for Veterans and their families,” he said. “If confirmed, I will embrace that assignment with the solemnity it demands.” – Denis McDonough, President Joe Biden’s nominee for VA secretary.
    Unfortunately, what President Biden says, and what he does are not always the same. If appointed, will Sec McDonough be a bureaucrat for President Biden’s political agenda, or will he be a voice and advocate for all Veterans, and the needs enumerated in the other comments from fellow Veterans? Time will tell … stay tuned.

  24. Randy l Hollis January 28, 2021 at 6:39 pm

    I am a Vietnam combat veteran and firmly believe the VA Secretary should be a combat veteran. Because they have walked in our boots! I would strongly recommend Congressman Dan Crenshaw from the state of Texas. He has been there and done that when it comes to walking in those boots. Another politician will do nothing more than appease his political Cronies and big money contributors.

  25. Aileen Dodge January 28, 2021 at 5:01 pm

    There is one issue that comes out in all of these comments so very clearly. And that is the overall operation of all Veterans Health Care Facilities. I personally find these facilities as a way to segregate the necessary and needed health care of Veterans from the rest of the population. What makes the medical health care a veteran needs or must have any different than the general public. Veterans are humans just like the rest of the population in the US. Dose ti save the country money treating veterans in their own medical facilities instead of allowing Veterans to utilize the public health care system and having that system bill the VA just like it bills insurance companies for services provided to covered patients. And it wouldn’t be hard to turn the current VA hospitals into public utilized hospitals. The Government would just have to remain as a major investor in those facilities. Sure they might be screwed up for a few years but would it really be that big of a difference than it is today? OH Wait I know why this cannot happen. There is a segment of individuals out there that would see this as one step closer to socialized medicine. And this segment of people Freak-out over the word SOCIALIZE because they automatically related it to communist labor parties!!! They just can’t seem to understand the concept of Socialized Medicine in a Democratic Society having ZERO, NOTHING to do with Communism. And my Idea has about getting rid of the Veteran hospitals and letting Veterans be treated and seen as any other US Citizen receiving healthcare in the United States has nothing to do with Socialized Medicine either. It has to do with providing EQUAL HEALTH CARE TO VETERANS!!!! When politicians finally learn what the word EQUAL really means. This country is going to be a lot better off. But until then we will all have to continue to live with the Equality of Special Interest!!!!

  26. Frank Joseph Paris January 28, 2021 at 4:22 pm

    Why NO A VETERAN AS HEAD OF THE VA??????? This is a question for the “scrappy kid from NEPA”???
    This has the appearance of “POLITICAL BUSINESS AS USUAL”! Of the Millions + Veterans in the USA ,is there not 1 who is qualified to be head of the VA??? This is a question ya all who are of the Presidents Political, may want to ask your Congress Person & Senators??Bet ya do not get an answer!!
    Have a GREAT VETERANS DAY!

  27. joseph de grace January 28, 2021 at 2:58 pm

    I am a Vietnam veteran I was station in osan air force base in korea. I applied for military I D and was denied serval times. Way is this

    • Barbara K. Bardi January 28, 2021 at 5:24 pm

      Hi Joseph,
      Thank you for your service dear fellow Veteran! Shouldn’t you be applying for a Veterans’ I.D. card vs. a DoD/Retired Military card? I’m just chiming in to see if I can help you in any way with what info I have. I am a retired DoD Civilian, USAF Vet and used to work at the VAMC for seven years.
      You may want to start here:
      https://www.va.gov/records/get-veteran-id-cards/vic/

      Quoted from the page up front is this:

      “Am I eligible for a Veteran ID Card?
      You may be eligible if you meet both of the requirements listed below.

      Both of these must be true. You:

      Served on active duty, in the Reserves, or in the National Guard (including the Coast Guard), and
      Received an honorable or general discharge (under honorable conditions)

      If you received an other than honorable, bad conduct, or dishonorable character of discharge, you’re not eligible for a Veteran ID Card. If you have an uncharacterized or unknown discharge status, we’ll have to verify your eligibility before we approve your application.

      You’ll need to provide a copy of your discharge papers when you apply for a VIC to prove your character of discharge.”

    • Dale Sine January 28, 2021 at 7:38 pm

      Joseph, this is because the government says they will do something, then don’t. It doesn’t matter which party, although the GOP is better at it, but the reality is they all say they will provide for the veterans, yet we have charities like Tunnel to Towers, Disables American Vets, Wounded Warrior Project, etc., that provide for those vets who died in battle or were severely disabled. I served 30 years and I support those groups, but citizens should not have to. That support should be provided by the Government that promised that those who served, or their families, would be taken care of, if they died or were severely injured in the defense of our Nation. Every politician, regardless of party affiliation, should demand that the government take care of our front line defenders. That should be the number one priority. Denis McDonough is just another bureaucrat, that says he will support veterans, but will not. It would be nice if he had at least some experience in the military, but BIden is just rewarding his supporters for getting him elected.

    • John Alexander Lewis January 28, 2021 at 8:48 pm

      Osan is not Vietnam. What did you do, fly supplies in one time? No combat for you buster. If you had spent 20 years you would have an ID card. Yes, I am a combat veteran of Vietnam who served a full tour in country. Quit whining. You must be broke.

      • mac mac January 29, 2021 at 6:42 pm

        For your information Korea was the permanent duty station for the troops who did and supported cross border operations in se Asia. every month I made a trip south to support operations in the Viet Nam area to interdict the supplies, weapons and ammunition used by the north’s troops and other enemies killing our troops in that area. Plus Korea was not a bed of roses either.

    • AndyO January 29, 2021 at 11:32 am

      Vietnam ERA veteran versus a Vietnam veteran. Osan was a choice assignment. Spent an enjoyable year there

      • mac mac January 29, 2021 at 7:02 pm

        You may have had it good but not everyone did. Like being drafted/enslaved during that era was a huge burden on many who were starting out life and were denied that chance and came back years behind those who were lucky enough to not have to go. Plus, many viet nam era veterans did stuff that never avoided the burn barrel/cover up. There are no classified records still in existence from during the viet nam era, like oh yeah. And a US/draftee had only one field open to them, infantry. And Korea was a 13 month assignment.

        • A.O February 1, 2021 at 11:15 am

          Will agree that draftees got screwed and still are being screwed. Those that served during Vietnam were not welcomed home as heroes. Compared to todays “heroes” their benefits were lousy to say the least. No one forces anyone to join and serve today. Compensation today is exceptional compared to what draftees got. Your right about the 13 month tour but Osan was comfortable and two RRs to Japan were thrown in. Way better than Vietnam. Military service should be mandatory in the US

  28. Brannon Miller January 28, 2021 at 2:30 pm

    To be a “Fighter” and “Fight Relentlessly” is his only unique qualification. What a disappointment.

  29. Manuel Lopez January 28, 2021 at 2:15 pm

    Need President Biden to sign executive order for access to treatments for ALS. ALS is a service related disease that we need treatments yesterday for.

    • william durchman January 28, 2021 at 3:19 pm

      I DO NOT CARE WHO THEY PUT IN A POLITICAL POSITION BECAUSE IT’S POLITICAL AND THAT MEANS A STEPPING STONE TO ANOTHER POLITICAL POSITION. ALL I WANT IS A VACINATION BEFORE THIS VIRUS KILLS ME!!!!! SO IF THIS GUY CAN EXPEDITE THE VACCINE FOR VETERANS I’M ALL IN FOR NOW AND WILL DEAL WITH POLITICAL HOP-SCOTCH LATER. THANK YOU.

      • Nursejackie January 29, 2021 at 1:20 am

        Yes. Run right down and get it as fast as you can. Everybody needs help to fight this deadly virus, with a mortality rate of 000.03%.

  30. John Harris January 28, 2021 at 2:05 pm

    The Viet Nam war ended 73-74. The Mission Act is no more. It is now ran by Community Care Tri-West in Colorado. Check with the office for what your benefits are in relation to your care/needs. The Comp program, although at some VA hospitals/Clinics ii ran under different folks then the VA Dr-Nurse-etc Hospital. Facts right, will help navigate the Huge network, that composes The VA Admin.

  31. Michael Slayton Ermey January 28, 2021 at 1:05 pm

    I notice that improving the VA health care system and access to it is not high on his priority list. Nor is improving the claims process by making it easier and faster. What does he mean by “feel welcome at VA”? I would feel better about his selection if he had served in the military sometime in the 8 year gap in his resume between 1992 and 2000.

    v

  32. Henry January 28, 2021 at 1:01 pm

    The difference may be in the individual that is nominating this individual. The nominee has a background in navigating the Washington system.There are many good things about the VA Hospitals (Veteran Health Administration). There are also other elements including Veterans Benefit Administration and Veterans Affairs.

    Each of us more than likely deals with one department more that the other.I am looking forward to a Secretary that is willing to follow the president’s direction and move forward a well as possible.

  33. Hernando Sanchez January 28, 2021 at 12:59 pm

    Phone system is a mess and needs to be upgraded. Any comments about the long wait to get in for appointments are not exaggerated. I say this with all due respect, fix the VA for real and I believe the suicide rate will go way down. I thank the VA workers and want to tell you all that I sense the stress you are under. Lets all be nice and lets get through this together.
    Respectfully!

  34. Andrew William Svendsen January 28, 2021 at 11:53 am

    JUST ONE “OVER & OVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”CORRECT CHOICE PROGRAM TO” ANY DOCTOR,ANYWHERE,ANYTIME”////SCREW THIS TRAVELING 100s MILES TO VA HOSPITAL/LOCAL CLINIC”S DO NOTHING!!!!!???GET RID OF THEM/HOSPITALS ONLY!!!OR GO TO YOUR LOCAL DOCTOR.VA SAYS IF WE CANNOT DO IT,ONLY THEN CAN YOU GO TO “YOUR”DOCTOR!!!??SO,WE DRIVE HUNDREDS OF MILES FOR NO PARKING,NO VALET SERVICE AT EMERGENCY ROOM[THEY CANCELED IT}. ONLY TIME YOU ARE COVERED BY VA IS WHEN YOU ARE STABILIZED BY LOCAL HOSPITAL<THEN TO VA HOSPITAL????LOOK AT MONEY SAVED WITH ,PAYING TRAVEL EXPENSES<WEAR & TEAR ON "YOUR"CAR,PAYING FOR STAFF<DOCTORS,ETC AT CLINICS THAT JUST REFER YOU TO VA HOSPITAL!!!!

    • Richard yoakam January 28, 2021 at 12:47 pm

      After graduating college I was drafted and served in Korea 1960 with army yet cannot get a choice card. Why? Being drafted ruined my career, my marriage and my entire life. As an artist it took me 20 years to recover status I was required to resign from. Any other country would offer me health ins.

      • John Lewis January 28, 2021 at 8:55 pm

        2 years service ruined your life? You are a cry baby. Must not be much of a man. I wonder what the college degree was in?

        • AndyO January 29, 2021 at 11:30 am

          Korea in 1960 at Osan AB was a piece of cake. Nothing to complain about. Had someone to wash the uniforms and clean the barracks. Nothing of note happened 1960-1961. Must have been a liberal arts degree in an unemployable career field. Should have been an officer as that is where college grads ended up in the early 60s. 20 years wow.

        • Brie Smith February 10, 2021 at 11:28 pm

          We must respect each other. ALL lives matter.

    • Gary Wayne Williams January 28, 2021 at 6:34 pm

      In the D/FW Texas area we can get (with your PCP consult) a free ride from where you live to the VA Clinic /Hospital for your appointment and then back home. I don’t have to worry about parking or valet service. You don’t get travel pay but it doesn’t cost you to get to your VA appointment.

  35. Ralph Chappell January 28, 2021 at 11:34 am

    The head of the VA should be a disabled veteran who has had a long involvement with the VA as a Veteran/Client/Patient themselves…..so they know FIRST HAND the real day to day problems Veterans experience in dealing with the bureaucratic administrative policies and procedures of the VA.

    He should KNOW how failed the phone system is…how utterly unresponsive VA staff can be and how no matter what you try to do to report those problems….nothing ever seems to change for the better in that regard.

    There are good folks in the VA….but there are a lot of not good folks in the VA…..and ridding the VA of the bad has not had much success at all.

    The VA should undertake a dedicated effort to install a real…private sector quality Customer Service culture within the VA.

    If this guy wants to be a success….start with the Customer Service problem first. The rest will fall into place with that accomplished.

    • Hernando Sanchez January 28, 2021 at 12:40 pm

      Ralph Chappell perfectly stated. The phone system is horrible. While trying to get in touch with my primary care physicians office to make a simple appointment I was transferred four times. When I finally reached the correct office I was put on hold for over 30 minutes. Then a callback appointment was made. Still waiting for the call. They say to expect the call 24 to 48 hours after the initial call. It shouldnt be that hard to get in to see a primary care doctor. I can sense the stress in the folks I speak with and most stay nice and there are some who are very nice to talk with. To the good VA employees, which is most of them I say thank you for YOUR service and God bless.

      • Mike Will January 29, 2021 at 4:35 am

        Hernando,
        In Buffalo, NY you can’t even see a primary care Dr. Your appt. is over the phone. This hospital is very big and it’s virtually shut down and has been for a long time. I’ve been waiting for a travel pay check for four months and when you question them about it, all they do is cry about how short handed and overworked they are. The place is nothing but a joke.

      • Pat Dwyer February 10, 2021 at 10:59 pm

        Sign up for a Premium “MyHealtheVet” account, then you can send and receive messages to your VA doctors. It’s free, and you can do it all on a cellphone, tablet, laptop or computer.

    • Brie Smith February 10, 2021 at 11:33 pm

      Good customer service would save us from frustration +time, and money.

  36. Terry Jones January 28, 2021 at 11:28 am

    I’m a Vietnam Era veteran 1974-1982 the VA took away my once a year clothing Allowance, 5yrs ago citing the Leg Brace/Knee Brace didn’t qualify for the allowance no more, also I’ve applied for an increase for at least 5yrs. In a row to receive zero increase, I finally gave up,but Veterans from the Desert storm/ Iraq War get increases with ease The VA to me have bias on who receive the increases as we apply, we As Vietnam veterans can’t get the pensions we deserve besides trying to fight for a increase. I’m 65yrs. I’ve been denied 5 times, even though they left Surgical wire from surgery in my leg,And the Refuse to compensate me for this mistake,hopefully I can file for an increase in 2021,which will give me a nice pension for their mistake.

    • Rod Fitzgerald January 28, 2021 at 1:50 pm

      I will give him a chance, but I have doubts about all career Washington bureaucrats. They work for them selves first. His mission statement is our first warning of what will not change. No real understanding of what realy needs to change. As a Vietnam Veteran I have seen how the VA looks down on Vietnam error Veterans. I agree that there are in fact some very good, caring intelligent people working for Vets in this agency. But we still have too many that hate their job and the agency, but love the pay and benefits.
      Can only hope that accountability continues to drive correction and improvement.

  37. Rev. David L. Rogers January 28, 2021 at 11:24 am

    I read not one thing about retaining the Mission Act, instructing the staff that such a program actually exists, that straight-up information ought to be available instead of hiding behind “copays may apply” and never telling us what they might be and whether we receive prescriptions at the same copays we pay in the VA proper, and most importantly, to instruct VA staff theat choice is our right by law and the staff have no right to fight us when we request it.

  38. Ronald Tafoya January 28, 2021 at 11:18 am

    I am appalled to see the frustrations with the VA by my fellow brother veterans. I think President Bidden should specifically speak to American about his vision for reform of the VA.
    Ronald Tafoya LT USN

  39. JAMES J BALKEY January 28, 2021 at 11:17 am

    I don’t think you need to be a veteran to hold this office! Even if your are a veteran what should the requirements be? Should you be an Army, Marine, Air Force or you get the point. Should you be a combat veteran, a grunt or fly boy or need to have been awarded metals of valor? I think if the person understands the system and where it can be improved and works on improving it that is more than we have had in the past. Give the nominee a chance and see what happens in the near future then judge!!!

    • Tracey Ulanski January 29, 2021 at 4:02 pm

      I disagree. He should be a veteran. Any kind of veteran regardless of service, rank or status. He needs to have been on the receiving end of the VA “service” in order to truly understand what veterans go through there, especially when things go wrong or trying to get answers. Difficult for one to fix what one has not experienced as broken. It matters not whether they understand the system, they need to understand the *experience*.

  40. David C January 28, 2021 at 10:53 am

    Another non-veteran talking head, Washington bureaucrat. VA claims processing times are through the roof.

    • mike c January 28, 2021 at 11:34 am

      Sad but True!! I’ll pray he’ll will work as if he were a veteran

    • Richard Schmidt January 28, 2021 at 11:35 am

      Denis McDonough
      After President Obama’s election, he joined the administration as the National Security Council’s head of strategic communication. He also served as National Security Council Chief of Staff.

      He can’t be trusted to be the representative for veterans.

    • MICHAEL A TEGER January 28, 2021 at 11:58 am

      Must have a Veteran in this position who understands our brotherhood.

      • Darrell Witcher January 28, 2021 at 1:04 pm

        You are right Michael, NO one will ever understand until you have left your family and put on a uniform. There is no way possible. All that guy ever done was put on a suit and tie and collect a very nice pay check!! He might think he understands but he dont. Non veterans just don’t know!!! Have a good day brother!! :))))

    • Tony Davis January 28, 2021 at 12:25 pm

      Why can’t the senate understand that for a VA secretary we need somebody that has walked in our boots, has bled, cried and seen things most people could not imagine. We do not need one more politician with no clue.

      • Michelle Reid January 28, 2021 at 11:16 pm

        I think one of the reasons is that there are only 17 veterans in the Senate and 74 in the House. That is the lowest number of veterans since WWII.

    • Hicks January 28, 2021 at 9:29 pm

      This has not been my experience. Since the change to the Mission Act claims processing had dramatically improved. In our region a claim can get paid in as little as 7 days. Contrast that to 2017 and 2018 where it was raking over 6 months at times. It was in such a disarray before that. Now there is transparency and accountability. Honestly the last couple of years is the best I’ve ever seen it and we actually saw things happening with the backing of our congressman. I hope this doesn’t regress.

  41. Stephen Oates January 28, 2021 at 10:11 am

    His appointment confirmation will just be another political ‘Paper Tiger’. How can he pass the ‘red face’ test when he looks a veteran in the eye and says “I feel your pain”. What he needs to say is ” I’ve been told about your pain, read about it and even seen other people with your pain.” That would be the truth from a non-veteran. I doubt seriously if he would speak this truth at his confirmation hearing. Come’on Joe, give us vets a break. Make serving in the US Military a prerequisite for this very important position of leadership.

    • Michael Moore January 29, 2021 at 12:44 am

      I thought General shinseki or whatever his name was could have been the worst VA Sec ever.

  42. Wayne Warner January 28, 2021 at 9:59 am

    I agree with these other veterans. Of all of the veterans who have served, not one is qualified to head the VA? President Biden, you can’t find a veteran? Have you ever met a veteran besides your son? I hope you’ll take another look.

    • Darrell Witcher January 28, 2021 at 1:06 pm

      Ain’t that the truth Wayne!! :))))

  43. David H Taylor January 28, 2021 at 9:25 am

    I don’t want a Washington bureaucrat to head the VA, I want a VETERAN to head it.

    • Edwin Martinez January 28, 2021 at 9:59 am

      Everything he says sounds great, but how does his character fares with a veteran VA representative. Only one of us would truly care.

    • Mark Hutchens January 28, 2021 at 10:11 am

      we have had veterans head the VA, but as all that get this position they are politicians first, remember the VA is a descresionary fund controlled by congress and everything the VA does or does not do is by permission of congress NOT who runs the VA. This is how it has been every since the inception of the VA.

    • mike c January 28, 2021 at 11:36 am

      + This 1!

    • Andy onderko January 28, 2021 at 11:42 am

      Max Cleland was the last good Secretary of Veterans Affairs (quad amputee). He set priorities and made it a rule to follow them. Some older veterans might disagree with this choice but every secretary after him put themself before veterans. Inn the 60s-70s Medical Facilities were managed by veterans at every level. Many of the nurses and doctors were veterans. That all began to change in the mid to late 80s. After 24 years in the VA I retired in 1994. I was the last veteran in management.
      Politics drove the change. We need to go back to veterans serving veterans. The new guy is just another career politician. Every Secretary before him has made the same promises. How many have actually fulfilled their promises? Time will tell but would bet nothing improves.

  44. Tommy January 28, 2021 at 9:15 am

    I have received excellent care at the Raymond G. Murphy VA hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I received two new knees and other procedures. The people working there are compassion and do a great dealing with my issues. It is my hope that this guy won’t cause much damage. I am 71 now and have had my first Covid vaccination and will get the second on February 3, 2021. I am asking all to be patient with this process. As usual it is hurry up and wait. I have learned that all good things come to he who is patient. I don’t know if his non-veteran background is good or bad. Time will tell.

    • Mark Hutchens January 28, 2021 at 10:14 am

      Time will tell? how about it has been over 70 years with minimal changes

    • Patricia Cox January 28, 2021 at 12:33 pm

      How did you manage to get a Covid vaccine shot???? My husband is 73, is on oxygen 24/7 and just recently had a kidney out due to cancer. We are told here in Michigan, that vets who are 75 or older are in the 1b, classification and my husband is in the 1c, classification and is NOT eligible at this time. The disparity in the dispensation of these shots is disheartening. Our news media has even shown vaccine vacations for people overseas who are coming to FL. to received both of their shots on a vacation trip. People from Argentina and Europe. Money talks, as it always has, but this is unbelievable. I am willing to wait for my shot as his wife, I do not have underlying health conditions but am the same age. Kinda sad. .

      • Art Vermeire January 28, 2021 at 6:29 pm

        We at least deserve a Vaccine Brother… People in Arizona drive in to Vaccine centers without an appointment and get Vaccinated by the car loads…

    • Stephen Konek January 28, 2021 at 3:33 pm

      The VA leadership is only a minor portion of the problem. The problem is $ and hold the Congress responsible as they are the allocators of those dollars, not the leader of the VA. I do not suggest an unlimited budget but one that is sufficient to deal with the volume of challenges both medical, ratings related, and political. I have been dealing with VA both for myself and other veterans for 50+ years. I also have talked with VA employees “off the record”. There have been improvements and back slides over the years. Currently they do not pay staff sufficiently to compete in the current market. Thus, staff leaves for better $ on the outside. The choice program is a scam to move veterans away from VA treatment and to privatize VA medical responsibilities. I’ve been to choice physicians and they are then not empowered to send you to the specialists that you need to see. It becomes a paperwork dance with VA and extremely frustrating. Staff in VA facilities have become a revolving door situation. Many of these problems are the same in private clinics from my experience but VA has a moral & legal obligation of service that was contractually promised to many older veterans if not younger ones. We can spend $ to clean up toxic spills in Vietnam (Da Nang, Bien Hoa Air Bases) but we cannot treat our veterans for many of the same exposure medical issues. Good luck finding the correct leader of VA, if this candidate is sincere about the task, he will have a lot of work ahead of him..

      • AndyO January 29, 2021 at 11:40 am

        The problem is NOT $$$. Compare first fiscal year spending against 4th quarter. Compare management offices to hospital wards. Especially facility directors offices. Facility directors get nice 6 figure salaries plus yearly bonuses for doing a great job telling DC how great they are. 24 years as CFO/COO at 14 different facilities. Not the money but how it is spent.

    • AndyO January 29, 2021 at 8:08 am

      Your one of the lucky ones. 71 and got the first covid19. vac. second scheduled for 2-3. 81 and still waiting for contact for the first one. There are good and bad in every system. You are lucky being enrolled in a good one.

    • Brie Smith February 10, 2021 at 11:49 pm

      How about US Senator Tammy Duckworth heading the VA?

      A combat veteran of the Iraq War, she served as a U.S. Army helicopter pilot. In 2004, after her helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade fired by Iraqi insurgents, she suffered severe combat wounds, which caused her to lose both of her legs and some mobility in her right arm.

      Ladda Tammy Duckworth is an American politician and retired Army National Guard lieutenant colonel serving as the junior United States Senator from Illinois since 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, she represented Illinois’s 8th district in the United States House of Representatives from 2013 to 2017. Wikipedia

  45. Tommy January 28, 2021 at 9:14 am

    I have received excellent care at the Raymond G. Murphy VA hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I received two new knees and other procedures. The people working there are compassion and do a great dealing with my issues. It is my hope that this guy won’t cause much damage. I am 71 now and have had my first Covid vaccination and will get the second on February 3, 2021. I am asking all to be patient with this process. As usual it is hurry up and wait. I have learned that all good things come to he who is patient. I don’t know if his non-veteran background is good or bad. Time will tell.
    Tommy G. Westmoreland

  46. Tommy Ginas January 28, 2021 at 8:59 am

    My own feeling is the person who is approved for this position should have been a veteran. They know what it feels like to be away from home fighting in a war ,seeing wounded and killed,missing family and friends. Politicians are programmed to say the right things with out really meaning them. I feel that this nominee fits that bill. Give me a guy who has walked the walk . Tommy G ,Vietnam 66,67

    • Victor Manuel Rojas January 28, 2021 at 11:31 am

      I would like the WH aprove a law for the veterans to use the PX facilities in the US military bases, no matter if is conected or not. We deserve this.

  47. Greg Kohler January 28, 2021 at 8:41 am

    The person for this job needs to be a Veteran. There is no possible way you can relate to their needs,surely not a politician,unless you have been down that road. Just my 2 cents.
    Semper Fi

  48. JACK D WILBANKS January 28, 2021 at 8:28 am

    I REMEBER THE VA WEB SITE SAID DEAR VETERAN APPLY FOR THE BENEFITS YOU EARNED AND THINK YOU DESERVE. RIGHT GOOD LUCK ON GETTING THEM .ITS SEEMS THE VA FIGHT MORE TO KEEP BENEFITS FROM VETERANS THEN TO GIVE THEM ALSO THE VA WILL HELP YOU PROVE YOUR CLAIM.GOOD LUCK,EVERY TIME FILE ITS A NEW FROM AND MORE DOCTOR APT.MY ORIGAL CLAIM FORM WAS UPDATED BY VA I HAD FILE ANOTHER FORM

    • Mark Hutchens January 28, 2021 at 9:42 am

      Jack if you are handling your case on your own that is not a good idea, there are many regs set to help confuse you and tie you up until you give up. Get yourself a organization to help you with your claim, Disabled American Veterans, Rolling Thunder, American Legion, VFW, just to name a few, You will be much better off.

  49. Randy Niehoff January 28, 2021 at 8:24 am

    No way this is the guy for us. He is not a veteran and don’t know what it means to be one. Just a beaurocrat the will take the VA back. NOT good.

    • Mark Hutchens January 28, 2021 at 9:48 am

      Randy 2 Things 1) the VA is controlled by Congress and only does what congress allows, 2) the VA is a discretionary fund and therefore the VA is at the bottom of the totem pole for money allocation. 3) no matter what political party is in control the VA is aways at the behest of the Congress, which is always at the behest of politicians most who have never served, those that have turned their backs on the rest in favor of political ties.

      • James H. Doth January 28, 2021 at 12:36 pm

        I don’t understand what qualifications this guy has other than as a political operative and Biden/Obama loyalist? He has never served, and he doesn’t even have a medical or Hospital administration background. I presume he is a lawyer. I don’t believe you can have empathy for Veterans nor understand our needs if you haven’t walked a mile in our moccasins!

  50. RL Sullins January 28, 2021 at 8:17 am

    I totally agree with Greg R. I am very concerned that this person will come into the VA, and start making sweeping changes, that will not only effect the quality of healthcare I receive, but he will cut our benefits. I don’t trust this man first because he is not one of us, he is not a US Veteran, and has no idea what it is like to be in combat, or to have to live your life with PTSD and the nightmares.

  51. Joe Huebner January 28, 2021 at 8:17 am

    Wow.

    First for all, a shout out to all of my fellow veterans here that are truly appreciative of the good/great care that they have received through the VA. Count me as one of them! My extensive experience with the VA is that these are top notch people who really give a damn and who are doing their best for us. Fifteen years ago they saved my life and have been outstanding virtually every step of the way. I salute you doctors, nurses, staff and volunteers!

    But this message is for the jaded cynics on this forum and elsewhere and twisted politics that poison their entire worldview. These self-righteous vets condemn this man, without the first scintilla of evidence. To these guys, and you know who you are, I say, GROW UP and put your money where your mouth is.

    Of course the VA is not perfect! Of course, it has some serious challenges. And though not often, some folks fall through the cracks and get less than the care they deserve and have earned. This is never acceptable. You want a better VA? Then get off of your asses, get involved and go volunteer to help. And stop your juvenile complaints about how this guys sucks – like you know everything.

    Best wishes, Mr. McDonough and to hell with the haters!

    • Mark Hutchens January 28, 2021 at 10:01 am

      Joe kinda on the narrow side are you not? While I am glad that you and a small amount of other veterans have gotten good care for a condition that the VA feels it could treat, but what about those who dont get that, veterans who have PTSD from all wars, lost limbs, brain trauma, spinal cord injuries, effects from the exposure of Agent Orange to themselves and their children, Burn injuries that last a life time, are just a few to name. Society is very cruel to all of the above and most of society does not want to deal with it, help, or understand, they just want to push you aside and into a box so they dont have to see you. So I think that you are being a little narrow in your thought, think about all your brethren including those that have not been as fortunate as you to get the necessary treatment, If you took the time to PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS, and volunteered with a vet org such as DAV, American Legion, VFW, as a service officer and see first hand outside yourself you may be thoroughly surprised.

  52. George Binger January 28, 2021 at 8:10 am

    Community care programs helped get surgery needed for service connected injury. This new often criticized by some politicians. VA could not keep up by itself with secret waiting lists. VA did not have qualified staff to trest my condition. Now VA cannot keep up with COVID. Should be expanding private health care options and access for vets. This DC insider likely to push us back to government rationed healthcare.

  53. John Baenen January 28, 2021 at 8:08 am

    Please help the ionized radiation affected veterans. We’ve been fighting in Congress to get our bill passed and the last three Congress is just ignored us. I gave up on the VA and hired a lawyer by the name of Peter Cameron out of San Diego California he’s helped me and a handful of other ionized radiation affected veterans to get their disability. He is a wonderful lawyer and has an excellent support staff thank God for him or I would be out on the streets now.

  54. Ralph Elliott January 28, 2021 at 8:07 am

    Here is a guy who neither he nor his own father felt they should server in the Military and he thinks he can understand us. I think not, but if he can fix the debacle called the Veterans Benefit system I’ll believe he at least cares. That part of the system has not changed since I got our in 87. You have been treated by you civilian doctor for twenty years for something and yet when you claim it they screw around with it, send it back, screw around some more , deny it but tell you that you have a right to appeal it and then you die after ten years of BS without approval.
    Ralph Elliott, Jacksonville Fl

  55. Veteran Employee January 28, 2021 at 8:04 am

    I hope there is a commitment to dealing minorities who are passed over, underpaid, denied opportunity for advancement and unfair treatment when compared to white employees who treated differently in VA Administration.
    To review and investigate unfair hiring practices that have awarded positions based on loyalty and knowing leadership instead qualification as well as education.
    A program outside of facilities (there are outside paid programs but leadership has still will denied to reward those who are loyal and pulling them selves up for fast track advancement) but burying those who actually are committed to the core values. A true assessment can be done to determine what resources such as man power can be approved for departments that are in need and being denied while departments are being given man power two or more times over needed while others are struggling.
    Why are their so many in ELT (leadership) that are not veterans and do not have a degree but are placed in positions (or creating positions) that many minorities (African Americans or minorities) are qualified to be placed into, but overlooked due to position written and posted for someone that is not qualified to for the job?
    How is it even possible for the racial demographic of VA facility such as section Chiefs and ELT are extremely slated to whites do not balance out within a huge facility such as vizn 19 and others like it?

    • A.O January 29, 2021 at 3:07 pm

      Diversity versus best qualified. Best qualified should always come before diversity.

  56. Vincent Emelio Pezzullo January 28, 2021 at 7:49 am

    Hello my name is Vincent Pezzullo Msg USArmy retired my question to you is there are people receiving there second shots while I am an 81 year old hanging out to dry I totally understand the really sick ones get it first I think I would like to get some kind of a heads up as to when I am next
    Thank you
    Msg retired
    Vin Pezzullo.

  57. Greg reuscher January 28, 2021 at 7:48 am

    We’ve heard this over and over and nothing changes. Just like politicians seeking election. After appointed, back to the same routine. Don’t forget to have plenty of photo ops with some disabled vets, that always helps.

    • Thomas Smith January 28, 2021 at 8:18 am

      Another Biden pal!
      Great.
      Not a VET, but had a Grandfather in WW II!!
      Really—-I had a sister in the Girl Scouts.
      Will be a long four years

    • Eric T. Bergeson January 28, 2021 at 8:31 am

      If his promises are anything like Biden’s, things will only get worse. Not a veteran! Inspiration from visits to hospitals, observing in Afghanistan, does not give him the gut knowledge of what veterans need. He’s a career bureaucrat, and that doesn’t tell me much. Not impressed at all!

    • Eric T. Bergeson January 28, 2021 at 8:32 am

      If his promises are anything like Biden’s, things will only get worse. Not a veteran! Inspiration from visits to hospitals, observing in Afghanistan, does not give him the gut knowledge of what veterans need. He’s a career bureaucrat, and that doesn’t tell me much. Not impressed at all! Need retired flag officers to do the job.

  58. December January 28, 2021 at 7:30 am

    What about the problem of race within the VA employees and within patient care. VA has some work to do within the agency itself. First.

  59. Brent Regan January 28, 2021 at 7:26 am

    this man is a terrible choice and truly feel the VA will struggle to maintain or excel in adequate care giving and administrative reforms beneath his leadership. A sad day for Veterans.

  60. Gil Ruiz January 28, 2021 at 7:25 am

    It seems like the nominee has the veterans best interest n the mission from President Biden is clearly heard, however veterans service related claims are also extremely important. My claims has been in the pipeline for almost 10 years n once finally heard on its merits, meaning awarded 100% disability will words mean action to us veterans feeling forgotten.

  61. Louis Armagno January 28, 2021 at 7:15 am

    Whoever will be the SecVA, one thing I believe would make a difference is a change to the online VA Ebenefits.com system. Put our disability board “RATING DECISION” online for us to access.

    I’m not talking about the “SUMMARY LIST” of rating percentages currently online, but the multi-page “RATING DECISION, with: INTRODUCTION, DECISION, EVIDENCE, and REASON FOR DECISION.

    While the SUMMARY LIST is good, a copy of the RATING DECISION need to be online, too. Older Veterans should not have to rely on old hard copies in our personal files. I recently had one added to my list (I was lucky and found one mailed to me 18 years ago (October 2003) buried in my 10 feet of VA paperwork. This can make the difference between benefits (i.e. 10% vs 30% or 40% vs 50% rating.) It is more important than any other document for a Veteran, so why not put it online on our secure personal account?

  62. Eddie Huggins January 28, 2021 at 7:13 am

    What about post pre 911 vets all I hear about is 911 vet . Vets from WW2 ,Nam and the cold war veterans should
    Treated the same as post 911 veterans. And the same goes for our care givers .

    • Leslie Lambert January 28, 2021 at 1:32 pm

      ‘Cold War Veterans’ trained the veterans serving in the Gulf & Afghanistan. Our benefits should reflect our Veteran status not when and where we served.

  63. Christian K Schmid January 28, 2021 at 7:11 am

    I have always been very pleased with the care I have received from the VA

  64. Steven K. Hogan January 28, 2021 at 7:08 am

    Information regarding COVID 19 vaccination implementation is totally lacking. It has now been approximately 3 weeks since any VA administration updates regarding COVID vaccinations. There has been no information forthcoming regarding 1b, 1c scheduling. When reaching out to the VA administration and my local VA clinic there has been no contact to either me personally or thru VA publication outlets.
    I find VA’s lack of information sharing to be of great concern and they can should do better.

  65. John Cline January 28, 2021 at 7:03 am

    Talk is Cheap , Political Talk is worth even Less , We’re all going back to the days of abuse and neglect .

    These are the exact same People who for years have always pissed down the backs of Veterans and simply told them that it was raining .

    Seeing is Believing !

  66. Blaine E. Melville January 28, 2021 at 6:52 am

    Yep another paperpusher.

  67. John Barrett January 28, 2021 at 6:51 am

    Each and every VA facilities are different. In my case local VAmc near including local clinic me needs alot of work. Just because rude workers and and as well as they treat vets like a # and plus the facility will never
    Change. First overall no emergency room. It’s only open during morning. Its more of a Complain clinic. Vets need a box to where they can right down a complaint or a phone# where call goes somewhere else. For two years i travel to one of the top VA facilities in the USA. 400 miles each way to drs. I get awesome care and drs know me. Is it Worth it to me? Yes. How far would you travel to find best health care where they are on top of todays medicine and not standard proceedures. I have been to many vamc’s over the years and i like the one i got to the best.
    Want to lower vet suicide rates? Start with giving vets thier pain meds back that work for them and get rid of pain management. Its a joke. I seen a few councilors where i go and they want to call me an opiate attic? I told them first va admits they were my dealer for almost 40 years. Drs make up go to youtube and learn to control pain. What are they drs or phycologist that like to check your prostate? Put you on depression pills and say its a pain reliever.. Ive dealed with depression my whole life. It took high doses of zoloft years ago to where i wasnt who i was and didnt like it. I quit and thats when i learned how to control my depression and as well as anger issues and traumatic stress syndrome. The one thing i cant walk away from? Cigarettes. Wish there was a cure for that. So Mr SecVA WANT TO FIGHT FOR US VETS? Listen to vets and use it for guideline instead of what you and your staff think we need. . how about a hotline for that? Or phone # where vet has to say name and b-date and last for and include what vamc they are at and talking about. Each va is different. And the employees? Facility i go to they are nice and helpfull!

  68. William Dawson36 January 28, 2021 at 6:44 am

    How is your covid19 vaccine program working? I am an 84 year old, still waiting for my appointment for the vaccination.

  69. Dominic Chemello Sr January 28, 2021 at 6:44 am

    Want another success story. I was medically discharged from with Army in 1969 with a left lower extremity amputation and broken wrist. Thanks to the GI Bill I got a BS in Aviation Management, and an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate with many pilot ratings. I got a job with the Federal Aviation Administration as an Aviation Safety Inspector and retired After 32 years of service. Thanks for helping me have a GREAT LIFE as a veteran

  70. Roger Horton January 28, 2021 at 6:36 am

    It will be a wait and see situation. I don’t biden or anything he says but I do hope he is successful in doing the right things for America and her Veterans. We’ll see if the VA follows biden’s lead on no gender. Just hoping Korean and Vietnam Veterans will finally get their due that was started under President Trump. Praying that if this nominee gets confirmed he will do what he says and put veterans first and just maybe cut waste and red tape to get a disability.

    • Larry Mathes January 28, 2021 at 9:41 am

      Finally had to comment after reading so many negative posts here. The one that set me off was from R Horton where he states that vets were finally getting there dues that was started under trump. BS is what I say to that comment. I got my benefits and great care long before cadet bonespures was even in office. I’m 73 yrs. old and that poor excuse for a human was the worst president this country has ever had. That’s all I’m going to say, because it’s apparent that most of the posters here supported and still do the joker who just had the election ” stolen ” from him. Country is divided like never before in my life and is not coming back together. God bless all troops and vets!

  71. Von R. Smith, Sr. January 28, 2021 at 6:08 am

    My brother and I are both Vietnam veterans. I had 6 years of service, he had two tours in Vietnam. We have experienced the downside of post-service. We felt like disposable “throw away’s” socially and a low priority to the government.

    I have waited 50 years before applying for VA benefits. I just got along with the medical and emotional aftermath on my own. I did not know how much Agent Orange and regular aircraft and weapon sound levels can damage. Now, as I go through the process, I see how hard it is to get through the bureaucracy. The problems all boil down to money. No matter the good intentions, you cannot perform services or supply needs without money.

    I want to hear about the current budget and how much MORE Congress will allocate for veterans, in DOLLARS, not “we will increase,” but how much. Fluffy promises are all politicians seem to know. Well, I hope this new VA head will say, “Show me the money!” so we veterans have some chance, some hope.

  72. Edmund Brand Beyer January 28, 2021 at 6:04 am

    We need a leader who can set out priorities and get them done. I use some of the services offered by the VA but am concerned that the quality often does not measure up to what I can find in the private sector.
    I also found that the people who evaluate a veteran’s claim often seem to find ways to deny that claim rather than fully investigating it. I can give examples in my own medical evaluations.

  73. Corrinna L Jennings January 28, 2021 at 6:02 am

    Lying through his mouth. Previous administrations he worked for were the problem for the VA. All smoke and mirrors.

  74. Francis X Karl January 28, 2021 at 5:38 am

    When might we expect vaccine distribution? As a member of the VA Medical Care at Northport VA Hospital and 73 years of age – I’d like to think that the vaccine is on it’s way. Roll out and vaccine distribution on Long Island has been a challenge. There seems to be no clear path to vaccination.

    Thanks

  75. Charles Hayden January 28, 2021 at 5:34 am

    Having spoken to many fellow Veterans regarding the collection of past due medication and episode of care. The previous practice of not billing did nothing for Veterans other than create a big bill they can’t afford to pay all at once. They would have been better off paying 50 or 60 per month vice the 600 or 1000 bill they received. These co-pays should be waived and funds should be appropriated through congress to make up the budget shortfall. Just my opinion of course.

  76. Wayland H Burton January 28, 2021 at 5:12 am

    I appreciate the new VA Secretary and the task before him. I hope more will be done in technology being able to be upgraded as well as talking to other medical facilities. At the moment, I am involved with six different medical activities trying to obtain a kidney transplant. Only three of the six can transmit medical information concerning me to one another. The others can not and they have the most activity with me. I have blood drawn every Tuesday however only one facility obtains the results. The other institutions need the results and I and left with the task of trying to communicate medical terminology to five other institutions. I am NOT that savvy in the terms or other comments that should go along and that makes my transmissions vulnerable to error. There must be a way that request for various blood test, transmittal of test results, scheduling of appointments and shared payment of these test can be accomplished without each institution having these test duplicated each and every time and I not becoming a pin cushion or having each institution wanting my carcass all on the same day or same week. They (the institutions) become irritated when you tell them you can’t make those dates then they don’t believe you and feel you are evading them. A person is not believed like another medical institution is when they show that they have first dibs on your carcass.

    • Vera Gaetano January 28, 2021 at 9:20 am

      Call your local VA to ask how you can give civilian providers access to your health records.

  77. Linda Faye Magwood January 28, 2021 at 4:40 am

    Im.a veteran and had the.Covid 19 virus. I’m 71 yrs old and would like to know when will the vaccination be available to me at Michael E. DEBAKEY in Houston Texas. I’ve inquired about it but can not get an answer. I was very sick and hospitalized and would like to get the vaccination as soon as possible.

  78. Charles Watson January 28, 2021 at 4:34 am

    I know their is a pandemic, but why it is still taking a long time complete Veterans Claim. The longer it takes the longer a veteran is not getting medical attention.

  79. Ernest Willyard January 28, 2021 at 4:14 am

    Every one talks a good game when the cameras are on. The problem is that we won’t know what effect he will have until he’s been on the job for a while.

    I really hope he can make a difference, especially in rural medical care. We have been promised changes in the system that lets us have access to medical doctors. Clinics in neighboring towns (30 miles away) are staffed with nurses but the closest VA doctor is 110 miles away and in another state. You drive or do without.

    I sincerely hope that he can make a difference in a positive way but it is hard to have faith in the VA leadership when his predecessors didn’t seem to care. I have a jaded view based on my experience for the past 24 years. There are a lot of caring, quality professionals in the VA but they don’t seem to be in the leadership positions.

    Just because I’m not in a politically special category like women Veterans, Veterans of color and LGBTQ Veterans and I am no longer homeless doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t get the same quantity of care.

  80. Miguel Banuchi January 28, 2021 at 3:59 am

    Momma said, “If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all.” And I am ambivalent about VA performance with me, a 72 year old Vietnam Era veteran, who has asked for help and gotten nothing but referrals..

  81. Bob Smith January 28, 2021 at 2:59 am

    “I promise to fight – every single day – to ensure that our Veterans have the access to world-class, compassionate care they have earned.”

    I am a disabled veteran and live overseas like 10,000s of other veterans.

    I do have access to world class healthcare.

    What is world class healthcare? Is world class healthcare for veterans such as myself mean I do not get healthcare because I live overseas. No no no. World class healthcare, remember? World class healthcare puts me first, not where I live first. We do not have VA Choice, we do not get reimbursed for healthcare unless the condition is service connected. Is that world class, no, that is 2nd class or 3 class if that because in many cases it is no coverage which means it is no class at all.

    The VA has neglected veterans living overseas. There is no office to contact if we have problems. The Foreign Medical Program does nothing to improve the service for us living overseas, the office only accepts reimbursement claims for service connected conditions, and they do not even do that very well. Where on VA.gov can I upload a reimbursement claim for foreign medical program? It doesn’t exist. Why do I at home have to think of this thing? Because the VA has no office with the responsibility to coordinate and deliver improved service for the 10,000s of veterans living overseas. We have unique challenges in accessing our benefits and nobody at the va whose job it is to improve the poor service we currently receive.

    Why do veterans overseas have no town halls, no visits from the VA Secretary, no dedicated office advocating for improvements to our healthcare and benefits? Why is there no survey for veterans overseas to help the VA understand our problems with their lack of help for us. We live thousands of miles from the VA and every interaction with the VA is difficult. The VA has the resources and money and power to help us, but they have not taken the time to help us. The VA is failing veterans who live abroad ever day. Mercy,.somebody do something. Find out the problems, create annual surveys for us, learn about our problems getting our benefits, dedicate resources. Thank you.

  82. Lance Johnson January 28, 2021 at 2:45 am

    He claims to be a fighter, but he said nothing when a D-Connecticut rep called trump supporters racists. I believe that would be the majority of the VA patients that he may be serving. He’s a coward.

  83. Deborah Lorena Chapa January 28, 2021 at 2:33 am

    I am a retired 100% disabled veteran of the United States Army. I served my country fo twenty two years and have been in the VA system for twelve years. Veteran’s choice is a great improvement for us. More can be done for female veterans and veterans with mental health issues.

  84. Glen Cross January 28, 2021 at 2:32 am

    I hope you’re an honorable man. Maybe you’re different we’ll see.

    Glen Cross

  85. Pat Dwyer January 28, 2021 at 2:15 am

    I was 64 when I started in the NorCal/Bay Area VA system. I’m 76 now, and have had hundreds of appointments in those 12 years, for everything from Oncology to Cardiology to Podiatry, and I am always impressed with the staff at all levels and with the quality of the comprehensive healthcare.

  86. Nancy Downs January 28, 2021 at 2:07 am

    Was deeply moved by your write up on VA nominee. It is a huge job, and in need of a well ordered yet compassionate leader. The deep division in this country with polarized political views make it even harder if not impossible. I don’t think in donkey or elephant classifications. I am a 100% disabled Navy veteran who served with pride 1975-1981. My allegiance lies in this, ” One Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all !!!”. IN GOD I TRUST, EVERYTHING ELSE I CHECK !!!

  87. Ronald Rudnicki January 28, 2021 at 2:05 am

    Why aren’t Veteran owned Small Businesses classified as Minority owned businesses. Way past time for this.

  88. Pamela Hinds January 28, 2021 at 1:43 am

    Dear Mr. McDonough, Thanks you so much in advance for your care and welfare of our veterans and their families. You don’t have to be a Veteran to serve to help these men, women to have the healthcare they deserve and need desperately!!
    I am a widow whose husband Clifford Hinds, who served in the Army as drill sergeant and would have made a career of it until he was blown up in a tank Terret lost lost his hearing in one ear and broke his foot in several places. Was honorably discharged due to not performing as he needed due to his foot after several surgeries. After coming of military service he worked 25 years for the US Postal service as a mechanic! In 2010 he suffered a major stroke, leaving him paralyzed on right side and having severe PTSD. After almost 2 month in Critical ICU a as bd a month of rehab I brought him home and vowed to take care of him, driving him to his VA appointments and rehab(3) times a week.
    As a surviving spouse I would like to ask about medical care for myself and I receive his VA monthly widows pension. I also want to be eligible for repair on my home which are several thing! I barely have enough money for monthly bills! Cliff was 100% disable. He died in 2018 due to cancer at which time he had about 4500.00 dollars a month for his disability but mine is not quite 1400.00 a month! I am grateful for what I get, but I feel I should get more! It sure would help me Thank you for reading this email! Can you reply if you can for for explanation and answers to questions!
    Gods Blessings to you snd yours,
    Pam Hinds

    • Brie Smith February 11, 2021 at 12:49 am

      This organization can help with needed home repairs:

      rebuildingtogether.org › contact-us
      Rebuilding Together National Headquarters
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      (202) 518-3100

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      Rebuilding Together has completed work on more than 200,000 homes, nonprofit and community centers in the U.S. Rebuilding Together affiliate network consists of 142 offices[citation needed] throughout the United States, whom act in partnership with and on behalf of the organization.

      Rebuilding Together has several targeted programs that address the needs of specific homeowner populations: veterans, elderly, disabled, and victims of disaster.[1] The work of Rebuilding Together impacts the condition of the surrounding community as well, through community center rehabilitation, playground builds, and partnerships with organizations[2] focused on energy efficiency,[3] sustainable community gardens, volunteer engagement, and homeowner education.[4]

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  89. James Allen Eberwine January 28, 2021 at 1:39 am

    If VA is taking care of Military members and family, why is my 85 year old wife
    looking for a COVID immunization while I am waiting for my scheduled
    February 2021 second dose? VA clinic says “not for spouses unless they served”.

  90. Bradley Boerst January 28, 2021 at 1:38 am

    The nominee isn’t a vet ?That gives me absolutely no trust.

    Only another vet that’s in the VA system,knows what we need to have done there.

    WE DO NOT DESERVE OR WANT ANOTHER PAPER PUSHING ,BEAN COUNTER IN CHARGE OF THE VA.NO MATTER WHAT THEY SAY OR “PROMISE”,THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS IN TE END IS MONEY,NOT CARE FOR US VETS.THIS HAS BEEN PROVEN TIME AND TIME AGAIN.

  91. Michael Molamphy January 28, 2021 at 1:28 am

    VA needs to cover hearing loss for war vets who were affected by long term exposure to artillery firing, etc. Scientific American published research on nerve damage from loud noise, which leads to hearing loss many years later. Nothing is louder than artillery; 1000 X louder than a jet engine nearby.

    • Raul Gil Alvarado 100% disabled January 28, 2021 at 8:25 am

      I hope he does more for suviving widows I believe they should get the whole amount of disability they veterans husband got before they pass is the only way they can maintain the style of living they had before their husband died cuting their va compensation to 1/3 is not the way to help the surviving widows

  92. Richard Cooper January 2