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The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
Please vote to return to collections (Voting Results will appear on Right Sidebar).
    (July 21, 1930- )
    Military veteran benefit system
    Administered by the US Secretary of Veterans Affairs
    Administers benefits for veterans, their families, and survivors
    Oversees hundreds of Veterans Affairs medical facilities, clinics, and benefits offices
    Handles three major categories: medical care, benefits and burials/memorials
    One of the largest healthcare operations in the United States
    As of 2016, employs nearly 345,000 people
    Attracted nationwide scrutiny after major problems with scheduling timely access to medical care became public (May 2014)
    Came under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation after the revelations (Jun. 11, 2014)
    Mental health care quality at their facilities are known for being insufficient and crappy.
    Its Directors have a historical tendency to be forced to resign under hostile circumstances.
    Googling just 'The VA' tends to turn up results for a Southern state's abbreviation.
    Most of its facilities are open for less than eight hours and closed on the weekends.
    Its early years were marred by conflict, mainly the Bonus March, in 1932 (thousands of WWI vets marching on Washington to demand benefits only to be driven off by federal agents with tear gas).
    It received criticism during the Vietnam War for failing to identify Agent Orange as a cause of many returning veterans' poor health.
    Ron Kovic led a 19-day hunger strike to protest poor treatment of veterans in VA hospitals (1974).
    Staff members at several facilities were caught falsifying appointment records/waiting lists to hide the delays in their system.
    At least 40 veterans died waiting for care at one of their Arizona health facilities.
    The negative blow-back from the revelations resulted in Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki resigning, saying he 'couldn't explain the lack of integrity among some leaders' at the VA's various healthcare facilities.
    Shinseki's replacement, Robert McDonald, was caught lying to a homeless vet about serving with Special Forces, outraging care recipients.
    The problems remained serious enough that a veteran actually lit himself on fire outside of a VA Clinic in Northfield, New Jersey, reportedly due to wait times (Mar. 23, 2016).
    Some of its problems were depicted in 'American Sniper.'
    It was created to administer assistance to World War I veterans.
    It was established to replace the troubled Veterans Bureau and two other agencies involved in veterans' care.
    A second, smaller Bonus March at the start of the Roosevelt administration was defused nonviolently (Mar. 1933).
    It is a well-meaning organization that has had difficulty processing the number of care recipients.
    President Ronald Reagan signed legislation elevating it to Cabinet status, in 1980.
    It provides disability compensation, pension, home loans, life insurance, survivors’ benefits, and burial benefits.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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