The VA (Dept. of Veterans Affairs) is abandoning its veterans that need help the most. Their 2014 Budget request is $152.7 billion. In 2011, the Department was investigated for fraud, waste, and abuse. The outcome of this investigation was damning.

Eric K. Shinseki heads up the Department and, surprisingly, still remains in charge. If the VA was a private company, he would have been sacked in 2012 when the Inspector General (IG) report was released. The report lays out the incredible fraud, waste and abuse that seems to have become inherent to the organization’s DNA under Shinseki’s leadership.  In 2011, the VA’s Human Resources department spent over $6 million dollars on conferences alone, and is the main focus of the IG report.  I encourage you to read the full investigation and make up your own mind.

The 2012 report calls out failed leadership, lack of oversight, helicopter tours, limousine rides, and outright bribery. The findings are shameful. Add this to the complexity associated with applying for medical/dental benefits or the disability system, and it’s an epic fail under the leadership of Shinseki. After reading the report, the fact that Shinseki hasn’t stepped down on his own accord speaks volumes to his true character.

I recently spoke with friends about an Iraq war veteran who voiced concerns over a possible misdiagnosis and treatment program that ultimately resulted in the amputation of his leg.

In an article written about American sniper Chris Kyle by Nicholas Schmidle of the New Yorker, the write-up pointed out that Chris’s killer, Eddie Routh, was refused hospitalization by the VA after his parents begged them to re-consider. At that point in time, Routh had a history of violent outbreaks, and his parents seemed concerned for the safety of him and others.

In 2004, the V.A. Inspector General called the Dallas facility the worst in the nation; last year, a Dallas TV station interviewed veterans who alleged that the facility was so poor that it put “lives at risk.”From the New Yorker article titled “In the Cross Hairs”

After reading Schmidle’s piece, I can’t help thinking that the Dallas VA has some blood on their hands in the death of my friend Kyle.

I wonder if the 2011 HR conference attendees spoke about these important issues when watching a “Happy Video” that the VA paid $16,500 of tax payer dollars to produce, featuring “happy” employees during the previous day of their six million dollar conference?