Been there, done that!

Our Veterans Administration continues to hear many complaints about treatment of veterans needs, both from veterans themselves and the private sector.

As a 96-year-old World War II veteran with Pacific U.S. Navy duty having been involved in health care and a wide range of veterans affairs I have seen it all. Involved in promotional work at our Iowa Veterans Home since 1955, I’ve known all types of problems.

Bottom line, complaints are not getting to the right source; they are going to the provider who has nothing to say about the operation. Granted, some complaints cannot be solved as they remain a veteran’s personal problem.

These issues need to go to middle and top management, and that is not happening. This applies to both the VA and private sector.

Many providers are not following up in fear of losing their jobs, as some in VA, more than in the mass public, have faced because of inexperience and just plain goofups.

I am not a newcomer on this subject. I have seen six federal cabinet members shoved out. Our VA secretary, David Shulkin, like those serving in that post before, are members of the Cabinet. I have gone to Washington, D.C. for 12 years, and the jury is still out on how to correct these problems.

However, my case is an exception for I have been active the last 20 years in our Community Based Outpatient Clinic, which I feel is best in the state. Though I could be partial, for I took a part in bringing CBOC to Marshalltown, I feel its staff truly cares about our veterans.

Furthermore, the continual attitude otherwise for treatment faults will not be solved until people in management accept their responsibility and realize we can no longer “kick the can down the road!”

The problems remain for everyone, including Congress at national level and government at state level. I feel that if those politicians are in those positions with the main purpose of self serving and what they can do for their party, they should get another job.

Reasons why I feel qualified for discussing these problems: I have been active at IVH including volunteering and serving on the advisory board for many years; been a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars since 1946, including six other veterans groups. With the local VFW Post 839 I went through the chairs, including commander in 1955-56 and again in 1966-67, also as Iowa Department VFW commander 1996-97.