We veterans are tired of reading newspaper columns from a small, vocal chorus of political malcontents with nothing but innuendoes, hearsay and rumors, supposedly from the "threatened, intimidated, scared-to-speak-up" residents and staff of the Iowa Veterans Home.
Gov. Terry Branstad should be applauded for supporting David Worley as Iowa Veterans Home commandant. Commandant Worley has been the target of unsubstantiated complaints, primarily because he is enforcing federal regulations governing IVH that have long been abused.
Worley, as we know, was faced with a monumental task of consolidating a quagmire of overlapping middle management staff positions and lax admission policies. Worley's primary mission is to provide the finest resident care within the budget restraints.
In 2011 a former IVH adjutant was quoted concerning those earlier, lax admittance practices, "Over the years we kind of let things slide. Worley was the first one as commandant that did a little more enforcing."
Among changes, three residents were discharged in 2011 and four in 2012 for repeated infractions of federal regulations. Several employees were relieved of duties at IVH because of reported "egregious" offenses, others for tardiness and poor attendance.
We believe Worley is doing an admirable job of redirecting the staff into a focused, direct chain of command administration, not an enviable challenge.
As for the May 6 Iowa Senate Veterans Affairs Committee special hearing in the State Capitol, the predesignated panel of presenters was very heavily stacked with prepared, unsubstantiated statements against the commandant.
Jodi Tymeson, director of the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs, was not one knocking Worley's command. She cited her recognition of "quality care" at IVH. She noted that the 158 standards of nursing home care have all been correctly met. Also, she added in response to a question about the personal issues being addressed, "it is not unusual for such issues at a veterans home."
Among the presenters, Col. Todd Jacobus, chair of the Iowa Commission of Veterans Affairs, spoke highly of Worley's service to veterans, such as "very pleased with his openness and transparency in transmitting his business."
Many of our fellow veterans consider Worley a winner who is resented by some people who subscribe to the no winner, no loser school of thought. It appears that some of our politicians, likewise, divert attention away from a failing agenda by attacking a winning management team at IVH.