by Robert Rosebrock
LOS ANGELES – General Eric K. Shinseki (Ret. USA), Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), has continuously failed our Military Veterans, including failing to file and execute disability claims in a timely manner and to provide quality healthcare and housing for disabled homeless Veterans, particularly in Los Angeles where there’s already a National Veterans Home established 125 years ago, but the buildings are vacant and rat-infested while the land is misappropriated for non-Veteran use.
It’s well-documented that nationwide the VA has a shameful back-log of over 900,000 disability claims with Veterans waiting up to 650 days to get necessary healthcare care and disability benefits.
During a recent Senate Hearing, members of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee demanded the VA turn over its internal performance data to give Congressional lawmakers direct insight as to why the agency is so dysfunctional.
Consistent with the VA’s modus operandi, Allison Hickey, the VA’s undersecretary for benefits, was evasive, vague, dismissive, non-cooperative and refused to turn over requested data.
Think about it: If the VA openly and defiantly stonewalls the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and denies them pertinent information, what must it be like for lonely disabled Veterans in the isolated office of intimidating and confrontational VA bureaucrats?
Under General Shinseki’s antagonistic command, the VA’s willful neglect and bureaucratic malice has compounded the stress and depression of disabled Veterans, which can lead to homelessness.
Homelessness can lead to hopelessness and desperation, which can lead to suicide, as 22 Veterans voluntarily take their lives every day, on average, across the nation.
We have found the enemy and it is the VA.
This ruthless war against our nation’s disabled Veterans must cease!
Thus, it’s no longer the days of yore when we pleaded: “Mr. Secretary, this is to respectfully request that you to do the right thing and resign”
Now it’s an order!
General: Surrender your command, posthaste!
That’s right General, it’s over! You lost the despicable war you and your renegade bureaucrats have been waging against our nation’s disabled and homeless Veterans.
Adding Insult to Injury
While the VA’s largest National Veterans Home in the nation continues to lock out the largest homeless Veteran population in the nation (20,000), this past Sunday it opened the gates to the LA Marathon and general public so nearly 25,000 able-bodied runners from around the world could charge through these sacred grounds where disabled Veterans are trying to heal from their war injuries at the Wadsworth Hospital.Marathon runners charge past VA Wadsworth Hospital where Veterans are convalescing
Many of these disabled Veteran patients are amputees or paralyzed from their sacrifices on behalf of our nation’s freedom, while able-bodied, able-minded Marathon runners make a mockery of their once physically and mentally fit bodies and minds.
This is not being disrespectful or unappreciative to those who trained hard and ran in the Marathon, including some who are disabled in wheel chairs, but the owners and organizers of the event can very easily bypass the VA instead of trashing it.Masses of people, public toilets and trashed streets desecrate these sacred grounds.
The overtaking and degradation of Veterans property and the mess that was left behind by Marathon runners and attendees simply underscores the VA’s reprehensible disrespect for disabled homeless Veterans and the misuse of their legally deeded property as a permanent National Home for Veterans.
The Big Picture!The start of the LA Marathon at Dodger Stadium with nearly 25,000 runners who would eventually charge through the sacred grounds of the VA’s Los Angeles National Veterans Home.
What you see in the photo is just a tip of the mass of runners that participated in the Marathon, which is only a few thousand more than the total number of homeless Veterans in Los Angeles (20,000).
Try to picture how that many disabled and disadvantaged American Military Veterans could become homeless in just one city in the United States.
To give you a perspective, 10,000 Troops usually make up an active duty Division in the U.S. Army, and two to five Divisions make up a Corps, which could provide the framework for multi-national operations.
There’s essentially an Army Division of Veterans living homeless and hungry on the dangerous streets of Los Angeles.
Try to picture what kind of government would allow that many disabled Veterans to become homeless when there are nearly 400 acres of land deeded exclusively to house and care for them to heal from their war injuries.
Even worse, try to picture what kind of nation is allowing its government to perpetrate these crimes against humanity – against the very men and women who defend freedom around the world.
Here’s a hint: It starts with A and ends in a.
If you get the big picture, then speak up loud-and-long on behalf of all of our America’s disabled and homeless Veterans.
VA’s Homeless Propaganda Machine
An endless train of Marathon runners passed by a deliberately propped billboard on Veterans property with this VA propaganda: “We are committed to ending homelessness among Veterans by 2015.”Nearly 25,000 runners and millions of TV watchers of the LA Marathon saw this VA propaganda sign
President Barack Obama and General Shinseki have made a trumped-up and far-fetched assertion that they will end homeless among Veterans by 2015.
This is not only preposterous, but impossible to accomplish under their “plan.”
Their sole solution to end Veteran homelessness is to issue welfare rent vouchers and food stamps to warehouse Veterans in ramshackle apartments in seedy neighborhoods run by greedy slumlords.
Let there be no misunderstanding: Welfare rent and food stamps will not end Veteran homelessness. Instead, this intentional castaway from public sight only increases Veteran suicides, which has already accelerated nearly 25% over last year from 18 to 22 a day, on average.
It’s Time for Serious Change
The VA’s serious lack of leadership and moral judgment demands new and immediate leadership at the top, as well as the Los Angeles VA in order to stop a modern-day Titanic sinking of the largest VA in the nation.
Non-Veteran Donna Beiter, the executive director of the Los Angeles VA, was adjudicated in federal court nearly two years ago for violating Veteran’s Constitutional Rights to Free Speech, which is also a violation of her oath of office to support and defend the U.S. Constitution.
Even worse, General Shinseki continues to support and defend Ms. Beiter instead of the U.S. Constitution, which makes the top bureaucrat of the Department of Veterans Affairs in serious violation of his own oath office.
Is it any wonder that our Veterans are neglected and abused with this kind discrimination, disrespect, malfeasance and mismanagement?
Both General Shinseki and Ms. Beiter are Defendants in a current ACLU lawsuit for misusing Veterans property and mistreating disabled homeless Veterans.
Instead of doing the honorable thing and settling the lawsuit in favor of our downtrodden disabled Veterans, the General is fighting the lawsuit with the attack-dog U.S. Attorneys in President Obama’s Department of Justice.
On one of many other of the General’s infamous debacles, Congressman Jeff Miller, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans‘ Affairs, and Senator Richard Burr, a ranking member on the Senate Committee on Veterans‘ Affairs, called on Secretary Shinseki to fire his Chief of Staff for approving two training conferences that involved more than $760,000 in highly questionable spending.
The Secretary ignored them.
In addition to his self-serving arrogance, stubborn defiance and many blunders over the past four years, General Shinseki shamefully bows to the political pressure of the Waxman-Feinstein Machine in West Los Angeles, which bows to the pressure of the wealth and power of neighboring homeowner groups who want Veterans property for their own fiefdom and amusement.
Veterans cannot wait any longer for things to get better under the General’s watch, as they will only decline and get worse, and that’s not the American way.
For the sake and benefit of all disabled and homeless Veterans, General Shinseki must immediately surrender his public trust and take Los Angeles VA bureaucrats Donna Beiter, Ralph Tillman and Bill Daniels with him. Tomorrow will be too late.
“Ten Years After: A National Disgrace”
If there’s any doubt how badly the VA has failed in serving our Veterans who pledged their lives on behalf of our nation’s freedom, and how far General Shinseki has fallen from grace, consider a current article in “Time Magazine” by Joe Klein, who calls for Mr. Shinseki to step down:
“But here’s a question: When was the last time you saw Shinseki say or do anything in public? He is universally regarded as an exemplary man. But even his supporters say he’s old-school military, stoic, wary of the press. And his detractors, who are legion among the generation of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, say he lacks the creativity and leadership skills to deal with Veterans Affairs’ mind-boggling problems, like the 900,000 unprocessed disability cases. In any event, he has been in office for four years, and the problems our veterans face are worse than ever–and about to get still worse as the military demobilizes tens of thousands of additional troops in the next few years. It is time for him to step down.” Joe Klein – “Ten Years After: A National Disgrace”
Make no mistake: The VA is spiraling out of control and it has gone way beyond a national disgrace as this is now a world-wide embarrassment because these fiascos clearly show how the U.S. Government mistreats our disabled Warriors who have defended peace and freedom around the world.
Third World dictators treat their regime’s enemy combatant prisoners better than our own government treats U.S. Military Veterans, and it’s time for serious and immediate change, followed by serious and immediate action for the greater good of our Veterans.
Where are the VSO’s
With all of the VA’s failure, disgrace and embarrassment going on, there’s not been a peep from the Veterans Service Organizations (VSO’s), i.e., American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, etc.
As the old saying goes … “The silence is deafening.”
If a Time Magazine writer “gets it,” why can’t the VSO officers get it?
It’s time for all VSO’s to unify as one collective voice and demand that General Shinseki resign, posthaste.
The VSO’s also need to demand complete house-cleaning of nefarious bureaucrats at the Los Angeles VA and acknowledge that we have a state-of-emergency for homeless Veterans in our nation’s capital for homeless Veterans.
Correspondingly, the VSO’s need to demand that the VA implement an immediate Humanitarian Relief Project on the VA grounds so that we can responsibly house and care for tens-of-thousands of homeless Veterans.
Equally important, the VSO’s need to collectively support the ACLU lawsuit against the VA!
Until the VSO’s, which are all sanctioned by Congress, start answering to the disabled and homeless Veterans and not Congress, this disgraceful world-wide embarrassment will continue.
Stop the Money-Making Scams!
As noted, this month it was the money-making LA Marathon that took over the Los Angeles VA.
Last month, it was the highly profitable PGA Northern Trust Golf Tournament that flooded these sacred grounds with thousands of luxury vehicles driven by the well-heeled attendees who parked on sacred grounds and were shuttled back and forth in luxury buses to the plush and fashionable Pacific Palisades Country Club to watch mega-millionaire professional golfers compete for more millions of dollars.
The VA has maintained a continued pattern of flagrant misappropriation of Veterans property that has led to serious Human Rights violations against disabled homeless Veterans who are forced to live in back-alley squalor, including those outside the locked VA gates who silently cry out for help.
Meanwhile, General Shinseki turns a deaf ear and blind eye as he will only meet with and listen to the ingrates who want this sacred property for personal gain.
Instead of building emergency and permanent housing for disabled and homeless Veterans, the VA illegally leases Veterans property for non-Veteran use including a public dog park, private school playgrounds, even giving away a billion-dollar parcel of land “rent free” for a public park to accommodate the rich and powerful.
Shamefully, there are never-ending schemes to profit off the backs of homeless Veterans.
Now there are the Johnny-come lately, money-making documentary films claiming to “raise awareness” about the homeless Veteran problem.
Everyone is already “aware” of the land-fraud scam and homeless Veteran abuse and the only thing these for-profit documentaries raise is money for the promoters at the painful expense of indigent homeless Veterans.
As though the VA’s national disgrace isn’t bad enough, homeless Veterans do not need Hollywood hucksters making money and a mockery off their unfortunate circumstances.
Save your hard-earned dollars as you don’t need to be spending it on DVDs and whatnot that are being hustled for the benefit of the promoters.
Everything you need to know about the VA land-fraud scam and homeless Veteran abuse is “free” and it’s been repeated over and over for more than five years.
Nevertheless, how much more money can be made on the backs of disabled and homeless Veterans with these types of money-making scams?
It’s an endless cycle of those using homeless Veterans and their property for personal gain, or the poverty pimps and “non-profit” scamsters trying to hustle the public to donate money for supposedly helping homeless Veterans.
It’s Time for Action!
None of these scams have made a dent into the ever-growing homeless Veteran population, even though the government continues to fabricate and lie to the contrary, which only encourages more scamsters.
Homeless Veterans need immediate shelter, not self-serving business ventures or token promises from disingenuous politicians.
We need government ACTION and we need it NOW!
This means the immediate construction of emergency shelter for Homeless Veterans on these lawfully deeded grounds.
Everyone needs to get on board and openly denounce the Obama Administration for fighting the ACLU lawsuit and demand that President Obama take serious and responsible action to back up his claim of honoring the “sacred trust” that we have as a compassionate and grateful society to serve our disabled and homeless Veterans.
Taking care of our disabled homeless Veterans, particularly at the Los Angeles VA, is neither a legal or political issue … it’s an American responsibility!
The very highly respected VSO — Vietnam Veterans of America — is a Plaintiff in the ACLU lawsuit. They’ve honorably stood up while the US Attorneys are dragging down this rare opportunity to turn government’s shameful wrong into a proud right for our homeless Veterans.
Tragically, and beyond comprehension, nearly half (47%) of all homeless Veterans today are of the Vietnam War that ended 38 years ago.
These Veterans who served our country with honor are getting older and frailer and their health is declining rapidly.
Enough is enough!
Contact President Obama, your Congressmen / Congresswoman, your U.S. Senator and all State and local Officials and demand that they take ACTION to bring these honorable Veterans “Home” NOW!
Take action to protect the Human Rights of America’s disabled and homeless Veterans by demanding immediate emergency housing in their behalf.
It’s time for General Shinseki to lay down his warring sword of defiance and stop stabbing our disabled Veterans in the back.
It’s time for the General to surrender for the greater good of all Veterans
Support the “Homeless Veterans Humanitarian Relief Project” – PDF
Support the National Veterans Home Treaty
Los Angeles National Veterans Home Treaty
- The President of the United States and members of Congress agree to unconditionally accept the moral and legal responsibility of enforcing the Congressional Act of 1887 and legal Deed of 1888, and to permanently maintain the Los Angeles National Home for disabled, disadvantaged and homeless Veterans.
- The President of the United States and members of Congress shall declare Los Angeles a State-of-Emergency for homeless Veterans and re-appropriate the $20 million designated for remodeling Building 209 and re-designate the funds for the immediate establishment of a Homeless Veteran Humanitarian Relief Project.
- The President of the United States and members of Congress shall direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to immediately cease construction on Building 209 and immediately construct provisional housing and provide all measures of humanitarian relief and reinforcement for tens-of-thousands of disabled and disadvantaged homeless Veterans in Los Angeles.
- The President of the United States and members of Congress shall direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to take full control of the State Cal-Vet Home on federal property that has over 300 vacant rooms and make them immediately available for disabled and disadvantaged homeless Veterans.
- The President of the United States and members of Congress agree to immediately evict all occupants in violation of the Congressional Act of 1887 and the legal Deed of 1888, including those in violation of government’s Administrative Procedure Act, and to follow through with uncompromised investigations and prosecutions against all who engaged in the misappropriation of this sacred land that led to the subsequent abuse of tens-of-thousands of disabled and disadvantaged homeless Veterans in Los Angeles.
- The President of the United States and members of Congress agree to fully rescind any authority whatsoever granted to the Department of Interior on these sacred grounds, including the oil well and historic buildings.
- The President of the United States and members of Congress agree to mandate a minimum of $2.5 billion to restore these sacred grounds that have become a national disgrace and transform this into a place of honor, dignity and respect for our war injured and needy Veterans and begin the immediate construction of a new and modern National Home that shall be permanently maintained for America’s disabled and disadvantaged homeless Veterans.
- The President of the United States and members of Congress agree to accept and implement the Veterans “Declaration of Enforcement” as the guiding Document to permanently maintain these sacred grounds as a National Home for disabled and disadvantaged homeless Veterans.
On behalf of all disabled, disadvantaged and homeless Veterans
Old Veterans Guard – November 11, 2012
National Veterans Coalition – November 11, 2012
God Bless America and the Veterans Revolution
U.S. Army, 1965-67, Schofield Barracks, Hqs., U.S Army, Hawaii. Director, The Veterans Revolution, Captain, the Old Veterans Guard, and Director, We the Veterans.