We are a group of concerned Veterans and citizens who are working towards reforming the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, to assist in fulfilling VA’s mission and promise to all Veterans. We are looking for people who are interested in taking action to help us achieve our goals, which will be evolving over time. This website is a work in progress and is not complete. Please check out our other pages to learn more about how you can help make a difference and make the VA a better place.
U.S. Military Veteran Perspectives
Veterans have different experiences, most are anecdotal, while at the other end of the spectrum, come from good objective data. We hope this website can offer additional perspectives for those looking to understand a wider scope than what the official narratives have to offer.
Some Veterans fail to understand, empathize or sympathize with other Veterans because their experiences are so widely different. Interfacing with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and other groups is also highly variable which depends on many factors such as location, facility, time, and people. While one Veteran seen at the same facility with similar factors can have a great experience, another Veteran’s experience may have been extremely negative.
Active listening is the first step to fixing many problems. Active listening reduces frustration and fear, by honoring the dignity of every human being. Active listening provides opportunities to build rapport, understanding, and develop creative solutions. Many problems arise when Veterans are not given the opportunity to be heard, especially when their problems are not taken seriously, obfuscated, minimized, dismissed or even gas-lighted. Ignoring a Veteran and their problems tends to lead to escalation.
Sometimes all that is needed is to listen to a Veteran vent or to bear witness to a Veteran’s struggles.
This website will also attempt to help Veterans understand other aspects of the VA and Veterans issues, as well as, how to assist VA employees and other Veterans with improving the VA. Veterans have much more power and influence to make system changes than employees do from the inside. Supporting employees who report wrongdoing is an essential component to improving the VA. Most of the problems that surfaced in the media or were investigated came from an employee who took tremendous risks and/or sacrificed their careers to warn their superiors and/or the public. VA’s past track record has shown the VA is slow to change until an emergency surfaces, accompanied by pressure from public outcry. Many of these emergencies had been brewing for years, yet the VA ignored those who tried to bring attention to it until it reached a boiling point. Developing strategies that can address issues before they boil over is always the better way.
Overtime this website will aggregate a spectrum of perspectives and resources to assist both Veterans and their advocates.
The political divide is so pervasive it has even infiltrated the Veteran community. Creative solutions inspired out of teamwork are thwarted when we refuse to listen to each other because of differences in ideology. Veterans share a common bond that must take precedence over other beliefs when working on finding solutions to Veterans issues. Let’s respectfully agree to disagree on all other issues that divide and distract us from coming together for a good cause.
Education & Awareness
One of the biggest hurdles to creating meaningful change is the lack of understanding and awareness. There are many contributing factors that make informing others challenging, such as misinformation, disinformation, conflicting reports, motivation levels, beliefs, intentions, agendas and more. The official narratives and media stories are often inaccurate or only tell part of the story. Veterans whose stories fit a certain narrative often get elevated by those in power/influence while other stories are buried or drowned out. The censorship of certain ideas, issues and people is a very real problem.
In The Trenches
Most older Veterans do not use the internet or their use is very limited due to learning and operating challenges that come with constantly changing technology. There are also physical challenges that impair a Veteran’s ability to use equipment, such as poor eye-sight, dry finger tips or shaky hands, decreasing cognitive function, disability, bed-ridden, and other physical ailments. Keeping up with technology is also costly. Veterans on a fixed income find it cost prohibitive to upgrade equipment and software.
For the above reasons and more, this population of Veterans are largely not seen and heard on the internet, but that doesn’t mean their input is not important. The only way to know about these Veterans is to get in the trenches with them or develop a relationship of mutual trust which provides a safe space for a Veteran to share their experiences.
Are you a Veteran or a Veteran advocate?
This platform is available to help you contribute in someway by elevating your voice on the internet. We accept factual and original content from those interested in bringing more awareness to the issues affecting Veterans. We realize not everyone has the means or skills necessary to get their voices heard, but that doesn’t mean your voice doesn’t matter. We will help you write your story and credit your work with your name. If you want to submit content and/or information anonymously we are willing to work out the details with you. We understand many Veterans are afraid to criticize the VA for fear of retaliation. However, if Veterans continue to remain in the shadows the VA will never become the institution it was intended. Veterans and their families must become their own lobbyists. When Veterans unite we win, but divided we fall. There is a reason about 22 Veterans commit suicide everyday. Many others die before they ever receive the help and benefits they earned. Please visit our contact page for more information on how to contact us.