The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was created for the sole purpose of fulfilling President Lincoln’s promise: “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan” by serving and honoring the men and women who are American Veterans. While the VA has made great strides in these efforts, there are some gravely concerning issues that require reform and accountability.
“The notion of sin and repentance waned with the belief in authority. Men thought they could make good the evil they did.” ~Lord Acton
Silence Is Complicity
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ” ~ Edmund Burke
“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
Cogs In The Machine
“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” ~Gen. George S. Patton
One of the most frequently used terms by Veterans (especially by the older Veterans) to describe VA employees (or even other government workers) is the term “cog.” The enormous size of the VA bureaucracy has made it very difficult for Veterans to navigate it. Many become very frustrated with the bureaucracy for multiple reasons. Thus the term is used to describe the various problems Veterans experience with the system.
A Lack Of Care And Compassion
“People don’t care how much you know–until they know how much you care.” ~John C. Maxwell
Hypocrites In The Machine
“Followers who tell the truth, and leaders who listen to it, are an unbeatable combination.” ~Warren Bennis
“Press on: nothing in the world can take the place of perseverance. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” ~Calvin Coolidge
“Good ideas are not adopted automatically. They must be driven into practice with courageous impatience. Once implemented they can be easily overturned or subverted through apathy or lack of follow-up, so a continuous effort is required.” ~ Admiral Hyman G. Rickover
Clean Out VA Cog Corruption
“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority; still more when you superadd the tendency of the certainty of corruption by authority.” ~Lord Acton
Become An Everyday Hero For A Veteran
“Some people spend their whole lives wondering if they made a difference. Marines don’t have that problem.” ~ Ronald Reagan
The Warrior Ethos
“A reflective reading of history will show that no man ever rose to military greatness who could not convince his troops that he put them first, above all else.” ~Gen. Maxwell Taylor
“The…thing you can do to make your agency a more interesting place to work and consequently less bureaucratic is to enable those under you to feel they control their own areas of work. In this way they acquire a sense of ownership in what gets done and how they do it.” ~Kenneth Ashworth
“Many people believe that decentralization means loss of control. That’s simply not true. You can improve control if you look at control as the control of events and not people. Then, the more people you have controlling events — the more people you have that care about controlling the events, the more people you have proactively working to create favorable events — the more control you have within the organization, by definition.” ~General Bill Creech