Why I’m taking the removal of Congressional offices from the Orlando VA Center so personally

Recently, the VA announced it would be removing the Congressional offices of representatives Darren Soto and and Stephanie Murphy from the Orlando VA Center at Lake Nona. This is a very big mistake because there are no effective accountability mechanisms at the VA besides these elected officials who answer to the voters (story HERE).

You might have noticed by my regular posting on the subject and my activity on Twitter, I’m not letting it go. I can’t.

This is because poor treatment of our former members of the military by the Department of Veterans Affairs is what started it all for me. New media, politics, and communications, all of it.

During the great recession, I had been struggling from my exit from the military. Transition services did nothing to prepare me for civilian life after getting out, my GI bill payments didn’t arrive in time for school, seeing always doctor was a slog, and “support to start a business” was nothing more than a kind ear followed by advice that is easily available with a Google search.

Despite all of the public relations work it does using our tax dollar to say it’s taking care of veterans, this department often does a very poor job of taking care of our veterans.

The Department of Veteran Affairs is often like an angry ocean surrounding a deserted island.

You can shout at it. It does nothing.

You can file a claim and do the administrative equivalent of throwing a bottle into it’s waters. It does nothing.

You’re often alone during this entire process of struggling to survive. It does nothing.

But you know somewhere out there exists a culture that makes a fine living off of not doing anything and its been going on for a long time.

And there doing it to thousands of others everyday. Men and women who unfortunately have less than I do and everyone wonders why the suicide rate among veterans is so high.

Now, they’re making it even tougher to get any help. They’re taking away the power of our votes from their facilities.

I started doing what I’m doing to bring more accountability to veterans care in Florida and now they’re taking more of it away.

For me, yeah, it’s pretty personal.

Let’s keep our elected voices in these facilities.

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