Once again the Department of Veterans Affairs has put the screws to the very people it is supposed to be helping. Yes, friends, there has been another hard drive gone missing, this time with personal data on at least 535,000 veterans and well over a million non-VA physicians on it.
When and where will this assault on those who served end? The DVA was fortunate (we think) that the data breach experienced last year was contained. Each time it occurs, however, the risk of serious damage to the lives of the veterans exposed by such breaches increases exponentially.
What with data breaches, and incidents such as the refusal to care for a suicidal veteran resulting in his suicide four days later, and the terrible waste of time and resources in the DVA's insane effort to deny Blue Water veterans their Agent Orange benefits, perhaps it is time to have a new Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Jim Nicholson's watch has been fraught with problems of security, and a complete lack of understanding of how he is to do his work. His term as Secretary has been a failure in many ways.
One could claim he has been an effective Secretary of Veterans Affairs by pointing to the many veterans his agency has served. One should point out, however, that number is a false positive, for what really matters is how many veterans are NOT being served. Don't tell me you have millions of successes when at the same time you also have hundreds of thousands of failures.
Management style and effectiveness comes from the top. As long as Nicholson stays in his current Cabinet slot, America's veterans will continue to experience disruptions of their lives through data-breaches, denial of services by staffers either too callous or too ignorant (or both) to do their jobs competently, and denial of benefits to an entire class of veterans whose numbers shrink daily, and at an accellerated rate because Nicholson refuses to comply with a court decision from his own court, fighting the decision in the courts rather than going to Congress for emergency funding to DO HIS JOB: PROCESS THOSE BLUE WATER CLAIMS, AND PAY THE BENEFITS!
Nicholson has proven to be not veteran-friendly.
This man's actions and policies are leading directly to the premature deaths and denial of care and comfort to thousands of vets suffering from Agent Orange related diseases. Further, he is denying comfort to the survivors of those who have already died while fighting for those benefits. This crass and craven policy has been reversed by the courts, and all Nicholson can think to do is to send his army of attorneys to court seeking to overturn the court decision in Haas v. Nicholson. The man simply does not have the ability to do his job properly.
Who knows how many veterans, or their physicans, will suffer from identity theft issues from this latest data breach?
Please write the President and urge him to replace Jim Nicholson with a new Secretary of Veterans Affairs. It's time we get someone in there who seriously cares about the veterans of this nation, not just a body in an empty chair in the Cabinet. This is a serious request. There literally are people dying out here who depend on this.
It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield.
"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." -- President Abraham Lincoln
"Without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious." --President George Washington
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