Abraham Lincoln said the purpose of the Veterans Administration (VA) was to "care for him who shall have borne the battle." However, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have pushed the VA further behind in that mission, and today there are a million veterans waiting for the VA to handle their disability claims.
In a recent 60 Minutes investigative report, the V.A.'s Deputy Undersecretary for benefits (Michael Walcoff) said he is aware that disabled veterans view the V.A. as an adversary, and not an advocate. He further states that the V.A. has been doing a lot of things over the last year to try to convince veterans that the V.A. is interested in the welfare of disabled veterans.
The question that begs explanation is, "Where do the perceptions that the V.A. doesn't care about our veterans come from?" When 60 Minutes pressed the Deputy Undersecretary for an answer, he responded by saying he "didn't know, but is aware of them."
And while there is plenty of justification for the negative attitude veterans have toward the V.A., it wouldn't be entirely accurate to say that the V.A. doesn't care about vets. There are certainly good people within the V.A. who want to see disabled veterans get the benefits they deserve; however, the system is so badly broken that no one is quite sure how to repair it.
One of the most recent steps the V.A. has taken is to expand their Disability Evaluation System program. This is only one of many steps that need to be taken to properly address the problems facing our disabled U.S. veterans.