Congressman Mike Coffman, Fox TV Journalist Pete Hegseth, Dr. Johnnie L. Simpson, Jr., Seek to Rally Public Outrage at Veterans Administration
Our heroes this month are those fighting to get better care for American veterans – who face neglect at best or downright abuse at worst – when seeking the medical care that they were promised in exchange for their military service.
In addition to the Uniformed Service League’s spokesman, Dr. Johnnie L. Simpson, Jr. (DBA/BI), who will speak at the May 20 Freedom Leadership Conference seeking help and support for his campaign to get medical care for the veterans he is helping, we want you to be aware of other champions for this cause.
First is the Washington Times which recently ran a feature story on this topic headlined VA Whistleblowers see retaliation in being paid to do nothing.” While most of the “mainstream media” continues to ignore or minimize the importance of this subject, we are very grateful to the Washington Times for its focus.
It is one thing to see a systematic neglect which at best causes pain for veterans who have to wait and wait for the medical care they were promised in return for their military service. But the Washington Times has documented in their coverage of this issue, that those trying to reform the broken Obama Veterans Administration are actually being punished for their efforts instead of celebrated and listened to.
U.S. Congressman Mike Coffman of Colorado, says “the retaliatory culture where whistleblowers are castigated for bringing problems to light is still very much alive and well in the Department of Veterans Affairs.”
Washington Times Reporter Jacqueline Klimas reported how VA employee Landis Brandfield, with a masters degree in nursing and 12 years on the job, has been punished by not allowing him to take care of patients any longer. That will teach him a lesson after he complained about “improperly stored medicine and used syringes, poor performance by other employees.”
Bradfield still collects his full time salary while he has been ordered to sit in the library for the past six months.
The Washington Times reports that over 40% of all new whistleblower cases that the U.S. Office of Special Council investigates come from Veterans Administration, far more than any other government department.
This is the sort of work that Dr. Johnnie L. Simpson, Jr., our keynote speaker at the May 20 Freedom Leadership Conference, does and why we want to give him a forum to speak out for the veterans he is trying to help.
The retaliation against whistleblower Landis Brandfield is not isolated. The Times also reports Ann Good, a VA employee in Danville, Virginia, was told to “go sit in the library” and also banned from dealing with patients because she spoke out about the neglectful policies of the Veterans Administration she has worked at for eight years.
Good reported that patients are receiving substandard care, and some of the frustrated nurses who left working for the VA to go to other hospitals instead. Ann was told she should leave too, but insists she took the job to “make sure veterans are being taken care of.”
This is not a problem of needing more money for the Veterans Administration. It is about leadership – and changing the culture that sees Landis Brandfield and Ann Good as villains instead of the heroes they are.
The bureaucrats of course, thrive on darkness so we need to shine a light on what they are doing to American veterans.
That is why Uniformed Services League hopes to focus attention on the plight of veterans at the May 24 Freedom Leadership Conference with Dr. Johnnie L. Simpson, Jr., champion and advocate for American veterans and himself a disabled veteran who has had his own past fights with the bureaucrats at the Veterans Administration.
We hope those in the northern Virginia and metro DC area will join us at this conference. The keynote remarks are free to attend (with a request for a modest $5 at the door to defray the room expense). There will be a dinner precding the conference. Details are here.
Another hero this month for us to focus attention on is Congressman Jeff Miller, who has introduced a “VA Accountability Act.” But without public pressure – such as our conference on May 20 – there is little chance that such a reform bill will pass by houses of Congress and be signed into law.
Congressman Miller appeared last week with the CEO of Concerned Veterans for America (CVA), Pete Hegseth, at a joint press conference on capitol hill with other national veteran organizations pushing for support for Congressman Miller’s legislation, in the House, H.R. 1994, and in the Senate, S. 1082. Hegseth is a regular guest on Fox TV where his appearances never fail to cheer conservatives.
Rep. Krysten Sinema (D-AZ) and Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX) as well as representatives from the American Legion, AMVETS and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America also participated in the news conference.
Uniformed Services League (USL) strongly endorses and supports this effort and will have petitions for conference attendees to sign at the May 20 conference featuring Dr. Simpson. USL has sponsored the Freedom Leadership Conference in the past but this is the first such conference it will sponsor in Northern Virginia to focus attention on the neglect by the Veterans Administration for our military veterans.
If you missed the recent announcement about the USL sponsored conference on May 20 in northern Virginia you can scroll down or click HERE. The conference is free starting at 7:30 PM to 9 PM (with a request for a $5 donation to help defray room expenses) and dinner at 6 PM sharp (doors open 5:30 PM). A flyer with more details is available HERE or you may go directly to the Eventbrite RSVP form to reserve either your free conference admission or your dinner ticket (there is a discount for couples). The “early bird” discount expires on Monday, 5/11 at 11 PM but there is still a “pay in advance” discount until next week.