Friday, February 11, 2011

VA Deputy Secretary Gould Has a Double Load, but He Makes More Than Double Effort To Accelerate Satisfaction of Veterans Claims

VA Deputy Secretary W. Scott Gould
The Obama administration has done more in two years to resolve the claims of military veterans than was done in the previous eight years.  The number of claims has doubled, but the satisfaction of claims is faster than ever.

Part of the reason is VA Deputy Secretary W. Scott Gould, who is in effect the chief operating officer.

Secretary Shinseki said:  "Scott and I share a reverence for those who have served in uniform. He is fully committed
to fulfilling President Obama's vision and my goals for transforming the Department of Veterans Affairs..."

Before reading Gould's brief, but outstanding, biography, first check out this article from the Marine Corps Times, which includes these paragraphs:

"VA is using standardized claims forms depending on the type of disability, with the whole process largely digitalized — from filing the initial claim to receiving the check. So far, it appears to be working."

“We want to change our culture from one where the veteran feels the person on the other end of the phone at VA or across the counter is an adversary, trying to throw up a bunch of roadblocks, red tape and rules, and shift it to an environment where they feel the service provider is an advocate for them to reach the benefits they have earned,” Gould said.

Read the whole article:

Secretary Shinseki went to work on day one,  Inauguration Day, January 20, 2009, and Deputy Secretary Gould was appointed 10 days later, but he was not confirmed by congress until April that year. Navy veteran, family man, and more.  Read his bio:

On a personal note, my VA claim lay virtually dead for about five years while I was producing a two-foot thick file of  Army records, medicals, letters, and other evidence demanded by the VA, all to no avail.  But since Secretary Shinseki went to work, I've had better VA care at lower cost to me.  My claim is getting the long awaited attention it deserves.  The VA is developing two-page short forms for several dozen ailments, and my personal cardiologist filed one for me.  That's a whole lot more sensible and cost efficient way than being examined by one of those QTC quacks.

The old VA motto was said to be by many veterans: "If they die waiting, we don't have to pay them a penny."
The new VA motto seems to be: "We've got a job to do; let's do it."

I may die before justice is done in my claim, but at least somebody is now quickly working on it.

Now a little bit of sound and fury, dedicated to the Vietnam Generation.

The Stones with military footage:

No Stones, no Apocalypse Now, and why:

Now the Stones, with lyrics, the "official" version.  Turn it up loud and sing:

William A. Ricks 
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