Grinches at VA Hand Out Fat Bonuses While Vets Starve, Go Homeless

AFP recently sat down to talk with veterans’ rights attorney Ben Krause for a lengthy conversation about the state of veterans in America today. Krause singled out the out-of-control VA, which pays hundreds of millions in salary bonuses every year to executives but can’t take care of the men and women who have served our country.

By Dave Gahary

About a week before the historic presidential election of Donald J. Trump, it was revealed that almost 189,000 employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) were granted more than $177 million in bonuses for 2015. Out of those bonuses doled out to employees of the troubled agency, more than 300 senior executives received $3.3 million in bonuses—a $10,000 average payout—and non-executives received about a $900 average payout.

To gain more insight into the out-of-control VA and how Trump may rein them in, AMERICAN FREE PRESS conducted an exclusive interview with Minnesota-based veteran rights attorney and activist Benjamin Krause. Krause served in the U.S. Air Force. The struggles he experienced while attempting to use his benefits after his discharge led him to dedicate his life to assisting fellow veterans navigate the treacherous waters of the VA.

“I experienced a non-combat related traumatic brain injury and after getting out of the military had all kinds of problems getting work and keeping work,” Krause explained to AFP.

“They found out that I had a traumatic brain injury, for which the VA wasn’t giving me rehabilitative treatment,” Krause continued. “As a result of that, I started pushing back against the VA to get help and support and realized that the primary veteran service organization community lacked the will or desire to stand up for veterans like me who were being abused or not getting the help that we deserve. So I eventually became an attorney and started exposing stories, scandals, and corruption.”

Krause educates veterans through his website, “DisabledVeterans.org.”

He explained his ultimate goal: “I’m hoping to challenge the VA very publicly by encouraging dissent and by encouraging them to drop the curtain a little bit so we can better see that they are an insurance company.”

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“They used to be called the Bureau of War Risk Insurance before they realized that sounded bad, and then they changed the name. I think it’s important that people understand that history before they go to the VA for help, thinking the VA is going to be their mother, and then get slapped in the face. It’s really Allstate or Prudential behind the curtain.”

AFP asked how the VA can rationalize giving these bonuses.

“I can’t think of one reason why I would ever give anyone a bonus when that person is linked to negligently causing deaths of veterans,” Krause said.

Krause was alluding to Dr. Darren Deering, the fired chief of staff of the Phoenix VA Health Care System, who was paid a $5,000 bonus after several veterans died while waiting for care.

Krause addressed the larger question of bonuses for federal employees.

“A person needs to stop and think whether federal employees should be getting bonuses to begin with,” he said. “You end up with smarter bureaucrats that know how to game the system to increase their bonuses, but a lot of times that comes at the expense of veterans. And as we know, within the VA, they lack accountability. This ends up resulting in no accountability for anyone caught committing fraud. In addition, veterans tend to die before anyone will pay attention to the fraud that is going on.”

Krause went on to discuss what happened in Phoenix.

“This particular scandal at Phoenix had been ongoing since at least the ‘90s, and it had been a nationwide problem,” he said. “But it took a bunch of veterans dying and CNN catching wind of it before the government and the VA suddenly developed the political will to evaluate it—and even then they covered it up.”

What happened next shocked even critics of the VA.



 

“[Sloan Gibson IV] immediately shut down the Office of the Medical Inspector, which resulted in all of the investigations being shunted back to each location,” he said. “[As a result of this] there wasn’t that consolidated review that you would get from the Office of the Medical Inspector.”

Gibson is the current deputy secretary of Veterans Affairs. He became the acting secretary of Veterans Affairs after Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned and held the acting secretary and deputy secretary positions concurrently until Robert McDonald was sworn in as the secretary on July 30, 2014.

Dave Gahary, a former submariner in the U.S. Navy, is the host of AFP’s “Underground Interview” series. See www.americanfreepress.net for more.

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7 Responses to Grinches at VA Hand Out Fat Bonuses While Vets Starve, Go Homeless

  1. Henry says:

    The US veterans are the former employees of the Zionist fake Jewish Oligarchs in charge of the Federal Reserve System, and the U.S. Government since 1913. The Oligarchs should provide the veterans with first class medical care, since Veterans gave their lives, guts, and limbs NOT to keep us free, but to enrich the warmongers of the Military Industrial Complex, which in the past 51 years and 10 U.S. Presidents invaded or bombed Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, Laos, Cambodia, Beirut, Grenada, Panama, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria, with the excuse of promoting Democracy.

  2. Henry says:

    The US gives billions of US tax dollars per year to the warmongering Zionist Ashkenazi European fake Jews of the Knesset, so the butcher of Gaza Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu can continue to exterminate the men, women, children, and baby’s of Palestine and steal their land. Instead, the U.S Government should put that money to better use right here at home, by taking care of the aged, the needy, the war veterans, and the infirm among us.

  3. Henry says:

    Tramp said, the experience of becoming president and knowing he would lead such great men and women of the US Armed Forces of Israel was “humbling” and also a “great honor and responsibility.”
    Trump is full of sh-t since the great men and women of the US Armed Forces of Israel don’t keep us safe, those people are no different than those working for a major corporation, such as the Military Industrial Complex.

  4. Henry says:

    At a rally in Cincinnati, Trump described Marine Gen. James Mattis as “one of our great, great generals and the closest thing to Gen. George Patton that we have”
    However, Trump forgot to mention that Marine Gen. James Mattis is also one of the finest and most obedient serf of Satan’s Top Generals the warmongering Zionist fake Jewish Oligarchs of the American War Machine, and of the Military Industrial Complex that ever lived.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTm3TMhanWo

  5. Roy Savage says:

    Jerry Hood! Go fuck yourself and learn how to write you illiterate fuck!

  6. Aaron says:

    I am a former VA employee who was placed on unpaid Admin Leave 5 weeks after reporting my Prosthetics Department and Lab Chief to the VA office of inspector general. I was given 15 days to appeal and was heard by Office of Special Counsel for Whistleblowing but the retailation went to the EEOC Dept. I am STILL IN COURT ALMOST TWO YEARS LATER- AND NOW HOMELESS. Please Help me.

  7. Jerry Hood says:

    And you f****g idiots let fish yourselves into that shit US Army,comitting all over the world war crimes…Only a retard can join US Army,Navy,Airforce and so on..After all you are the only a country full of war crimminals! And war crimminals do not deserve any medical treatments!

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