Eric Shinseki, Secretary Veterans Affairs May 21, 2011
Dear Mr. Secretary:
Sir, I don’t believe you realize exactly what is going on here and I feel, as a Veteran to another Veteran I should tell you
THE UN-AMERICAN TREATMENT OF VETS AT THE DAYTON VA CENTER
As an Honorably Discharged Veteran I never cease to be amazed at the rank arrogance of those who are in positions of authority within the VA. The literal contemptuous manner in which they proudly deny a Veteran’s request is breathtaking. One employee told me there was no way I could avoid having to pay $300.00 to have a single tooth pulled. When I asked who made the final decision he replied “I DO”. When I informed him that I thought the President of the United States was still in charge of this government, he replied “Well, go write him then”! It’s as if they have been in position so long, sharing power, passing it back and forth between each other that the mission, Veteran Care, has been relegated to a complete “nuisance”. Oh, they know all the right words to say to the media “We will continue to provide the best medical care for our Veterans” but they don’t mean a damn word of it! As soon as the cameras are turned off and the reporter has vacated the premises, it is back to the normal treatment. Yet, the media eats this up hook line and sinker. It is truly “Something” to witness. Trying to explain the real pain caused by their callous decisions to them is a total waste of time: They cannot relate and have no earthly idea “what the hell you are talking about”. It is difficult to get a person to understand your position when their paycheck is contingent on them remaining confused.
As of today, I have met with three Medical Center Directors: Linda Smith, who was acting Director back in 2004, who told me “Mr. Hampton I have one question about your complaints. If you find being here so uncomfortable, why do you even come here? If I were you I would never step foot on this property again as long as I live”. That is a direct quote, I have added nothing. Her pompous arrogance was suffocating and seizure producing, I almost fainted from pure trauma and emotional shock.
Guy Richardson, who I’ve met with on numerous occasions was worse. Not only did he tell me he was not ever going to do anything to correct how I had been treated, he compared my personality to that of a rabid wild dog and told me that if I were a “friendlier mongrel“ just maybe people would “pat me on the head” and I’d have more success on the VA center. Incredible arrogant disrespect and logic!
Now, the new acting Director, Bill Montague has told me “You kicked dirt on the umpire”, meaning I am being penalized and thrown out of the game, never to be given a job in the VA system.
If it is not, in fact, retaliation and retribution, I argue, then they all have demonstrated rank incompetence!
Two common denominators of all of these Directors is that NOT ONE of them has ever served this nation in uniform and all of them live better off Veterans Benefits than any Veteran I have ever met. At times, being in their presence is like a punishing sentence to a “eternal hell of arrogance”. Their haughty, supercilious personalities are difficult to detail. You could literally tell them “Well sir, my wife and children were just murdered this morning” and their response would be “What does that have to do with me”! No matter what request I have made for services plainly laid out in Title 38 legislation that controls the VA system their response is unanimous “It’s not in the budget”. Yet, they continue to reward each other with huge salary increases and massive bonuses annually. Even after documented inferior performances they readily give each other the most glowing job reviews imaginable. How else could Dr. Masaros write that “Dr. Pemberton was a valued member of our team” unless Dr. Masaros was simply protecting a member of “our team”. How else could Guy Richardson receive such a generous bonus “After” the dental Clinic had been shut down for infectious control violations and the Human Resources Department had basically been accused of being a “baby mafia” in the way they were selecting who would get a job at this tax payer financed facility? They pick and choose each other’s friends, their friend’s children, cousins, uncles and aunts for jobs over and above more qualified applicants. Veteran’s status and points means nothing to them! In fact, in December 2010 at least 4 employees, including the Chief and asst. Chief were herded off VA grounds all at the exact same time. Of course, the story was that they “all” decided to leave at the same time. Coincidence? I don’t think so, it’s more like “organized crime and corruption”! Mr. Montague insists that all of the current problems, with the Dental Clinic, were the result of the actions of “ONE MAN” and that we should move on. I disagree. The dental Clinic debacle was the results of a mindset that allowed this one man to practice in this manner and no one in the “Club” would stop him. It is a mindset at this center that says “he’s only hurting Veterans and as long as it doesn’t affect any members of the “club” I don’t care. The “failure of leadership” you described to the US Senate did not exist in a vacuum, neither did it start with the Dental Clinic. It has existed for years and it permeates this entire medical center. They all cover for each other and they all know about it.
Who is deciding who should receive all of this money and get all these jobs while Veterans are denied services and even a fair shot at being employed at their own facility? I’ll tell you: another trusted member of the “Team”! These people actually believe that Americans provide tax dollars for no other reason than for them to sit in their offices and split these dollars up amongst themselves. They have been “dividing” these dollars up for such a long time they think it’s normal operating procedure. Veterans have become a necessary inconvenience on their road to financial independence and they have to put up with us for a minute while they cart off wheelbarrows full of money every year and advocate for lower taxes so they can keep even more of their ill-gotten gains. Amazingly, they see nothing immoral in their behavior.
Were I not an eyewitness this behavior I would not believe it myself.
It is past time for this method of operation to be stopped!