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Military Connection: VA Calls for More Town Halls: By Debbie Gregory

VA town hallWe seem to have become a very acronym-heavy country, especially as it pertains to the government. In an effort to make things more clear, VA stands for Veterans Administration,  and is the U.S. department whose secretary, Robert McDonald, reports to the president regarding programs and benefits for Veterans. Under the umbrella of this department, there are three divisions:

Veterans Health Administration (VHA) This division provides all of the healthcare and medical needs. The VHA is the entity that staffs and operates the medical facilities.

There is also the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) that processes and manages all benefits, including applications for claims and administering benefits payments.

The third is the National Cemetery Administration, responsible for the maintenance of VA cemeteries, as well as funeral and memorial benefits.

Veterans should know that these three administrations don’t always communicate very well with one another. This is why VA hospitals don’t always know when benefits have changed, or why, even though the VHA knows that you changed your address, your benefit check didn’t reach you at your new residence.

These and other communication issues have plagued Veterans and the VA. But it appears that the lines of communication are opening up.

On Wednesday, October 08, 2014, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that VA Secretary Robert McDonald has directed all VHA and VBA facilities to continue to hold quarterly town-hall events. Mr. McDonald’s order is an attempt to improve service throughout all divisions of the VA, and to hear directly from Veterans nationwide.

“Every one of our medical centers and regional benefits offices held town hall meetings around the country in August and September, but we have more listening to do to better serve Veterans and their families,” Secretary McDonald said. “As part of our Road to Veterans Day, VA is taking a hard look at everything we do in order to reorganize the Department around the needs of Veterans. Direct feedback from Veterans, employees and stakeholders is an important component of that Roadmap, and key to improving our services and operations,” Secretary McDonald added.

Details of town hall events at each location will be made through each individual local facility.  Veterans are strongly encouraged to attend these meetings to ensure that each division of the VA knows what they need to do in order to better serve you!

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: VA Calls for More Town Halls: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: VA Sec Wants to hear from YOU: By Debbie Gregory

VA town hallOne of the biggest concerns that Veterans, advocates, law makers and the public have had regarding the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is the lack of transparency within the department. Everyone wants to know “what the heck is going on?” and “what is the VA doing to fix the issues?”

In an attempt to quell the concerns, one of Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald’s first acts was to direct all VA healthcare and benefits facilities to hold town-hall events by the end of September. These forums are intended to improve communication between the VA and the Veterans they serve across the country.

“Caring for Veterans is a calling, and our first commitment is to provide Veterans and their families the timely, quality care and benefits they have earned and deserve through their service to our Nation,” Secretary McDonald said. “As we seek continual improvement and to rebuild trust among Veterans, it is critical that we continue to listen and learn directly from those who use our system.”

The newly appointed secretary wants each facility to collect, analyze and use feedback from Veterans, family members and beneficiaries. They have been instructed that at each meeting, they should encourage and welcome input from Congressional stakeholders, Veteran Service Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations, and other partners within their communities. Details of events in each location will be provided by each local facility.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: VA Sec Wants to hear from YOU:   By Debbie Gregory