The Department of Veterans Affairs has been plagued in recent years for its systematic failure to address the health and wellness concerns of our nation’s veterans. In essence, the system is failing at the very thing it was designed to do. While new leadership is supposedly working to address the long wait times and crumbling facilities, our countries veterans continue to die.
VA budget allocated $19.7 million to… artwork
An investigation by COX Media and American Transparency found that the Department of Veterans Affairs spent nearly $20 million on artwork over the past decade. In no way are we suggesting that veterans don’t deserve nice waiting areas (considering the amount of waiting they are forced to endure), but this money could perhaps have been put to better use by treating the members of our military in a safer way.
The Daily News detailed highlights from the investigation, including:
- $21,500 for a 27-foot fake Christmas tree in Chillicothe, Ohio
- $482,960 for a rock sculpture in Palo Alto, CA
- $115,600 for ‘art consultants’ for Palo Alto, CA
- $670,000 for two sculptures for Palo Alto, CA
- $610,000 over six years for art in San Juan, Puerto Rico
- $168,467 for the Biloxi, MS centers.
The public relations nightmare
The VA is in the position of having to deny benefits and handle the health concerns of a growing and aging population. Yet, the VA has deemed it necessary to install $670,000 worth of sculptures at a facility dedicated to serving blind veterans rather than to provide them with some sort of health or true benefit.
Consideration, empathy and sympathy should be the watchwords of an agency that works to address the needs of a population that voluntarily dedicated their lives to protecting our country. Instead, veterans are enduring negligent care and suffering unnecessary indignities. At McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC we believe our veterans deserve better. If you or your loved one is a veteran who has been mistreated by the VA, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries or illness. Call us at 803-327-7800 or contact us today for a free consultation. We serve clients throughout South Carolina.