Remembrance of things past

Talk about Military tradition. As part of its assets, the VA, according to the current Secretary of the VA, has 903 buildings built during the Revolutionary War, Civil War, and WWI that are still being utilized by the VA. Wow.

"On average, our buildings are more than 60 years old, with only half being built since 1920. We have 449 buildings from the Revolutionary War and the Civil War; of those, about 96 are vacant. We have another 591 buildings that were built in World War I era, which 141 are vacant. In all, VA has 400 vacant buildings and 735 under-utilized facilities, and that costs the taxpayers $25 million a year just to maintain vacant and under-utilized facilities."

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/05/31/press-briefing-secretary-veterans-affairs-david-shulkin

The entire text is worth reading and the overall analysis is consistent with what has been known for some time.

I think some of the solutions being proposed are rather simplistic and unlikely to bring about fundamental change. That would require a far more radical approach and both costs and changes in operating approaches for which it would be hard to find the necessary support. These issues have not sprung up overnight and there are no quick or inexpensive fixes. Unfortunately, in the political area only quick and seemingly inexpensive solutions seem to have much prospect of success.

BTW, in the hectic pace of the modern world, Proust's masterpiece at 4, 215 pages is unlikely to find many who will read it from cover to cover but it is truly an amazing work of art and sampling a few pages at least might be very worthwhile.

"BTW, in the hectic pace of the modern world, Proust's masterpiece at 4, 215 pages is unlikely to find many who will read it from cover to cover but it is truly an amazing work of art and sampling a few pages at least might be very worthwhile."

***Proust's masterpiece and "War and Peace" are two peas in a pod. I did read the latter, which is actually, if read for enjoyment, a pretty fast read. Yes, 4,215 pages is too much to endure for most folks nowadays, let alone remembering what was read. If there is any truth to people who have said that their entire life passed before them during a near death experience, then that makes for a lot of speed reading prior to ones death. Maybe CliffNotes are necessary.

Here is a very somber reminder of just how serious the challenges facing the agency are.

Body of Missing Veteran Found in Car in Washington DC VA Medical Center Parking Lot

A relative of the veteran said she reported the man missing when he didn't return from an appointment at the medical center May 15.
The veteran’s sister said she searched the parking lot herself after the VA medical center failed multiple requests to find the man.

This event happened in the nation's capital last month within a few miles of Capitol Hill.

Another sad happening in the nation's capitol, and, sadly, I'm sure there are many more similar events occurring elsewhere that fail to make the headlines. And it also sad that not a day goes by in the USA where somewhere a politician states how committed they are to taking care of our Veterans, a refrain that rises to a crescendo during election season, and a refrain that occurs year after year, ad nauseum. California governor Jerry Brown once wisely said that election season claims that one is going to fix education, fix healthcare, fix the economy, etc., are always false because these problem areas are not totally fixable, but are constant issues that will always need to be assessed and improved upon. That said, this latest VA tragedy is but only one of the many glaring defects ( poverty, drugs, crime, you name it ) that have presented themselves under the noses of our elected official in the nation's capitol, where things are supposed to get fixed. What is really sad is that both the Veteran and the civilian populations of the US are being subjected to inferior health care with no acceptable fix in sight.