I retired from the Army after 20 years on active duty the beginning of this month, Sept. 1. I had been on leave since early July. In that time, I started work for the Dept. of the Navy.
The military is a tough gig. The military also has many perks. One of those perks being some time management I’ve found quickly the flexibility outside of active duty military just isn’t there. You can take time off, when able, but you also get charged hourly leave or lose pay. New to me!
So, after Sept. 1 I now needed to register with my local VA clinic to obtain any necessary care down the road. After 20 years, believe me this is a great benefit to have.
Trying to do the smart thing, I have a call to the VA clinic I would need to register with ahead of time to be sure I’d have the correct paperwork. Feeling confident, I took a Friday afternoon off so I could head on over to that clinic to get all done up. Hooray!
Oh no….no, no, no sir, it will NOT be that simple. Why? Because there is only ONE person in this VA clinic serving I’d estimate about 20-30k veterans locally who does registration. And guess where she was that day? Not there.
Ok, I can live with the fact that people have to be away from work because we are human and all have human needs. I can’t live with the fact you’ve got one…ONE person handling this type of job.
“Monday she will be in.”
Alright, I’ll call Monday and we can do this over the phone.
Nope, she’s still out. Maybe Tuesday.
Nope, she’s still out but we do now have someone filling in who can get you registered.
“Ok,” I said. “They told me Friday I could do it over the phone being that my DD214 is in the system.”
Oh no, sir. You have to come in and bring that with you.
“………….so I have to take more time off of work to come there in hopes that this can actually be done?”
The VA motto should be “Picking Our Asses Up Off the Floor” because that’s where they certainly are.
To say the least I’m heavily disappointed that this simple process is already this complicated. I’m confident it will get better. I reek of confidence too often.
If you need help working with the VA, the VFW provides representatives which help with claims and various other needs. I’ll be calling them, too.