Traditionally, August signals a long recess work period for members of Congress. It is during this time that Senators and Representatives devote extra time and attention to meeting with their constituents, touring important facilities in their states and districts, and otherwise reconnecting with the citizens and communities they serve. Both members of the House and Senate typically leave Washington at the beginning of August and do not return until after Labor Day. This year, however, the Senate is taking a shorter recess and will return in the middle of the month.
The inability for some service-connected veterans to create a family of their own has long been a subject of frustration, helplessness, domestic tension and possibly even shame, among other feelings, for many of our members and other service-connected veterans. Until recently, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provided few infertility services other than in vitro fertilization (IVF) to veterans as part of the medical benefits package.
On May 23, the United States Senate voted 92-5 for the VA MISSION Act. The bill is now headed to President Trump’s desk for signature. The House of Representatives passed the bill on May 16, by a vote of 347-70. This historic legislation will reform care in the community, assess VA’s infrastructure, and finally, correct the inequality of the VA Caregiver Program.
"Unmasking [Administrative Evil],” University of San Diego business ethics professor George Reed explained, “occurs when the harmful effects and full scope of wrong becomes widely known and the evil is named." In other words, there is no more "just doing one's job" in a broken government system once the consequences of doing so have been exposed to the public and the immorality of such actions, in retrospect, is clear.
As I watched Dr. Ben Carson’s interview on The Dave Ramsey Show, where he suggested that “we don’t need a Department of Veterans Affairs,” and that “the Department of Veterans Affairs should be folded in under the Department of Defense,” it became apparent to myself and anyone else who understands how the two agencies work that Dr. Carson should have been given a crash course on their respective missions before asserting his view on how we need to fix programs and services intended to help veterans. Hopefully, the following will serve this purpose.