Hampton (VA) professional investigative reporter for 10 On Your Side (WAVY-TV), Chris Horne, has done a nice video report (10/27/14) on the Veterans’ Choice Card and the need for it. Hampton Roads is of course home to the Naval Station in Norfolk, and over a million military stakeholders.
Horne contacted the VA headquarters when the Hampton VAMC declined to give him any information. He asked the VA for answers to these specific questions:
- When local VA centers get instructions for implementation?
- How can vets see if they qualify for the program?
- How they can sign up?
- When will the VA be issuing “Choice cards” to veterans?
Their vague answer seems to indicate that the VA is asking for a delay:
The Department’s primary focus is on timely and effective implementation of this highly complex piece of legislation. VA will work with other Departments, Congress, Veterans Service Organizations, and other stakeholders to ensure that provisions are implemented as quickly and efficiently as possible. To the extent that there are significant challenges, we are seeking technical relief, but the goal is to meet the timelines set forth in the Act.
Chris Horne observes, “That timeline would be Wednesday of next week.”
The VA’s online “Media Room” still has not issued a press release about the Veterans’ Choice Card contractor award, if in fact, there is going to be one (previous post).
This is an region I know fairly well; my late parents retired to Norfolk, I lived there for a time, and my late daughter graduated from Virginia Wesleyan College in Virginia Beach. Traffc aside, it’s a great part of the country. If you’ve ever traveled on the 23-mile engineering marvel called the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, you know how neat the area is.
But the VHA system there is overloaded and its clear they need relief that the Veterans’ Choice Card will provide. Our veteran sailors deserve more.
Ed. note: My old home town. I enlisted from the Hampton AFEES on October 1, 1969. I was living at Langley AFB at the time and getting the boot out of the house.