HadIt.com 10 VA Secretaries Later

I founded HadIt.com on Jan 20, 1997. I entered the VA system early in 1991 after separating from the Navy in Dec 1990. I actually had the idea to create something before I discovered the internet in 1994/1995. With the internet, I realized I can do so much more than any little analog thing I could put together. I thought I could reach a few veterans who could reach a few others and in this way, many more could be helped. I would follow the teach a man to fish principle and provide information, references, and knowledge that could be freely shared with others. I started learning how to create websites and everything I could about the internet. I had a website that I practiced on and was getting visitors and learning more and finally grew to the point I created HadIt.com Veteran to Veteran.

The early years in the VA system were definitely different for me. My first memory of going to the VA hospital is an overcrowded waiting room, veterans standing in confusing lines frankly it was so crowded it didn’t look like lines, just clumps of pissed off veterans. Phones were ringing it was loud and crowded and no order that I could see, for me it seemed unsafe, it stressed me, my anxiety hit the roof. If I hadn’t been in pain I probably would have left. When they finally called me into the exam room, a nurse came in and told me I would have to wait outside for my husband. “I’m the veteran,” I said, a phrase that I would have to say repeatedly.  It was 1991 and I get it, the system was still dominantly male. By the time the doc got to me, he decided I needed a pelvic exam, a 45-minute search for a speculum ensued. I took one look at this metal huge thing that looked like it had been in a drawer for quite some time and I pulled up my pants up and got the hell out of there. I had a recent hysterectomy and adhesions, I later found out were causing some pain. But that was then and this is now. Today I go to a Women’s clinic at the VA and I am very hopeful that VA will continue to improve, staff, and expand the Women’s clinics. For the most part in 2020 going to the VA for me is more like going to the doctor than it was in 1991. There were times in 1991 that had a very “cattle callesque” feel to it.

So after 23 years I’m happy to report HadIt.com is still here – we’ve seen our share of VA Secretaries and basically, they all say the same thing and they all sound committed to veterans. With each one, we have learned to wait and see. As of May 2018, we have no Veterans Affairs Secretary, though Robert Wilkie has been nominated. In July of 2018, he took office officially.

The good news/bad news depending on where you stand is the CHOICE program, most of the veterans I talk to like it, some others worry it will lead to privatization. I’ve used it and worked pretty smoothly once I got the referral.

In 2020 HadIt.com is still helping veteran help each other through the veterans disability compensation process.

In 1989, the Veterans Administration was replaced by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (a member of the cabinet) as its head.

Veterans Administration Administrators

No.NameTerm of OfficesPresident(s) served under
1Frank T. Hines1930–1945Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman
2Omar Bradley1945–1948Harry S. Truman
3Carl R. Gray Jr.1948–1953Harry S. Truman
4Harvey V. Higley1953–1957Dwight D. Eisenhower
5Sumner G. Whittier1957–1961Dwight D. Eisenhower
6John S. Gleason1961–1965John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson
7William J. Driver1965–1969Lyndon B. Johnson
8Donald E. Johnson1969–1974Richard Nixon
9Richard L. Roudebush1974–1977Gerald Ford
10Max Cleland1977–1981Jimmy Carter
11Bob Nimmo1981–1983Ronald Reagan
12Harry N. Walters1983–1986Ronald Reagan
13Thomas K. Turnage1986–1989Ronald Reagan
14Ed Derwinski1989George H. W. Bush

Veterans Affairs Secretaries

No.PortraitNameState of residenceTook officeLeft officePresident(s)
1Ed DerwinskiIllinoisMarch 15, 1989September 26, 1992 George H. W. Bush
Anthony Principi[1]
Acting
CaliforniaSeptember 26, 1992January 20, 1993
2Jesse BrownIllinoisJanuary 22, 1993July 1, 1997 Bill Clinton
Hershel W. Gober[2]
Acting
ArkansasJuly 1, 1997January 2, 1998
3Togo D. West Jr.District of ColumbiaJanuary 2, 1998[3]May 5, 1998
May 5, 1998July 25, 2000
Hershel W. Gober[2]
Acting
ArkansasJuly 25, 2000January 20, 2001
4Anthony PrincipiCaliforniaJanuary 23, 2001January 26, 2005 George W. Bush
5Jim NicholsonColoradoJanuary 26, 2005October 1, 2007
Gordon H. Mansfield[4]
Acting
FloridaOctober 1, 2007December 20, 2007
6James PeakeDistrict of ColumbiaDecember 20, 2007January 20, 2009
7Eric ShinsekiHawaiiJanuary 20, 2009May 30, 2014 Barack Obama
Sloan D. Gibson
Acting
AlabamaMay 30, 2014July 30, 2014
8Bob McDonaldOhioJuly 30, 2014January 20, 2017
Robert Snyder
Acting
West VirginiaJanuary 20, 2017February 14, 2017 Donald Trump
9David ShulkinPennsylvaniaFebruary 14, 2017March 28, 2018
Robert Wilkie
Acting
North CarolinaMarch 28, 2018May 29, 2018
Peter O’Rourke
Acting
VirginiaMay 29, 2018July 30, 2018
10Robert WilkieNorth CarolinaJuly 30, 2018Incumbent

A VA ER visit enlightened me to what the VA was at one time.

A few years ago my tooth got infected on the weekend so I went to the VA ER for some relief. A nurse took care of me, she was so kind and compassionate and knowledgeable. She spoke fondly of a time when the VA had dentists available on the weekends and facilities were better staffed. It made me sad to see her so wistful of the VA she remembered where veterans were taken care of and cared for. She said she was close to retirement and had hoped to see more done for veterans, but feared she would be long gone before that happened, if ever.
I don’t have fond memories of the VA, but I can tell you that it is a lot better than it was in the very early 1990’s. So that tells us changes can be made, that veterans can be served by the hospitals and clinics that were set up for us. These medical facilities were part of the promise made to generations of veterans. There are always casualties in war, and there are casualties in peacetime. The number one job of the VA should be to provide timely, excellent care to veterans. Not excuses, not blame the veteran, not more red tape.
If I hear one more person tell me that VA facilities are state of the art I’m going to go through the roof.

HadIt.com 23 Years and 10 VA Secretaries Later

I founded HadIt.com on Jan 20, 1997. I entered the VA system early in 1991 after separating from the Navy in Dec 1990. I actually had the idea to create something before I discovered the internet in 1994/1995. With the internet, I realized I can do so much more than any little analog thing I could put together. I thought I could reach a few veterans who could reach a few others and in this way, many more could be helped. I would follow the teach a man to fish principle and provide information, references, and knowledge that could be freely shared with others. I started learning how to create websites and everything I could about the internet. I had a website that I practiced on and was getting visitors and learning more and finally grew to the point I created HadIt.com Veteran to Veteran.
The early years in the VA system were definitely different for me. My first memory of going to the VA hospital is an overcrowded waiting room, veterans standing in confusing lines frankly it was so crowded it didn’t look like lines, just clumps of pissed off veterans. Phones were ringing it was loud and crowded and no order that I could see, for me it seemed unsafe, it stressed me, my anxiety hit the roof. If I hadn’t been in pain I probably would have left. When they finally called me into the exam room, a nurse came in and told me I would have to wait outside for my husband. “I’m the veteran,” I said, a phrase that I would have to say repeatedly.  It was 1991 and I get it, the system was still dominantly male. By the time the doc got to me, he decided I needed a pelvic exam, a 45-minute search for a speculum ensued. I took one look at this metal huge thing that looked like it had been in a drawer for quite some time and I pulled up my pants up and got the hell out of there. I had a recent hysterectomy and adhesions, I later found out were causing some pain. But that was then and this is now. Today I go to a Women’s clinic at the VA and I am very hopeful that VA will continue to improve, staff, and expand the Women’s clinics. For the most part in 2020 going to the VA for me is more like going to the doctor than it was in 1991. There were times in 1991 that had a very “cattle callesque” feel to it.
So after 23 years I’m happy to report HadIt.com is still here – we’ve seen our share of VA Secretaries and basically they all same about the same thing and they all sound committed to veterans. With each one, we have learned to wait and see. As of May 2018, we have no Veterans Affairs Secretary, though Robert Wilkie has been nominated. In July of 2018, he took office officially.
In 1989, the Veterans Administration was replaced by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (a member of the cabinet) as its head.
Veterans Administration Administrators

No. Name Term of Offices President(s) served under
1 Frank T. Hines 1930–1945 Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman
2 Omar Bradley 1945–1948 Harry S. Truman
3 Carl R. Gray Jr. 1948–1953 Harry S. Truman
4 Harvey V. Higley 1953–1957 Dwight D. Eisenhower
5 Sumner G. Whittier 1957–1961 Dwight D. Eisenhower
6 John S. Gleason 1961–1965 John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson
7 William J. Driver 1965–1969 Lyndon B. Johnson
8 Donald E. Johnson 1969–1974 Richard Nixon
9 Richard L. Roudebush 1974–1977 Gerald Ford
10 Max Cleland 1977–1981 Jimmy Carter
11 Bob Nimmo 1981–1983 Ronald Reagan
12 Harry N. Walters 1983–1986 Ronald Reagan
13 Thomas K. Turnage 1986–1989 Ronald Reagan
14 Ed Derwinski 1989 George H. W. Bush

Veterans Affairs Secretaries

No. Portrait Name State of residence Took office Left office President(s)
1 Ed derwinski.jpg Ed Derwinski Illinois March 15, 1989 September 26, 1992 George H. W. Bush
Anthony Principi.jpg Anthony Principi[1]
Acting
California September 26, 1992 January 20, 1993
2 Jesse brown va.jpg Jesse Brown Illinois January 22, 1993 July 1, 1997 Bill Clinton
Gober sm.jpg Hershel W. Gober[2]
Acting
Arkansas July 1, 1997 January 2, 1998
3 TogoDWest.jpg Togo D. West Jr. District of Columbia January 2, 1998[3] May 5, 1998
May 5, 1998 July 25, 2000
Gober sm.jpg Hershel W. Gober[2]
Acting
Arkansas July 25, 2000 January 20, 2001
4 Anthony Principi.jpg Anthony Principi California January 23, 2001 January 26, 2005 George W. Bush
5 JimNicholson.jpg Jim Nicholson Colorado January 26, 2005 October 1, 2007
Gordon H. Mansfield.jpg Gordon H. Mansfield[4]
Acting
Florida October 1, 2007 December 20, 2007
6 PeakeJames.jpg James Peake District of Columbia December 20, 2007 January 20, 2009
7 Eric Shinseki official Veterans Affairs portrait.jpg Eric Shinseki Hawaii January 20, 2009 May 30, 2014 Barack Obama
Sloan Gibson.jpg Sloan D. Gibson
Acting
Alabama May 30, 2014 July 30, 2014
8 Robert A. McDonald Official Portrait.jpg Bob McDonald Ohio July 30, 2014 January 20, 2017
Robert Snyder.jpg Robert Snyder
Acting
West Virginia January 20, 2017 February 14, 2017 Donald Trump
9 David Shulkin official photo (cropped).jpg David Shulkin Pennsylvania February 14, 2017 March 28, 2018
Robert L. Wilkie acting SECVA official photo (cropped).jpg Robert Wilkie
Acting
North Carolina March 28, 2018 May 29, 2018
Peter O'Rourke official photo (cropped).jpg Peter O’Rourke
Acting
Virginia May 29, 2018 July 30, 2018
10 Robert Wilkie official portrait (cropped).jpg Robert Wilkie North Carolina July 30, 2018 Incumbent

Managing PTSD anxiety and buying a minivan…

Buying a new car is stressful, add PTSD and you got yourself a little hard ball starting to grow in your stomach or so I thought. I got to tell you this last purchase was so stress free it was almost a pleasure to sign up for a new payment. Got a minivan and a Great deal and Stress free, what a refreshing experience. We choose the 2017 Pacifica we are adding another baby to the family my great niece will be giving birth to my grand nephew next month. That will make 2 kids, sometimes 3 and 3 adults and of course my service dog Cinder. So we all fit and fit comfortably even Cinder! The Pacifica really is a fabulous vehicle with a ton of safety features and with the kids that’s my number one concern. As many of you know my PTSD makes it hard for me to get out much and I avoid stressful situations but my salesman Zac couldn’t have made it any easier.
If you are in the St Louis area and in the market for a new car I highly recommend you check out Glendale Chrysler Jeep Dodge see if you get my salesman Zac Underwood and the finance guy was super to check him out Richard Reichert. Check them out I think they will treat you right. I was so happy with them I wrote the following review. Tell them Theresa Aldrich sent you or not totally up to you.

My salesman Zac Underwood was able to get me everything I wanted at a price I wanted to pay and we didn’t
skimp on the bells and whistles. I love me some bells and whistles. So here’s how it went down after being held hostage at another dealership I went home got onto USAA’s car buying service I put it what I wanted 2017 Chrysler Pacifica and up popped the vehicles and dealerships I called 3 dealerships got positive response from all three. Zac sent me a sheet with vans a bit over my price range so I let him know that he probably wouldn’t be able to help me, but he convinced me to let him try. I told him of my dealership hostage situation and that I wanted to do everything over the phone if the deal was right I’d pick up the van. He had no problem with that, none at all. Yesterday, I had two tests at the hospital and in between those tests Zac and I found a van that worked but the price didn’t work he worked on that till he could get it where I was comfortable, so boom today I went to the dealership met Zac signed the papers and he took me over to the finance guy Richard Reichert and again this guy was super helpful and no pressure or crazy tactics just options. I took my niece and her 2 year old with me and the whole dealership was great with the baby they have toys and stuff set up for the kids. Super comfortable feel to the whole place I really recommend them. So all the papers are signed and I picked up my 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Touring L Plus and we all lived happily ever after. The end.

2022 Chrysler Pacifica | Chrysler Minivan | AWD Available

Immerse yourself in luxury and experience maximum comfort with soft-to-the-touch available caramel Nappa leather-trimmed seats with second-row pillows in the Pinnacle. Upgrade your Chrysler Pacifica with the available S Appearance Package featuring an impressive piano black accent steering wheel and stylish black leather-trimmed seats with light diesel gray stitching.

Still Serving™ Podcast for Veteran Entrepreneurs – Shark Tank Contestant Angela

Still Serving™ Podcast for Veteran Entrepreneurs – Shark Tank Contestant Angela

Angela Cody-Rouget and Christian S. Newton, both VWISE Graduates, talk Angela’s business, MajorMom, and her experience on Shark Tank. Topics discussed include: VWISE, start-up strategy, franchising, and the Shark Tank experience.

Angela Aboutus

Angela Cody-Rouget is the founder and owner of Major Organizers, a residential organizing company. She has been building the Major Organizers brand (formerly Major Mom) since November of 2006 and currently has a teams of Liberators in five states. She was featured on the military episode of Shark Tank on February 5, 2016. Angela spent 14 years dedicated to serving her country in the US Air Force as a satellite commander and missileer. She attained the rank of Major and her husband nicknamed her Major Mom after their first child was born. After her son was born in 2005, she resigned her commission to be a better wife and mother to her two children. 

Angela earned a BA in Speech Communication at Indiana University and an MBA from University of Colorado. The Major achieved and maintained the designation of Certified Professional Organizer (CPO) for over 6 years. Angela is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and Faithful Organizers, and has served as the President of the Board of Directors for both organizations. She volunteers her time to her veteran community and church on a regular basis.

Angela Aboutus2

She is currently in the process of franchising her brand in order to create more jobs and opportunities for people who were born to organize. She has several franchise locations (see our Locations Page). Like most women, she sometimes feels torn between kids and career and the balancing act is difficult, but she’s thankful for a husband who is supportive. She also has kids that cheer her on because they believe in her. Angela was born to create order out of chaos. She is on a mission to raise up an army of Liberators so she can restore order to the world, one household at a time! 

The 15 minute 1 issue visit at the VA Medical Center

My primary care doc is a PA, I’m not complaining about her. What I am complaining about today is policy. There is policy from what I understand from my PA, that appointments shouldn’t go over about 15 minutes and you can only discuss 1 issue at a time. If you have another issue, you have to make another appointment.

I realize there aren’t enough docs to take care of all the veterans, not my problem. I realize that they can’t spend much time with you because of their caseload, again, not my problem.
What I find most frustrating is the 1 issue visit, where I sit in the waiting room trying to triage myself, so I can ask about what I think is the most important issue.
I am blessed in that I don’t have many physical problems. I worry about our brothers and sisters who have a lot going on with their health and I am wondering if this 1 issue visit is happening at more than my VA.
Is there a shortage of doctors in the country? Or is there just a shortage of doctors in the VA? I am not a psychic, but even I could see at the beginning of the Afghanistan war that we were going to have a lot more veterans come into the system. Then the Iraq war and so I knew we would have even more.
So why at the beginning of the war did they not start hiring more doctors and training them up? Why didn’t they hire more raters so by the time the war was over they would have the experience and training they needed to handle the caseload, which is so backlogged, it makes the news at least once a week lately.
The VA motto “To Care For Him Who Shall Have Borne The Battle And For His Widow, And His Orphan” Abraham Lincoln
Those are powerful words, of course they lose some of the power if you add 1 issue and 15 minutes at a time.
Perhaps this 1 issue 15 minute visit is just my VA, it’s damn frustrating for many of our brothers and sisters.
I get that many that work at the VA think it’s a thankless job and it is a difficult job, I’m onboard with that. But hey we are veterans we know all about thankless difficult jobs. So there ladies and gents is my two-cents.

Evernote A Great Way That I Keep All My Notes Together. I Love & Think You Will Too!

I love Evernote and I hope you will too! There is a free version which works for most everyone or for $24.99 you get a year with 1 GB storage. Every copy and paste from the site I past into Evernote, I clip webpages that I want to remember. It is full text searchable so it makes it easy to find the note you know you wrote yourself about that TDIU issue. You can simply search Evernote for any notes that contain TDIU and viola there it is. It works with the LiveScribe Pen and paper and also with PhatPad for IPads and my favorite special Moleskin  Evernote Smart Notebooks.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP BOOTCAMP FOR VETERANS WITH DISABILITIES


ENTREPRENEURSHIP BOOTCAMP FOR VETERANS WITH DISABILITIES

The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) is a one-of-a-kind initiative that leverages the skills, resources and infrastructure of higher education to offer cutting-edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management to post-9/11 veterans with service-related disabilities (estimated at up to 30 percent of the 2.5 million post-9/11 veteran population). The EBV opens the door to economic opportunity for veterans by developing their competencies in the many steps and activities associated with creating and sustaining an entrepreneurial venture. Founded at Syracuse University in 2007, the program has since expanded to additional universities across the U.S., including Texas A&M, Purdue University, UCLA, the University of Connecticut, Louisiana State University, The Florida State University and Cornell University–with Syracuse University serving as national host. Over 700 veterans have graduated from EBV universities since 2007 and over 670 new jobs have been created. Currently, the cohort of EBV graduates is responsible for the creation of more than 180 new small businesses.
In 2009, the EBV program was named a “National Best Practice” for serving veterans and their families by the Secretary of the Army.
In 2011, Inc. Magazine named the EBV program as one of the “10-Best” entrepreneurship programs in the United States.

9 Ringtones Not To Use in your Therapists’ Office

[no_toc]

  1. Mobile MusicI Wanna Be Sedated – Ramones

  2. Hair Of The Dog – Nazereth (Chorus)

  3. Comfortably Numb – Pink Floyd (Probably anything from Pink Floyd)

  4. Shattered – Rolling Stones

  5. 19th Nervous Breakdown – Rolling Stones

  6. Mother’s Little Helper – Rolling Stones

  7. Blaze Of Glory – The Alarm

  8. One Way Out – The Allman Brothers

  9. Shark Attack – JAWS

  10. White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane