Veterans Still In Fight – With VA

Kathleen Miller | The Journal Gazette | November 13, 2012

Backlogs And Bottlenecks Abound

...President Obama has pledged to serve veterans “as well as they’ve served us.” Yet to veterans like Barnhart, the VA’s bureaucracy can bring more agony than reward.

With as many as 1 million troops due to become veterans in the next five years, on top of the 22.3 million already in the system, the agency is staggering under backlogs in disability compensation claims, bottlenecks in mental health care and criticism over a general lack of accountability.

“The system is completely overwhelmed,” said Craig Bryan, a clinical psychologist and associate director of the National Center for Veterans Studies at the University of Utah. “We did not prepare the VA system for what many of us would argue is the natural consequence of combat and protracted warfare, and we’re trying to play catch-up.”...