Sunday, September 28, 2014

Local Media turns its head on atroceties going on at the Veterans home.

Ed Note: I believe This Catherine Buckley is the commander of the Neil Fonger VFW post 179 in Walker over on Wilson Ave, just west of the Grand River. Very near Grandville. (west end of 28th st).

From: "Catherine Buckley"

It is time to take a stand for these veterans. They are scare to say much for being thrown out. Last Feb. one was thrown out for drinking. He froze to death.
The mail is read before they receive it. Vote is hindered. Jim Dunn and Sara Dunne tell us what we want to hear. 
Their Representatives forbidden for address them or let them speak their minds. They have a room call the Court Yard where you are locked up for miner infraction.

My question is WHY? Why treat these wonderful people like this. Why can't their voices be heard.Why can't someone help?

I'm looking to you the voices of American to step up to the plate and help these veterans. Yes they have issues. They were in wars, seen things you don't want to know. Did things you don't want to know. But they have to live with it daily. WWII vets didn't receive the help they needed back then. Vietnam Veterans were treated so poorly when they came home and they didn't get the help they needed back then.
Now in the last few years help has come but for some it is to late so they live at the home and treat like outcast. Are you willing to help?
-Catherine Buckley

Ed note: So far the silence is Deafening. Traditionally, the Local news has refused to air any articles that draws into question the validity of the current administration or its actions towards the veterans. 

Advocates as well as members of the home have contacted the local media in the past, including Billie Ray who was interviewed on camera so he could tell his story of abuse. That abuse by the home eventually caused his death. This was taken to WZZM channel 13, and nothing came of it.  

We do not expect the local media to report the real news anymore. 

Updated 29 Sept 2014

Friday, September 26, 2014

There isn't any US Mail Delivery to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, so how do Residents get their mail?

If a Veteran in residence at the Michigan veterans home in Grand Rapids, Michigan,  goes on line to order something from Amazon or Ebay, and they type in the address of the Grand Rapids home for Veterans,  (3000 Monroe NW, GR MI 49504) they will find the address is NOT a valid address.

The US post office does not have it listed as a residence. Nor a business. We are not even sure if its listed as a State government address.

This is because no mail is delivered to the veterans home. 

That is correct. The US post office does not deliver mail to the Veterans home. They pick up mail from the outgoing mail box located just outside the main entrance, but they do not deliver mail to the home.

Someone from the home has to drive to the down town post office and pick up the mail.. Now how the Post office is releasing all that mail to one person, I have no idea. but they do.

What happens between that time and the time a Veteran gets his or her mail, is anybodies guess.

But we have an idea based on reports from the residents themselves.

The mail is picked up at the post office by one of the Vet Homes employees. Then it is taken to one of two locations, either the office of record keeping located in the west hall of the administration section of the McKlish building, or to a small room at the other end of that hall, located around the corner, between the west side elevators, and the volunteer office.

There the mail is sorted, and OPENED by staff members. Even Veterans who have written "DO NOT OPEN" mail notices on file, find their mail opened by staff members.

The reason for the mail being opened, is that when a "member" applies at the home, they sign a waiver allowing the home to open their mail for things related to billing and such.. This is NOT a blanket waiver allowing them to open all mail. And how the home handles this open mail is just another major problem in itself.  In 99 percent of the cases, if they take any paperwork out of the incoming mail they do not leave a courtesy photo copy of the document(s) they take.  This leaves veterans wondering what they were supposed to get, or be informed of. The veteran then has to track down information that he or she, may have little or no knowledge of because of the missing paperwork.

Then, when its all sorted and done, one of the Veterans from Dorm unit, takes the mail and delivers it to all the Veterans in the home, Monday thru Friday.  - There is no Saturday mail here. 

3 years ago in 2011, Veterans were given the option to "opt out" and sign a DO NOT OPEN form, after which their mail would not be opened without them being present. Yet the veterans who signed the form still had their mail opened, and it continues to this day. How many mistakes have to happen before someone understands that there is still a problem with this?

Now we hear of Voting materials not being delivered to veterans, or being thrown in the trash? What other mail has been thrown in the trash without veterans being informed?

It is now time for the Veterans home to step into the 21 century. And get a MAIL ROOM with specific mail handling policies that are approved of by the US Post Master General, and specific employees empowered by the Post Master, to handle the Mails.

Just like the Mail Clerks in the service, Specific people will be required to have an "authorization card", to be the ones to sort thru the mail,  to open what needs to be opened, and process the mail accordingly. And also deliver it to veterans.

Also, The mail opening policies at the home need to be written, and made public.  And accountability must be imposed on the home.. No more stealing peoples checks and rubber stamping them.  No more taking peoples paper work and leaving them in the dark.

The Poor handling of the US Mail, amongst other incidents at the home, is a direct reflection of the poor performance and leadership abilities of the current administration. The Buck stops at Sara's office - Or does it Rick Snyder?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Gov' Rick Snyder snubbs Veterans for the 3rd time.

I made a third and last request for the Governor to speak with our vets.  He and his staff have once again refused to do so.  Pushing us off until the end of the year and at that time it will likely be declined again.

Clearly, he has time to meet with the Chinese, lunch with pals on Mackinaw Island, at taxpayers expense.  But he has NO time for the vets and citizens he is supposed to serve.

Hi, ---------

Thank you so much for the invitation. We will keep your offer in mind as we move closer to the end of the year. I have copied Kaitlin, Manager of our Constituent Relations office, she is an excellent resource for information regarding the State’s policies and information related to both veterans and seniors. Please do not hesitate to contact our office, if we can ever be of assistance.

Thank you, again, for the invitation.




Local veterans  and their advocates are interested in a Town Hall or meeting with the Governor. Your team refused to meet with them at the Home for Veterans.
So, we have been holding our own meetings off-site.

We have heard through the media the Governor is scheduling Town Halls across the State of Michigan.  Would the Governor be willing to meet with them and seniors at a site other than the Home?  I have held a series of "Meet Your Rep" meetings in Wyoming, MI  over the past three years.  We have had a wide range of guests from both parties, all levels, and others.  Congressman Huizenga held his first Town Hall meeting here when he took over this district and works well with veterans and advocates on veteran issues.   Mark Schauer accepted an invitation and did speak here a few weeks ago.  We would like to hear your side about veteran issues, the Home for veterans, senior issues and such.  What are your plans to take veteran services from the bottom?  What are your plans to improve service with J2S and so on.  Typically we have a main speaker who talks about who he is, what he does, and where he is going.  Usually, that speaker then takes questions from the audience, which is quite amicable.  We are across the street from the newer Metro Hospital, off M-6,  and across from the new Veterans Outpatient Clinic which will open Nov. 14, 2014.  We hope you will reconsider.  

For the record, I have been a veteran and patient advocate for decades. No one pays me.  I am bi-partisan.  My life has been dedicated to improving lives and giving voters a chance to meet and get to know the people they are electing to offices.

Hi, ------------

Unfortunately, we do not have any openings in the governor’s schedule. We will keep your request in mind should something change. We appreciate your flexibility as the governor has an extremely aggressive calendar in the coming months.



Thank you for taking time to respond.

Is there a different date that we could work around?  The veterans at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans would really like to have the Governor visit the home to talk with them about state and veteran issues.  They will gladly work around his schedule.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerly ---------------

Thank you for the invitation for Governor Rick Snyder to participate in the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans Town Hall.  We respectfully decline this invitation as the governor is unable to participate attend.


Morgan Bedan
Scheduling Office

 Ed's Note:  We all know that Rick Snyder is balancing the states budget off the backs of Veterans. And he continues to snub veterans just as he has for his his entire time in office. He is begging the Federal government for money, and using it for other things. The Veterans are a cash cow to Snyder and his administration lead by the Dunn and Dunne team.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Are State Officials Actively Silencing Veterans Rights to free speech?

Have the Deputy Director of Michigan Veteran Affairs Agency and Top Administrator at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans violated constitutional rights and civil rights of Veterans?

One of the biggest crimes being committed against Veterans at the Michigan Veterans Home in Grand Rapids, Mich, is the way the US Mail is being handled, while their legal rights are under attack and laws are ignored.  See article: Item Number 7, Mail Handling - Issues the Administration will not address. 

Recently this issue has come to light again, because it appears that Veterans rights are now actively obstructed by State officials;  the Deputy Director of the Michigan Veteran Affairs Agency Mr. James Dunn and the Top Administrator at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, (one of the 2 veterans homes in Michigan), Sara Dunne.

I am now being told that it was James Dunn who said that it was HIS job to talk to legislators about the Veterans at the home and not the veterans' or their advocates'.  And that he tried to intimidate a visitor to the veterans' Home by telling that person what could or could not be talked about with legislators. 

That included not speaking to legislators about the Home or the perceived high number of deaths last year (of 430 residents, he said about 150 died, a little more than a third) and medical misdiagnoses at the Home.  This is a direct attempt to tell someone they can not exercise their freedom of speech. This act is a clear violation of the Constitution of both Michigan and the United States of America.

Home residents arranged a meeting with legislators this summer hoping to learn what was really happening at the VA, what their current benefits are, how to apply for transitional grants and training and things like that.  It has been widely discussed that Admin canceled that and one other meeting without prior notice to those who scheduled the meetings.  At one meeting, over 70 veterans and family members were gathering, waiting to hear answers Dunne and Dunn had for questions.  The "21 questions" were given to them prior to the meeting so they could be prepared with honest, factual data and the meeting could be amicable. 

Those gathered were told to leave by the very Home "advocate" Lino Pretto , (Member of the Board of Managers) who is supposed to represent them.  Given a chance to talk with the people he claims to represent, he told them to leave.    He claimed the meeting being was canceled by Dunn, who refused to meet with more than a handful of people.
James Dunn apparently failed to comprehend that he is accountable for 430 people, not a handful.  Lino Pretto demonstrated to many he cannot  wear the hat of advocate and Board member at the same time -- do we see a conflict of interests yet?  And Gary Davis, Social Services, who is also supposed to help them. Well, when told they needed the APR  room to accommodate vets with disabilities, Davis said in front of dozens of veterans "that does not matter!"   Oh, but it does matter because they needed that room to accommodate those vets with disabilities and that violates veteran rights under ADA. Canceling the meeting with their legislators violated the veterans' rights to free speech, assembly and representation.  Pretty serious stuff.  When will they learn, those things DO matter?
It is reported that Sara Dunne later stated they could not meet with legislators because  State laws prohibited "politicking" or "campaigning" on State Home property.  She was reportedly informed this was a meeting with reps, not a campaign session. She held fast to that meeting was not going to happen.  How shocking to many when she did not stop Terri Land from campaigning at the Veterans' yearly Carnival held on the Homes Property in July!!!  Land is reported to have handed out stickers and campaign material before she posed with veterans.  Then, without their consent, posted those photos to her social media sites, creating the false appearance veterans all supported her. 

Talk about an injustice!!!

Denying  the Veterans their rights but allowing her partner in politics to campaign at an event various veteran groups planned so those Veterans would have a fun, happy day and then using veterans to further their own political agenda was the equivalent as multiple slaps to faces of our fellow veterans.

And, on top of it all, up popped the mail problem yet again. Home residents have an ongoing problem with staff opening mail, money missing from cards, documents, checks -- even after they signed "DO NOT OPEN" forms that should prohibit staff from opening their private, US  protected mail.  But this time, the tampering was with the veterans' rights to be heard by the government via the election process.  Reports are that election related material that arrives for veterans via the USPS Mail is being withheld from the veterans. Some of the Veterans are complaining that their Absentee ballots are not being delivered to them. 

This must end, and it must end now. In all cases, the veterans voices are being quashed by State Employees, both Michigan Veteran Affairs Agency and the Veterans Homes Administration. Men who put their lives on the line for this State and Country should not have one of our most basic and cherished rights violated by tyrannical state employees in offices of public trust.

Attention Veterans: how to apply for an absentee ballot for this years Mid Term Elections.

We are running out of time.. You the veteran have a right to vote via absentee ballot in this years mid-term elections, on Federal, State, and local levels.

1. Get registered to vote in your home district. Get a voter registration form (the home has some) and send it to the Clerk of your home city/town or county, depending on where your official residence is.

2. Mail it back to the clerk, and request a "Absentee Ballot Application".
You must do this 1 (one) time each year to participate in that years elections, no matter when they are held in that year.

3. Requests for "Absentee Ballot Applications" must be in the office of your clerk by October 6th. Mail them no later than October 1st to be sure they get them in time.

4. Your absentee ballot will be sent to you at the home.

5. Veterans with Court appointed Guardians, will be required to contact their guardian, as the guardian will be required to assist you with filling out the absentee ballot, and will have to sign it to make the ballot lawful.

6. Check with the mail handlers and Gary Davis's office to make sure your Voting related mail is getting to you.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Congress woman kicked out of Vets Home announces new security Measures for the home.

Michigan Congresswoman Winnie Brinks, who was escorted off the Veterans home property at the orders of the Administration, (the home is in her district), has made the announcement in her newsletter that the home is getting new security measures.

New Security Measures for the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans
The Grand Rapids Home for Veterans will soon be getting a facility-wide video surveillance system after the State Administrative Board awarded Parkway Electric and Communications a $909,089 contract. The home already has numerous cameras inside and out, but this would expand it into a full-fledged system. The project would also include installing a new door access control system, replacing the manual door hardware with electrically operated hardware, and would include a “patient elopement system” for the dementia and Alzheimer’s wards with alarm signals to both the nurses’ station and security office. I will continue to work to ensure the overall safety and security of our veterans.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Contact info? Not directly.

"Do you have any contact information you can give us? I have some information in regards to the Veterans Millage coming up in November that taxpayers and the general public need to know before they vote in the name of the veterans, because the money will not be going to support the cause they say it will."

All comments are moderated. We see what is in them before they get posted.

You can post your info here as a comment to any article and we will see it, or you can do so on our facebook page..

Friday, September 5, 2014

Stinky, aka Herman J update - another veteran needing mental help, living on the streets.

Have you seen this man in Grand Rapids, Mi, lately? He has been spotted around the veterans home according to several sources. 

 Herman J, has grey hair and a grey full beard. He wears the same clothing constantly. He is not a threat to anyone, he just has a very foul order to him.

As a man who was kicked out of the Veterans home, he is not allowed on the property, apparently according to the rules set up by the administration and the Board of Managers.

After he was kicked out of the home, reports placed him with relatives down in Chicago Ill. But I am now told that recently he has been seen on the Veterans Homes property, in violation of its decree that he remain off the property.

I was also told that he was escorted out of one of the buildings and off the property recently.

As it turns out, Herman is afraid of water. He will not bathe or take a shower. He needs mental help but refuses to participate in it when it is offered to him.  That is why the home discharged him. 

He was also a hoarder, and kept piles of junk mail in his living area creating a fire hazzard.

If you see this man on the Veterans home property please contact security.

He is allowed on the Clinic property, which is the clinic building and its parking lot, and the public street that goes thru the homes property connecting Monroe Avenue and Coit street, at the north end of the Veterans home complex. (This is the street that runs along the duck pond.)

Veteran N. on left, Herman on right.