For more than five years, veteran and former radio news reporter Larry Scott has published news and resources on the Veterans Affairs Department on his website VA Watchdog dot Org. Scott launched the effort after a year of advising veterans online about how to access VA benefits—a labor he began as a result of his own frustrating experience.
Outliers: This VA watchdog isn't going away
But at the end of October, Scott, who lives in Vancouver, Wash., said he would cease publication at some point after Feb. 1. “I am in failing health and can no longer maintain the site on a day-to-day basis,” he wrote. (He also stressed his illness was unrelated to his service.)
Now, with Veterans Day coincidentally on the horizon, we have word the website will continue. In an interview, Scott said he has entered into negotiations with an organization he trusts to continue the website’s role as watchdog and veterans’ resource. “I appointed myself VA watchdog. It was a recess appointment so I didn’t need the Senate to confirm me,” he jokes. Government operations belong out in public, he continues. “I firmly believe that every government agency should have a watchdog,” he says. The VA wasn’t “the best at being transparent.”
Scott praises VA healthcare on the website, where he explains the VA Watchdog mission: “This is NOT a VA hate site,” he wrote. “We believe the VA offers the best healthcare in this country. And independent studies by such prestigious organizations as the RAND Corp. prove it time and again. This site is designed to keep an eye on those who fund and run the VA ... the politicians and the political appointees who don’t have to worry about healthcare.”
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