This section is for activists, advocates and friends/supporters of homeless vets on this website to network, exchange ideas and engage in constructive conversation.

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21 February 2011

FROM:
William L. Hickey
CWO USN RET
70 Hill Ranch Road
Edgewood NM 87015
paleohippy@gmail.com
505-507-0871

TO:
GEORGE J. OPFER
Inspector General
VA INSPECTOR GENERAL HOTLINE (53E)
P.O. BOX 50410
WASHINGTON, DC 20091-0410

SUBJ:
Malfeasance, Misfeasance, Fraud, Waste and Abuse concerning
the West L.A. Veteran's Campus at I-405 and Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA

REFERENCES:

1. ARTICLE: Local Foundation Charges Breach of Fiduciary Responsibility at the VA
Granddaughter of Walter Annenberg hires attorney to press case; is joined by veteran activists.
By Jeffrey S. Hall | January 19, 2011
http://www.westsidetoday.com/s17-4262/local-foundation-charges-breach.html

2. Annenberg Foundation Position Paper Brief
http://www.dilworthlaw.com/NewsEvents/Articles?find=58469

3. Annenberg Foundation Position Paper
http://www.scribd.com/doc/48050456/Preserving-a-Home-for-Veterans

4. West LA VA Medical Center Draft Master Plan
http://www.scribd.com/doc/48127448/WLA-VA-Draft-Master-Plan

5. Southern California ACLU joins the Fray
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0216-aclu-vets-20110216,0,7240993.story

6. Documentary Film Preview (10 minutes) by Bill Dumas
http://www.HomelessVetMovie.com/

Inspector General Opfer:

I was recently sent a preview copy of the "Homeless Vet Movie" (REF. 6) by Mr. Bill Dumas. It is a professional-grade guerilla flick which captures the ongoing situation concerning West Los Angeles homeless veterans (20,000 strong) vis-a-vis the vacant West LA Veterans Campus bounded on the west by I-405 and on the south by Wilshire Boulevard. The gist of the film story is that this property is held by law in perpetuity for the sole purpose of housing and otherwise aiding homeless veterans. Homeless veterans, however, are forbidden to enter the property and the property is being used outside of its stated legal parameters by various individuals and organizations for their own private purposes.

I did some homework to determine the veracity of the charges the film makes. In references 1 through 5, these charges are more than verified as true by highly reputable sources. That gives me permission to write to you about this situation and to ask what you are doing about it and, if nothing, what you intend to do about it and when. This is no lightweight situation. My first impulse was to organize the local vets , breach the fence and occupy the land. On second thought, I decided to use the chain of command for redress first and to consider other options later, if indicated. In the meantime, the Vets are still homeless and their property remains stolen. For the Vets, it's in their faces... as you can see by the imagery in the movie of a chained gate, while on the inside, civilians are enjoying the benefits of stolen property. How far up the California VA chain of command does this corruption go? I'm sure the City of Los Angeles is getting some kind of mileage out of the illegal use of this land, too.

According to the Draft Master Plan, something is being done or at least being thought about. These Vets don't need master plans except for long-range assurance of their rights and benefits. What they need right now is some shelter and assistance on their own land. If you plan to investigate this boondoggle I wish that you would include in your report a recommendation to allow these Vets on campus and to fund emergency shelter with appropriate amenities, such as portable toilets. A well-built military tent city would be better, and I'm sure you could get volunteer active duty and retired Navy Seabees to do the work on a volunteer basis. I hate to think out of the box because I know how it stresses you bureaucrats... but you need to get your stuff together and get these vets some help. The movie indicates that these Vets have some real prissy neighbors who are offended at the sight of a homeless person, never mind that the homeless person is a Veteran. The human story never seems to get any better, does it?

Respectfully,

William Hickey

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