Commentary: Fourth Reading: The Story of an Epic Fail

Article excerpt

My children call it epic fail.

It's one of those events or actions where absolutely everything is wrong, something needs to be completely redone and where people need to start over from the very beginning.

It's something like the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs.

For more than seven months, this newspaper has published story after story that detailed incidents of abuse, neglect, rape and death at many of the state's seven veterans centers.

The stories were horrific and heartbreaking.

It didn't take long before everyone from Republican Gov. Mary Fallin to members of the state House and Senate's veterans committees were gathering information and trying to discover just where things went wrong.

To her credit, Fallin quickly moved to replace eight of the nine members of the War Veterans Commission, the board that is supposed to be charged with oversight of the ODVA and its long-term care facilities. Fallin also forced the retirement of the ODVA's long- term executive director and raised Cain with the new members of the WVC, telling them she would hold them responsible for future problems.

While the governor was cleaning house, the Legislature began an in-depth study of the ODVA and the veterans centers. So far, so good.

However, the improvements didn't last long.

Just this week, The Journal Record discovered that the ODVA and the new administrator of the Claremore Veterans Center had reinstated the center's former director of nursing to her job. …