VFW employee creates paperless office – but, didn’t know you were supposed to make digital copies before shredding originals!

George Wincapaw thought he was getting some strange requests from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The 63-year-old Vietnam War veteran had had several heart attacks since leaving the Navy, submitting enough paperwork on them to amass a two-volume file at the Veterans Benefits Administration office. But in response to his most recent claim, submitted earlier this year, the office was requesting copies of medical records Wincapaw had already submitted.

Curious, he traveled from his home in Oconomowoc to the VA regional offices in Milwaukee to look at his medical file. What he found shocked him.

He wasn’t providing duplicates. Dozens of his medical records were missing.

Then the public contact representative with whom he was reviewing his file broke the news: An employee had been fired from the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Wincapaw’s representative agency, for destroying veterans’ records.

An official with the state VFW, which handles thousands of such cases a year, told Public Investigator the employee had shredded nearly all its veterans files – no one knows how many – after making a unilateral decision to go “paperless…”

Steve Lawrence, speaking for the group, admitted that Lee Guerrero, who represented veterans on their claims, was fired in August 2009 for shredding all of their claimant files in the VFW service office.

He did not keep electronic copies of the documents, either…

“He just thought going paperless meant getting rid of the files  . . . It cost him his job as soon as we found out about it,” Lawrence said.

RTFA. Explains other stuff you may find interesting as well.

Dumbest part? Employees who complained about what Guerrero was doing – were told to shut up. They weren’t high enough up the food chain to get anyone to listen to them.

5 thoughts on “VFW employee creates paperless office – but, didn’t know you were supposed to make digital copies before shredding originals!

    • Skip Holcombe says:

      AND they WONT hire me to be an examiner with 20 yrs experience as an expert claims examiner because I am not a “disabled” VET. It allegedly takes two yrs to train veterans ratings examiners. I am a VET who wants to help with the problem of the claims backlog and have scored 100/100 for several regional office positions.

      I have been referred to the hiring manager at no less than five regional offices. However, no job offers allegedly because the inexperienced, disabled VET is hired in front of me.

      I would like to help….but, if faced with this type of stupidity and lack of response from my superiors I would SCREAM to every member of Congress and the media till the right thing is done.

  1. Morey says:

    This is just painful to read.

    It reminds me when I was towards the end of my senior year of high school. Employees of the school were told to clear out a certain storage room, so they threw it all away– including all of the awards for the graduation ceremony.

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