Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

VA training guide likens vets to Oscar the Grouch

About a dozen slides with tips for employees on how to help veterans with their claims included images of Sesame Street's Oscar the Grouch.   [Associated Press]

About a dozen slides with tips for employees on how to help veterans with their claims included images of Sesame Street's Oscar the Grouch. [Associated Press]

PHILADELPHIA — An internal training guide used by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs compared veterans unhappy about their care to Oscar the Grouch, a newspaper reported.

The Philadelphia Inquirer obtained a VA training slide show with tips for employees on how to help veterans with their claims. It was shown to VA employees staffing town-hall events with veterans in Philadelphia.

About a dozen slides included pictures of the grumpy Sesame Street character who lives in a trash can. The slide show said veterans might be demanding and unrealistic, and advised staffers on "what to say to Oscar the Grouch."

Veterans groups called the comparison insulting, especially in the wake of a VA scandal over veterans' health care.

"There is no time or place to make light of the current crisis that the VA is in," said Joe Davis, a national spokesman for the VFW. "And especially to insult the VA's primary customer."

A VA spokeswoman told the Inquirer that the agency regretted any misunderstanding.

"The training provided was not intended to equate veterans with this character," spokeswoman Marisa Prugsawan said. "It was intended to remind our employees to conduct themselves as courteously and professionally as possible when dealing with veterans and their concerns."

Prugsawan said she didn't know if the slide show was created locally or by the national VA office and sent to regional centers.

VA training guide likens vets to Oscar the Grouch 08/27/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 27, 2014 3:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Johnny Depp asks about assassinating the president at Glastonbury Festival (w/video)

    Celebrities

    LOS ANGELES — Johnny Depp has asked a crowd at the Glastonbury Festival when was the last time an actor assassinated a president. The remarks came during a segment Thursday in which Depp was speaking about President Donald Trump.

    Actor Johnny Depp introduces a film at the Glastonbury music festival at Worthy Farm, in Somerset, England, Thursday, June 22, 2017. [Grant Pollard | Invision/AP]
  2. Morning after off day: Rays ready for slumping O's

    Blogs

     

  3. Florida education news: Charter schools, traveling man, lunch prices and more

    Blogs

    #HB7069: Now that it's law, HB 7069 has a new target on its back: Will it be challenged in court? Broward County Democrat Sen. Gary Farmer says he's doing all he can "to …

    Thousands of children attend Florida charter schools, which are growing in number and now stand to receive capital projects local tax revenue.
  4. Forecast: Hot, humid and mostly dry conditions prevail for St. Pete Pride weekend

    Weather

    The threat of any lingering effects from Tropical Storm Cindy have passed, leaving behind a relatively dry — but hot and humid — St. Pete Pride weekend.

    Tampa Bay's 7-day forecast [WTSP]
  5. Florida Insiders: The state parties are dying; 'I heard someone long for the leadership of Jim Greer'

    Blogs

    For all the attention on Florida Democratic Chairman Stephen Bittel's bone headed gaffe this week, the diminished state of the once mighty Florida GOP today compared to even a few years ago is arguably more striking than the condition of the long-suffering Florida Democratic Party. A decade ago, no one would have …

    Florida Insider Poll