Above: IAVA-organized 'Storm the Hill' day in Washington, D.C. Credit: IAVA on Flickr.
The numbers in the scandal over the delays in health care and other benefits incurred by the Department of Veterans Affairs were shocking. As of June 2013, returning veterans trying to get help for medical issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder, had to wait an average of 336 days, according to Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the largest nonprofit organization for post-9/11 veterans and their families. The wait was almost triple the VA’s stated goal of 125 days. By March 2013, the so-called “backlog,” the number of veterans waiting to access benefits, had reached 611,000. But numbers never tell the whole story.
The site is an interactive visualization tool of the wait times many veterans have been enduring but also a means to learn about each veteran affected and connect with them. (Each entry has “Learn more about this veteran” and “I want to connect with this vet about his experience” links.)