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OSC Works to Support Military Veterans, Meets with Advocacy Groups to Expand Outreach & Education

OSC supports America’s veterans and is committed to helping improve military retiree care and ensure the employment rights of our returning uniformed service members.

​The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) supports America's veterans and is committed to helping improve military retiree care and ensure the employment rights of our returning uniformed service members.

This week, Special Counsel Hampton Dellinger and senior OSC leaders met with veterans' advocacy groups to discuss OSC's work, and to explore ways to enhance connections with veterans and expand the agency's outreach. Attendees at the roundtable included the Reserve Organization of America, Vietnam Veterans of America, AMVETS (American Veterans), and Veterans of Foreign Wars. OSC is committed to a continuing dialogue with these groups and working with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and civilian Department of Defense (DoD) employees to make OSC's services more accessible to those who need them.

“My home state of North Carolina prides itself on being America's most 'military friendly.'  And I want the Office of Special Counsel to be as 'military friendly' and pro-veterans as possible," said Special Counsel Dellinger. “I'm grateful for all the work OSC currently does to ensure that federal agencies are fulfilling their legal obligations when serving veterans and advocating for retaliation-free workplaces that encourage employees to come forward when they see wrongdoing.

“OSC recognizes Memorial Day as a time to reflect on the greatest sacrifice made by so many of our fellow Americans in the military. Throughout the year, I hope veterans and their advocates will enlist OSC as a partner in efforts to make sure the federal government does everything it can, and everything it must, for America's active-duty and part-time military members and veterans."

One way OSC supports veterans is through its enforcement of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), which protects military service members and veterans from employment discrimination on the basis of their service, and allows them to regain their civilian jobs following their service. For example, OSC last year obtained full relief, including backpay and benefits, for a Maine Air National Guardsman who was wrongfully denied reinstatement in his Postal Service job following his post-9/11 military duty (read more).

Through its whistleblower disclosure program, OSC also offers a safe channel for federal employees, including at the VA, to blow the whistle on officials, programs, or facilities that are not  meeting the standards the law demands and our veterans deserve. Whistleblowers, therefore, are a vital resource to ensure any problems are highlighted and addressed.

Over the past several years, OSC has worked with many VA whistleblowers to identify waste, achieve significant cost savings, and ensure the safety of VA workers and veterans receiving care. For example, a VA medical center in Richmond, Virginia recently implemented corrective action to improve the safety of Laundry Service operations after a whistleblower disclosed to OSC an uptick in contaminated needles found in laundry bins (read more).

OSC is committed to supporting veterans by helping agencies, including the VA and DoD, create a positive culture of whistleblowing. When whistleblowers are empowered to speak up about potential misconduct without fear of reprisal, we can best protect the health and safety of our veterans, and honor those who have served.