Book Review/Description

"BROKEN PROMISES - Marine Combat Veteran Turns Whistleblower Exposing Compromised Mental Health Care at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)" by LtCol Ted Blickwedel is a gripping and poignant narrative that delves deep into the heart of systemic failures within one of America's most venerable institutions. Blickwedel, with the courage and tenacity characteristic of a Marine, takes readers on a harrowing journey through his experiences as a whistleblower fighting against the Department of Veterans Affairs' neglect and malpractice.


The book meticulously documents Blickwedel's transformation from a dedicated Licensed Clinical Social Worker and VET Center counselor into a formidable advocate for veterans' rights. His story is one of valor outside the battlefield, where the enemies are bureaucracy and corruption rather than armed combatants. Blickwedel's account sheds light on the VA's dehumanizing clinical performance policies that prioritize numbers over people, leading to detrimental effects on the mental health of veterans and the welfare/morale of the clinicians dedicated to serving them.


"BROKEN PROMISES" is not just an exposé of the wrongdoings within the VA; it is a vivid portrayal of the personal toll whistleblowing can take on individuals and their families. Blickwedel's narrative is raw and honest, detailing the retaliatory measures taken against him, designed to silence his voice. These tactics ranged from defamation and marginalization to more sinister forms of psychological warfare, showcasing the lengths to which institutions will go to protect their interests over those they serve.


What makes "BROKEN PROMISES" particularly compelling is its relevance beyond the specific context of the VA. Blickwedel's story is emblematic of the struggles faced by whistleblowers everywhere, fighting against entrenched systems of power. The book serves as both a cautionary tale and a manual for those who might find themselves in similar situations, offering practical advice on navigating the treacherous waters of whistleblowing, from instigating investigations to maintaining one's mental health and resilience in the face of adversity.


The culmination of Blickwedel's efforts, resulting in legislative action and policy reform, is a testament to the impact one individual can have in effecting systemic change. His story is a beacon of hope for accountability and justice, not only within the VA but in all institutions plagued by corruption and inequity.


In "BROKEN PROMISES," LtCol Ted Blickwedel emerges not just as a whistleblower but as a hero of our time, embodying the ideals of courage, integrity, and an unwavering commitment to justice. This book is an essential read for anyone interested in veterans' affairs, mental health advocacy, and the power of the individual against seemingly insurmountable odds. It is a powerful reminder of the cost of service and the enduring strength of the human spirit.


Review by:

Jacob Mendez