Heroic VA Whistleblower and Author Paula Pedene to Speak May 15

Paula Pedene

Nancy Stutman

Jewish War Veterans Copper State Post 619 welcomes speaker Paula Pedene, author of A Sacred Duty, which is based on how faith, perseverance, and grit were able to help her win her whistleblower case against the Phoenix Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care System. The meeting will be on Sunday, May 15, at 10 a.m. at the Oakwood Country Club, Poolside Card Room, at 24218 S. Oakwood Blvd., in Sun Lakes. It is open to the entire community.

Principal of Paula Pedene & Associates public relations, Pedene is the Veterans Voice columnist for The Arizona Republic and an Ethics Advocate, serving on the Board of Ethics and Professional Standards. She is a decorated U.S. Navy Veteran with military service during both the Cold War and Operation Desert Storm. After transitioning from the Navy as a journalist, she became an award-winning Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) public relations practitioner.

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear Pedene share how she became one of the first whistleblowers at the Phoenix VA. After new leaders came in, they punished her for her whistleblowing activities by removing her from her high-profile public relations position and banishing her to the basement library as a clerk.

While in the basement, Pedene became aware of the Phoenix VA wait-time scandal. She worked anonymously for a year trying to expose the illegal activities. The eventual fallout from the disgraceful treatment of veterans and others eventually led to the resignation of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Today, Phoenix Veterans can breathe easier knowing that the system has been completely overhauled.

A Sacred Duty will be available for attendees at a discounted price of $20, and Pedene will sign it for you.

Bagels, lox, coffee and “meet and greet” start at 9:30 a.m. A short business meeting begins at 10 a.m. followed by the speaker and book signing. There is no charge, but to partake in the food, a reservation is required by 5 p.m. on Friday, May 13, by contacting Joyce Spartonos at [email protected] or 480-802-4902. Please also let Joyce know if you wish to reserve a book.

Jewish War Veterans (JWV) is the oldest active national veteran organization in continuous operation in America. JWV Post 619 members represent a wide range of religious affiliations and participate in philanthropic activities to help Jewish and non-Jewish veterans. Money raised from its poppy drive and fundraising activities enables the Post to fund events such as dinners at the city’s veterans organization and the VA Hospital. Their mission to support hospitalized, homeless, and at-risk veterans is further accomplished by donating all profits to 501(C)(3) veterans’ organizations.

For more information, visit CopperstatePost619.com. Meetings feature speakers focused on supporting veterans. For additional information about JWV activities or membership, please contact Jr. Vice Commander Elliott Reiss at 480-802-3281 or [email protected].