The Department of Veterans Affairs Supreme Chancellor Viceroy Dr. Magnus VonEvel believes thinks the VA's new mascot will be a big hit with the veteran community. Image by Coffee or Die.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is adopting a new mascot that agency officials believe will inspire solidarity among post-9/11 veterans and motivate more of them to enroll in the VA health care system.
Dr. Magnus VonEvel IV, the supreme chancellor viceroy of the Department of Veterans Affairs, proudly introduced the VA’s new mascot, Blaze the Burn Pit, during a press conference held Thursday morning in his torchlit throne room overlooking the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris, France.
“Blaze will serve as the official mascot for the VA as well as a walking testament to our profound love and sympathy for America’s heroes” VonEvel told reporters. “His infectious smile, nontoxic emissions, and zany song-and-dance routines are sure to be a big hit with the veteran community.”
VonEvel’s optimism may come as a surprise to those familiar with the many controversies that have plagued the VA in recent years. The department has been accused in the past of being insensitive or otherwise oblivious to issues plaguing the veteran community. VonEvel said that Blaze was proof that these accusations were baseless and that his agency was, in fact, listening to the men and women it serves.
“Blaze came to life after we noticed an awful lot of veterans coming into our facilities talking about these ‘burn pit’ things,'' VonEvel said from behind his golden podium. “Frankly, at first, we weren’t too sure what all the talk was about, but now we’ve got it figured out.”
More than just a mascot, Blaze will also serve as an online digital guide for veterans applying for benefits. Image by Coffee or Die Magazine.
After briefly pausing the press conference to write and disseminate a memo reminding all VA employees to never answer their phones, VonEvel went on to explain that the decision to anoint Blaze the VA’s official mascot was made under the assumption that veterans of the Global War on Terror love burn pits.
“We think burn pits are to veterans what campfires are to you and me,” VonEvel said as he stood admiring the thousands of framed disability claims that adorn his walls. “These young men and women clearly have fond memories of huddling around a burn pit while deployed overseas, and we wanted to enshrine that experience so they can relive it every time they step foot in a VA facility.”
VonEvel said Blaze would be a ubiquitous presence in the VA universe. In addition to serving as a virtual guide on the department’s notoriously confusing website, Blaze will dispense lifesaving advice as an automated counselor for the veterans crisis line. Yet, according to VonEvel, Blaze’s biggest contribution to the health and morale of America’s veterans will be his upcoming national tour, during which he will visit every VA facility in the country to perform his trademark “Burn Pits are Fun” dance.
When asked whether he was concerned that some veterans might take offense at the VA’s new mascot, VonEvel cackled and said, “Why? Veterans love burn pits! And Blaze is the most lovable burn pit of them all!”
The press conference concluded with a surprise appearance from Blaze, who performed several dance routines before two reporters succumbed to the toxic smoke billowing from his head and had to be rushed to a local hospital, where they were both pronounced dead upon arrival.
Satire Disclaimer: This article is a work of satire. It is fiction. The events depicted above did not actually happen. The Department of Veterans Affairs did not adopt an anthropomorphic burn pit as its official mascot. We’d pitch the idea, but just like with our disability claims, it would probably get denied.
Eric Miller is a former Army Combat Medic from Parkersburg, West Virginia. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history and has worked with homeless populations and veteran services throughout the state. He is an avid outdoorsman and has recently become interested in woodworking.
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