ABOVE: The Winston-Salem Veterans Affairs regional office before and after pictures, showing VBMS kicking in for real.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) does a lot of different things for vets. Most of the workers are on the VA medical side, but there's also a group that processes benefits payments for vets. That's the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), and they work on over a million claims from vets each year.

They work hard but get a lot of crap. So this is for them: Folks, I've seen you get the job done, with lots of extra hours. That's appreciated!

The next steps involve lots more use of the digital Veterans Management Benefits System (VBMS) to get stuff done. Those photos above show that around 75 percent of the claims inventory has been put online.

It also means getting Veterans Service Organizations involved, which also means connecting outside software like VetPro connected to VBMS via Digits to Digits, D2D.

This is in my role as "nerd-in-residence" at the VA Center for Innovation.

That's my designated term. I know who I am and have a sense of humor. For Washington, I'm funny — granted that's a low bar. (The wife reminds me that I'm not as funny as I think I am.)