As someone who has lived in Washington, D.C. for nearly ten years now I’m pretty immune to stories of waste fraud and abuse. I don’t like to say I’m jaded, but let’s say I’m far from surprised when I learn that the GSA has over-the-top conferences in Las Vegas and sends its interns on Palm Springs retreats. But even for a hardened Washingtonian like myself, some abuses are hard to stomach.

Take this $52,000 Veterans Administration training video, just one part of an excessive conference that cost the American taxpayer over 5 million and no doubt took resources away from veterans who need them.

Congress is looking into the matter and I seriously hope some heads end up on the same silver platter they ate their conference dinners from.

In the meantime, however, check out this video, released just this week by U.S. Army Infantry soldiers stationed in Kunar, Afghanistan.  Cost of this, actually entertaining, actually watchable video? A lot of talent, a lot of spare hours, and a priceless reward of morale boosting to the service members and their families.

I wish someone could go back and write those service members a bonus check for $52,000 for producing a video that should actually inspire those in the VA to serve them better. As someone who’s worked in the government social media sphere, I wish conference organizers and event planners would take the time to look for open source, FREE resources before they rush at the opportunity to spend taxpayer dollars. The VA instead chose to highlight themselves, and an overweight version of Patton. Which do you find more inspiring?

Lindy Kyzer is the editor of ClearanceJobs.com. She loves cybersecurity, social media, and the U.S. military. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email editor@clearancejobs.com.

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Lindy Kyzer is the editor of ClearanceJobs.com. She loves the NISPPAC, social media, and the U.S. military. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email lindy.kyzer@clearancejobs.com. Interested in writing for ClearanceJobs.com? Learn more here.