About

Engaging. Not a word which many Veterans typically use to describe their relationship with the Department of Veterans Affairs. A more common word associated with VA and its interaction with Vets? Adversarial.

It’s disappointing, but that’s the reality. For too many Veterans (and families), communicating with VA can be such a hassle that it affects the Department’s ability to carry out its mission of providing benefits and services to America’s former service members. If Veterans and VA are talking past each other—or not talking to each other at all, then two things happen: Vets don’t know what they’re entitled to or how to get it, and VA doesn’t know what needs Veterans have.

At VAntage Point, the official blog of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, that same old way of communicating (or not communicating) goes out the window. Here, VA employees will provide Veterans with a wealth of information. We will talk about things you might not have been aware of and we’ll break down and explain processes which might have bewildered you. But it doesn’t end there. If you’re a student on the GI Bill, a Vietnam Vet, a VA employee, the spouse of a VA patient, or anything else, you’ll have the opportunity to contribute. We’ve opened the comments section of each of our front-page posts and we have a special section for “Guest Posts” where you can submit your own writing for publication.

For us at VA, this is just a start. It’s the beginning of a new relationship between the Department and those we serve—where we strive to get the right information to the right Veteran at the right time. And we hope you’ll join us in making it happen.

Meet the Team:

Tim Hudak
Reynaldo Leal
Yvonne Levardi
Megan Moloney
Emily Tavoulareas
Josh Tuscher

Tim Hudak

Staff Writer
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Tim Hudak joined the VA digital engagement team in December 2013. Tim, a Chicago-land native enlisted in the Marine Corps straight out of high school. As an intelligence analyst he was stationed in Hawaii and deployed to Al Anbar province, Iraq with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363 in 2006 and 2008. In addition, he traveled to several other Pacific Rim countries in support of various exercises.  After the Marine Corps, Tim used the GI Bill to earn a degree in Intelligence Studies from Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa., and co-founded the university’s first student Veteran organization. He previously worked at the Department of Agriculture as a Web Analytics Specialist in the Office of Communications. Tim is active in many Veteran organizations, stays current in digital content technology, and enjoys wrestling his German shepherd, Capone (who wins more often than you would think).

Reynaldo Leal

Staff Writer, Photographer
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Reynaldo Leal joined the VA Public Affairs team Aug. 2013 as a writer/photographer. The native Texan is best known for the images he took while deployed to the Al Anbar Province with 3rd Battalion 5th Marine Regiment in 2006. He also took part in some of the heaviest fighting during Operation Phantom Fury in 2004. Before coming to D.C., he worked as a photojournalist for the Standard-Examiner in Ogden, Utah, and freelanced for the Texas Tribune. His work can be seen in the War/Photography exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and has been published in the New York Times, Virginia Quarterly Review and Oxford American.

Yvonne Levardi

Content Team Chief
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs


Yvonne Levardi serves as the content team chief for VA’s digital engagement operation. In this role, she works closely with the team’s writers, video producers and photographers to plan and coordinate the distribution of stories and information about the Department of Veterans Affairs through the VA’s online and social media channels. Prior to joining VA, Yvonne was the civilian chief of public affairs at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch, Germany. She served for seven and a half years as an Air Force public affairs officer at Holloman AFB, N.M.; Lajes Field, The Azores; and at the reorganized 13th Air Force (Kenney Warfighting Headquarters) where she helped establish the office. In 2003, she deployed to Ramstein AB, Germany in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and served for a month at Camp As Sayliyah in Qatar for the U.S. Central Command. Yvonne holds degrees from Eastern Washington University (BA, Journalism), and Seton Hall University (MA, Strategic Communication and Leadership.) She’s married to Mario, also an Air Force Veteran, and has two goofy kids. In her spare time, Yvonne loves to read, blog about cooking, travel and take pictures.

Megan Moloney

Director of Digital Media Engagement
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Megan joined the VA in May 2013 as the Director of Digital Media Engagement. Prior to joining VA, Megan worked at the U.S. Secret Service, overseeing a wide range of media and public relations activities. She served as press secretary to Adm. Thad Allen on the Deepwater Horizon response, and was the Director of Radio and Television Production for the White House Press Office. Megan also worked as a radio and television reporter, producer, and director, and is the recipient of several Ohio Associated Press awards and regional Emmy nominations. She holds degrees from Miami University (BS, Mass Communications) and Johns Hopkins University (MA, Management). A native of Lexington, Kentucky, Megan is a proud military spouse, and daughter and granddaughter of Army and Navy veterans who served in World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Megan is also a certified Irish dance instructor and an animal rescue volunteer.

Emily Tavoulareas

Senior Digital Advisor
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Emily has spent more than seven years using digital technologies to effectively identify, engage and activate communities around the world. Through her digital work she has collaborated with developers, designers and social entrepreneurs to create campaigns and products that positively impact people’s lives. As Senior Digital Advisor in VA’s Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, she is focused on incorporating digital best practices into the fabric of VA’s communications and engagement infrastructure, and creating data-driven campaigns and products. Prior to joining VA, Emily was Creative Strategist at iStrategyLabs, a boutique creative agency in Washington DC that specialized in products that bridge the online and offline worlds. She has had a hand in a number of exciting events aimed at bringing together innovators and problem solvers, including coordinating DC Social Media Week 2013, and facilitating the first-ever White House Codeathon for the Equal Futures Partnership. You’ll often hear her talking about user-centered design and open data. Also, she has a serious weakness for french fries.

Josh Tuscher

New Media Technologist
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

As VA’s New Media Technologist, Josh Tuscher serves as the team’s creative director and ensures the Department uses the most current communications platforms to engage with Veterans. Prior to joining VA, Josh worked as a graphic designer and web developer in the private sector. During that time, he served for eight years as an infantryman in the New Hampshire Army National Guard and Army Reserve. In 2004, Josh deployed to Balad, Iraq with the 3rd Battalion, 172nd Infantry Regiment. After returning in 2005, Josh again mobilized—this time for duty in New Orleans assisting with relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina. While in Iraq, Josh kept extensive video footage, later contributing it to the combat documentary “The War Tapes” (for which he received a credit). The film went on to win “Best Documentary” at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival. Josh graduated in 2006 with a BFA from Keene State College.

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