Coming Home Project http://wnpr.org en Iraq War Veterans Reflect on New Crisis http://wnpr.org/post/iraq-war-veterans-reflect-new-crisis <p>Throughout the U.S. occupation of Iraq, there was concern about what would happen to the country when combat forces left. Over the last year, m<span style="line-height: 1.5;">ilitant extremists have slowly taken over the country and now President Barack Obama is weighing his options. "</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">We will not be sending U.S. troops back into combat in Iraq, but I have asked my national security team to prepare a range of other options that could help support Iraqi security forces," Obama said on Friday.</span></p><p> Mon, 16 Jun 2014 13:00:00 +0000 John Dankosky, Tucker Ives, Lydia Brown & Catie Talarski 23706 at http://wnpr.org Iraq War Veterans Reflect on New Crisis Captain Rich Evans: a Legacy of Fight and Defend http://wnpr.org/post/captain-rich-evans-legacy-fight-and-defend <p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">"I joined the Army the day after September&nbsp;11," said Captain Rich Evans, sharing his long legacy in fighting for the United States. He admits freely his changing emotion towards Afghanistan.&nbsp;</p><p> Fri, 30 May 2014 15:48:06 +0000 Jake Warga 24991 at http://wnpr.org Captain Rich Evans: a Legacy of Fight and Defend Should VA Secretary Shinseki Step Down? http://wnpr.org/post/should-va-secretary-shinseki-step-down Transcript <p>RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: <p>This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. This coming week, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki is expected to update President Obama on a nationwide review on VA facilities. Many VA hospitals have been accused of covering up long wait times for veterans and cooking the books to hide these delays. Sun, 25 May 2014 12:02:00 +0000 editor 22479 at http://wnpr.org Staff Sergeant Christen Cohen on Memories of Afghanistan http://wnpr.org/post/staff-sergeant-christen-cohen-memories-afghanistan <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Staff Sergeant Christen Cohen speaks about her deployments in Afghanistan and on being the only woman in her unit. &nbsp;She carries with her a reminder of her mortality.</span></p><p> Fri, 23 May 2014 15:53:02 +0000 Jake Warga 24990 at http://wnpr.org Staff Sergeant Christen Cohen on Memories of Afghanistan Captain Jason Pace as Physician Assistant in Afghanistan http://wnpr.org/post/captain-jason-pace-physician-assistant-afghanistan <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Captain Jason Pace tries to treat symptoms of depression and stress without medication. He believes that there are burdens a solider must carry inside that may never be lifted.</span></p><p> Fri, 16 May 2014 15:53:32 +0000 Jake Warga 24986 at http://wnpr.org Captain Jason Pace as Physician Assistant in Afghanistan Corporal Dan Elenhof as a Medic in Afghanistan http://wnpr.org/post/corporal-dan-elenhof-medic-afghanistan <p>In addition to the physical objects Corporal Elenhof carries on his person, he also says he brings with him a sense of hospitality. "You know, just working every day with a foreign culture," he said, "definitely that culture rubs off on you. In Afghan culture, hospitality is a huge part of it. I'm definitely going to be carrying home a lot of that."</p><p> Fri, 09 May 2014 15:45:57 +0000 Jake Warga 24983 at http://wnpr.org Corporal Dan Elenhof as a Medic in Afghanistan Specialist Lackey on What He Carries in Afghanistan http://wnpr.org/post/specialist-lackey-what-he-carries-afghanistan <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Specialist Lackey carries with him the remains of his father in a small urn around his neck.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Fri, 02 May 2014 15:31:21 +0000 Jake Warga 24982 at http://wnpr.org Specialist Lackey on What He Carries in Afghanistan "The Things They Carry" in Afghanistan; Wits' John Moe Is a Nerd http://wnpr.org/post/things-they-carry-afghanistan-wits-john-moe-nerd <p>Inspired by Tim O’Brien’s Vietnam War book <em>The Things They Carried</em>,<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;journalist Jake </span>Warga<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> set out to document some of the physical objects and emotional memories carried by U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. J</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">ake recently joins us to talk about the series,&nbsp;The Things They Carry: U.S. Soldiers in Afghanistan, which will begin airing as part of our <a href="http://wnpr.org/topic/coming-home-project">Coming Home Project on </a></span><a href="http://wnpr.org/topic/coming-home-project">WNPR<span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></a></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">We also visit with John Moe, host of the <a href="http://witsradio.org/">public radio show <em>Wits</em>.</a> He's in Hartford this weekend to moderate the Connecticut Forum’s season finale event,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ctforum.org/forum/nerd-fest" target="_blank">Nerd Fest: Why Nerds Rule the World.</a></span></p><p> Fri, 02 May 2014 13:00:00 +0000 John Dankosky, Tucker Ives, Lydia Brown & Catie Talarski 21172 at http://wnpr.org "The Things They Carry" in Afghanistan; Wits' John Moe Is a Nerd UConn Business School Recognized in Military Times http://wnpr.org/post/uconn-business-school-recognized-military-times <p>UConn's School of Business is included in a ranking of the<a href="http://projects.militarytimes.com/best-for-veterans/business-schools/2014/" target="_blank"> top 60 business schools for veterans</a>.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">This is the second year </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">Military Times</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;issued the ranking after surveying 140 colleges and universities.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 20:39:20 +0000 Lucy Nalpathanchil 18963 at http://wnpr.org UConn Business School Recognized in Military Times Connecticut Veterans Fired For Military Service Can Sue in State Court http://wnpr.org/post/connecticut-veterans-fired-military-service-can-sue-state-court <p>A recent decision by the Connecticut Appellate Court could help local veterans who have been wrongfully terminated because of their military service.</p><p> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 21:37:17 +0000 Lucy Nalpathanchil 17491 at http://wnpr.org Connecticut Veterans Fired For Military Service Can Sue in State Court Hiring Our Heroes Comes to Groton http://wnpr.org/post/hiring-our-heroes-comes-groton <p>More than 40 employers took part in a hiring fair in Groton Tuesday aimed specifically at veterans. It was part of the <a href="http://www.hiringourheroes.org" target="_blank">Hiring Our Heroes</a> campaign run by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.</p><p> Wed, 29 Jan 2014 12:25:09 +0000 Harriet Jones 16142 at http://wnpr.org Hiring Our Heroes Comes to Groton Senate Bill Would Restore COLA Benefit for Veterans http://wnpr.org/post/senate-bill-would-restore-cola-benefit-veterans <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">U.S. Senator Richard </span>Blumenthal<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> promised to fight for a <a href="http://www.blumenthal.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/blumenthal-unveils-and-calls-for-action-on-historic-comprehensive-veterans-legislation-" target="_blank">wide-reaching veterans' bill</a> that includes restoring a cut to cost-of-living adjustments for military retirees.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The legislation, Senate bill 1950, is more than 300 pages. It includes money to help the federal VA eliminate its claims backlog, and extends the number of years that returning veterans can access VA health care. It also expands benefits for caregivers.</span></p><p> Fri, 24 Jan 2014 14:42:46 +0000 Lucy Nalpathanchil 15873 at http://wnpr.org Senate Bill Would Restore COLA Benefit for Veterans Grant Awarded to Study a Legal Partnership with the Veterans Administration http://wnpr.org/post/grant-awarded-study-legal-partnership-veterans-administration <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A legal services non-profit that assists veterans has received a sizable grant to study outcomes for those getting help through the federal VA.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">New Haven-based</span><a href="http://www.ctveteranslegal.org" style="line-height: 1.5;" target="_blank"> Connecticut Veterans Legal Center </a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">and its project partners in New York City received a two-year $700,000 grant from the Bristol-Meyers Squibb Foundation.&nbsp;</span></p> Mon, 13 Jan 2014 19:01:15 +0000 Lucy Nalpathanchil 15377 at http://wnpr.org Grant Awarded to Study a Legal Partnership with the Veterans Administration Iraq War Veterans Reflect on Fallujah http://wnpr.org/post/iraq-war-veterans-reflect-fallujah <p>It’s been two years since the U.S. military left Iraq. Some of the deadliest fighting was in the western cities of Fallujah and Ramadi, where more than 1,400 Americans died battling Al Qaeda insurgents. This week, news broke that Al Qaeda has taken control of the cities.&nbsp;</p><p> Thu, 09 Jan 2014 05:32:51 +0000 Lucy Nalpathanchil 15172 at http://wnpr.org Iraq War Veterans Reflect on Fallujah Special Visa Program For Iraqis Extended http://wnpr.org/post/special-visa-program-iraqis-extended <p>During the Christmas holiday, President Barack Obama signed a bill into law that has the potential to help more than 2,000 Iraqis. It extends the&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">special immigrant visa</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;program for Iraqis.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Mon, 06 Jan 2014 19:36:13 +0000 Lucy Nalpathanchil 15023 at http://wnpr.org Special Visa Program For Iraqis Extended Veterans Reflect on Military Service Through Creative Writing http://wnpr.org/post/veterans-reflect-military-service-through-creative-writing <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and the Cold War era gathered at Fairfield University Monday night, November 11, to read from their creative writing.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Wed, 13 Nov 2013 04:43:56 +0000 Lucy Nalpathanchil 12246 at http://wnpr.org Veterans Reflect on Military Service Through Creative Writing A Marine Remembered http://wnpr.org/post/marine-remembered <p>The VA estimates 22 veterans commit suicide each day.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">There’s a stigma that surrounds military suicides. When a loved one dies in this manner, grieving family and friends often don’t talk about it openly. But Joanna Gallup Eldridge of Waterford says their stories need to be heard.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Thu, 07 Nov 2013 16:58:14 +0000 Lucy Nalpathanchil 10876 at http://wnpr.org A Marine Remembered A New American Citizen http://wnpr.org/post/new-american-citizen <p>A few months ago <a href="http://wnpr.org/post/special-visas-iraqis-who-worked-us-could-expire" target="_blank">we told you the story of an Iraqi translator</a> for the U.S. Army who moved to Connecticut under a special immigrant visa program.</p><p>WNPR caught up with 49-year-old Falah Abdullatif on Thursday, October 31, right before his U.S. citizenship ceremony.</p><p> Sat, 02 Nov 2013 13:43:41 +0000 Lucy Nalpathanchil 10579 at http://wnpr.org A New American Citizen Afghanistan War Veteran Takes Own Life http://wnpr.org/post/afghanistan-war-veteran-takes-own-life <p>Early Wednesday morning, WNPR learned of the tragic death of 31-year-old Justin Eldridge of Waterford.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">He was a Marine who served 8.5 years in the military including a deployment to Afghanistan.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Wed, 30 Oct 2013 19:54:33 +0000 Lucy Nalpathanchil 10411 at http://wnpr.org Afghanistan War Veteran Takes Own Life Veterans Affairs Backlog Drops; Critics Urge More Progress http://wnpr.org/post/veterans-affairs-backlog-drops-critics-urge-more-progress <p>Despite the federal government shutdown, there was a decrease this month in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs backlog to process veterans' disability claims. The VA said pending cases dropped by 10,000 since September 28. But this doesn't mean the pressure is off the federal department to do more.</p><p> Wed, 23 Oct 2013 13:23:00 +0000 Lucy Nalpathanchil 9993 at http://wnpr.org Veterans Affairs Backlog Drops; Critics Urge More Progress Interactive Feature: House Veterans Affairs Hearing on VA Opiate Prescriptions http://wnpr.org/post/interactive-feature-house-veterans-affairs-hearing-va-opiate-prescriptions <p>The House Veterans Affairs Committee is holding a hearing to find out more about a shocking trend of opiate prescriptions in VA hospitals nationwide. Thu, 10 Oct 2013 13:56:04 +0000 John Dankosky 9148 at http://wnpr.org Interactive Feature: House Veterans Affairs Hearing on VA Opiate Prescriptions Foundation To Pay Military Death Benefits During Shutdown http://wnpr.org/post/foundation-pay-military-death-benefits-during-shutdown Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>On a Thursday, this is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.<p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>And I'm Steve Inskeep.<p>The remains of four American service members were returned yesterday to Dover Air Force Base. They were killed in Afghanistan.<p>GREENE: The United States had committed to look after their families, as it has cared for families for generations. It was Abraham Lincoln in 1865 who called for the United States: To care for him who shall have born the battle and for his widow and orphan. Thu, 10 Oct 2013 08:44:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 9132 at http://wnpr.org Shinseki: Shutdown Means Veterans Will Not Get Benefits http://wnpr.org/post/shinseki-shutdown-means-veterans-will-not-get-benefits Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki warned lawmakers on Wednesday that the partial government shutdown means that about 3.8 million veterans will not receive disability compensation next month.<p>Shinseki, in testimony before the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, said pensions to more than half a million vets or surviving spouses will also be derailed if the stalemate over a temporary spending measure drags on into late October.<p>The Associated Press reports:<p><blockquote><p>"Shinseki drew comparisons to the last shutdown in 1996, a time of sustained peace. Wed, 09 Oct 2013 17:38:00 +0000 Scott Neuman 9082 at http://wnpr.org Shinseki: Shutdown Means Veterans Will Not Get Benefits VA Furloughs Thousands of Workers http://wnpr.org/post/va-furloughs-thousands-workers <p>The severely backlogged benefits office of the federal VA is about to slow down again. That&#39;s because the VA announced its furloughing nearly 10,000 VBA workers including its IT department.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">U.S. Senator Richard&nbsp;</span>Blumenthal<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp; issued a statement today in response to the&nbsp;news. He said many of the employees are veterans themselves. </span></p><p> Tue, 08 Oct 2013 19:46:01 +0000 Lucy Nalpathanchil 8584 at http://wnpr.org UConn Business Program for Veterans Begins Fourth Year http://wnpr.org/post/uconn-business-program-veterans-begins-fourth-year <p>The national unemployment rate for veterans has improved in recent years, hovering around the civilian rate of seven percent.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">At the height of the recession, returning Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans were unemployed at nearly double the rate of non-veterans. A host of programs have been created to help former </span>servicemembers<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;support themselves after their military service ended.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Tue, 08 Oct 2013 19:38:14 +0000 Lucy Nalpathanchil 8579 at http://wnpr.org UConn Business Program for Veterans Begins Fourth Year Alarming Rate of Opiates Prescribed by VA http://wnpr.org/post/alarming-rate-opiates-prescribed-federal-va <p>A new report by the Center for Investigative Reporting found that since 9/11, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has prescribed opiates at an alarming rate. Between 2001 and 2012, <a href="http://va-opiates.apps.cironline.org/" target="new">the number of opiate prescriptions has grown 270 percent</a>.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">CIR says this has <a href="http://cironline.org/node/5261" target="_blank">contributed to the rate of overdose deaths</a> among veterans that is double the national average.</span></p><p> Mon, 30 Sep 2013 12:51:09 +0000 Lucy Nalpathanchil 5762 at http://wnpr.org Alarming Rate of Opiates Prescribed by VA Meeting the Legal Needs of Veterans http://wnpr.org/post/meeting-legal-needs-veterans <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Homeless veterans have told the VA &nbsp;that one of their top needs is finding legal assistance. The&nbsp;</span><a href="http://ctveteranslegal.org/" style="line-height: 1.5;" target="_blank">Connecticut Veterans Legal Center </a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">in New Haven is one organization that fills this need. &nbsp;Now the non-profit is working to build a network of similar legal service providers.</span></p> Thu, 19 Sep 2013 19:19:55 +0000 Lucy Nalpathanchil 5227 at http://wnpr.org Meeting the Legal Needs of Veterans 18 Veterans Found a Home in Jewett City's American Legion Post http://wnpr.org/post/18-veterans-found-home-jewett-citys-american-legion-post <p>http://cptv.vo.llnwd.net/o2/ypmwebcontent/2013/2013_08_01_LN%20130801%20JEWETT%20for%20ATC.mp3</p><p>Last July, an American Legion Post in Jewett City renovated its building to provide permanent supportive housing to chronically homeless veterans. The project in Jewett City created fifteen apartments solely for veterans. It's rural communities like Jewett City where the VA has had a hard time connecting with veterans nationwide.</p> Thu, 01 Aug 2013 21:12:45 +0000 Lucy Nalpathanchil 3958 at http://wnpr.org 18 Veterans Found a Home in Jewett City's American Legion Post Suicide Haunts New Generation Of Veterans http://wnpr.org/post/suicide-haunts-new-generation-veterans It&#8217;s estimated that more than 20 veterans kill themselves every day. Thu, 01 Aug 2013 18:16:00 +0000 editor 1655 at http://wnpr.org Suicide Haunts New Generation Of Veterans Amendment Would Help Military Families Insured by Tricare http://wnpr.org/post/amendment-would-help-military-families-insured-tricare <p>An amendment to the defense budget bill before Congress could help military families who have children with developmental disabilities including autism.</p><p> Mon, 24 Jun 2013 21:25:01 +0000 Lucy Nalpathanchil 569 at http://wnpr.org Amendment Would Help Military Families Insured by Tricare