Coming Home Project

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Almost two years ago, advocates filed a class action lawsuit against the Department of Defense seeking records for how often veterans with "other than honorable" or "bad" discharges applied for discharge upgrades due to their PTSD diagnoses. Now the DOD will be turning over that information.

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There's a bill in Congress that could expand a unique legal-medical partnership in Connecticut to the rest of the country. 

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In the days leading up to Veterans Day, WNPR brings you stories from veterans and those in their community.

Adaptive athlete Earl Granville joined the Pennsylvania Army National Guard with his twin brother. He was medically retired from the Army after being hit by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in 2008.

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In the days leading up to Veterans Day, WNPR is highlighting stories from veterans and those in their communities.

Ben Cooper lives in Colchester and was a combat medic in World War II.

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In the days leading up to Veterans Day, WNPR brings you stories from veterans and those in their community. 

Steven Bernier served in the U.S. Navy.

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In the days leading up to Veterans Day, WNPR brings you stories from veterans and those in their communities.

Peter Galgano served in the Vietnam War with the U.S. Marine Corps.  

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In the days leading up to Veterans Day, WNPR brings you stories from veterans and those in their community.

Nick Vaughan served with the U.S. Marine Corps and is an Iraq War veteran. 

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In the days leading up to Veterans Day, WNPR brings you stories from veterans and those in their community.

Sean Connolly has a personal connection with veterans beyond his role as the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs

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In the days leading up to Veterans Day, WNPR brings you stories from veterans and those in their community.

Emily Hein is a member of the Connecticut Army National Guard. She served in Afghanistan. 

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In the days leading up to Veterans Day, WNPR brings you 11 of Us, stories from veterans and those in their community.

Adrian Gray is a veteran of the U.S Navy.

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In the days leading up to Veterans Day, WNPR brings you stories from veterans and their communities.

Gil Sanborn is one of two people in the state who serves as a civilian aide to the Secretary of the U.S Army.

The Connecticut resident began supporting service members after the attacks on 9/11.

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In the days leading up to Veterans Day, WNPR brings you stories from veterans and those in their communities.

Michael Zacchea is a retired Marine Lt. Colonel and Iraq War veteran.   

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In the days leading up to Veterans Day, WNPR brings you stories from veterans and those in their community.

Diane DeLuzio had two sons who joined the military. 

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In the days leading up to Veterans Day, WNPR brings you stories from veterans and those in their community.

Edward Santos deployed twice to Afghanistan with the Connecticut Army National Guard.

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In the days leading up to Veterans Day, WNPR brings you stories from veterans and those in their communities.

Gulaid Ismail is a veteran of the Iraq War.

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

Vietnam-era veterans who have dealt with the consequences of getting a less than honorable discharge could now receive certain benefits.

The change comes after recent decisions by military boards under the Pentagon. 

Lucy Nalpathanchil

The Department of Defense estimates nearly one in five Afghanistan and Iraq War veterans has a brain injury along with other medical problems like PTSD and chronic pain. 

Some of those veterans must rely on their wives or mothers to be their caregivers. But a nationwide study finds more than half of these 1.1 million caregivers are balancing their new roles without any support. 

Connecticut Senate Democrats

One of the bills already signed into law by Governor Dannel Malloy targets women who've served in the Armed Forces. The state Department of Veterans Affairs has been tasked with creating a program that reaches more than 16,000 women veterans living in Connecticut.

Flickr CC by Ryan Lackey

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty is sponsoring a bill to have the federal VA create a research center focused on the health of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans who were exposed to burn pits. Burn pits were used to get rid of all kinds of garbage on military bases. 

CT State Democrats

A bill before lawmakers would require certain health care workers to undergo training related to the mental health issues veterans and their family members face. Some providers say the bill is an unnecessary mandate. 

Lucy Nalpathanchil

Sean Connolly is the new Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs. He's also a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve who says he wants the state to do even more to serve all veterans.

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

The federal VA is trying to cut down the amount of time veterans are left waiting for care by hiring more health care professionals. For former service members, working at the VA may not be a tough sell.

Office of Richard Blumenthal

A Vietnam veteran from New Haven has filed a lawsuit that seeks to force the government to quickly decide veterans' appeals for disability compensation. 

New York National Guard

The Governor's proposal to cut state funding for honor guard details at veterans' funerals has drawn criticism. Now some legislative leaders have quickly stepped in to address the controversy. 

U.S. VA

Dr. Linda Schwartz was a long-time Commissioner of Connecticut's Department of Veterans Affairs. Six months ago, she left to begin a new career at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs after being confirmed last fall as Assistant Secretary for the VA's Office of Policy and Planning. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy's working group that's examining how to improve the Connecticut Veterans Home has hired an architect.

The advisory group has met almost monthly since October to evaluate the programs and services given to veterans at the sprawling campus in Rocky Hill. 

Senate Democrats

The U.S. Senate approved the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act by a vote of 99-0 Tuesday afternoon. The bill seeks to improve mental health care and suicide prevention resources for veterans. 

The federal VA estimates 22 veterans die by suicide each day.

Marine Clay Hunt has become the face of the suicide epidemic. Hunt killed himself in 2011 after deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. His family and veteran advocates say he struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder and received inadequate care from the VA before taking his own life.

Chion Wolf

There's 13 months to go in the federal VA's five year plan to end veteran homelessness.

VA staff and community partners in Connecticut met this week at a summit to discuss how they plan to reach the goal by the end of 2015.

U.S. Army

On Veteran's Day, Connecticut's U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal called on the Department of Defense to explain why it covered up instances when Iraq War veterans were exposed to chemical weapons. The Senator is also asking for the DOD to assist these veterans in seeking benefit claims for their injuries.

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The nation’s highest-ranking military officer delivered the keynote address at this year’s Geno Auriemma Leadership Conference organized by UConn School of Business. U.S. Army General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke about the tenets of leadership that exist in both the military and civilian world. 

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