veterans

Carrie Healy / NEPR

Funeral services were held Monday for Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Sullivan, the Marine from Springfield who was killed by a gunman in Chattanooga, Tennessee, earlier this month. Outside the church where the Mass was held, the community continued to show its support for the Sullivan family.

Friends, family and several dignitaries have been attending services in Springfield today for the local Marine killed in the shooting at a naval reserve center in Tennessee earlier this month.

Facebook, courtesy of Daniel Sandoval

Daniel Sandoval is a former paratrooper with the U.S. Army and Connecticut resident who recently added the title of "author" to his list of accomplishments. 

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.

Nearly 100 years after their heroic deeds, two World War I U.S. Army soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor, America's highest military honor, on Tuesday. Historians say Sgts. William Shemin and Henry Johnson hadn't been properly recognized for their bravery under fire.

ctinworldwar1.org / Connecticut State Library

State residents are being asked to participate in a digital archive project to mark the the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entering into World War I. The Connecticut state library has launched the project in partnership with the Connecticut Digital Archive and the national World War I Centennial Commission. 

It's impolite to stare. But when it comes to severely injured soldiers, maybe we don't look enough; or maybe we'd rather not see wounded veterans at all.

Calvin Health / Rakkasan Delta

On Memorial Day, WNPR will air a special documentary about men who served in Delta Company, a Vietnam-era paratrooper unit. It's called "We've Never Been the Same: A War Story."

Facebook

Advocates in Connecticut are rallying against the planned deportation of a U.S. Army veteran who came to the United States from Peru as a teenager. 

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.

Courtesy of Tom Gray

The remains of a sailor killed at Pearl Harbor are coming home to New England.

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. 

Office of Gov. Dannel Malloy

Governor Dannel Malloy is naming a U.S. Army reservist and ethics officer for Pratt and Whitney to oversee Connecticut's Department of Veterans Affairs. Malloy announced the appointment of Lt. Colonel Sean Connolly on Thursday afternoon.

Updated at 1:05 p.m. ET.

The head of Veterans Affairs has apologized for misrepresenting his military record, after telling a man that he had served in the U.S. Special Forces. Secretary Robert McDonald says he made a mistake.

The story drew attention late Monday, weeks after McDonald, an Army veteran and West Point graduate, made the claim during a conversation with a homeless man he met during a community outreach effort.

NPR's Quil Lawrence reports:

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.

Aundreá Murray / WNPR

State officials gathered at the capital city on Wednesday to announce a new initiative aimed at ending homelessness among veterans and the disabled within the next two years.

U.S. Navy

The Department of Defense has created a new agency to better coordinate efforts to identify missing service members. 

State of Connecticut

The Connecticut Veterans' Home in Rocky Hill includes a nursing home and a domiciliary that gives shelter and food to many veterans who were formerly homeless. A recent study of the facility points to a need for dramatic improvements. 

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.

Lucy Nalpathanchil

This week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced it would start covering the cost of lung cancer screenings. Clinicians are applauding the decision including staff at Middlesex Hospital where it offers free lung screenings to veterans during the month of November. 

Jake Martins served in the U.S. Marine Corps during Vietnam. He described smoking as a habit for much of his life. "For 53 years, four packs day," he said. 

Catie Talarski

Henry Kawecki was born on April 30, 1924 in Warsaw, Poland. At 90 years old, he's seen more than most. In fact, he could write chapters of a history book.

Ray Hardman / WNPR

On Tuesday, I attended the Wethersfield Veteran's Day Ceremony at town hall. Among the many veterans in attendance, I had the chance to talk with Herb Philbrick, 97, who served in the Navy during World War II. Philbrick was a Chief Machinist Mate, and among his many memories of serving his country, he clearly remembers watching the battle of Iwo Jima, including the now iconic raising of the American Flag on Mount Surabachi from his ship, the U.S.S. Oceanus.

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