veterans

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

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.

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.

Veterans Day, which the U.S. is marking today, commemorates the end of World War I. In Europe, they call it Armistice Day, and these photographs are of celebrations in London in the form of red ceramic poppies that cover the ground around the Tower of London. There's a poppy for every member of Britain's former colonies who died in the war.

NPR's Ari Shapiro visited the site in August. Here's how he described them:

"I am a United States Army General, and I lost the Global War on Terrorism."

Those are the frank opening words of a new book by retired Army Lt. Gen. Daniel Bolger, Why We Lost: A General's Inside Account of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. Bolger continues:

"It's like Alcoholics Anonymous. Step one is admitting you have a problem. Well, I have a problem. So do my peers. And thanks to our problem, now all of America has a problem. To wit: two lost campaigns and a war gone awry."

NPR — along with seven public radio stations around the country — is chronicling the lives of America's troops where they live. We're calling the project "Back at Base." This is the first installment of the ongoing series.

Even 10 years after the battle for Fallujah, it's hard for Marine Master Gunnery Sgt. Torain Kelley to talk about some things that happened.

"We had people shooting at us from up [on] the rooftops, from the houses, from the sewers or wherever they could take a shot at us from," he says.

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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. 

Army veteran Randy Michaud had to make a 200-mile trip to the Veterans Affairs hospital in Aroostook County, Maine, near the Canadian border, every time he had a medical appointment.

Michaud, who was medically retired after a jeep accident in Germany 25 years ago, moved home to Maine in 1991. He was eligible for VA medical care, but the long drive was a problem.

He's one of millions of veterans living in rural America who must travel hundreds of miles round-trip for care.

Lucy Nalpathanchil

Over the last three years, a volunteer effort has grown to build a unique memorial in Middletown. The first phase of the Connecticut Trees of Honor Memorial is near completion.

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

The state Veterans' Home sits on a sprawling campus in Rocky Hill but most of the buildings were built more than 70 years ago. In August, Governor Dannel Malloy asked for the creation of an advisory group to examine how the property--which offers several types of residential care-- can be transformed to serve more veterans.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The state's Veterans Commissioner has waited a long time for this day. On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate approved Linda Schwartz to a high level position at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

Over the last 13 years, the media has focused on the sacrifices of the thousands of service-members who have served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. But behind these men and women are their families. We talk to author, Sarah Smiley who writes about her life as a Navy wife. Her latest book is a memoir about how she and her children invited members of their community to dinner as a way to fill the void in their home during her husband’s 13-month deployment.

President Obama on Monday awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military honor, to two soldiers who served in Vietnam: Army Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie Adkins, who survived a harrowing battle and 18 body wounds; and Army Spc. 4 Donald P. Sloat, whose dying act saved his fellow soldiers.

In January 1970, President Obama said Monday, Sloat was on patrol with his squad in Vietnam.

Lucy Nalpathanchil

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is holding town hall meetings as part of a nationwide effort to hear from the public. It comes after months of bad press about some VA systems hiding the actual amount of time veterans are waiting for care. 

Scott Smedley / Trinity College

Researchers at Trinity College are snapping pictures of animals at compost piles as part of an ongoing biology project. They've been getting lots of pictures, and they're now hoping a new group can help analyze them: veterans. 

J Colman / Creative Commons

A new Senate committee report analyzes the impact of the G.I. bill on "for profit" colleges in the United States.

The House voted Wednesday to approve a bill that would address widespread problems with health care for veterans.

The vote in favor of the $16.3 billion package was 420 to 5.

The problems veterans have had obtaining care has drawn national attention in recent weeks. A White House investigation into problems at Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals found "significant and chronic systemic failures."

Kuzma/iStock / Thinkstock

Two veterans groups have sued the federal VA for a policy they say discriminates against thousands of veterans with PTSD who endured rape, sexual assault or harassment during their service. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Senator Richard Blumenthal spoke in Hartford about a bipartisan compromise to reform the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs health program, which has been impacted by long patient wait times.

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