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Coming Home Project

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The Coming Home Project was launched by WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil in 2011 to tell the stories of veterans in transition and the issues that matter to them and their families. 

Courtesy of Clifford Beers Clinic

A New Haven mental health clinic has received a federal grant to help the children of military families. The clinic aims to use the funding to fill a gap that exists in the VA health care system.

Photo by Chion Wolf

The state's Commissioner of Veterans Affairs is applauding news that the military is ending its ban on women serving in the infantry and other ground combat. WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil has more from Vietnam veteran Linda Schwartz.

Photo by Lucy Nalpathanchil

It's been five months since 16 homeless veterans moved into permanent supportive housing thanks to the American Legion Post in southeastern Connecticut. The Jewett City Post renovated its own building to create the apartments. The project was funding by the federal VA with help from private donations, Second district Congressman Joe Courtney, and the state of Connecticut.

This past summer, WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil introduced us to one of the new tenants, an Army veteran. She visited him recently as he prepares for his first Christmas inside his own place.

Photo courtesy of Truthout.org

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has called on military leaders to explore a "epidemic" of suicide among active duty servicemembers and veterans. Each day, 18 veterans kill themselves according to the federal Department of Veterans Affairs. In Connecticut, 30 veterans have died this way since 2009, but those are only the suicides that the VA knows about.

Chion Wolf

Today, we’ll officially kick off a monthly visit from Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy. Here at Where We Live, we made a big deal about how the last governor didn’t like to come on the show and answer questions from listeners.

This governor, despite news of a growing budget gap and facing pretty low approval ratings, says “bring on the questions!” So we will and we’ll give you a chance to call in as well to talk about the state budget, about recovery from Sandy, about economic development and the just-completed elections.

Yellow ribbons are back on the town green in Litchfield after being taken down recently by a group that oversees the historic district. The ribbons, which show support of the military, were removed in late summer by the borough warden and burgesses. The members voted to take four of them down without telling town residents who have maintained the ribbons, specifically the families of servicemembers. No reason was given.

Photo by Lucy Nalpathanchil

To date, 63 men and women from Connecticut have died while serving in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. A small group of Connecticut residents are working to create a living memorial to these service members. It will be called the Connecticut Trees of Honor, and the planned site is in Middletown's Veterans Memorial Park.

Photo by Chion Wolf

Congressman Joe Courtney has sponsored a bill that could help veterans who are in school or planning to enroll using the Post 9-11 GI bill. The legislation would change how education funding is classified from the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

U.S. Army (Flickr Creative Commons)

In the Civil War, it was called soldiers heart or nostalgia. In WWI, it was known as shell shock. These days, it's known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. Talk to any veteran and they'll tell you: war changes you.

CVLC

A Connecticut attorney testified before Congress Wednesday on ways to improve the claims process for veterans who've been sexually assaulted while in the military. 

When veterans are raped or sexually assaulted while in the service, it's called military sexual trauma or MST.

The Department of Defense estimates more than 19,000 sexual assaults happened in 2010, but it's a problem that's often under-reported.

This month, more than a dozen homeless veterans will finally have a place to call their own, thanks to the American Legion.

The organization's post in a small Connecticut town has been working for a decade on a unique project to create not transitional but permanent supportive housing in their rural community.

For 55-year-old Army veteran Jeff MacDonald, the new facility in Jewett City, Conn., was like "winning the lottery."

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

Originally aired on NPR's "All Things Considered"

This month, more than a dozen homeless veterans will finally have a place to call their own thanks to the American Legion. A local Post in a small Connecticut town has been working for a decade on a unique project to create not transitional, but permanent supportive housing in their rural community. 

Courtesy of Flickr CC by Mr G's Travels

A Workforce Development Board in Connecticut has received almosts $450,000 from the U.S. Labor Department. The Workplace, Inc. will use the grants to help homeless veterans and those who've been incarcerated. 

WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil spoke to Joe Carbone, the President and CEO of The Workplace, Inc about the programs to help veterans. The Workplace, Inc is sharing in more than 20 million in grants from the U.S. Labor Department that were awarded nationwide.

Photo by Lucy Nalpathanchil

An American Legion post in Jewett City has dedicated the last decade to raising money so it could help homeless veterans. On Monday, hundreds of Griswold residents turned out to celebrate the project's completion. Post 15 renovated its building so to provide 18 apartments to veterans who need housing.

U.S Navy

On Monday, The Center for Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling and Education in Stamford hosted a viewing of "Invisible War," an award-winning documentary about sexual assault in the military. More servicemembers who have experienced this trauma are starting to file claims with the VA.

Photo by Lucy Nalpathanchil

A coffee house in Middletown is showcasing the work of artists who are also veterans. WNPR’s Lucy Nalpathanchil has more

Al Kim works the night shift as a police officer for the city for the Middletown. During the day, he often hangs out at Klekolo World Coffee a few blocks from the police department. Kim is also a photographer and some of his work hangs on the walls of the small coffee shop. He points to one of them,  It’s a picture of the Swing Bridge over the Connecticut River.

Courtesy of the Gandy Family

There are more women serving in the U.S military now than ever before.  In fact, more than 255,000 women have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in the last decade. They may be your neighbor or your co-worker but their stories often aren't told.

As part of our ongoing Coming Home Series, WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil has a remembrance of a Seymour veteran who served in the U.S Air Force.

41-year old Master Sergeant Latisha Kennedy joined the Air Force right after high school.

Courtesy of Nick Forte

Two graduates of the University of Connecticut have teamed up to tell the stories of women who share a common experience. 

Dr. Suzanne Campbell

Fairfield University is participating in the nationwide initiative, Joining Forces, to to help veterans. WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil spoke with the Dean of the School Of Nursing, Dr Suzanne Campbell.

Courtesy of South Park Inn

This month, the federal government awarded the state $1.46 million dollars from the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development and the VA. The grants are known as HUD VASH and they're used to help veterans avoid homelessness.

The housing voucher program has existed for four years. Since then more than 400 vouchers were allocated to housing authorities across the state to help chronically homeless veterans, including women veterans with children.

Traumatic brain injury or TBI has been called the signature injury of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Defense Department data indicates more than 233,000 veterans have been diagnosed with at least a mild brain injury. But the number is even higher because not all veterans seek help. A non-profit and the VA have partnered to offer support to these servicemembers in Connecticut.

March 23, 2012-An analysis of Department of Defense records shows that hundreds of veterans have been wrongfully discharged since 2008. The Vietnam Veterans of America allege that service members were incorrectly diagnosed with “personality disorder.”

Chion Wolf

In late January, the city of St. Louis did something unusual. Actually, in the America of 2012 it was more than unusual...it was extraordinary...they held a parade to honor those who fought in Iraq.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Thousands of troops are home from Iraq - and soon from Afghanistan - to a country that, in many ways, barely noticed they were gone. These wars have been fought at such a distance from a public that was told to “go shopping” to support a war effort, that we don’t have the impact of similar returns from Vietnam or World War 2.

Returning To Iraq

Mar 14, 2012
USAG-Humphreys (Flickr Creative Commons)

Roman Baca entered the U.S. Marine Corps in 2000 and was eventually deployed to Iraq. He returned to Connecticut and struggled to adjust to civilian life. He finally found purpose in his life...in dance. Baca started the Exit 12 Dance Company and is the artistic director there. He’s getting ready to embark on a trip back to Iraq later this month where he will teach dance to local children there.

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