veterans

Peter Biello / NHPR

It's a deceptively simple question: "Have you or a family member ever served in the military?" The state launched a program two years ago to get doctors, police officers, educators, and others to ask that question.

The aim was to identify people who qualify for veterans benefits. The results have been, for many people, surprising.

Voters in many New Hampshire communities will decide during next Tuesday’s Town Meeting whether to expand a property tax credit offered to veterans.

A state law passed last year gives communities the option of offering a tax credit of up to five hundred dollars to all veterans with at least ninety days of active service.

Previously, only veterans who served during wartime were eligible.

Margaret Byrnes is a staff attorney with the New Hampshire Municipal Association, and says expanding the tax credit would mean a drop in revenue for town budgets.

Scott Webb / Unsplash

The Nashua Board of Alderman is looking at a proposed ordinance that would give veterans in the city a $500 property tax credit. 

Under this ordinance, veterans who had served at least 90 days of active service would be eligible. A previous tax credit in the city was limited to veterans who served only in certain wars or conflicts. 

It's unclear how many veterans in Nashua would be eligible. The city estimates the credit would cost $670,000. Nashua Alderman Ben Clemmons says he supports the proposal. 

Courtesy of Debbie Delorey

Nearly five years ago, a veteran in New Hampshire’s North Country died while waiting for an appointment through the VA Medical Center in White River Junction, Vermont. The hospital says “no significant delay” contributed to his death, but the man’s widow disagrees, and questions remain about the process the hospital used to hold itself accountable.

Peter Biello / NHPR

Congresswoman Annie Kuster says the government hasn't been able to keep its promise to provide military veterans with their health care under all circumstances.

Speaking at a roundtable discussion in Berlin Friday, Kuster says the U.S. should keep that promise, but its not realistic to have Department of Veterans Affairs clinics in every location.

Her comments came in response to a complaint about the VA's closing of two part-time clinics in Berlin and Colebrook.

Peter Biello / NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu is asking the state's military veterans to present to legislators a clear vision of how to address the problems they face in New Hampshire.

At a meeting of the State Veterans Advisory Committee Tuesday night, Sununu said if veterans have an issue they'd like the legislature to address, they should write a short, clear statement for legislators to read.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

Democratic Congresswoman Annie Kuster is calling on the Department of Veterans Affairs to scrap its current electronic health record system and adopt a commercial system.

Right now the VA uses a system called VistA, which the VA developed for itself. The VA has been trying for years to make it work seamlessly with the system used by the Department of Defense. That effort so far has failed. 

Peter Biello / NHPR

The Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in White River Junction, Vt. experienced one of the worst budget deficits among New England VA hospitals last year.

The hospital needed an additional $8.5 million to meet expenses at the end of the last fiscal year,  roughly four percent of its total budget. The VA regional office in Massachusetts, known as VISN 1, provided that funding.

The White River Junction, Vt. VA hospital serves more than 26,000 veterans in Coos, Grafton, Sullivan and Cheshire Counties in New Hampshire as well as the entire state of Vermont.

All members of New Hampshire's congressional delegation have signed on to a letter to President Trump demanding that he exempt the Department of Veterans Affairs from his executive order freezing federal hiring.

Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan and Representatives Carol Shea-Porter and Annie Kuster, all Democrats, say a hiring freeze at the VA will delay veterans’ access to health care and resolution of their disability claims.

Peter Biello / NHPR

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury have become the signature ailments among veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The New Hampshire Legislative Commission on PTSD and TBI released a report in 2014 that looked at how many veterans in the state had these injuries and whether they felt they were getting the help they needed.

ronmerk / Morguefile

Veterans in New Hampshire are being encouraged to apply for one of 60 entry level positions on the Seacoast.

TE Subcom in Newington is encouraging veterans, as well as women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, to apply for the jobs.

The workers would help manufacture cable that would be embedded on the ocean floor. No experience is necessary and training would be provided. Pay is expected to be more than $14 an hour.

The White River Junction, Vermont VA Medical Center is getting a Fisher House.

A Fisher House is a place families and caregivers of veterans can stay while veterans and active duty military members receive treatment at the hospital.

The hospital in White River Junction is one of 14 new VA facilities to receive a Fisher House to help care for veterans, their family members and caregivers.

The White River Junction house will be built on the White River Junction VA Medical Center campus within walking distance of the medical center. 

Image from the NH Humanities Troy to Baghdad program

This show originally aired on November 22, 2016.

Peter Biello / NHPR

For military veterans living in northern New Hampshire, accessing medical care from the Veterans Health Administration can be a challenge. Veterans, many of them elderly, often travel long distances to get to VA clinics scattered throughout Coos and Grafton Counties. And it’s an even longer drive to White River Junction, Vermont, which is the only full-service VA hospital nearby.

VA officials from White River Junction hosted two town hall meetings in the North Country Monday to discuss a new proposal that attempts to provide care for veterans closer to home.

Courtesy / Veterans Administration

The Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in White River Junction, Vt. has scheduled two town hall meetings next week in New Hampshire’s North Country to discuss the closing of facilities in Colebrook and Berlin that offer primary care and lab services to veterans.

Ginger Munson of Bedford has a rare perspective on being part of a military family. She is a veteran herself and her husband, George, serves in the N.H. Army National Guard. They met when they were both serving in Korea. She spoke with NHPR’s Peter Biello about life in a military family.

Peter Biello / NHPR

Dominiq Russell is a former airman from Milford, New Hampshire. He’s twenty six years old. And his story begins when he was twenty-one, in Las Vegas.

"I was the back seat passenger in a Honda Civic that was struck by an F-150 going 60 miles per hour," he says.

Peter Biello / NHPR

At a Veterans Resource Fair in Concord Tuesday, groups dedicated to helping veterans gathered on the campus of NHTI.

Of course, it was also Election Day. So that meant a lot of political talk, even in a year when veterans issues never rose to the top of the candidates' agendas.

Here in the student center, students mill about before class. One tinkers with a piano in the corner.

Allegra Boverman; NHPR

We sit down with NPR correspondent Quil Lawrence. He's covering the issues faced by millions of Americans who are deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan as they transition to life back at home. We'll discuss the struggles faced by veterans, as well as his time as NPR's bureau chief in Kabul and 10 years of reporting in Iraq.


Peter Biello / NHPR

Naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, is a drug that has the power to reverse a drug overdose and save lives. Doctors in New Hampshire can prescribe it to anyone who could use it to help someone survive an overdose.

But doctors at the Veterans Health Administration hospital in Manchester don’t do that. Doctors at VA hospitals only write prescriptions for the drug user—not for friends or family. One New Hampshire veteran is trying to get the VA to change that. 

New Hampshire Public Radio and the UNH School of Law come together to bring you another event in their series, Justice & Journalism. This series presents a range of speakers to discuss the intersection of justice and journalism. 

A bill introduced by Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster would launch pilot programs in five states to reduce the use of opioid medications and increase the use of alternative treatments.

Veteran Homelessness Drops In New Hampshire

Aug 1, 2016
Todd Bookman / NHPR

  The number of homeless veterans in New Hampshire has fallen, according to new federal data. 

Andy Leppard via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/p6YGQ

DNA evidence broke ground by taking the uncertainty out of criminal convictions. But what was once a slam dunk to judge, jury and the public is increasingly under scrutiny. Today, unraveling genetic evidence.

Plus, Marshall, Texas is not what you'd call an innovation hub, yet a quarter of the nation's patent cases are filed there. A reporter looks into why patent holders and trolls choose this sleepy town and its one powerful judge to settle their suits - fast.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

  The US Senate is backing an amendment to allow a sober living home for veterans in Manchester to again seek federal funds. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Veterans who receive care for chronic pain through the VA's Veterans Choice program may soon have fewer options for treatment.

The private New Hampshire-based company, PainCare, is once again considering cutting ties with the Veterans Choice program and the company that administers it, Health Net, Inc., because Health Net allegedly continues to delay payments to PainCare doctors. PainCare operates 11 clinics in New Hampshire. 

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Earlier this month a report revealed that the Manchester VA Hospital, like many others around the country, had been fudging wait times for veterans’ care.

But the program designed to fix the backlog by allowing vets to get care closer to home is now having its own problems.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

The New Hampshire Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen has a new monument, thanks to a 95-year-old man in Bristol who wanted to honor the elite unit he served with in World War II. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

As part of our coverage of the 2016 elections, NHPR is broadcasting a series of conversations with candidates about the issues of the day.

All Things Considered host Peter Biello spoke with U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte on Friday. Ayotte, a Republican, is facing a challenge from Democrat and N.H. Governor Maggie Hassan in a race that's drawing national attention.

Courtesy VA Hospital

New reports from the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General have revealed evidence of wait time record manipulation at the VA hospitals in Manchester, New Hampshire and White River Junction, Vermont.  Multiple sources involved in scheduling veterans for appointments reported fudging numbers by offering veterans the first available appointment, rather than allowing the veteran to determine how soon they need to be seen.

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