Courtesy VA

The Veterans Administration Hospital system in Phoenix was the epicenter of the VA scandal that surfaced in 2014.

The director of the Veterans Administration Hospital in White River Junction, Vermont is has been assigned to the Phoenix, Arizona VA Health Care System.

Deborah Amdur will take over as leader in Phoenix on December 13th.

Phoenix VA hospitals made headlines in 2014 when it was discovered that VA staff manipulated records to show that wait times for care were shorter than they actually were.

The Bookshelf is NHPR's series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State. All Things Considered features authors, covers literary events and publishing trends, and gets recommendations from each guest on what books listeners might want to add to their own bookshelves. 

If you have an author or book you think we should profile on The Bookshelf, send us an email. The address is

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Veterans’ justice programs are popping up all over the country, and just last year, New Hampshire got its first one, in Nashua. These alternative justice programs are courts that allow veterans to get a handle on problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and alcohol or drug abuse that put them at odds with the law.

11.11.15: Veterans Day

Nov 11, 2015
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Since World War II, as many as 100,000 service members have been “less than honorably discharged” for being gay. Now, four years after the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” gay vets look to change the record. Today, what goes into rewriting history. And prior to the Civil War, images of battle were the stuff of legends and mystery – then came the photographs of Alexander Gardner. Plus, other stories about our nation’s veterans. 

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Hillary Rodham Clinton outlined steps to improve the Department of Veterans Affairs today, casting herself as a protector against proposals to privatize the sprawling health care system for those who have served in the military.

In a pre-Veterans Day event in New Hampshire, the Democratic presidential candidate said she would seek to improve veterans' health care, modernize veterans' benefits system and address an unwieldy bureaucracy.

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Senator Jeanne Shaheen has reintroduced a bill that requires random audits of Veterans Administration hospitals.

This follows reports released in October by the Inspector General that show VA hospitals in Alaska, California, and Illinois are still delaying veterans’ care. 

The bill is called the Veterans Scheduling Accountability Act. Shaheen says these audits are designed to make sure veterans receive care in a timely manner.

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The Manchester Veterans Administration hospital and the not-for-profit Harbor Homes are teaming up for an event in Nashua Thursday that’ll help homeless veterans connect to services and prepare for winter.

The event at Harbor Homes is the seventh annual “Homeless Veteran Stand Down.” It’s a chance for homeless veterans to pick up donated winter clothes, eat a free breakfast and lunch, and get haircuts and flu shots.

Courtesy The University Of New Hampshire

A grant that helps veterans with disabilities through a program at the University of New Hampshire has been renewed.

The federal grant of $300,000 will go to Northeast Passage, which provides veterans with recreation therapy.

Courtroom One Gavel
Joe Gratz / Flickr Creative Commons

Senator Jeanne Shaheen has introduced legislation that aims to help the Veterans Administration support veterans' courts.

The Veterans Justice Outreach Act would codify the support that the VA already gives to veterans' courts. That support comes in part in the form of case managers, who work as liaisons for veterans in the local courts and jails.

Through these courts, military veterans accused of non-violent crimes can be diverted away from jail and towards treatment programs.

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Three members of New Hampshire's congressional delegation are hosting a forum about the Veterans Choice program and two new veterans' health clinics in the North Country.

Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte and Rep. Ann McLane Kuster are being joined by Veterans Administration officials at the forum Friday at White Mountain Community College in Berlin.

Shaheen and Ayotte hosted a similar forum in May at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics in Manchester.

Peter Biello / NHPR

VA Hospitals across the country are beefing up their preventative medicine programs. At the VA hospital in White River Junction, Vermont, a variety of programs open to New Hampshire and Vermont veterans are tackling health problems like obesity, tobacco use, and stress. Some of these programs at VAs across New England are still underutilized.

In a small room at the ground floor of the VA hospital in White River Junction, a handful of veterans sit around a table and talk with a dietitian about a battle they all fight: a battle against body fat.

ronmerk / Morguefile

A Merrimack County Superior Court Judge has ordered the closure of the Veterans Museum of New Hampshire and ordered its president, Henry T. Pratte, to pay a $10,000 dollar fine.

Peter Biello / NHPR

Enrollment in a program that tracks the genes of military veterans has picked up the pace at a local VA hospital.

The Million Veteran Program, or MVP, is a nationwide effort to put into a database the genetic information of one million veterans. Researchers will use the database to find genes that affect conditions like diabetes or PTSD.

Thomas Fearon / NHPR

Veterans Administration hospitals have avoided a shutdown, thanks to legislation passed by Congress.

All the members of New Hampshire’s House and Senate delegations voted this week to authorize the use of $3.3 billion in Veterans Choice funds to plug a hole in the VA’s budget.

Michael Brindley / NHPR

President Obama signed into law Tuesday a bill that would make it easier for veterans to start businesses with loans from the Small Business Administration.

The bill would waive fees for veterans starting up new businesses with SBA loans—which New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen says will help veterans get started.

"This is bipartisan legislation," Shaheen says. "I introduced it in the last Congress and we reintroduced it. It got support in the House. And I’m very happy the President signed it quickly into law."

Thomas Fearon

Officials in Lebanon are gearing up to launch New Hampshire’s second veterans court.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

New Hampshire US Senator Jeanne Shaheen is cosponsoring a bill that would review the service records of those who were discharged from the military for being gay or lesbian. 

Shaheen is one of 22 Senators that signed on last week to the bill from Hawaii Democrat Brian Schatz. It would require the Defense Department to establish processes for reviewing records and reclassifying discharges that were based on, or refer to, an individual's sexual orientation. 

Peter Biello / NHPR

New Hampshire's Department of Health and Human Services plans to add 11 positions to help community mental health centers understand military culture. But these eleven workers can’t start until a new state budget is in place—something that has been delayed by partisan fighting.

These workers will be called “community mental health center military culture liaisons.” Ten of them will work part-time at mental health centers throughout the state. The eleventh will work statewide.

Thomas Fearon


New Hampshire's Department of Health and Human Services is launching several new initiatives to help New Hampshire veterans, service members and their families receive medical and mental health treatment.

Commissioner Nick Toumpas will be joined by Department of Veterans Affairs officials, New Hampshire National Guard leaders and others from the civilian sector to describe the programs on Wednesday.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR


Gov. Maggie Hassan has signed into law a $271 million capital budget that includes money for 50 new beds at the state veterans' home for dementia care and for a new Merrimack County courthouse.

It doesn't include $4 million Hassan wanted for further study of a plan to bring commuter rail from Boston into Nashua and Manchester. She says it is critical for economic development and bringing young people into the state. Opponents say the benefits are overstated and the state will need to spend money subsidizing the project.

File Photo / NHPR

New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen is one of a dozen lawmakers from both parties calling on the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide benefits to members of the military who survived mustard gas testing during World War II.

Recently NPR reported that the Department of Defense tested mustard gas on 60,000 US troops, often grouping them by race or ethnicity. Many survivors have been rejected for health care and other VA benefits.

NHPR Staff

New Hampshire and Vermont officials are attending the grand opening of the new location of the White River Junction Vet Center.

The Vet Center provides readjustment counseling for combat veterans and military sexual trauma victims as well as bereavement issues.

The White River Junction Vet Center has moved to a new 5,000-square-foot, handicap accessible facility that officials say better meets the needs of its veterans.

Russell Sellers / Flickr Creative Commons

There are more than 113,000 military veterans in the state of New Hampshire. That’s about 8.5 percent of the total population. According to the Spring Granite State Poll, more than half of those may vote in the GOP Primary, rather than the Democratic Primary. For more on how veterans may vote in New Hampshire’s primary elections, we turn to Andrew Smith. He’s the director of the UNH Survey Center. He spoke with NHPR’s Peter Biello.

Your poll found that nearly 54 percent of veterans planned on voting in the GOP primary. Was this surprising to you?

Kelly Swann

For the last few months students from The Center for Cartooning Studies have been meeting with veterans at the VA Hospital in White River Junction.  The hope is that a collection of veterans stories can be turned into an anthology of visual stories - comic strips based on the veterans' experiences. 

wooleywonderworks / Flickr Creative Commons

Advocates for veterans in the North Country are working with state and local law enforcement agencies and the court system to create a court diversion program for veterans. 

The diversion program will attempt to keep some veterans accused of non-violent crimes from going to jail. It’s designed to help veterans treat the underlying problems that cause them to have run-ins with police. 

Dave Canter is co-chair of Vet-to-Vet, a peer support program for veterans in Gorham. He says this is not a "get out of jail free" card.

Peter Biello / NHPR

Representatives from local and national veterans' organizations gathered in Concord Friday to explore ways to help veterans entering the justice system.

The groups are encouraging police officers and other service providers to ask people they encounter if they’ve ever served in the military. If the answer is “yes,” then these service providers could steer the veteran to customized services.

ronmerk / Morguefile


New Hampshire is holding its first conference focused on the needs of veterans who end up involved in the judicial system.

Friday's "Justice Involved Veterans Conference" in Concord is organized by the New Hampshire Justice Involved Veterans Task Force and sponsored by the state Department of Health and Human Services.

Discussions will be held on post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans and active-duty military; judges addressing how veterans are served; and hearing veterans' voices.

iamnotpablo / Morguefile

The White River Junction VA Clinic has been selected as one of three such clinics nationwide to participate in a new pilot program that attempts to streamline eye and ear care for veterans. 

The name is kind of a mouthful: The Audiology and Optometry Direct Scheduling Pilot Program.

Simply put, it shortens the path veterans need to follow to get care for their eyes or ears.

ronmerk / Morguefile

A program designed to teach doctors, police officers, and other caregivers about military culture is set to launch in New Hampshire this summer.

The Portsmouth-based Dare Mighty Things will run the courses. They've been running similar courses for years in other states. 

A survey of New Hampshire veterans last year found that veterans often report feeling misunderstood by civilian doctors, police officers, and school officials—and that creates a barrier to care and services.

Jacqueline Bessette of Dare Mighty Things says these courses attempt to change that.