veterans

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.

Thomas Fearon / NHPR

 

U.S. Sens. Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen are inviting New Hampshire veterans to attend a forum at Saint Anselm College to discuss the Veterans Choice Card program.

The card provides "backup" care if a veteran cannot be seen by a Veterans Affairs facility in 30 days or if the VA's closest medical facility is challenging to access. In situations like this, Veterans are eligible to receive care outside of the VA.

5.25.15: Happy Memorial Day

May 25, 2015
Peter Miller via flickr Creative Commons| / flic.kr/p/aezcJU

Each Memorial Day, the country comes together to remember the fallen – but history hasn’t always been so kind. When President Lincoln was assassinated, many people publically celebrated his death, and not just in the south. On today’s show, the myth of a country united in mourning. Plus, a look at why some important historical events go altogether unremembered – like the sinking of The Sultana, America’s deadliest maritime disaster. And a Vietnam veteran says thank you to the comrade who saved him – not from bullets, but from himself.

Iraq War Veterans: Stories From The Homefront

May 25, 2015
Kansas City Public Library / Flickr/CC

We're talking with Pulitzer Prize winning Washington Post reporter David Finkel about his work covering the lives of Iraq War veterans -- their experiences in war and returning home, where they often face what Finkel calls the "after-war."

www.shaheen.senate.gov

 

The U.S. Senate has passed legislation that makes sure death benefits paid to families of public safety officer who are killed in the line of duty are not subject to federal income tax.

U.S. Sens. Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen introduced the bill and say it's now headed to the president for his signature.

Federal survivor benefits are not subject to federal taxation but Ayotte's office says New Hampshire law enforcement personnel were concerned about an ambiguity in the law regarding the tax treatment of state-based survivor benefits programs.

Courtesy of VPR

New Hampshire veterans may not have to travel so far to receive services.

That’s after the Department of Veterans Affairs changed its policy to driving distance rather than straight line distance when calculating eligibility for its choice program.

Director of the medical center Deborah Amdur said about 800 more Granite Staters will now be able to get care in their community on the V.A. ‘s dime. The policy change, which effects anyone who lives 20 miles or more from a V.A. hospital, will take effect immediately. 

Thomas Fearon

The Manchester VA Hospital must pay $21 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit. 

According to the federal judge who heard the case, a 60-year-old veteran in Bennington suffered a horrific ordeal that left him trapped inside his own body – and the event was entirely preventable.

After Michael Farley suffered a stroke in 2010, VA doctors failed to give him the proper medications to prevent a second stroke.  Medical staff also poorly coordinated Farley's care.

www.whiteriver.va.gov

The number of female veterans receiving care at VA facilities has doubled in the past decade.

That figure is expected to grow, with close to 200,000 women having served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That growth means the need to offer specialized care for female veterans is more pressing than ever.

Carey Russ was recently named manager of the Women Veterans Program at the White River Junction VA Medical Center.

She joined Morning Edition to talk about her new role.

Jack Rodolico

Last April, the news broke that 40 veterans had died while waiting for medical care from a VA Hospital in Arizona. That provoked a national outcry at long wait times for sick vets.

Congress passed a $16.3 billion law to overhaul the Veterans Affairs Administration, and a crucial aspect of that law is now unfolding in New Hampshire. The idea is for the VA to pay for medical treatment outside the VA system.

Homelessness In New Hampshire

Jan 12, 2015
ashleigh290 / Flickr/CC

A recent report shows that the overall population is down, but the problem persists and has even increased among certain groups including veterans.  Now, with diverse efforts across the state to help the homeless, there is active discussion, and some disagreement, within communities about the best approach.

GUESTS:

Jack Rodolico

Ceremonies were held around the state Tuesday in honor of Veteran’s Day. Governor Maggie Hassan and most of New Hampshire’s congressional delegation paid their respects at an event at the State Veteran’s Cemetery in Boscawen.

About 2,000 people were in attendance for the morning ceremony. Veterans with leather vests and chest-length beards stood alongside trim soldiers on horseback; they and their families listened to top state officials express gratitude for their patriotic service.

There’s a non-profit organization in Portsmouth with the aim of bringing veterans from all branches of the U.S. Military into the performing arts, both on and off the stage.  Jonathan Rockwood Hoar is the Artistic Director of Veterans In Performing Arts. He spoke with Morning Edition about how it started and what it has meant for those who participate.

Chris Jensen

Veterans in the North Country should soon find it easier to get medical care with a VA medical clinic in Littleton moving into a larger facility next spring and a new center opening this year in Colebrook.

A 10,000-square foot facility now under construction at the Mt. Eustis Commons on Cottage Street will be about twice as big as the clinic’s current home.

Purple Heart
mattscoggin / Flickr Creative Commons

The family of a World War I veteran from New Hampshire has been presented with some long-overdue service medals.   Frank Silva's son, Cmdr. Frank Silva, and daughter, Kathleen Talley, received the Purple Heart and other medals on Friday at the American Legion, Post 37 in Hooksett.   Sen. Jeanne Shaheen presented the medals.   Silva served in France after enlisting in the Army in July 1917. Silva was originally assigned to the Yankee Division, which would later become the 101st Field Artillery Unit. During his time in the Army, Mr.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

A group of veterans gathered in Concord Monday to throw their support behind re-electing New Hampshire U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen.

Several of the veterans endorsing the former New Hampshire governor pointed to her political experience in the Granite State.

Retired US Air Force Colonel Gail Prince of Bedford says Shaheen has been supporting veterans’ issues in New Hampshire going back to her time as a state Senator.

“She knows who to reach out to here in the state to get New Hampshire’s position, the people’s position, on an issue.”

New Hampshire's governor and top judicial and military officials gathered to dedicate the state's first court designed to handle the criminal cases of military veterans.

Located in Nashua, the court will focus intensive treatment to address the substance abuse, trauma and anger management issues that often drive veterans' crimes.

Major General William Reddel — adjutant general of the New Hampshire National Guard — said the court is not about providing a get-out-of-jail-free card. He said it's about fixing the problems behind the crimes.

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A New Hampshire Marine killed last month by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan will be laid to rest Saturday.

A memorial service will be held Saturday morning for Lance Corporal Brandon Garabrant at ConVal High School in Peterborough.

Garabrant was 19 years old and graduated from ConVal last year.

Following the service, he will be buried at the New Hampshire Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen.

Garabrant lived in Greenfield and was a volunteer member of the Temple Fire Department.

Digging Into Veteran's Health Care In N.H.

Jul 1, 2014
Thomas Fearon / NHPR

Reports of long wait times and false record-keeping at veterans facilities have rocked the country, leading to the resignations at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and a system-wide audit to get to the root of the problems.  We’ll talk with New Hampshire veterans and a top VA official here about how well this state cares for its veterans.

GUESTS:

Carol Robidoux for NHPR

It's been more than a year since the flag was lowered for the last time outside VFW Post 483 on Quincy Street in Nashua. But upkeep on the nearly century-old building was breaking the organization's bank, especially after sinking $100,000 into a new sprinkler system in 2012 to comply with the city's building code.

So last April, rather than dig themselves into a bigger financial hole, the VFW sold the building and handed over the keys to the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Homeless Shelter, which was operating across town out of a much smaller building.

Karim Kadim / AP via NPR

A powerful group of radical Islamists has been overwhelming Iraqi cities and towns. The stunning onslaught has the capital Baghdad now girding for battle and the U.S. grappling with how best to deal with the threat. We’ll look at the situation there and at American options.

GUESTS:

New Hampshire's Veterans Home is asking for $7 million for a third floor addition in the next capital budget — one of 150 projects submitted for consideration.

Veterans Home officials will make their pitch Tuesday at a hearing on the $227 million in spending requested by state agencies.

Gov. Maggie Hassan opened the two-days of hearings Monday with a warning that not all the projects will make the final cut next year when the governor and Legislature decide priorities. The capital budget approved last year was for $125 million from general tax funding.

New Hampshire's entire Congressional delegation now agrees that Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki should resign.

Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte called on Shinseki to resign a week ago, while the three Democrats — Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Rep. Annie Kuster and Rep. Carol Shea-Porter — did so on Wednesday.

They were prompted by a scathing new report that found systemic problems in the medical system for military veterans.

Stories From Dartmouth's Vietnam Veterans

May 26, 2014

In a new book, these veterans relate their experiences: from harrowing jungle combat to the dullness of desk-duty.  They also reflect on the drama surrounding the war in this country and on its legacy today.  We talk with the editor of this book and several veterans whose stories are included.

GUESTS: 

By London Records. (Billboard page 25 1 May 1965) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

As a soldier, an army officer, and then a Foreign Service officer Ron Capps experienced five wars in ten years, and came home with severe PTSD. Today on Word of Mouth, he discusses founding the Veterans Writing Project, and the power of the written word in coping with the psychic wounds of war. Then, from Scottish bag pipes in the mid-18th century to Metallica in the mid-2000s, we’ll take a brief tour through the history of music as a weapon of war. Plus, a diehard Oasis fan is forced to admit that the band’s rivalry with Blur has unfairly colored his perception for the past 20 years.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments


A nonprofit group is raising money to buy a home for veterans who attend Dartmouth College.  Project VetCare Inc. has received an anonymous pledge of $375,000 toward the home's $475,000 purchase price and is hoping to raise the rest by May 31.  Co-founder Robert Chambers told the Valley News that the group plans to renovate the house with volunteer labor and use the rent that veteran tenants pay to support its programs, which include helping veterans navigate their health care and benefits and preventing foreclosures and evictions.

via philklay.com

Happy St. Patrick's Day, the day when everyone gets to be Irish! Doff your green cap, sip (or chug responsibly) your green drink, and tune into Word of Mouth. Slàinte! 

Listen to the full show and click Read More for individual segments.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

A new report finds New Hampshire veterans face stigma and a complicated health system when seeking treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.

The findings come from a Commission created by the state legislature to investigate barriers to care and treatment of PTSD and TBI for the state’s 115,000 veterans.

The Commission, which is composed of military and civilian leaders, surveyed 1,100 vets. Thirty percent responded they weren’t getting the help they needed because of stigma over their mental health needs.

Paul W Hayes / Flickr Creative Commons

After more than a decade of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, American troops are coming home.  For many, it’s a wonderful time, to return to family and a normal life. But for veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury, the transition is a rough road.   In New Hampshire, more a quarter who fought in these wars say they’ve struggled with PTSD, and a fifth with some kind of brain injury.

New Hampshire's elected officials joined the state's military leaders to welcome home a medevac unit that recently returned from Afghanistan.   The 169th MEDEVAC unit went to Afghanistan in September 2012. Made up of National Guard units from New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania and Missouri, the group became known as "Jigsaw'' to reflect the merger of different units.  The medics performed 471 lifesaving missions and carried 427 patients to higher levels of care.    Soldiers in the unit, which returned in August, earned several medals including Bronze Stars.  The ceremony was at 11 a.m.

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