veterans

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.

Thomas Fearon / NHPR

New reports show the Manchester, N.H. and White River Junction, Vt. Veterans Administration Medical Centers manipulated records to make wait times for appointments appear shorter than they actually were.

  The reports by the VA Office of Inspector General found that veterans at both hospitals were being scheduled according to appointment availability, not when the veteran wanted the appointment. 

KevinChang / Flickr

 

A New Hampshire foundation aims to donate hunting and fishing licenses to veterans facing financial struggles.

WMUR-TV reports that Deerfield state Rep. James Spillane started the foundation to ensure veterans can still afford to enjoy their outdoor sports.

The first recipient of a combined hunting and fishing license — Joe Brandl of Henniker — says he thinks it's a great idea and hopes it takes off.

Brandl, who served in the Navy from 1968 to 1972, says he gave up hunting and fishing last year to save money.

 

Gov. Maggie Hassan has introduced a new program that will place more of the state's veterans into permanent housing through a voucher system.

The Nashua Telegraph reports the Housing Choice Vouchers to Veterans Initiative, announced in Nashua on Tuesday, was established through a collaborative effort between the state, Harbor Homes and the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority.

Hassan said it's critical that the state's veterans "can live independently, and contribute to our civic and economic life."

Even though medical marijuana is legal in many states across the country, it’s still a federal offense, and a recently expired directive prohibited Veterans Administration doctors from recommending the treatment to veterans.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 The VA’s Veterans Choice Program has been in place for more than a year now. The federal program is meant to allow veterans who live too far from VA hospitals to receive care in their communities.

But some providers treating veterans under the program say they aren’t getting paid for their services. Recently several clinics in New Hampshire decided to drop Veterans Choice.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Congressman Frank Guinta has introduced legislation that denies bonuses to senior VA executives who fail to deliver timely care to veterans.
 Guinta says the Veterans Administration Bonus Elimination Act would provide an incentive for VA hospital executives to schedule appointments within thirty days of a veteran’s request for one.
 Thirty days is the VA benchmark spelled out in the Veterans Choice law passed in 2014. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is asking the secretary of veterans affairs to help speed up payments to health care providers through the Veterans Choice Program.

Shaheen wrote to Secretary Robert McDonald on Thursday after PainCare, which operates 11 clinics in New Hampshire, announced it will no longer participate in the program starting next month. The company cited administrative challenges and delays in reimbursements.

Hanibaael via Flickr Creative Commons

The Department of Veterans Affairs has been trying to end veteran homelessness by the end of this year. The goal was to achieve and sustain something called “functional zero,” which doesn’t eliminate homelessness, but rather ensures that it’s rare, brief and non-recurring.

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