Veterans Issues

The Leonard Lopate Show

Interviews with Veterans

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

In honor of Veterans Day, we've put together a list of some interviews with veterans and about veterans.


The Takeaway

Whistleblower Sheds Light on VA Neglect

Friday, May 16, 2014

A doctor who tried came forward about service delays for patients at risk of committing suicide at a VA facility in St. Louis was sanctioned by his employer, demoted, investigated, and told he was creating a hostile work environment.


The Takeaway

Deaths of 40 Vets Spark Calls for VA Reform

Friday, May 09, 2014

According to Congressional officials, as many as 40 veterans died waiting for care at a VA medical center in Phoenix. Many are calling for VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign, but not everyone in D.C. believe that's the right move.

Comments [2]

The Takeaway

A Military Widow Finds Solace in Running

Monday, April 28, 2014

The marathon of grief is a run without a finish line. For Lisa Hallett, whose husband died in Afghanistan in 2009, running forward is all she has to cope.


The Takeaway

Musician Vijay Iyer Gives Voice to Veterans

Monday, November 11, 2013

Musician Vijay Iyer is an acclaimed jazz pianist and composer and one of this year's recipients of a MacArthur Genius Grant. He has a new album out with poet/performer Mike Ladd called “Holding it Down: The Veterans’ Dream Project.” The album features songs, poetry, and rap by American veterans of color and the music tells the stories of war and returning home. Vijay Iyer joins The Takeaway to discuss how he is giving a voice to the men and women who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.


The Brian Lehrer Show

Why Do We Have Ballot Questions Anyway?

Monday, November 04, 2013

Morgan Pehme, editor in chief of City & State, explains why voters and not legislators have to decide issues like land swaps, gambling and civil service points for veterans.

Comments [3]


NY Vets See Increase in Wait Time for Benefits

Monday, March 11, 2013

Leaked internal Veterans Affairs documents obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting show that delays at Department of Veterans Affairs New York office are far worse than the agency has publicly let on.

Comments [1]


Manhattan VA Center Remains Closed, Post-Sandy

Thursday, November 15, 2012


A Manhattan Veterans Affairs facility is closed indefinitely, after suffering significant storm damage during Hurricane Sandy more than two weeks ago.


The Brian Lehrer Show

Our Veterans Today

Monday, November 12, 2012

It's Veterans Day. Tom Tarantino, Deputy Policy Director for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, joins us to explain how we can support veterans and their families, and how coming home has changed.

Comments [10]

The Brian Lehrer Show

30 Issues: Troops and Veterans

Thursday, October 04, 2012

30 Issues in 30 Days is our election year series on the important issues facing the country this election year. Today: What's wrong — and right with the current government treatment of active and returned military personnel. Visit the 30 Issue home page for all the conversations.

Comments [40]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Disarming IEDs in Iraq

Monday, July 16, 2012

Brian Castner served two tours of duty as the commander of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit in Iraq. He describes the nerve-racking yet exhilarating work of disarming the deadly improvised explosive devices—or picking up the pieces when the alert came too late. He also gives an account of returning home and facing the lonely battle against the enemy within—the haunting memories that will not fade, the survival instincts that will not switch off. His book The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life that Followsexamines the toll war takes on the men and women who are fighting it.

Comments [4]

The Takeaway

Suicidal Veterans Struggle to Get Help

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Department of Veteran Affairs says that 95 percent of patients seeking mental health care are evaluated with two weeks. A new report from the VA Inspector General, however, suggests those claims are vastly overstated — and less than half of patients are seen that quickly. The rest wait, on average, more than a month and a half. Former soldier Jacob Manning experienced the VA's limitations first-hand in January. After he unsuccessfully tried to kill himself, a friend convinced Manning to call a local VA clinic for help. He was told, to call back the next day because the clinic was about to close. Veteran Scott Swaim is the Director of Veteran Services at Valley Cities Counseling, has worked with many troubled former soldiers. He’s also a contractor for the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs’ War Trauma and PTSD Program.


The Empire

Veterans Day sparks veteran-focused legislative actions

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Elected officials at every level in the state are pushing for better protections and opportunities for military veterans--recent and those who served awhile ago.

Governor Andrew Cuomo is launching a program to help returning veterans find worker easier.

Military veterans are highly trained, often in specialized skills that are in great demand in the public and private sectors. However, veterans' training is often unacknowledged when they pursue licenses, degrees, and certifications in the civilian workforce. Through the Governor's "Experience Counts" campaign, state agencies will now identify ways that New York can better recognize the skills and training that veterans possess.

"As our veterans return home to New York, we must do everything within our power to ease their transition back into civilian life," Governor Cuomo said. "That is precisely what the 'Experience Counts' campaign and the newly revitalized Council on Returning Veterans and Their Families have been set up to accomplish. With this campaign, we can give veterans the credit they deserve for their military training and ensure that the state government works efficiently and effectively on their behalf."

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman released a "guide to provide veterans and active duty military personnel information related to benefits, consumer protections and other legal issues."

“To honor the brave men and women who selflessly serve our country, we must do everything we can to ensure military families are protected here at home,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “From foreclosure protection to educational benefits to employment issues, veterans and active duty military personnel deserve to know the rights and benefits to which they are entitled. My office will continue to fight for those who have fought for us.”

State Senator Tony Avella is introducing legislation to help veterans get preferential housing treatment.

Under the current law veterans who served in the Vietnam War are afforded specific eligibility into public housing projects at income levels slightly higher than the income levels set for the general public. Avella’s bill will extend those provisions to encompass veterans who have served or are serving in the armed forces from September 14, 2001 through December 31, 2014--reflecting the period from the Joint Resolution authorizing the use of force against those responsible for the September 11th terrorist attacks.

“Today, just as we did in the Vietnam War Era, we are seeing more and more of our soldiers returning home having served our country through lengthy deployments in hostile theatres with nowhere to live,” stated Avella. “Making sure that each one of these heroes is ensured preference when applying for public housing is the least we can do to prevent them from finding themselves in difficult situations. We should feel obliged to look out for those who selflessly risked everything to ensure our safety.”

City Councilwoman Jessica Lappin is putting forth a resolution caling on the Congress to do more victims of sexual assault inside the military.

Thousands of women in uniform have been victims of sexual assault and harassment during their military service. But women suffering from this condition, known as military sexual trauma (MST), face serious barriers to receiving medical benefits. Council Member Lappin, Co-Chair of the Women’s Caucus, is calling on Congress to pass a federal law that would make treatment more accessible to these victims.

“Thousands of veterans are carrying invisible battle scars,” Lappin said. “We need to provide them with the help they need, so they can begin the healing process.”

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