veterans

Many veterans are still waiting to see a doctor.

An initiative at several veterans hospitals adds something new to patients' medical records: their life stories.

Families of service members missing in action gather at the Bellevue Marriott to hear how the Department of Defense is trying to match them with recovered remains.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

On a recent Saturday, the mood at the Marriott in Bellevue was lively considering the reason that people gathered there. From 7:30 in the morning until 5:00 in the evening, families packed into a ballroom to be briefed on what the federal government is doing to recover the remains of their loved ones.  

The fix is broken.

Two years ago Congress created the Veterans Choice Program after scandals revealed that some veterans were waiting months to get essential medical care. The $10 billion program was designed to get veterans care quickly by letting them choose a doctor outside the VA system. Now Congress and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs are pushing through new legislation to fix the program.

Theresa Larson developed an eating disorder while in the Marine Corps.
Courtesy of Theresa Larson

Marine Lt. Theresa Larson was forcing herself to vomit as many as five times a day when she was medically evacuated out of Fallujah, Iraq.

The problem had started back at Camp Pendleton in California, but Larson was doing her job and keeping it together, so the very few people who knew about it backed her up.

Soldiers place their hats on rack just inside the mess hall doors before eating breakfast in the controlled monitoring area at JBLM.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

A federal law caps the interest rates that lenders can charge military service members, but a new report says lenders don't always follow that law.

The report released today from the U.S. Department of Education’s inspector general suggests more service members are paying too much for their loans than the government had previously revealed.

An animated film is up for best documentary short at the Oscars this year. It's only the second time an animated film has been in the running since the category was established in the 1940s. Last Day of Freedom is the story of Bill Babbitt, a man who turns his brother in for murder, hoping the police will help his brother get the care he needs for PTSD.

The Babbitts' story is told through more than 30,000 drawings, most of them in black and white. They were created by Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman, two Northern California-based artists.

Recent government sanctions against predatory for-profit colleges that preyed on veterans by using inflated job promises have opened the window on the wider challenges of helping veterans transition from service to higher education.

Clay Hull has a stubborn sense of justice.

After an improvised explosive device blast in Iraq ended his time in the military, he fought the Army and the Department of Veterans Affairs over the amount of compensation they awarded him for his injuries.

"If I'm in the wrong, I'll admit it. But I'm not going to let somebody just push me around, especially the VA," he says.

It was complicated and drawn out, but Hull now gets the maximum the VA pays for disability.

Officers of 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 'Ready First' 1st Armored Division, participate in an urban combat exercise at a training facility on Fort Bliss, Texas in 2011.
Flickr Photo/DVIDSHUB (CC BY 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1njNs6z

William Kerby was exposed to repeated blasts when he was deployed to Iraq as a Marine infantryman.

“For instance, we were setting off a charge on a door or a gate to blow it open, and there’s nowhere really to go, so you basically turn away from it within a few feet,” Kerby said. “You can feel that kind of concussion, that shockwave, as it goes through your body.”

During World War II, thousands of Americans lied about their age to enlist in the military. During the Iraq war, Daniel Torres lied about something else.

"I didn't want to be just another Mexican living in the U.S. I wanted to say I'd done something for the country," said Torres.

At a warehouse near Dallas, a black Lab named Papi tugs on a rope to open a fridge and passes his trainer a plastic water bottle with his mouth.

Service dogs are often trained to help veterans with physical disabilities. Now, a growing number are being trained to meet the demand from vets with post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health issues.

Those dogs learn extra tricks — how to sweep a house for intruders, for example, so a veteran feels safe.

Winston-Salem is among a group of cities nationwide that say they've met the White House goal to end veteran homelessness.

Volunteers from the Elks in Seattle and Shoreline pack take away bags for needy vets at a stand down event.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

At 6 a.m. in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, a damp fog hangs in the air.

Green Army surplus sleeping bags, backpacks and boots cover the floor in a large room at Seattle Central College. Volunteers will soon give them to homeless veterans to help them live on the streets.

The give-away became necessary because Seattle didn’t reach a national goal to end veteran homelessness in 2015.

Marine Veteran Vincent Romano with a fellow veteran. Romano served between 1967 and 2006.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

Hundreds of local veterans in need of supplies and services queued up at Seattle Central College Thursday. It’s called a “stand down” and is intended to be a one-stop shop for vets who may be homeless.

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