Eric Highfill spent five years in the Navy, fixing airplanes for special operations forces. His discharge papers show an Iraq campaign medal and an Afghanistan campaign medal, a good-conduct medal, and that he's a marksman with a pistol and sharpshooter with a rifle.
None of that matters, because at the bottom of the page it reads "Discharged: under other than honorable conditions."
In recent years, companies ranging from JPMorgan Chase to Walmart to Boeing have announced special hiring programs for veterans. Seattle coffee giant Starbucks is the latest.
All of these companies are trying to bring down a stubbornly high unemployment rate for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. But to succeed, companies have to take the time to understand the skills of service members.
For Tom Jenkins, a senior at the University of Washington and a veteran of the Air Force, the partial government shutdown has caused double stress: He has been furloughed from his part-time job as a reservist, and he may not receive veteranâ€™s benefits.
The government's partial shutdown has put many federal benefits at risk, including education benefits for veterans covered by the Post 9/11 GI Bill. That money goes towards tuition, housing, books and more. Â Steve Scher talks with Tom Jenkins, a senior at UW and president of Husky United Military Veterans about how the shutdown is affecting student veterans.
As many as 3.5 million people in the United States experience homelessness in a given year. We'll hear a few personal stories about homelessness. In 2007, Steve Scher talked with Lisa Gray-Garcia (aka Tiny), journalist, poet and founder of POOR Magazine and the Poor News Network, Neal Lampi, who was living in a transitional housing program, and Renee Gebre, then living at Seattle Union Gospel Missionâ€™s Women and Childrenâ€™s Shelter. Â
The pigeon used to be considered a symbol of peace and fertility. The birds were also a critical component of wartime communication. Yet, now people often consider them rats with wings. Steve Scher talks with Andrew Blechman, an award-winning journalist and author of â€śPigeons: The Fascinating Saga of the Worldâ€™s Most Revered and Reviled Bird,â€ť as well as Dave Cheney from National Bird Control.
Thousands of American soldiers have served in Iraq and Afghanistan during the last decade. Many suffered physical injury as a result. Today we hear first hand stories from members of our military. Steve Scher talked with Lt. John Arthur, Capt. Jeremy McGuffey and Sgt. Christopher Hoyt about life after injury and coming home from war.
For soldiers who are injured or wounded, the process for determining whether theyâ€™re eligible for medical retirement is long.
Many, including the Government Accountability Office, say too long.
In a 2012 report to the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, the GAO found that soldiers at Washingtonâ€™s Joint Base Lewis-McChord and other military installations were waiting nearly 400 days to get through the system.
If you are a veteran looking for a job in Washington state, employers canâ€™t refuse to hire you because of your military status. Thatâ€™s because of a 2006 law protecting veterans against discrimination. But in most states thatâ€™s not the case. United States Congressman Derek Kilmer (WA-06) wants to change that. Ross Reynolds talks to Representative Kilmer about how his bill would protect all veterans and service members from employer and housing discrimination nationwide.
Sam Talkington is cramming. Itâ€™s finals week atÂ the University of WashingtonÂ and heâ€™s got an economics exam soon.
Talkington isÂ majoring in finance at the Foster School of Business and heâ€™s been feeling the crunch. â€śI have an extremely heavy course load right now,â€ť he said. â€śIâ€™m taking four courses and some stuff Iâ€™m not familiar with but becoming more familiar with as the days progress.â€ť
Â The Challenges Facing Female Veterans Women comprise 14 percentÂ of the military, but VA hospital services and the military system are still primarily male-oriented.
SeattleÂ US Marine veteran, Angela Arellano, and local post-traumatic stress disorder expert, Bridget Cantrell, appear in a new documentary by independent filmmaker Marcia Rock called â€śService: When Women Come Marching Home.â€ť They talk about the challenges facing disabled female veterans and how PTSD is addressed. Also, military sexual trauma remains a major issue.
Washington Senator Patty Murray introduced the Combating Military Sexual Assault Act of 2013 last Tuesday. We'll ask them how the act has been received among female veterans.
Greendays Gardening Panel Our gardening panel includes a flower expert, native plant expert and vegetable gardening expert.Â They answer your gardening questions every Tuesday. Call 206.543.5869 with your gardening questions, or email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.orgÂ Â Â
How The World Is Responding To Syria The US and Russia have agreed to convene an international conference to discuss ways of diplomatically settling the ongoing conflict in Syria. Dr. Steven Cook,Â senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, discusses the implications of this conference and how the international community should be intervening in the crisis. Â Sexual Assault In The Military Â The Pentagon has released a report on sexual assault in the military. It estimates that 26,000 military members were sexually assaulted in 2012, a large increase from the previous year. The report comes out just as Sen. Patty Murray and Sen. Kelly Ayotte argued for a bill that would work to reduce sexual assaults and help victims of the crime. Sen. Patty Murray and KUOWâ€™s Patricia Murphy explain the new bill and the Pentagon's study.Â Â
The Effects Of Blast Injuries On Hormone Levels In Veterans A new study suggests that people with blast injuries are more likely to have irregular hormone levels. The hormone imbalance can lead to PTSD-like symptoms, depression and physical symptoms that raise the risk of heart attacks and strokes. University of Washington professor Charles Wilkinson studied the hormone levels in veterans who had suffered from concussions caused by blast injuries.
Basketball Diplomacy NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman is using his friendship with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un to ask for the release of Kenneth Bae, theÂ Lynnwood manÂ sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for "hostile acts" against the government. RodmanÂ took to Twitter on Tuesday to ask Kim to â€śdo me a solid and cut Kenneth Bae loose.â€ť We talk with Seattle Times editorial writer Thanh Tan, who firstÂ urgedÂ Rodman via social media to approach his â€ślifelong friendâ€ť on Baeâ€™s behalf.
March 19, 2013 marks 10 years since the beginning of the war in Iraq. A total of 3,489 Americans died in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Nearly another 32,000 were wounded in action. The numbers obscure the thousands of individual stories from the War in Iraq. We hear stories of those who fought, worked and died in the war.
According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, there are currently 607,501 veterans in the state of Washington, and as more return each month that number continues to rise. Ross Reynolds talks to US vets about what it's like to return to civilian life.Â