veterans

The response to Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s release from the Taliban on Saturday was jubilant at first. Then the story took a dramatically different turn. 

Courtesy of Kurt Erickson

For some soldiers, learning to live with physical injuries or post-deployment stress in a clinical setting is a less than conducive atmosphere for making progress.

Rivers of Recovery, a Minnesota based nonprofit group, uses a different approach:  They take soldiers out into the woods and teach them to fly fish. The aim is to provide counseling, camaraderie and self-care tools that soldiers can build on.

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Memorial Day is just one of many days throughout the year when the American flag is lowered to half-staff. The President of the United States and state governors can also order flags lowered during times of mourning.

In Washington state, flags have flown at half-staff three times so far in 2014 to honor local soldiers who died on active duty. In April, Governor Jay Inslee also ordered to lower the flags for a week in memory of the victims of the tragic Oso landslide.

For Some Vets, Growing Old Triggers PTSD

Apr 25, 2014

As veterans from World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam age and enter hospice, we’re learning that some of them, who seemed totally fine all their lives, are experiencing late in life post-traumatic stress disorder.

One study shows that as many as one in three vets have experienced Late Onset Stress Symptology (LOSS).

Ten years ago Tuesday, former NFL star Pat Tillman was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan. Steven Elliott was one of the Army Rangers who fired on Tillman, and he told his story recently on ESPN's Outside the Lines.

It might not exactly be doctor's orders, but it made perfect sense to Josh Sweeney.

"If you hit somebody, you feel a lot better," he says, making his way off the ice from a grueling practice with the U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey team — a sport also known as "murder ball on ice."

Flickr Photo/Al Pavangkanan (CC BY-NC-ND)

Steve Scher talks with Tom Pillow, president of the Washington State Patrol Troopers Association, about a lawsuit filed by state troopers against the Washington State Patrol. The lawsuit claims the agency is breaking the law when military veterans are up for promotions.

Hypervigilance And Crowds Complicate Holidays And Life Back Home For Veterans

Dec 31, 2013
Flickr Photo/United States Air Forces - Iraq

Steve Scher gets tips from licensed mental health counselor and suicidologist Randi Jensen on how to help combat war veterans get through the holiday season and beyond.

Keith Curry wanted to be a career soldier, but injuries he sustained while deployed to Iraq ended that future.

“So,” Curry asked himself, “how can I continue to contribute?”

Back To Vietnam: One Veteran's Story

Dec 30, 2013
Flickr Photo/fontxito

Ross Reynolds sits down with Richard Brummett, a Vietnam War veteran who is one of thousands of vets who have made pilgrimages back to the country where they fought.

When Michael Hartnett was getting kicked out of the U.S. Marine Corps, he was too deep into post-traumatic stress disorder, drugs and alcohol to care as his battalion commander explained to the young man that his career was ending, and ending badly.

"Do you understand what I'm saying to you, son? It's going to be six and a kick," Hartnett recalls the commander telling him.

The "six" was an expected six months of hard labor in the brig. The kick happened at Hartnett's court-martial, and finally woke him up out of the haze.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In many ways, military veterans hold a privileged place in American society, but not all vets have access to what goes along with that privilege. In the past decade of war, more than 100,000 men and women left the military with less than honorable discharges, many due to bad conduct related to post traumatic stress disorder. Once they're kicked out of the military, they lose access to benefits like treatment for PTSD.

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."

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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.

Pages