veterans

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.

KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

A new program in Lacey, Wash., gives soldiers training and a career track in software development after discharge from the Army.

Courtesy of HUMV/Sarah Koopai

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 veteran’s benefits.

Courtesy of HUMV/Sarah Koopai

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.  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.

Homelessness, Pigeons And Life After Injury

Aug 29, 2013

No Home To Go To: Stories From The Homeless And Poor

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 Mission’s Women and Children’s Shelter.
 

Pigeons: Rats With Wings Or Symbols Of Peace?

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 “Pigeons: The Fascinating Saga of the World’s Most Revered and Reviled Bird,” as well as Dave Cheney from National Bird Control.

Life After Injury: Stories From American Soldiers

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.

Courtesy Sgt. Koetje

For soldiers who are injured or wounded, the process for determining whether they’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 Washington’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord and other military installations were waiting nearly 400 days to get through the system.

Bill To Protect Veterans Against Discrimination

Jul 17, 2013
United States Congress

If you are a veteran looking for a job in Washington state, employers can’t refuse to hire you because of your military status. That’s because of a 2006 law protecting veterans against discrimination. But in most states that’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.

Courtesy of the Husky United Military Veterans Facebook page.

Sam Talkington is cramming. It’s finals week at the University of Washington and he’s got an economics exam soon.

Talkington is majoring in finance at the Foster School of Business and he’s been feeling the crunch. “I have an extremely heavy course load right now,” he said. “I’m taking four courses and some stuff I’m not familiar with but becoming more familiar with as the days progress.”

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