Quil Lawrence http://wkms.org en For Veterans, 'Bad Paper' Is A Catch-22 For Treatment http://wkms.org/post/veterans-bad-paper-catch-22-treatment Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>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. Tue, 10 Dec 2013 10:12:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 37209 at http://wkms.org Other-Than-Honorable Discharge Burdens Like A Scarlet Letter http://wkms.org/post/other-honorable-discharge-burdens-scarlet-letter 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.<p>None of that matters, because at the bottom of the page it reads "Discharged: under other than honorable conditions."<p>Highfill, a 27-year-old Michigan native, says he got addicted to the painkillers he was taking for a knee injury. In the Navy's eyes, Highfill screwed up. Mon, 09 Dec 2013 11:49:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 37181 at http://wkms.org Other-Than-Honorable Discharge Burdens Like A Scarlet Letter Vets-Turned-Firefighters Find Brotherhood, Purpose http://wkms.org/post/vets-turned-firefighters-find-brotherhood-purpose Veteran Chris Delplato wanted to be a firefighter for a long time.<p>"Ever since I was a little kid — [toy] truck and everything," Delplato says. But he only just got his dream job, after first joining the Navy and serving in the Persian Gulf.<p>He was hired by New Jersey's North Hudson Fire Department, which has brought on 43 veterans this year.<p>Employment for veterans of recent wars remains a stubborn problem, with the jobless rate for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan sometimes reaching double the national rate. Mon, 11 Nov 2013 08:21:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 36446 at http://wkms.org Vets-Turned-Firefighters Find Brotherhood, Purpose VA Still Under Pressure To Reduce Disability Claim Backlog http://wkms.org/post/va-still-under-pressure-reduce-disability-claim-backlog Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish.<p>For years, the backlog of disability claims for veterans has been fodder for politicians, pundits and even comedians, like Jon Stewart.<p>(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART")<p>JON STEWART: And paper disability records still undigitized and piled up so high that the floor of one VA field office is going to collapse.<p>CORNISH: That load has gotten a little lighter recently. Wed, 21 Aug 2013 21:38:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 34210 at http://wkms.org A Veteran's Piercing True Story Leaps From Page To Stage http://wkms.org/post/veterans-piercing-true-story-leaps-page-stage <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiFLmSS83Ag</p> Sat, 20 Jul 2013 09:02:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 33252 at http://wkms.org A Veteran's Piercing True Story Leaps From Page To Stage At A Texas Base, Battling Army's Top Threat: Suicide http://wkms.org/post/texas-base-battling-armys-top-threat-suicide Suicide killed more American troops last year than combat in Afghanistan, and that is likely to be the case again this year.<p>According to the Pentagon, there were <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/01/14/169364733/u-s-militarys-suicide-rate-surpassed-combat-deaths-in-2012">at least 349 confirmed suicides</a> in 2012, compared with <a href="http://icasualties.org/oef/">310 U.S. combat deaths in Afghanistan</a> in the same period.<p>Historically, the suicide rate in the military has hovered around half the civilian rate. Thu, 20 Jun 2013 16:13:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 32318 at http://wkms.org At A Texas Base, Battling Army's Top Threat: Suicide Sexual Violence Victims Say Military Justice System Is 'Broken' http://wkms.org/post/sexual-violence-victims-say-military-justice-system-broken Myla Haider took a roundabout route to becoming an agent in the Army's Criminal Investigation Command, or CID. Wars kept interrupting her training.<p>"My commander wanted to take me to Iraq as the intelligence analyst for the battalion, so I gave up my seat in CID school," Haider says.<p>She speaks in a steady, "just the facts ma'am" tone. Once a cop always a cop, the 37-year-old says.<p>Her commander from the 101st Airborne, retired Lt. Col. Marty Herbert, describes Haider as a sharp, even-keeled analyst, standing out in a battalion of hundreds. Thu, 21 Mar 2013 07:05:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 29556 at http://wkms.org Sexual Violence Victims Say Military Justice System Is 'Broken' Off The Battlefield, Military Women Face Risks From Male Troops http://wkms.org/post/battlefield-military-women-face-risks-male-troops Dora Hernandez gave a decade of her life to the U.S. Navy and the Army National Guard, but some of the dangers surprised her.<p>"The worst thing for me is that you don't have to worry about the enemy, you have to worry about your own soldiers," she says.<p>Sitting in a circle, a group of women nod in agreement. All are veterans, most have spent time in Iraq and Afghanistan, but they're also survivors of another war. Wed, 20 Mar 2013 07:08:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 29508 at http://wkms.org Off The Battlefield, Military Women Face Risks From Male Troops Women In Combat, And The Price They Pay http://wkms.org/post/women-combat-and-price-they-pay America has been debating the role of women in combat since 1779.<p>That's when the Continental Congress first awarded a military disability pension to Mary Corbin after she manned a cannon in the Revolutionary War at the battle of Fort Washington in New York. Corbin got only half the pension male soldiers received, but she asked for — and received — the full ration of rum.<p>Today, as the Pentagon decides how to remove the combat exclusion, women still have trouble getting fully recognized for what they've achieved at war.<p>"Are women in combat?" asks Staff Sgt. Jessica Keown. Mon, 18 Mar 2013 07:23:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 29390 at http://wkms.org Women In Combat, And The Price They Pay Female Soldiers Face Tough Switch From Front Lines To Homefront http://wkms.org/post/female-soldiers-face-tough-switch-front-lines-homefront <em>In a series of reports this week, NPR's Quil Lawrence looks at some of the most pressing challenges facing America's nearly 2 million female veterans. Like men, they often need assistance in finding jobs, dealing with PTSD and reintegrating into their families. And all too often, women say their military experience included sexual harassment or sexual assault.</em><p>Alyssa Corcoran experienced combat on her first patrol in Afghanistan. Sun, 17 Mar 2013 09:52:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 29380 at http://wkms.org Female Soldiers Face Tough Switch From Front Lines To Homefront