veterans

For the second time in two months, the Trump administration has sided with the for-profit college industry over a key constituency: veterans. In May, the president vetoed a bipartisan bill promoting debt forgiveness for veterans who were defrauded by for-profit schools. Now, the Department of Veterans Affairs is allowing two repeat-offending schools access to GI Bill money.

From Richmond to Seattle, cities are taking a fresh look at – and sometimes taking a sledgehammer to – statues of slave owners. U.S. military bases named for Confederate generals are under scrutiny, and the Marine Corps has banned Confederate flags. Some veterans would like to see this momentum help change the gender-exclusive motto of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Photo of Richard Hoffman
Richard Hoffman

WOSU's project Letters From Home is sharing stories from isolation—how Ohioans are getting through this pandemic, alone and together.

Dan Faulkner is commander of the Ohio Department of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Clare Roth / WOSU

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Ohio Department is holding their mid-winter conference in Columbus this weekend. As hundreds of vets milled about during Friday’s events on the North Side, so did a handful of people from a different profession: court stenographers.

A tent at a homeless encampment in Columbus.
Adora Namigadde / WOSU

The number of veterans experiencing homelessness in Ohio decreased by nearly 10% since last year. 

The secretary of veterans affairs has told several members of Congress that he's evicting them from offices they've been using in VA hospitals. The House members use the offices to meet with vets and discuss everything from their eligibility for benefits to the quality of the care they receive.

A bill that would expand Veterans Administration benefits for about 90,000 people who served in Vietnam is being applauded by area vets.

Much of the focus by the Veterans Health Administration has been on the growing number of younger veterans who commit suicide. However, statistics show that the suicide rate for elderly veterans is higher than that of non-veterans of the same age.

Robert Neilson was drafted in 1961. He spent two years in the Army just before the Vietnam War. Three years ago, the 76-year-old came into the VA Hospital in San Diego after contemplating suicide.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is pushing a bill in Congress to help veterans who might have been harmed by toxic emissions during deployment in Afghanistan and Iraq.

A decade-long fight ended at the Supreme Court this week, when justices refused to hear an appeal by veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who say that toxic smoke from burn pits made them sick.

On a recent chilly day in Manhattan, a group of veterans marched a dozen miles up the island — from the historic Fraunces Tavern to the spot where the first woman pensioned by the United States Army fired her cannon at British redcoats.

Tim Revell / Columbus Dispatch

According to a report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the number of homeless veterans in Ohio dropped by 13 percent last year.

Downtown Columbus
Aerial Impact Solutions

Three years in the making, the National Veterans Memorial and Museum opens Saturday on the banks of the Scioto River. 

Adora Namigadde / WOSU

Volunteers use a golf cart to shuffle veterans from a parking lot to a pond in Galloway. It’s a crisp fall day, and the calm water is full of fish.

Crickets chirp distantly and fishers slush through the grass to find private spots to fish. A few Columbus Crew SC players are even on hand to mingle with veterans.

Former Marine Lance Cpl. Josh Onan was in Ramadi, Iraq, in 2006 when his Humvee was hit by a roadside bomb.

"I remember laying down in the truck," Onan said. "Waking up, there's dust, there's debris all over me, and there's an Iraqi colonel who's sitting in the truck with us, and he's just screaming, screaming. I don't understand what he's saying."

Onan suffered a head injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. During the next year, he was in and out of trouble with military officials, mainly for small infractions, which he chalks up to the medications he was taking.

Pages