veterans | WOSU Radio

veterans

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.

Esther Honig / WOSU

After last year's deadly clash between white nationalists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, the federal government quietly spent millions of dollars to hire private security guards to stand watch over at least eight Confederate cemeteries, documents from the Department of Veterans Affairs show.

The nation's 50th Gold Star Families Memorial Monument will be unveiled Tuesday at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

The largest city named for Christopher Columbus has called off its observance of the divisive holiday that honors the explorer, making a savvy move to tie the switch to a politically safe demographic: veterans.

The new National Veterans Memorial And Museum.
Daniel Konik / Ohio Public Radio

The National Veterans Memorial and Museum will open to the public next month. But this one of a kind facility isn’t in the nation’s capital - it's in Ohio’s capital city.

A Summit County program that helps veterans who’ve been charged with a felony is getting a big financial boost.

Valor Court is a program for non-violent felons who have served in the military. Susan Sweeney, assistant court executive officer, says there are a lot of them.

“They’re there. It’s just a matter of having the program capacity to meet the needs.”

President Trump's second VA secretary, Robert Wilkie, was confirmed 86-9 by the Senate on Monday. He takes the helm of the second largest department in the U.S. government, with more than 350,000 employees, a nearly $200 billion budget and almost 20 million American veterans depending on it for care and benefits.

That may sound like a herculean task. Now add that the department has been in turmoil since Trump sacked his first VA secretary, David Shulkin, with dozens of senior staff, subject matter experts and career officials quitting or being pushed out.

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