Quil Lawrence http://news.stlpublicradio.org en For Veterans, 'Bad Paper' Is A Catch-22 For Treatment http://news.stlpublicradio.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 32106 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org Other-Than-Honorable Discharge Burdens Like A Scarlet Letter http://news.stlpublicradio.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 11:06:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 32064 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org Other-Than-Honorable Discharge Burdens Like A Scarlet Letter Vets-Turned-Firefighters Find Brotherhood, Purpose http://news.stlpublicradio.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 31327 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org Vets-Turned-Firefighters Find Brotherhood, Purpose Afghan Translator Credited With Saving Soldier Arrives In U.S. http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/afghan-translator-credited-saving-soldier-arrives-us Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>Let's get an update now on a story we brought you last month. An Army Captain named Matt Zeller waged a one-man campaign to get an American visa for his Afghan translator. A special program does allocate visas for Iraqis and Afghans who have put their lives in danger helping U.S. forces. Wed, 30 Oct 2013 09:44:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 31030 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org VA Still Under Pressure To Reduce Disability Claim Backlog http://news.stlpublicradio.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 29285 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org A Veteran's Piercing True Story Leaps From Page To Stage http://news.stlpublicradio.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 28412 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org A Veteran's Piercing True Story Leaps From Page To Stage At A Texas Base, Battling Army's Top Threat: Suicide http://news.stlpublicradio.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 27583 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org At A Texas Base, Battling Army's Top Threat: Suicide Forgotten For Decades, WWII Alaskans Finally Get Their Due http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/forgotten-decades-wwii-alaskans-finally-get-their-due Alaskan Clyde Iyatunguk grew up hearing stories about the U.S. Army colonel, Marvin 'Muktuk' Marston, who helped his father trade his spear for a rifle, to protect his homeland during World War II.<p>Marston is a household name with Native Alaskans. Tue, 28 May 2013 21:15:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 26827 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org Forgotten For Decades, WWII Alaskans Finally Get Their Due Women In Combat, And The Price They Pay http://news.stlpublicradio.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 10281 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org Women In Combat, And The Price They Pay A Wounded Soldier Stands Tall At Reunion With His Platoon http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/wounded-soldier-stands-tall-reunion-his-platoon U.S. Army Spc. Tyler Jeffries spent most of last year in Afghanistan, on dusty, hot patrols in the villages outside Kandahar. Last fall, on Oct. 6, his tour ended three months early.<p>"I was clearing an area and I had the metal detector. Then we had word that there was two guys coming toward our position," Jeffries recalled later that month. Tue, 19 Feb 2013 20:13:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 9451 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org A Wounded Soldier Stands Tall At Reunion With His Platoon