Veterans Affairs | St. Louis Public Radio

Veterans Affairs

(via Flickr/U.S. Army Garrison, Miami)

At first glance, veterans of the post 9/11 wars and St. Louis youth in high crime neighborhoods don't have much in common. But two things unite them: both are considered at-risk and both can have a tough time finding jobs.

Tommy Sowers, assistant secretary for public and intergovernmental affairs, speaks at St. Louis City Hall. The Rolla native was here for several events, including a ceremony  honoring businesses that hire veterans.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Army veteran Tommy Sowers, a Rolla native, spent some time in the media spotlight when he was the Democratic nominee running against U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Cape Girardeau, in the 8th congressional district in 2010.

(via Flickr/KurtClark)

Memorial Day is one of just a couple days a year in which attention is brought specifically to veterans.

While the remembrance earlier this week is a reminder of veterans’ service to the country, the issues and needs associated with returning veterans is an ongoing issue.  Many veterans struggle with health and emotional issues such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), have difficulty finding jobs and trouble finding a new normalcy in civilian life.

(Elena Schneider/Medill News Service)

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois says the way American veterans receive disability claims has "got to change."

His comments come as the federal Department of Veterans Affairs is working on a new digital, paper-less way of handling the claims. The V.A is working to get that done by September.

Durbin says on average, Illinois veterans wait close to a year for payments - which he says is the third-worst rate in the country.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – In the VA's central region, the Chicago office has the highest and the St. Louis office the fifth-highest percentage of disability claims pending for more than 125 days. VA statistics indicate that nearly 72 percent of the 19,741 claims on file at its St. Louis office -- which handles Misssouri's disability claims -- have been pending for more than 125 days.

Iraq War vet celebrates progress over PTSD

Aug 15, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 15, 2008 - For Iraq War veteran Brad Seitz, the color purple symbolizes five years of life after near-death.

Purple balloons will direct guests to a party this weekend noting the fifth anniversary of the day he earned a Purple Heart in service to his country. He will hang out with family and friends at the bowling alley in the recreation center of the Jefferson Barracks VA Medical Center. Refreshments will include a Purple Heart cake, compliments of the VA.

A thank you medallion from veterans celebration in 2008 (300 pixels)
Provided

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Welcome home, veterans. The VA is looking for you.

As part of a major national outreach, the St. Louis VA Medical Center is throwing a welcome home party for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan on May 17 at the Soldiers Memorial downtown. The VA will honor the veterans at a formal ceremony and present them with Global War on Terror medals.

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