Veterans

VA Town Hall
6:34 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Tensions High At VA Town Hall

Vietnam veteran, Chester Chunn, stands to speak at a veteran's town hall meeting in downtown St. Louis.
Credit Durrie Bouscaren / St. Louis Public Radio

Exceptionally long wait times, missing records and doctors who failed to diagnose serious conditions were among the complaints aired at a veteran’s town hall meeting in St. Louis Friday.

Veterans Affairs officials in St. Louis have been required to hold two forums following federal investigations of hospitals and the mishandling of veteran’s benefit claims. While providing a public venue for people to speak about their experiences with the system, representatives were also on hand to answer individual questions about benefits and vocational rehabilitation.

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Welcome Home Warrior Summit
5:33 pm
Sat September 6, 2014

VA Fair Is One-Stop Shop For Veterans

Presentation of the colors during the Welcome Home Warriors Summit ceremony on Saturday, September 6, 2014.
Credit Camille Phillips/St. Louis Public Radio

The VA St. Louis Health Care System hosted a veterans’ resource fair Saturday in downtown St. Louis. Several hundred people attended the event, which expanded on the St. Louis VA’s fall Homeless Veterans Stand Down event to provide employment, education, health and legal services in addition to resources to help veterans find housing.                    

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Homelessness
6:22 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

St. Louis Looks To Reduce Homeless Veteran Population

Veterans, city officials and volunteers pose for a photograph before beginning the one day push to end homelessness among veterans in the city of St. Louis.
Credit Camille Phillips/St. Louis Public Radio

If the latest counts are accurate, the population of homeless veterans in the City of St. Louis is now zero. The city gave 51 veterans the keys to their own apartments Wednesday, providing housing for the last group of known homeless vets in the city.

At an event announcing Operation Reveille, St. Louis Department of Human Services Director Bill Siedhoff said homeless veterans have been a focus for his office.

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Veterans Affairs
7:15 am
Tue July 15, 2014

American Legion Targets Gap Between Veterans And VA St. Louis Health Care

Navy veteran Mike LeBlanc discusses health care with Verna Jones, director of the American Legion's Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Division.
Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

The American Legion is looking for St. Louis-area veterans who need help getting medical services from the VA Health Care System.

The Legion has sent members from its “System Worth Saving Task Force” in Washington, D.C., to relay concerns directly from St. Louis-area veterans.

The three-person task force is meeting with the director of the local VA system today to bring up problems raised by veterans at a town hall-style meeting that it hosted Monday night, said Verna Jones, director of the Legion's Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Division in Washington.

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Politics & Issues
8:00 pm
Sun June 15, 2014

Commentary: Part Of The VA Problem Was Setting An Unrealistic Standard

Eric Shinseki
Credit Veterans Affairs photo | Wikipedia

Too often governmental scandals become couched in blaming an administrator for the problem. Critics seldom look at a bureaucratic organization for its failings or how bureaus channel the behavior of their employees. One element that should be examined is how success is judged.

In the case of the Veterans Administration and Gen. Eric Shinseki, we see staff at VA hospitals responding to how they would be evaluated. Such evaluations affect compensation and promotion and hence behavior. Employees also tend to go along to get along.

Shinseki sowed the seeds of his own demise.

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Veterans Administration
6:41 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

McCaskill, Blunt Demand Better Care For Military Veterans

Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill
Credit Blunt – Flickr/Gage Skidmore; McCaskill – Flickr/SenatorMcCaskill

On Friday, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill is releasing the latest results of a survey of Missouri military veterans who have received care at Veterans Administration’s facilities around the state, including Cochran and Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis.

While not disclosing any details, McCaskill told reporters Tuesday that “every year we’ve done it, the VA has done a little better. I’m particularly pleased this year because we’ve had even more responses this year than we had last year.”

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Veteran Services
1:51 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Missouri Senators Question VA Over St. Louis Mental Health Services

John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis.

Missouri’s U.S. Senators are seeking answers from the Department of Veterans Affairs  about reports of lax mental health services in St. Louis’s VA hospital system.

The inquiry stems from allegations by the system’s former Chief of Psychiatry, Dr. Jose Mathews, regarding an “artificial backlog” of patient care created by staff who treat veterans for only a fraction of the workday.

According to the Associated Press, Mathews claims in a federal whistleblower complaint filed last year that he was demoted after his efforts to make employees work harder and more efficiently.

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Wounded Warriors Project
12:46 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

St. Charles Man Charged With Falsely Soliciting Donations For Wounded Veterans

St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar (r) and Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster are charging a man for scamming about $6,000 from people and claiming the money was for the Wounded Warriors Project.
Credit (Shula Neuman/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster today announced criminal charges against a St. Charles man accused of falsely collecting donations for the Wounded Warriors Project, a national nonprofit organization that assists wounded American veterans. 

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St. Louis on the Air
6:11 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Business Partners Plan Mental Health Facility For Veterans With A Commmunity Approach

Ribbon cutting ceremony for River Trace Townhomes, an apartment complex for the families of veterans receiving treatment at Oasis Residential@Emerson.
(Courtesy AnthemUSA)

Plans are coming together for Oasis Residential@Emerson, a new supportive living community in St. Louis for veterans and other individuals with mental health issues, said business partners Sherman Strong and Kendall Brune.

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Homeless Veterans
5:05 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Homeless Veterans In St. Louis Receiving Extra Attention

The city of St. Louis is focusing on getting homeless veterans into programs like the ones offered at the Salvation Army's veteran's residence, shown here in 2012.
Robert Peterson / St. Louis Public Radio

Officials with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs were in St. Louis today in an effort to get homeless veterans off the street and into housing immediately.

The outreach to veterans was part of the required winter count of homeless people in the city. Officials with the VA went out with teams, conducting the count to be able to offer immediate help to chronically homeless veterans. It was part of the Obama administration's efforts to end homelessness among veterans by 2015.

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