Quil Lawrence http://ktep.org en As Soldiers Return, Who Is Caring For The Caregivers? http://ktep.org/post/soldiers-return-who-caring-caregivers Over a million Americans are caregivers to returning veterans, and in many cases, they're doing so with little government support. As a major report finds, this is having some serious consequences. Mon, 31 Mar 2014 20:04:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 37738 at http://ktep.org After A Long Wait, 24 Models In Heroism Get Their Due http://ktep.org/post/after-long-wait-24-models-heroism-get-their-due Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish.<p>On today's program, in interviews and stories from NPR reporters, we're following events in Crimea, as well as the continuing search for Malaysian Air Flight 370.<p>SIEGEL: Right now, a story about honor delayed but, in the end, not denied. This afternoon, President Barack Obama awarded 24 Americans the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest decoration for valor. And this is a unique group. Tue, 18 Mar 2014 20:03:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 36911 at http://ktep.org Military Training Gives U.S. Paralympic Biathletes An Edge http://ktep.org/post/military-training-gives-us-paralympic-biathletes-edge Biathlon may be the toughest endurance sport in the Olympics. After grueling circuits of Nordic skiing, athletes have to calm their breathing, steady their tired legs and shoot tiny targets with a rifle.<p>Andy Soule does it all with only his arms.<p>"It's a steep learning curve, learning to sit-ski," says Soule, a member of the U.S. Paralympic team. He's strapped into a seat attached to two fixed cross-country skis. Fri, 07 Mar 2014 22:06:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 36215 at http://ktep.org Military Training Gives U.S. Paralympic Biathletes An Edge From War In The Desert To 'Murder Ball On Ice' http://ktep.org/post/war-desert-murder-ball-ice <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wULh4froE7k</p> Fri, 07 Mar 2014 08:15:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 36154 at http://ktep.org From War In The Desert To 'Murder Ball On Ice' Among Soldiers, Risk Of Suicide May Have Surprising Roots http://ktep.org/post/among-soldiers-risk-suicide-may-have-surprising-roots Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block.<p>For years, people in the military had a lower rate of suicide than their civilian counterparts. About 10 years ago that started to change and now the rate is worse for soldiers than civilians. That prompted the largest-ever study of suicide among soldiers, in cooperation with the National Institutes of Health. The study is on-going, but three initial articles have been published.<p>And NPR's Quil Lawrence joins us to talk about the findings. Tue, 04 Mar 2014 21:37:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 35992 at http://ktep.org Yale Law Students Raise Case For Discharged Vets http://ktep.org/post/yale-law-students-raise-case-discharged-vets Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>In the U.S., posttraumatic stress disorder or PTSD has become part of our national vocabulary. During the Vietnam War, though, it wasn't yet a medical diagnosis, nor was it accepted as an explanation for erratic behavior. Mon, 03 Mar 2014 21:23:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 35909 at http://ktep.org With Pension Cuts Looming, Vets Get Mobilized http://ktep.org/post/pension-cuts-looming-vets-get-mobilized When it became clear that the congressional budget deal included a cut to military pensions, veterans service organizations sprang into action. The question now is whether the powerful lobby will be able to roll back the cuts in the pensions. Thu, 06 Feb 2014 22:55:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 34298 at http://ktep.org Winter Census Tallies Homeless Veterans http://ktep.org/post/winter-census-tallies-homeless-veterans Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.<p>On the way into work this morning, I felt a blast of cold air on my face. It was 19 degrees in Washington, unpleasant even for a few minutes. And we're going to hear next about people who spent the whole night outside in temperatures that were even lower.<p>Every winter, the Department of Housing and Urban Development picks a night in January for a survey of the nation's homeless. One group of particular concern is veterans in shelters or on the street. Tue, 28 Jan 2014 10:01:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 33636 at http://ktep.org Veterans Groups Speak Out Against Pension Cuts http://ktep.org/post/veterans-groups-speak-out-against-pension-cuts Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block. The budget deal making that's made its way through Congress has been hailed as a sign of bipartisan cooperation, extremely rare in Washington, but not everyone is happy. Veterans group have been protesting a cut to military pensions, a key part of the deal that saved $6 billion. Thu, 16 Jan 2014 22:16:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 32944 at http://ktep.org Fallujah Veterans Ask Hard Questions About Their Sacrifices http://ktep.org/post/fallujah-veterans-ask-hard-questions-about-their-sacrifices Will Walsh got to know the Iraqi city of Fallujah while running across its bridges in the middle of the night, under fire, looking for IEDs. That was nearly 10 years ago.<p>Last weekend, the former Army captain heard the news that Fallujah had fallen, again, to al-Qaida-linked groups.<p>"The question I have to ask myself is was that effort in vain?" he says now. "Was all the work that we did, all the sacrifice that we had, what is the benefit?"<p>Walsh's platoon lost one man in Fallujah. Hundreds of Americans were killed or wounded there. It was 2004. Tue, 07 Jan 2014 22:39:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 32323 at http://ktep.org Fallujah Veterans Ask Hard Questions About Their Sacrifices An Honorable Last Wish For A Dying Marine http://ktep.org/post/honorable-last-wish-dying-marine Hal Faulkner is 79 years old and he's already lived months longer than his doctors predicted.<p>"I don't know what to say, it's just incredible that I'm still here," Faulkner says in a halting voice made gruff by age and cancer.<p>Faulkner joined the Marines in 1953, and served in the Philippines. In 1956, he got kicked out with an "undesirable discharge" for being gay. Mon, 06 Jan 2014 08:01:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 32192 at http://ktep.org An Honorable Last Wish For A Dying Marine For Veterans, 'Bad Paper' Is A Catch-22 For Treatment http://ktep.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 30554 at http://ktep.org Other-Than-Honorable Discharge Burdens Like A Scarlet Letter http://ktep.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 30480 at http://ktep.org Other-Than-Honorable Discharge Burdens Like A Scarlet Letter Vets-Turned-Firefighters Find Brotherhood, Purpose http://ktep.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 28743 at http://ktep.org Vets-Turned-Firefighters Find Brotherhood, Purpose Government Shutdown Will Add To VA's Backlog http://ktep.org/post/government-shutdown-will-add-vas-backlog Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>All right. The partial government shutdown could take an especially painful toll on American veterans. The most serious consequences will not come unless the shutdown continues for weeks. Those consequences would include cutting off disability and education benefits. Thu, 03 Oct 2013 09:17:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 26272 at http://ktep.org A Veteran Traces America's Biography In Music, From Coney Island To Vietnam http://ktep.org/post/scoring-great-american-montage <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmPqLBl1ovU</p> Wed, 02 Oct 2013 20:24:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 26249 at http://ktep.org A Veteran Traces America's Biography In Music, From Coney Island To Vietnam U.S. Soldier Fights For Afghan Interpreter Who Saved His Life http://ktep.org/post/us-soldier-crusading-afghan-interpreter-who-saved-his-life Army Capt. Matt Zeller had been told that his Afghan comrades would make a big show of hospitality. He'd read that the Afghan code of honor would mean protecting his life with their own. Sure enough, that's what his interpreter, Janis Shinwari, pledged to him when they met in April of 2008.<p>"I expected him to say it. I didn't think he'd make good on his promise within two weeks of my arrival," Zeller says. "Literally pick up a weapon and ... save my life," says Zeller.<p>Now, Zeller says he's got to repay the favor in kind. Wed, 25 Sep 2013 07:40:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 25710 at http://ktep.org U.S. Soldier Fights For Afghan Interpreter Who Saved His Life For Wounded Vets, Climbing Half Dome Only Half The Mission http://ktep.org/post/wounded-vets-climbing-half-dome-only-half-mission Timmy O'Neill is guiding Steve Baskis through ancient yellow pines that almost touch the sky. They're hiking all day to base camp in California's Yosemite National Park, 2,000 feet up in Little Yosemite Valley.<p>Taking Baskis by the hand, O'Neill traces the distant ridge of Half Dome, a bald rock rising almost a mile from the valley floor. That's tomorrow's challenge.<p>Baskis can't actually see the peak. Four years ago, a bomb blast in Iraq took his eyesight. So O'Neill is guiding Baskis along the trail, providing directions and warning him away from steep drops. Sat, 14 Sep 2013 08:53:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 25055 at http://ktep.org For Wounded Vets, Climbing Half Dome Only Half The Mission VA Still Under Pressure To Reduce Disability Claim Backlog http://ktep.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 23489 at http://ktep.org Backlog Of Benefit Claims A Big Problem For VA http://ktep.org/post/backlog-benefit-claims-big-problem-va Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>More than two million Americans fought in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the vast majority of U.S. veterans, about 20 million, served in earlier wars - World War II, Korea, Vietnam. Tue, 23 Jul 2013 20:13:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 21585 at http://ktep.org A Veteran's Piercing True Story Leaps From Page To Stage http://ktep.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 21397 at http://ktep.org A Veteran's Piercing True Story Leaps From Page To Stage At A Texas Base, Battling Army's Top Threat: Suicide http://ktep.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 19355 at http://ktep.org At A Texas Base, Battling Army's Top Threat: Suicide For Ailing Vets In Rural Areas, Tele-Medicine Can Be The Cure http://ktep.org/post/ailing-vets-rural-areas-tele-medicine-can-be-cure Howard Lincoln of White Mountain, Alaska, doesn't always hear it when people knock on his door. He's 82 and he still has a little shrapnel in his jaw from a mortar shell that nearly killed him in the Korean War 60 years ago.<p>"We heard it whistling, but I was the third one in line running toward the bunker," he recalls.<p>Wounds to his face, arm and hip laid him up in a Tokyo hospital for quite a while. Wed, 29 May 2013 06:53:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 17787 at http://ktep.org For Ailing Vets In Rural Areas, Tele-Medicine Can Be The Cure Forgotten For Decades, WWII Alaskans Finally Get Their Due http://ktep.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 17763 at http://ktep.org Forgotten For Decades, WWII Alaskans Finally Get Their Due Searching For Veterans On Alaska's Remote Edges http://ktep.org/post/searching-veterans-alaskas-remote-edges When he was in Vietnam, Isaac Oxereok's small build made him ideal for tunnel-ratting: running with a pistol and a flashlight into underground passages built by the Viet Cong. In 1967 he finished his tour with the Army and returned home to Wales, Alaska. Oxereok knew he wasn't quite right, but there wasn't anyone around to tell him how to get help.<p>"Post-traumatic syndrome?" he said. "I went through that I guess, mostly on my own. Some wounds never really show. Tue, 28 May 2013 07:44:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 17699 at http://ktep.org Searching For Veterans On Alaska's Remote Edges Sexual Violence Victims Say Military Justice System Is 'Broken' http://ktep.org/post/sexual-violence-victims-say-military-justice-system-broken Myla Haider took a roundabout route to becoming an agent in the Army's Criminal Investigation Command, or CID. Wars kept interrupting her training.<p>"My commander wanted to take me to Iraq as the intelligence analyst for the battalion, so I gave up my seat in CID school," Haider says.<p>She speaks in a steady, "just the facts ma'am" tone. Once a cop always a cop, the 37-year-old says.<p>Her commander from the 101st Airborne, retired Lt. Col. Marty Herbert, describes Haider as a sharp, even-keeled analyst, standing out in a battalion of hundreds. Thu, 21 Mar 2013 07:05:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 13162 at http://ktep.org Sexual Violence Victims Say Military Justice System Is 'Broken' Off The Battlefield, Military Women Face Risks From Male Troops http://ktep.org/post/battlefield-military-women-face-risks-male-troops Dora Hernandez gave a decade of her life to the U.S. Navy and the Army National Guard, but some of the dangers surprised her.<p>"The worst thing for me is that you don't have to worry about the enemy, you have to worry about your own soldiers," she says.<p>Sitting in a circle, a group of women nod in agreement. All are veterans, most have spent time in Iraq and Afghanistan, but they're also survivors of another war. Wed, 20 Mar 2013 07:08:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 13089 at http://ktep.org Off The Battlefield, Military Women Face Risks From Male Troops Women In Combat, And The Price They Pay http://ktep.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 12923 at http://ktep.org Women In Combat, And The Price They Pay Female Soldiers Face Tough Switch From Front Lines To Homefront http://ktep.org/post/female-soldiers-face-tough-switch-front-lines-homefront <em>In a series of reports this week, NPR's Quil Lawrence looks at some of the most pressing challenges facing America's nearly 2 million female veterans. Like men, they often need assistance in finding jobs, dealing with PTSD and reintegrating into their families. And all too often, women say their military experience included sexual harassment or sexual assault.</em><p>Alyssa Corcoran experienced combat on her first patrol in Afghanistan. Sun, 17 Mar 2013 09:52:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 12902 at http://ktep.org Female Soldiers Face Tough Switch From Front Lines To Homefront A Wounded Soldier Stands Tall At Reunion With His Platoon http://ktep.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 11175 at http://ktep.org A Wounded Soldier Stands Tall At Reunion With His Platoon