Veterans

June is pride month for the LGBTQ community and the White River Junction Veterans Affairs Medical Center says veterans are no exception.

Rebecca Sananes / VPR

About 10 to 15 percent of the U.S. military is made up of women, but many often feel like their stories and experiences are overlooked. A group of cartoonists and the White River Junction VA have a plan to change that.

Jacques Coughlin / NPR (2006)

NPR's Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman covers the military and Defense Department, and has reported from Afghanistan and Iraq for the network. Bowman is also an alum of Saint Michael's College, and he's been working with the college to encourage more veterans to attend.

Rebecca Sananes / VPR

Veterans from all over the region will be skiing, snowboarding and skating in the Upper Valley this week for the annual New England winter sports clinic for disabled veterans. 

A new study out of the White River Junction VA shows that dating back to World War II, women have experienced sexual trauma during military service.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

A nonprofit organization is trying to get more Vermont veterans into the farming business. The Farmer Veteran Coalition only has about a dozen members in Vermont so far, but it’s already changing lives.

Pacific NW Gardener / Flickr

The Vermont Veterans' Home is offering up free garden plots to veterans in the Bennington area. The new Vermont Veteran's Community Garden takes root May 1.

The chief of the Veterans Affairs hospital in White River Junction is moving to Phoenix, Ariz., to oversee a troubled VA facility there.           

Deborah Amdur is a social worker by training, and she will replace one of several interim directors in Phoenix. Her appointment comes after allegations surfaced last year that the Arizona hospital had manipulated reports on patient wait-times.

The Phoenix VA became a flashpoint in a national scandal over mismanagement and corruption in the VA health system.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / vpr

There are some benefits to being 102 years old. Generally, when you have an idea you can find people willing to give you a hand.

So when Artie Aiken went before the Westminster Institute board of trustees and said he wanted to display a World War II plaque the institute had stored away the board got behind the idea.

Rumble Strip Vermont: A St. Johnsbury Veteran Tells His Story

Nov 11, 2015
Erica Heilman / Courtesy Rumble Strip Vermont

Vaughn Hood was a 118-pound barber when he was drafted into the Vietnam War and he served as a combat soldier in from March 1969 to January 1970. And in Vaughn’s war, most men didn’t survive their first three-month tour. Now, he runs a hair salon in St. Johnsbury with his wife, Bev.

Donald Shedd

Donald Shedd stood in his Wallingford kitchen and pointed to a bright red baseball cap he planned to wear in Washington, D.C. "That’s my hat," said Shedd proudly. "First Marine Division, Guadalcanal."

The Veterans Affairs Medical Center in White River Junction wants to give veterans who cannot live independently the option to move into a foster home. But so far there have been no takers.

VA’s director for the project, James Pierce, is building the new foster home network in the White River Junction area.

“The program is designed to help veterans who can no longer independently find and reside in peoples’ homes, that are called caretakers,” Pierce said.

Vermont’s Veterans’ Cemetery is getting larger and adding some features designed to help people find friends or loved ones buried there. A new grant that will fund the improvements.

Firstsignal / iStock.com

The National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is looking for brains. The center, in White River Junction, is run by the Department of Veterans Affairs and it's opening the world's first national brain bank for PTSD . It's a physical library of veterans' brain tissue to help researchers learn more about PTSD.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

More and more members of the military are coming back from deployments needing medical attention, and Vietnam-era veterans are aging. 

Military veterans will soon get expanded access to higher education. They now qualify for in-state tuition at all public colleges and universities even in states where they are only temporary residents.

In Vermont, non-residents pay almost twice as much tuition to state colleges and the University of Vermont as in-state students. That puts military veterans in a bind if they have recently moved or been transferred to a state where they do not have legal residence.

Ric Cengeri / VPR

The Purple Heart is a military honor given to service members who are wounded or killed while serving. But for various reasons, medals can become lost or separated from their recipients over time.

Last year, Veterans Affairs whistleblowers said that patients were dying because they didn't have access to medical care at the nation's VA hospitals. They also claimed that officials at some hospitals were falsifying records to make it look like wait times were not as bad as they really were.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

Many veterans who have to drive more than 40 miles to reach a full-service Veterans Health Administration hospital may now get care at private medical facilities at government expense. The option is also available for eligible patients who cannot get an appointment at the VA within 30 days. But so far, not many Vermont vets are taking advantage of this new rule.

There was some good news recently for Vermont's only state home for veterans. Vermont House members in Montpelier voted to fund the Vermont Veterans Home in Bennington with $5.4 million from the state's General Fund.

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