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News stories tagged with "veterans"

US Sen. Charles Schumer. File photo: Propublica CC some rights reserved
US Sen. Charles Schumer. File photo: Propublica CC some rights reserved

Schumer: VA needs better mental health services

Senator Charles Schumer says better communication between police and Veterans Affairs could have prevented last week's Navy Yard shooting.

Police say Navy veteran Aaron Alexis had previously been involved in shooting incidents and showed signs of mental illness. But the V.A. was told about those incidents.

Alexis is accused of killing 12 people at the Washington D.C. base.  Go to full article
Josh Jones, an Army veteran who served two tours in Iraq, takes a chemistry test at Paul Smiths College. Photo: Mark Kurtz
Josh Jones, an Army veteran who served two tours in Iraq, takes a chemistry test at Paul Smiths College. Photo: Mark Kurtz

As war winds down, vets face job hurdles

The U-S has made big gains in recent years, helping young military veterans re-integrate into civilian life. Unemployment for men and women who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq has dropped.

But the jobless rate and homelessness for young service-members remains higher than for the population overall.

And veteran advocate groups say many vets still face discrimination and a lack of opportunity.

Last year, we profiled a group of military veterans studying at Paul Smiths College.

That series, produced in partnership with WBEZ-Chicago, was recognized this summer with a national award from the Public Radio News Director's association.

Here's the second part of Brian Mann's profile that first aired in November.  Go to full article
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki greets a patient at the new Spinal Cord Injury and Disorders Center at the Syracuse VA Medical Center. Photo: Joanna Richards
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki greets a patient at the new Spinal Cord Injury and Disorders Center at the Syracuse VA Medical Center. Photo: Joanna Richards

Syracuse VA hospital marks 60th anniversary

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki was in Syracuse last week, to mark the 60th anniversary of the city's VA Medical Center. He also helped to formally open a new Spinal Cord Injury and Disorder Center.  Go to full article
Shannon stands with the statue near the memorial in Alexandria Bay. Photo: Shannon D. Bartlett
Shannon stands with the statue near the memorial in Alexandria Bay. Photo: Shannon D. Bartlett

Indian River student pays tribute to fallen veterans

As we all celebrate Memorial Day, we think about the sacrifices made by our troops. One young woman from Alexandria Bay was touched personally by the effects of war. Our news intern Josh Cameron reports on how she decided to pay tribute to fallen veterans.  Go to full article
The VFW Post 1231 color guard on Veterans' Day in Canton, NY, 2009. Photo: David Sommerstein
The VFW Post 1231 color guard on Veterans' Day in Canton, NY, 2009. Photo: David Sommerstein

Appreciation day informs vets of benefits

There are 9,000 U.S. veterans in St. Lawrence County alone - thousands more across the North Country and across the border in Canada.

An event this Saturday aims to recognize those veterans' service to their country and also make sure they're aware of all the benefits they're entitled to.

The North Country Veterans Appreciation Day is tomorrow at Clarkson University from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m.

Mike Boprey is head of Veterans Services for St. Lawrence County and is one of the event's organizers. He told David Sommerstein one of the goals is to help veterans stay in the North Country, where job prospects are few.  Go to full article
The post-9/11 GI Bill has opened the door for veterans like Josh Jones (seen here in his dorm room at Paul Smiths College) to go back to college. Photo: Mark Kurtz
The post-9/11 GI Bill has opened the door for veterans like Josh Jones (seen here in his dorm room at Paul Smiths College) to go back to college. Photo: Mark Kurtz

New GI bill helps vets pivot to civilian life

This week in recognition of Veterans Day, North Country Public Radio has been looking at the struggles of young veterans returning home from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Many have come back to a sour economy, with few good jobs. For veterans under the age of 25, unemployment still hovers around 30 percent.

One of most ambitious efforts to help service members restart their lives has been the post-9/11 GI Bill, which offers financial aid for those soldiers who want to go back to college or a trade school.  Go to full article
Josh Jones, an Army veteran who served two tours in Iraq, takes a chemistry test at Paul Smiths College. Photo: Mark Kurtz
Josh Jones, an Army veteran who served two tours in Iraq, takes a chemistry test at Paul Smiths College. Photo: Mark Kurtz

Young vets face job discrimination, high unemployment

This week in honor of Veteran's Day, we're looking at the experience of young service members making the transition back to the civilian economy.

For generations, one path to the middle class has been military service. Spending time in uniform offered a way for poor and working class Americans to gain job skills and build their resumes.

But these days many young veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq are struggling with high unemployment, poverty and homelessness. At Paul Smiths College, young vets in a support group say they're worried that their wartime experience is actually making it harder for them to find good, stable jobs as they face discrimination from some employers.  Go to full article
Josh Jones studies at Paul Smiths College. Photo: Mark Kurtz
Josh Jones studies at Paul Smiths College. Photo: Mark Kurtz

Young veterans struggle in civilian economy

Sunday, across the North Country, small towns held parades and ceremonies honoring the region's veterans. But as the wars wind down in Afghanistan and Iraq, experts say more and more young men and women who fought overseas are struggling.

Some are grappling with the after-effects of post-traumatic stress and injury. Others are finding it difficult to make the transition to the civilian economy, facing unemployment, poverty and homelessness.  Go to full article

Vietnam vet reaches out to young soldiers with "Facing PTSD"

Tom Smith grew up in Connecticut, but his family has owned land in Keene Valley for four generations. He was drafted in 1968 and flew helicopters in Vietnam. Smith saw lots of combat, was shot down numerous times, and when he returned to the States, he says he was a changed person - easily irritated and angered.

In the '70's and '80's he moved around, living in Alaska, Hawaii, California and then back in the Adirondacks.

He turned to writing as a way of coming to terms with post-traumatic stress disorder. He calls his third book, Facing PTSD: a Combat Vet Learns to Live with the Disorder, an auto-ethnography. It includes heartwarming stories of family and friends and also comical adventures. Tom and his wife, Kathy, have two sons. He told Todd Moe that while he is still dealing with bouts of pain, anger and sadness, life is good. Todd spoke with Smith from his home in Keene Valley about his time in Vietnam, writing the book and reaching out to a new generation of "wounded warriors".  Go to full article
Veterans must travel to Syracuse's VA Medical Center for much of their care, and many say that trip is too long--especially in the winter, when it can take three to four hours. Photo: VA.gov
Veterans must travel to Syracuse's VA Medical Center for much of their care, and many say that trip is too long--especially in the winter, when it can take three to four hours. Photo: VA.gov

VA says no new hospital, but plans more services

Congressman Bill Owens met this weekend with North Country veterans to talk about a potential new VA hospital in Ogdensburg. The veterans have been pushing for the new hospital, saying the current setup forces patients to travel too far for services--often all the way to Syracuse. The idea has gained some political traction, but VA officials say a new hospital in Ogdensburg isn't the solution.  Go to full article

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