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News stories tagged with "veterans"

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

Facing opposition, Homeward Bound Adks drops plans for veterans center

Homeward Bound Adirondacks has dropped plans to create its first respite center for veterans in a home in Saranac Lake. The decision came after neighbors voiced strong opposition to a plan to rezone the property. As Chris Knight reports, the organization says it will continue to host programs while seeking another location for its services.  Go to full article
On a USO tour at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, Garry Trudeau presents a personalized cartoon to Army SGT Jason Gilbert of East Lake, OH. Photo: USO via Flickr.
On a USO tour at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, Garry Trudeau presents a personalized cartoon to Army SGT Jason Gilbert of East Lake, OH. Photo: USO via Flickr.

Trudeau foundation gives vets' center a home

A foundation headed by Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau is helping jumpstart a proposed respite center for veterans in Trudeau's hometown of Saranac Lake. Trudeau has secured $125,000 to help Homeward Bound Adirondacks purchase a home in the village that was once owned by Trudeau's grandfather. The nonprofit plans to use the site to provide reintegration programs for soldiers and their families.

Organizers described the project as an important step forward in a more-than-two-year effort to make Saranac Lake a center for veteran healing.  Go to full article
From left, St. Joseph's CEO Bob Ross, Cindy Garso of North Woods Engineering and Joe Lomonaco of Architecture Plus review the site of a proposed community residence in Saranac Lake. Photo: Adirondack Daily Enterprise
From left, St. Joseph's CEO Bob Ross, Cindy Garso of North Woods Engineering and Joe Lomonaco of Architecture Plus review the site of a proposed community residence in Saranac Lake. Photo: Adirondack Daily Enterprise

St. Joe's, neighbors seek compromise on vets' residence

Neighbors of St. Joseph's Rehabilitation Center in Saranac Lake are concerned about plans for a new treatment facility for veterans struggling with substance abuse addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder.

St. Joseph's wants to change the zoning of a vacant, 3-acre parcel of land near its main campus to accommodate the 10,000-square foot veterans' community residence. But neighbors say the zoning change, and the uses and activities associated with the project, would impact the character of the mostly residential area.

As Chris Knight reports, the two sides met late last week to talk about a compromise.  Go to full article
Yeah, I feel good but I feel good for our veterans.

Saranac Lake celebrates new VA Clinic

Veterans from the Tri-Lakes gathered in downtown Saranac Lake Thursday afternoon for the grand opening of a new veterans affairs clinic.

The facility actually opened to patients in July and this week's event was more ceremonial in nature.

As Chris Morris reports, Thursday's occasion was an emotional one - especially for those who spent years making it a reality.  Go to full article

Schumer & Gillibrand visit Adirondacks

New York's two U.S. Senators will make rare joint appearances in the Adirondacks today. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Margaret Mahan, Drew Matott and Tom Lascell complete a batch of paper at SLU
Margaret Mahan, Drew Matott and Tom Lascell complete a batch of paper at SLU

Art from the fibers of war

A group of artists and veterans has returned to St. Lawrence University this month along with a sample of artwork made from military uniforms. Through the Combat Paper Project's paper making workshops, vets use their uniforms worn in combat to create healing, therapeutic works of art. The project began a few years ago in Burlington and has chapters around the country. Workshops, exhibits and artists' talks have been held in dozens of locations in the U.S., Canada and parts of Europe. Todd Moe stopped by the art studios at St. Lawrence University to watch the paper making process -- where old uniforms become art and vets reconcile their experiences.  Go to full article

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