Quil Lawrence http://wuis.org en Veterans Kick The Prescription Pill Habit, Against Doctors' Orders http://wuis.org/post/veterans-kick-prescription-pill-habit-against-doctors-orders For many people with post-traumatic stress disorder, <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/01/16/144672190/ending-nightmares-caused-by-ptsd">sleeping can return you to the worst place</a> you've ever been, at the worst possible moment.<p>"I always see his face," says Will, who did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan with the Army. "And in my dreams it's the same thing. ... I always walk over to him, and instead of this Afghani kid that's laying there, it's my little brother."<p>The memory that triggers Will's nightmare happened during his tour in Afghanistan. Fri, 11 Jul 2014 21:59:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 29115 at http://wuis.org Veterans Kick The Prescription Pill Habit, Against Doctors' Orders A Growing Number Of Veterans Struggles To Quit Powerful Painkillers http://wuis.org/post/veterans-face-another-battle-fighting-prescription-drug-addiction There are antlers everywhere on the walls of Bryan and Mike McDonel's place near Pine Bluff, Ark. The house is hardly big enough for all their hunting trophies. Both are good shots with their hunting bows; Bryan and Mike, his father, served in the Arkansas National Guard and deployed together to Iraq, twice.<p>The McDonel family has served in the military for generations. But Bryan, 35, is out of the service now. Thu, 10 Jul 2014 21:46:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 29036 at http://wuis.org A Growing Number Of Veterans Struggles To Quit Powerful Painkillers Obama Taps Former Procter & Gamble Chief To Helm VA http://wuis.org/post/obama-taps-former-procter-gamble-chief-helm-va President Obama has picked Robert McDonald, the former CEO of Procter & Gamble, to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. If confirmed by the Senate, McDonald will face a difficult task. The VA is is embroiled in a controversy over falsified and lengthy wait times for veterans. Mon, 30 Jun 2014 20:17:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 28347 at http://wuis.org To Treat PTSD, Veterans Have A Vast Array Of Ineffective Solutions http://wuis.org/post/treat-ptsd-veterans-have-vast-array-ineffective-solutions Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>A new study raises questions about the effectiveness of mental health care for veterans. Researchers found that neither the VA nor the Pentagon tracks the success of treatment for PTSD. The Pentagon sponsored this study, which was conducted by the Institute of Medicine. The results follow the scandal over waiting times at VA hospitals and they add a new layer to concerns about veterans' health care. Fri, 20 Jun 2014 20:50:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 27692 at http://wuis.org How The Kurds Could Benefit From Iraq's Crisis http://wuis.org/post/how-kurds-could-benefit-iraqs-crisis The current crisis in Iraq has focused on the Sunni-Shiite conflict, but relatively little has been heard from the other major ethnic group in Iraq, the Kurds. And that's just the way the Kurds would like it.<p>The Kurds have been seeking an independent state for a century but have been stymied at every turn. Thu, 19 Jun 2014 18:44:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 27588 at http://wuis.org How The Kurds Could Benefit From Iraq's Crisis Overburdened VA Shelves Ad Campaign To Attract More Veterans http://wuis.org/post/overburdened-va-shelves-ad-campaign-attract-more-veterans Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>A recent poll shows only one in five Americans has confidence in the care veterans get in the VA - not surprising given the recent scandals about how long veterans have to wait for a doctors appointment. Turns out, that combination of delay in an overloaded system and the scandal surrounding it has caused the department to change the message it's sending to veterans which has left one expensive ad campaign sitting on the shelf at the VA. Tue, 17 Jun 2014 09:38:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 27406 at http://wuis.org Senate Version Adds Costs To VA Overhaul Measure http://wuis.org/post/senate-version-adds-costs-va-overhaul-measure The Senate passed a bipartisan bill to overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs. The measure is close enough to a version already passed by the House that it could reach the president's desk soon. Thu, 12 Jun 2014 09:12:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 27065 at http://wuis.org In A Rare Act Of Bipartisan Speed, Senate Passes VA Reforms http://wuis.org/post/rare-act-bipartisan-speed-senate-passes-va-reforms The Senate has passed a bill to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs. Like a similar bill in the House, the Senate bill gives veterans the option of seeking private care if the VA takes too long and makes it easier to fire VA employees. But the Senate version also spends a lot more money on doctors and hospitals than the House version. Wed, 11 Jun 2014 21:10:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 27049 at http://wuis.org With More Veterans Needing Health Care, What Will The Cost Be? http://wuis.org/post/more-veterans-needing-health-care-what-will-cost-be A new generation of American vets is home from war — about 2.6 million of them. And there are about 10 million older veterans, many from the Vietnam era, hitting their 60s, 70s or 80s. Taking care of both groups is getting expensive.<p>"If they can afford to pay for wars, they can afford to pay for the treatment after the wars," says Garry Augustine, with Disabled American Veterans. Tue, 10 Jun 2014 19:29:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 26958 at http://wuis.org With More Veterans Needing Health Care, What Will The Cost Be? Audit Reveals Vast Scale Of VA Waitlist Issues http://wuis.org/post/audit-reveals-vast-scale-va-waitlist-issues Before former Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki stepped down, he ordered an audit of the VA system, hoping to find how many hospitals were lying about wait times. The audit found that approximately 100,000 veterans are waiting too long for care at the VA. Mon, 09 Jun 2014 20:06:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 26881 at http://wuis.org VA Health Care's Chronic Ailments: Long Waits And Red Tape http://wuis.org/post/va-health-cares-chronic-ailments-long-waits-and-red-tape More than 2.5 million veterans served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they qualify for health care and benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Wed, 04 Jun 2014 19:36:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 26586 at http://wuis.org VA Health Care's Chronic Ailments: Long Waits And Red Tape Can Civilian Health Care Help Fix The VA? Congress Weighs In http://wuis.org/post/can-civilian-health-care-help-fix-va-congress-weighs Veterans across the country are still waiting too long for medical care, a situation that drove the <a href="http://www.npr.org/2014/05/30/317372486/embattled-veterans-affairs-secretary-eric-shinseki-resigns">resignation</a> of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki last week.<p>Now Republicans and Democrats in Congress are competing to pass laws they think will fix the problem of medical wait times and other problems at the VA. Tue, 03 Jun 2014 21:45:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 26530 at http://wuis.org Can Civilian Health Care Help Fix The VA? Congress Weighs In Shinseki's Apology Punctuates A Long Career Of Service http://wuis.org/post/shinsekis-apology-punctuates-long-career-service Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki apologized for lengthy waits at VA facilities, saying he's ousting the leaders of a VA hospital in Phoenix, Ariz., after stories about delays in care there. Shinseki's decision to resign marks a muddy end to an illustrious career, which began when he joined the Army nearly five decades ago. Fri, 30 May 2014 20:16:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 26284 at http://wuis.org Embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki Resigns http://wuis.org/post/embattled-veterans-affairs-secretary-eric-shinseki-resigns Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>Good morning, let's hear more now about the resignation of Eric Shinseki, Secretary of Veterans Affairs. President Obama says he accepted that resignation a short time ago at the White House. He had just finished making a statement after the two men held a short private meeting. Fri, 30 May 2014 15:57:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 26255 at http://wuis.org VA Secretary Apologizes For 'Indefensible' Treatment Delays http://wuis.org/post/va-secretary-apologizes-indefensible-treatment-delays Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.<p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. Eric Shinseki, the embattled secretary of Veterans Affairs, meets this hour with President Obama at the White House. Now, earlier today, Shinseki spoke at a conference on homeless veterans, and addressed what he called the elephant in the room. Fri, 30 May 2014 15:18:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 26248 at http://wuis.org Veterans' 'Philoctetes' Puts Modern Spin On Ancient Greek Play http://wuis.org/post/veterans-philoctetes-puts-modern-spin-ancient-greek-play Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And I'm Robert Siegel. There's an ancient Greek play by Sophocles about a war hero with a wound so horrible that none of his comrades can stand to hear his cries of pain. They abandon the soldier on an island but then discover that they can't win the war without him. Well, now a modern production of that play casts a woman as the soldier with the unspeakable wound. The actors in the chorus are veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. Thu, 29 May 2014 20:27:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 26200 at http://wuis.org Report Finds Systemic Problems With VA Wait Lists http://wuis.org/post/report-finds-systemic-problems-va-wait-lists Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>A systemic problem nationwide - that's how the Inspector General for Veterans Affairs has described the problem of falsified wait times at VA medical centers. At one facility in Phoenix, veterans waited on average 115 days for an appointment.<p>Today's report confirms some of the allegations that have led many to call for VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign. Here to tell us more about this initial report is NPR's Quil Lawrence. And, Quil, 115 days, that's a very long time to wait for an appointment. Wed, 28 May 2014 20:21:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 26108 at http://wuis.org VA's Health System: Some Love It, Some Hate It http://wuis.org/post/vas-health-system-some-love-it-some-hate-it Nearly 30 VA facilities are accused of falsifying statistics on how long veterans must wait for care. President Obama said the problems go back decades, but most veterans are satisfied with the care. Thu, 22 May 2014 09:06:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 25653 at http://wuis.org Shinseki Pressed By Senate Panel On VA Hospital Delays http://wuis.org/post/shinseki-pressed-senate-panel-va-hospital-delays Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>Yesterday, the secretary of Veterans Affairs had to answer some questions on Capitol Hill. Eric Shinseki told lawmakers he's trying to get to the bottom of a problem. Veterans say they are waiting months for medical appointments. But VA hospitals say everyone is being seen within just 14 days. Both can't be right.<p>NPR's Quil Lawrence has our report.<p>QUIL LAWRENCE, BYLINE: Senators from both parties grilled Shinseki about wait-times. Fri, 16 May 2014 10:25:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 25246 at http://wuis.org On Hill, VA Chief Shinseki Faces Hospital Death Allegations http://wuis.org/post/hill-va-chief-shinseki-faces-hospital-death-allegations 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. Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki faced tough questions from senators today. They wanted to know about allegations that VA clinics are cooking the books claiming they see patients within 14 days, when in reality veterans can wait months for an appointment. And there was something else senators raised with the secretary: Whether he should take responsibility for the troubles and resign. Thu, 15 May 2014 20:08:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 25211 at http://wuis.org American Legion Calls For VA Secretary's Resignation http://wuis.org/post/american-legion-calls-va-secretarys-resignation Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>The country's largest veteran's organization wants the secretary of Veterans Affairs to resign. The American Legion hasn't targeted a public official this way since 1941. And in the past, they've supported VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. But now, there are allegations that dozens of veterans died waiting for health care. And VA hospitals are accused of fixing the stats. Tue, 06 May 2014 21:34:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 24563 at http://wuis.org As Soldiers Return, Who Is Caring For The Caregivers? http://wuis.org/post/soldiers-return-who-caring-caregivers Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>We've heard a lot in the last few years about caring for returning veterans. We don't hear so much about the people who take care of them. A major study released today says more than a million Americans - mostly spouses and parents - are military caregivers. They get by without much government support, and they're suffering some serious consequences. NPR's Quil Lawrence reports.<p>QUIL LAWRENCE, BYLINE: Virginia Peacock's husband, Dave, was a combat flight medic in Afghanistan. A few years ago, he hit his head during a hard landing of a medevac chopper. Mon, 31 Mar 2014 20:37:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 22001 at http://wuis.org After A Long Wait, 24 Models In Heroism Get Their Due http://wuis.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 20:25:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 21128 at http://wuis.org Military Training Gives U.S. Paralympic Biathletes An Edge http://wuis.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 22:28:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 20408 at http://wuis.org Military Training Gives U.S. Paralympic Biathletes An Edge From War In The Desert To 'Murder Ball On Ice' http://wuis.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 20343 at http://wuis.org From War In The Desert To 'Murder Ball On Ice' Among Soldiers, Risk Of Suicide May Have Surprising Roots http://wuis.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 21:18:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 20171 at http://wuis.org Yale Law Students Raise Case For Discharged Vets http://wuis.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 21:42:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 20096 at http://wuis.org Fallujah Veterans Ask Hard Questions About Their Sacrifices http://wuis.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 16486 at http://wuis.org Fallujah Veterans Ask Hard Questions About Their Sacrifices An Honorable Last Wish For A Dying Marine http://wuis.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 16348 at http://wuis.org An Honorable Last Wish For A Dying Marine For Veterans, 'Bad Paper' Is A Catch-22 For Treatment http://wuis.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 14651 at http://wuis.org