Veterans

Veterans' Needs
3:39 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Puget Sound VA Says It's Making Progress In Reducing Its Waitlist For Primary Care

The head of the VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Michael Murphy, says the agency is making progress in getting veterans in to see a primary care doctor, but he says there’s still a lot more work to do to improve care for veterans in this region. 

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Veterans Day
3:42 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Blitz, Boats, and Buchenwald: One Seattle Veteran's Story

Norma Strecker with a picture of the Ile de France, the ship that took her across the Atlantic to the European Theater of World War II.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

Norma Strecker’s birthday comes just three days before Veterans Day, and this year, she’s turning 92.

Seven decades have passed since she was serving in the U.S. Army, drawing maps of France to be used by Allied troops in the coming invasion. She spent five months in London, under nightly bombing by the Germans during the so-called “Little Blitz.”

“We would put an overcoat on and go down one block to the Mayflower Hotel, down in their basement. And we’d come up and see blocks burning. But as long as ours was there, well, we went back,” Strecker said.

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help for veterans
10:34 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Starbucks Is Latest Company Aiming To Help Vets Land Jobs

Seattle coffee giant Starbucks says the company will hire at least 10,000 veterans or their spouses over the next five years.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 6:22 am

In recent years, companies ranging from JPMorgan Chase to Walmart to Boeing have announced special hiring programs for veterans. Seattle coffee giant Starbucks is the latest.

All of these companies are trying to bring down a stubbornly high unemployment rate for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. But to succeed, companies have to take the time to understand the skills of service members.

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Legal rights
4:16 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

New Legal Resource Guide to Help Military in Washington

Paula Wissel

The state attorney general has compiled a new Military and Veteran Legal Resource Guide aimed at helping active-duty soldiers and veterans learn about their legal rights.

Military personnel and veterans have a number of special legal rights when it comes to such things as interest rates on home loans or getting out of rental agreements. The problem, according to Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, is too many people are unaware of these protections.

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Veterans and PTSD
6:01 am
Sun June 2, 2013

Living with PTSD: 'It’s amazing what a white dog can do'

Dan Sperry and Awescar are seen driving.

Editor’s Note: This is the last installment in a three-part series exploring the benefits of service dogs for combat veterans. Reporter Samantha Wright began working on this series three years ago. The previous two parts are posted online (read part 1 / read part 2).

In the three years since Awescar entered Dan Sperry’s life, a lot has changed.

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Veterans and PTSD
6:01 am
Sat June 1, 2013

Living with PTSD: 'I can’t hardly remember life without him'

Dan Sperry is seen playing with his service dog, Awescar.

Editor’s Note: This is the second story in a three-part series exploring the benefits of service dogs for combat veterans. Reporter Samantha Wright began working on this series three years ago. The first installment ran on Friday, and the last story will follow on Sunday.

A veteran of the Persian Gulf War, Dan Sperry came home with headaches, panic attacks, and flashbacks of the war.

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Veterans and PTSD
8:01 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Living with PTSD: 'I completely lose control'

This photo shows Angie and Dan Sperry.

Editor’s Note: This is the first installment in a three-part series exploring the benefits of service dogs for combat veterans. Reporter Samantha Wright began working on this series three years ago. The next two parts will run on Saturday and Sunday.

Dan Sperry sits in the backyard of his home in Meridian, Idaho, sipping lemonade. But he doesn’t sit very long; Sperry is constantly on the move. He fidgets. And he might suddenly spring up form his chair and disappear into the house.

“I just stay home. I avoid society all together, which now I’ve gotten to a point where I hardly even return phone calls. I don’t go out. I don’t go anywhere by myself,” he said.

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Law
2:59 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Seattle's veterans treatment court sees its first 2 grads

Two Vietnam veterans are celebrating a milestone in Seattle today: They’re the first graduates of a special treatment court set up for veterans.

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Looking back
9:31 am
Tue March 19, 2013

U.S. gov't still paying families of Civil War vets

This graph shows the annual amount paid to veteran recipients by war.
Associated Press

If history is any judge, the U.S. government will be paying for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars for the next century as service members and their families grapple with the sacrifices of combat.

An Associated Press analysis of federal payment records found that the government is still making monthly payments to relatives of Civil War veterans — 148 years after the conflict ended.

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Other News
9:35 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Sun Valley becomes hub for healing vets through sports

Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 5:34 pm

KETCHUM, Idaho - A ceremony in Sochi, Russia a few days ago started the one year countdown to the 2014 Winter Games. Here in the Northwest, the Sun Valley, Idaho ski team has set a goal to get at least six of its skiers or snowboarders on Team USA in Sochi.

The Paralympic Games for physically disabled athletes follow right after the Olympics. That U.S. team will also likely have lots of Northwest ties. Sun Valley is developing a reputation for uncovering exceptional paraplegic and amputee athletes through programs geared toward injured veterans.

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Other News
9:30 am
Thu February 14, 2013

The journey from soldier, to double-amputee, to pro athlete

Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 3:39 pm

KETCHUM, Idaho - A winter's worth of racing and training for the best disabled skiers and shooters culminates later this month at the Paralympic Nordic World Championships in Sweden. For the first time, the U.S. team headed to the competition is made up entirely of disabled veterans. It's a good example of how some wounded soldiers are finding a new mission and purpose.

Sun Valley, Idaho has become a hub for healing veterans through sports and one ex-soldier went from infantryman to badly wounded warrior to pro athlete.

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Mental health
7:41 am
Fri June 29, 2012

Advocates: Veterans with PTSD should get purple hearts, benefits

“These wounds are as real as any wound that’s inflicted on a body part of any person, man or woman who is out there," Ron Morton, Vietnam veteran.
Monica Spain KPLU

Advocates for the mentally ill say the federal government isn’t going far enough to help veterans who return from war with psychological wounds. They’re in Seattle this week, demanding a change in military culture and better mental health care for veterans.

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Veterans
10:41 am
Mon May 28, 2012

In sweat lodge, vets find healing 'down to the core'

Veterans make preparations for a sweat lodge ceremony at Salt Lake City's Veterans Affairs center.
Taki Telonidis for NPR

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 4:38 am

Substance abuse. Violence. Even thoughts of suicide. These are some of the problems that many veterans returning home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are struggling with.

Today it's called post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, but it has affected veterans going back much farther. While doctors and researchers put enormous efforts into developing new treatments, one group of veterans in Salt Lake City is finding relief in a very old tradition: a Native American sweat lodge.

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Memorial Day remembrance
2:51 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Seattle honors the fallen on Memorial Day

Shamey Jo

Eric Ward. Jeffrey Starr. Jeremy Burris.

Those are just a few of the 141 soldiers from Washington state who have lost their lives in Iraq or Afghanistan. That’s according to the Washington Post, which compiles casualty statistics. Memorial Day offers a chance to reflect on their sacrifice. 

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Education
5:34 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Seattle Central reaches out to military veterans

Seattle Central Student Veterans Association leaders Aaron Scheuerman and Adam Horton helped organized a "Stand Down" event on campus.
Courtesy of Seattle Central Community College

Seattle Central Community College may be well known for Occupy Seattle protests and antiwar activism. But school officials are trying to make the campus more friendly to returning members of the military.

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