veterans

This September the University of Southern California will open a new mental health care clinic aimed at filling gaps in services for military veterans and their families. 

The clinic, part of a $275 million grant from billionaire hedge fund manager Steven Cohen, is expected to open in September as one of 25 such sites planned nationwide. 

The network's director, Anthony Hassan, said the aim is to treat people who fall through the cracks of the Veterans Administration's care. 

Veterans attend a meetup of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America in Seattle.
Patricia Murphy / American Homefront

What does it mean to be a veteran in the 21st century?  For the more than two million former service members who've returned from Afghanistan and Iraq, it can be challenging to transition back into civilian life.

The wait times for VA primary care patients in the Fayetteville area had been among the longest in the country, but have fallen sharply in recent months. VA officials say that a big reason is the massive outpatient health care center they opened in November.

At Cargomatic in Venice Beach, California, Air Force veteran Blake Pickell uses his 'MBV' degree as a senior manager.
John Ismay / American Homefront

The University of Southern California is doing something unique -- offering a college degree called an MBV – a Masters of Business for Veterans.

Seattle students create 'healing garden' for veterans

Jun 12, 2016
Marine veteran Jack Kegley and UW Assistant Professor Jeremy Watson enjoy the new healing garden built by UW students.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

A dull empty space outside Puget Sound VA’s emergency room has been transformed into a serene space for sitting.

County Speeds Up Rent Checks For Homeless Vets

Jun 9, 2016

L.A. County housing officials are crediting a new incentive program with getting previously reticent landlords to lease to homeless veterans in an incredibly tight rental market.

Emilio Salas, L.A. County Housing Authority's deputy executive director, said Wednesday the agency has successfully used up all of its 1,500 federal housing vouchers for homeless veterans.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

When clinical psychiatrist Cher Morrow-Bradley and other health care providers call the Veterans Choice program, they are greeted with a recorded, 90-second "thank you" from Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald.

It's not having the intended effect.

"Why don't you make this easier? The process is so cumbersome, and I have to listen to you thanking me for spending all this time and then I get put on hold," says Morrow-Bradley, adding that she hasn't figured out how to skip the message.

American Homefront reporter Jay Price talks with WUNC's Frank Stasio about the potential dangers of burn pits, which were commonly used to dispose of trash at U.S. bases in Afghanistan and Iraq. Price, who spent time at several of the bases as a journalist, explains that burn pits were among many things that polluted the air in war zones.

Marine Lance Cpl. Richard Carmichael disposes of trash in a burn pit in Afghanistan in this 2013 photo.
Sgt Anthony L. Ortiz / U.S. Marine Corps

So-called "burn pits" were common at U.S. military outposts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Legislation in the Senate would create a center to study the effects of breathing their smoke.

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