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November 16, 2012
I did not hear the train at all. I did not hear the horn as it was approaching the intersection. I only heard it right about three seconds before it slammed into the back of the tractor-trailer.
Midland, Tx. resident Joe Cobarobio • Discussing the train accident during the parade he was filming on Thursday — a Show of Support parade for veterans of war. Four people died in the accident on Thursday. A dozen of the victims in the accident — whether killed or injured — were veterans of the Iraq or Afghan Wars.
20:42 // 1 year ago
September 29, 2012
centerforinvestigativereporting:

Wait time grows for disabled veterans seeking benefits
Veterans across the country are waiting an average of 260 days for a decision on a war-related disability claim – three days longer than last week and 80 days longer than in mid-2011, according to data recently released by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. More than 815,000 veterans are waiting for a response from the VA this week.
Attention to the issue is growing. A new story from The New York Times underscores the extent to which some families must sacrifice as a result of their wait, and Congress addressed the backlog in a hearing on Friday, Sept. 21.
Check out our interactive map each week for a look at how wait times have changed around the country. Learn how the backlog is affecting veterans nationwide by clicking cities with pulsing red circles. We’ll be adding more veterans’ voices, along with additional coverage from our media partners, so stay tuned.

For anybody concerned with the impact of America’s wars, this should be an issue of the highest order – with individual soldiers serving more tours of duty than ever before, and shouldering a burden so disproportionate to that of the general populace, making sure things like the above don’t happen should be imperative.

centerforinvestigativereporting:

Wait time grows for disabled veterans seeking benefits

Veterans across the country are waiting an average of 260 days for a decision on a war-related disability claim – three days longer than last week and 80 days longer than in mid-2011, according to data recently released by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. More than 815,000 veterans are waiting for a response from the VA this week.

Attention to the issue is growing. A new story from The New York Times underscores the extent to which some families must sacrifice as a result of their wait, and Congress addressed the backlog in a hearing on Friday, Sept. 21.

Check out our interactive map each week for a look at how wait times have changed around the country. Learn how the backlog is affecting veterans nationwide by clicking cities with pulsing red circles. We’ll be adding more veterans’ voices, along with additional coverage from our media partners, so stay tuned.

For anybody concerned with the impact of America’s wars, this should be an issue of the highest order – with individual soldiers serving more tours of duty than ever before, and shouldering a burden so disproportionate to that of the general populace, making sure things like the above don’t happen should be imperative.

15:30 // 1 year ago
July 4, 2012

Veterans could receive free education benefits under new program

  • 99,000 vets could get a free year of education source

» 13,000 have already been accepted: A new joint program between the U.S. Labor Department and the Department of Veterans Affairs could give out-of-work veterans a chance get back in the game for free. The Veteran Retraining Assistance Program offers an opportunity for vets between the age of 35 and 60 to get a free year of education on the government’s dime. The deal does have some conditions — the veterans can’t be receiving unemployment benefits already, and can’t already be receiving similar types of education. This is good; we need to do more to help vets.

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11:08 // 1 year ago
May 29, 2012

theatlantic:

Conor Friedersdorf: In Defense of Chris Hayes

Very few Americans wake up early on weekend mornings to watch public intellectuals chat. For the tiny number who do, Up With Chris Hayes, a show hosted by Chris Hayes of The Nation, has distinguished itself for its unusual success bringing thoughtful, intellectually honest conversation to cable news. The show’s producers try to cover what they judge to be important, even when more trivial topics would result in higher ratings. During the panel portion of the show, the host and most guests actually grapple with fraught issues rather than shying away from them. Straw men, ad hominem attacks, and cheap point-scoring are exceptions* rather than the rule. Partisan hackery is discouraged. And Hayes tends to highlight rather than elide complicating facts and arguments that cut against his ideological instincts, preferring to interrogate his own views and to treat positions with which he disagrees fairly (something I’m attuned to because my politics are different enough from his that we’re often at odds).

Despite all this, Hayes is suddenly under fire for weekend remarks he made about heroism, war, and politics. Our public discourse is such that anyone can find him or herself viciously denounced by complete strangers based on a single sound-byte from which everyone extrapolates wildly. This controversy is worth highlighting because Hayes’ words and the reaction to them helps explain why so few broadcasters forthrightly discuss complicated, controversial subjects. Hayes subsequently issued an apology, but it’s his critics who’ve behaved badly. 

Read more.

An impassioned defense of Chris Hayes. We’ve read a few in the past day or so.

10:58 // 1 year ago
May 28, 2012
19:27 // 1 year ago
Vets prefer Mitt over Obama: As our pal Philip Bump smartly put this: "One way to say this: veterans strongly prefer Romney. Another: older white men strongly prefer Romney. Only one yields clicks.”

Vets prefer Mitt over Obama: As our pal Philip Bump smartly put this"One way to say this: veterans strongly prefer Romney. Another: older white men strongly prefer Romney. Only one yields clicks.”

11:48 // 1 year ago
April 14, 2012
Here’s a window into a tragedy within the American military: For every soldier killed on the battlefield this year, about 25 veterans are dying by their own hands.
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof • In an opinion piece on the death of soldiers after they return home. A few other key stats — more former soldiers have committed suicide after returning home than died in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq combined, being a veteran doubles the risk of suicide, and being a veteran between ages 17 and 24 quadruples the risk. Yikes. Read up on this disturbing trend.
21:44 // 2 years ago
April 12, 2012
Jill Biden and I started this initiative to make sure that this country - which is a grateful nation - to make sure that we do whatever we can to honor the service of our troops, our veterans, and their families.
First Lady Michelle Obama • Promoting Joining Forces, her campaign with Jill Biden, on The Colbert Report. Last night, Stephen Colbert tweeted “Supporting our troops takes more than wearing a ribbon, unless that ribbon says, “I just hired a U.S. Veteran.” @JoiningForces.” His guest on Wednesday night’s show was FLOTUS Michelle Obama; she was there to promote Joining Forces, “the initiative she and Jill Biden co-founded last year to encourage support for military families.” The goal of the initiative is to reduce the unemployment rate of veterans. Visit the Colbert Nation's website to watch clips from the episode. source (viafollow)
21:04 // 2 years ago
January 19, 2012
We have an epidemic now of suicide in our military, coming back. They need a lot of help.

Ron Paul, expressing his concern over the poor state of affairs that often afflicts veterans coming home. Paul emphasized that he had the most support among members of the armed forces, and made it clear he feels they’ve been failed for lack of care.

More debate coverage: ShortFormBlog | DC Decoder

20:28 // 2 years ago
August 16, 2011
There are a few things the federal government should be doing, and one of them is national defense and the other is taking care of veterans.
Sen. Rand Paul • Speaking to a group of veterans regarding the funding set aside for them. Now, obviously, Rand Paul isn’t exactly like his dad, but he shares enough of his views that this makes us scratch our heads just a little. Not so much the second part — it’s clear that if he’s in a room of veterans, he’s going to say that — but the first. Is this a deviation between him and his father, or is he simply emphasizing the need for a limited military streak that involves having a defense mechanism? Wonder what you guys think. source (viafollow)
20:35 // 2 years ago