Quil Lawrence http://blog.wlrn.org en Veterans Kick The Prescription Pill Habit, Against Doctors' Orders http://blog.wlrn.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 35419 at http://blog.wlrn.org Veterans Kick The Prescription Pill Habit, Against Doctors' Orders A Growing Number Of Veterans Struggles To Quit Powerful Painkillers http://blog.wlrn.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 21:43:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 35362 at http://blog.wlrn.org A Growing Number Of Veterans Struggles To Quit Powerful Painkillers Obama Taps Former Procter & Gamble Chief To Helm VA http://blog.wlrn.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 34786 at http://blog.wlrn.org How The Kurds Could Benefit From Iraq's Crisis http://blog.wlrn.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 18:07:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 34220 at http://blog.wlrn.org How The Kurds Could Benefit From Iraq's Crisis Senate Version Adds Costs To VA Overhaul Measure http://blog.wlrn.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 33805 at http://blog.wlrn.org In A Rare Act Of Bipartisan Speed, Senate Passes VA Reforms http://blog.wlrn.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 33786 at http://blog.wlrn.org With More Veterans Needing Health Care, What Will The Cost Be? http://blog.wlrn.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 33706 at http://blog.wlrn.org With More Veterans Needing Health Care, What Will The Cost Be? Audit Reveals Vast Scale Of VA Waitlist Issues http://blog.wlrn.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 33646 at http://blog.wlrn.org VA Health Care's Chronic Ailments: Long Waits And Red Tape http://blog.wlrn.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 33415 at http://blog.wlrn.org VA Health Care's Chronic Ailments: Long Waits And Red Tape Can Civilian Health Care Help Fix The VA? Congress Weighs In http://blog.wlrn.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 33376 at http://blog.wlrn.org Can Civilian Health Care Help Fix The VA? Congress Weighs In Shinseki's Apology Punctuates A Long Career Of Service http://blog.wlrn.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 21:04:00 +0000 Quil Lawrence 33209 at http://blog.wlrn.org Embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki Resigns http://blog.wlrn.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 33186 at http://blog.wlrn.org VA Secretary Apologizes For 'Indefensible' Treatment Delays http://blog.wlrn.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 33184 at http://blog.wlrn.org Report Finds Systemic Problems With VA Wait Lists http://blog.wlrn.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 33086 at http://blog.wlrn.org American Legion Calls For VA Secretary's Resignation http://blog.wlrn.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 31925 at http://blog.wlrn.org