Recent Blog Posts

Four Theories About the High Rate of Veteran Suicides

Four Theories About the High Rate of Veteran Suicides

Writing recently in The Washington Post, military author Thomas E. Ricks attempted to answer why so many veterans continue to take their own lives at a higher rate than their civilian counterparts. Relating several anecdotes about military acquaintances who committed suicide, he notes that the suicide rate for veterans has increased 35 percent since 2001…. Read More »

Opioid Addiction Crisis Taking Heavy Toll on Veteran Population

Opioid Addiction Crisis Taking Heavy Toll on Veteran Population

Last October, Reuters reported some alarming facts about how the current opioid crisis sweeping the nation is affecting the veteran population. Key assertions in the story included: Opioid drug abuse has killed more Americans than the Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam wars combined. Veterans are twice as likely as nonveterans to die from accidental overdoses of… Read More »

Has Secretary Shulkin’s Ouster Opened the Door for VA Privatization

Has Secretary Shulkin’s Ouster Opened the Door for VA Privatization?

When President Trump fired David Shulkin last March, the outgoing VA Secretary took the opportunity to warn about a change of course that he viewed as dangerous. In an op-ed for The New York Times, he wrote: “The advocates within the administration for privatizing VA health services…saw me as an obstacle to privatization who had… Read More »

Former U.S. Army Captain and Efficiency Expert Nominated as VA Benefits Boss

On Wednesday, February 21, President Trump nominated U.S. Army veteran Paul Lawrence to be the next Undersecretary of Veterans Affairs for Benefits, filling a seat warmed only by interim officials since October 2015. Lawrence, who retired from the service as a captain, would seem to be a strong choice based on his background as a… Read More »

VA to Study Vietnam Vets’ Risk of Parasite-Related Liver Cancer

The Department of Veterans Affairs is planning a large-scale epidemiologic study to determine whether Vietnam-era veterans stationed in Southeast Asia are more likely to develop an aggressive liver cancer linked to common parasites from the area. The study follows a small pilot program by researchers at the Northport VA Medical Center, which tested 50 local… Read More »

New Generation of Veterans Sickened by Toxic Burn Pits

U.S. Dept. of Labor Judge Rules Military Burn Pits in Iraq Caused Civilian Contractor’s Illness

In a case that could prove helpful to U.S. veterans of the Iraq and Afghan wars, a judge in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office for Workers’ Compensation Programs found that open-air burn pits could have caused a military contractor’s illness, and therefore her employer and its insurance company are liable for her medical bills…. Read More »

Study Raises Doubts About Blood Pressure Drug’s Helpfulness for Vets with PTSD

A study published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine calls into question the usefulness of a blood pressure medication that about one in six veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder currently takes to control nightmares. The drug, prazosin, did not help the subjects sleep better. It did reduce distressing dreams, but on that point,… Read More »

Is “Sexist” VA Motto a Barrier to Treatment for Female Vets?

In May of last year, the executive director of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America wrote an essay in the Washington Post charging “The Department of Veterans Affairs has a woman problem,” and citing its motto as “evidence.” Allison Jaslow, who states she deployed twice to Iraq and “was in combat,” writes, “to swiftly… Read More »

Veteran-Owned Business Logo

New North Carolina Law to Assess Effects on State Economy of Veteran-Owned Businesses

A new state law, which could potentially affect an estimated 770,000 veterans living in North Carolina, went into effect on January 1. Starting this year, the Secretary of State is required to compile annual information about the number of veteran-owned small businesses and service-disabled veteran-owned small business and share the information with the state’s Department… Read More »

VA Secretary Shulkin Preserves $460M Program for Homeless Vets

VA Secretary Shulkin Preserves $460M Program for Homeless Vets

A storm of protest in December prompted Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin to reverse course and continue a joint program with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that provides housing for homeless veterans. According to the website Politico.com, Shulkin had planned to end one of two major VA programs benefiting homeless veterans and… Read More »