veterans http://michiganradio.org en These veterans deserve some recognition, but the City of Detroit ignores them http://michiganradio.org/post/these-veterans-deserve-some-recognition-city-detroit-ignores-them <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Mike Sand didn’t technically serve in Vietnam. But he might as well have. He was stationed with a tactical fighter group in Thailand where he serviced the planes and cleaned the messes out of the cockpits of the men who fought and died in the skies.</span></p><p>Paul Palazzollo did serve on the ground, for perhaps the two most intense years of the war. He earned a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, and two purple hearts. But he doesn’t talk much about what he did. Few of his buddies do either.&nbsp;</p><p><br />They’d rather talk about their dream, which is a Memorial Park commemorating all veterans of all wars, a peaceful place to relax, have programs, and learn about our history.&nbsp;</p><p> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 15:32:34 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 18513 at http://michiganradio.org These veterans deserve some recognition, but the City of Detroit ignores them State attorney general’s office unveils law guides for vets and military personnel http://michiganradio.org/post/state-attorney-general-s-office-unveils-law-guides-vets-and-military-personnel <p>Michigan veterans and active duty military families now have new resources to help handle legal issues. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette released two new legal guides Thursday.</p><p></p><p>“Sometimes trying to help veterans in transition coming back from a deployment, it can get a bit complicated,” said Schuette.</p><p>“It could be anything from child custody to divorce to employment issues, what have you. And so what we’re trying to do is put out a practical guide to try to help veterans across Michigan.”</p><p></p> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 21:44:46 +0000 Jake Neher 18427 at http://michiganradio.org State attorney general’s office unveils law guides for vets and military personnel Three Michigan VA facilities flagged in audit of long wait times and scheduling practices http://michiganradio.org/post/three-michigan-va-facilities-flagged-audit-long-wait-times-and-scheduling-practices <p></p><p>The controversy over long wait times and improper scheduling practices at Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics has cost the job of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.</p><p>It led to an internal VA audit of its health care facilities.</p><p>And that has caused the VA to flag three facilities in Michigan for a closer look.</p><p>For this conversation, we asked what might be happening at those facilities, and what this means to veterans in Michigan.</p><p>We're joined by Detroit Free Press Washington reporter Todd Spangler and Dr. Joe Schwartz, physician and former Republican Congressman from West Michigan. Dr. Schwartz is now a visiting lecturer at the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.</p><p><em>*Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Wed, 11 Jun 2014 22:16:16 +0000 Stateside Staff 17955 at http://michiganradio.org Three Michigan VA facilities flagged in audit of long wait times and scheduling practices New Michigan law waives fees for vets seeking job licenses http://michiganradio.org/post/new-michigan-law-waives-fees-vets-seeking-job-licenses <p>LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder has signed laws waiving fees for Michigan veterans seeking certain job licenses from the state.<br /><br />Two bills unanimously approved by the Legislature would waive fees for veterans applying for occupational, security and alarm licensing fees if they were honorably discharged.</p> Sun, 25 May 2014 19:06:00 +0000 The Associated Press 17747 at http://michiganradio.org New Michigan law waives fees for vets seeking job licenses In-state tuition for veterans one step closer to November ballot http://michiganradio.org/post/state-tuition-veterans-one-step-closer-november-ballot <p>All honorably discharged military veterans would be guaranteed in-state tuition at Michigan's public universities and community colleges, under a plan that has cleared the State House.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The bill's sponsor, Rep. Jim </span>Stamas<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, R-Midland, says the proposed constitutional amendment would benefit the state economically. He says it would attract veterans and their families to live and work here.</span></p> Thu, 15 May 2014 23:37:24 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 17628 at http://michiganradio.org In-state tuition for veterans one step closer to November ballot Kent County considers asking voters for dedicated veteran millage http://michiganradio.org/post/kent-county-considers-asking-voters-dedicated-veteran-millage <p></p><p>Like a lot of counties in Michigan, Kent County uses money out of its general fund to pay for services for veterans who live there. Right now that amounts to $8 per veteran. As a comparison, Oakland County spends more than three times as much per veteran. Livingston County spends nearly seven times as much.</p> Fri, 09 May 2014 01:21:41 +0000 Lindsey Smith 17537 at http://michiganradio.org Kent County considers asking voters for dedicated veteran millage Stateside for Tuesday, March 11, 2014 http://michiganradio.org/post/stateside-tuesday-march-11-2014 <p>The Detroit automakers are moving into their fifth year of recovery after the disastrous bottoming-out of 2009 when General Motors and Chrysler filed for bankruptcy. Half a decade later, however, sales are brisk and auto loans are available. But is the future that bright? On today's show: Are there warning signs of another auto downturn? And, if so, what needs to happen to stop it?</p><p>Then, what will our rivers and roads look like once spring hits and the snow melts? We spoke with meteorologist Jim Maczko&nbsp;to find out.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Lake Erie is full of algae blooms and dead zones, and a new report is asking us to take action. What can be done to improve the health of this lake?</span></p><p>Also,&nbsp;how about adding smell to food advertising?&nbsp;</p><p>First on the show, a<span style="line-height: 1.5;">re Michigan veterans getting what they deserve in terms of benefits and support?</span></p><p>The Veterans' Administration says when it comes to per-capita spending on veterans, Michigan checks in at an average of just over $3,400 per vet. The national average is over $4,800. That places Michigan last in the nation.</p><p>What is the state doing about this and to make sure that veterans get all the benefits to which they're entitled?</p><p>The director of Michigan's Veterans Affairs Agency, Jeff Barnes, joined us today.</p><p> Tue, 11 Mar 2014 20:32:27 +0000 Stateside Staff 16814 at http://michiganradio.org Stateside for Tuesday, March 11, 2014 Michigan ranks last in the nation for per-capita spending on veterans http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-ranks-last-nation-capita-spending-veterans <p>Are Michigan veterans getting what they deserve in terms of benefits and support?</p><p>The Veterans Administration says when it comes to per-capita spending on veterans, Michigan checks in at an average of just over $3,400 per vet. The national average is over $4,800. That places Michigan last in the nation.</p><p>What is the state doing about this? And what are they doing to make sure that veterans get all the benefits to which they're entitled?</p><p>The director of <a href="http://michiganveterans.com/">Michigan's Veterans Affairs Agency</a>, Jeff Barnes, joined us today.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Tue, 11 Mar 2014 17:26:37 +0000 Stateside Staff 16810 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan ranks last in the nation for per-capita spending on veterans Homeless veteran buried in National Cemetery after 5 months unclaimed in morgue http://michiganradio.org/post/homeless-veteran-buried-national-cemetery-after-5-months-unclaimed-morgue <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A homeless navy veteran died in Ann Arbor last October.</span></p><p>No family members came forward to claim his body.</p><p>So for five months, the veteran’s body lay in the morgue.</p><p>Now, finally, thanks to a few friends who refused to give up, Lawrence Tucker’s body was laid to rest last week at the Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly, Michigan.</p><p> Tue, 11 Mar 2014 09:00:00 +0000 Kate Wells 16797 at http://michiganradio.org Homeless veteran buried in National Cemetery after 5 months unclaimed in morgue Experts say programs for veterans' mental health aren't working http://michiganradio.org/post/experts-say-programs-veterans-mental-health-arent-working <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Let's continue our look at military veterans in Michigan. Yesterday on the show, we talked about the disconnect between saying that we want to help veterans and actually putting policy into place that does that.</span></p><p>Today, we turned our focus to mental health.</p><p>Data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates about 22 vets a day are committing suicide.</p><p>And it's estimated one in five veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.</p><p>There are dozens of programs the military has set up to help treat the mental illnesses and troubles vets are suffering.</p><p>But a panel of experts studied programs from the U.S. Department of Defense and came to a very unsettling conclusion: There is no evidence these programs actually work.</p><p>The report shows the programs were not created from evidence-based research, and do not have an evaluation process to see if they are effective or not.</p><p>Kenneth Warner chaired the research panel. He's also in the Department of Health Management and Policy in the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan.</p><p><em>*Listen to the interview above.</em></p><p> Tue, 04 Mar 2014 22:38:58 +0000 Stateside Staff 16715 at http://michiganradio.org Experts say programs for veterans' mental health aren't working Michigan is last when it comes to per-capita spending for veterans http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-last-when-it-comes-capita-spending-veterans <p>There is no shortage of attention showered upon our veterans. A true bipartisan show of support happened during the State of the Union speech, when President Obama singled out wounded Army Ranger Cory Remsburg for a standing ovation.</p><p>We stand up to offer ovations, we wave flags, we cheer our vets, but what are we really offering them in terms of support?</p><p>When it comes to per-capita spending for veterans, Michigan is last in the nation.</p><p>What should we be doing for the 700,000 military veterans who call Michigan home?</p><p>Kristin Hass joined us today. She’s the American Culture Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Michigan. And she’s the author of "Sacrificing Soldiers: New War Memorials on the National Mall."</p><p><em>*Listen to our interview above.</em></p><p> Mon, 03 Mar 2014 22:20:46 +0000 Stateside Staff 16690 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan is last when it comes to per-capita spending for veterans All veterans now eligible for in-state tuition at all Michigan public universities http://michiganradio.org/post/all-veterans-now-eligible-state-tuition-all-michigan-public-universities <p>All of Michigan's fifteen public universities are now offering in-state tuition to all veterans, regardless of their legal residence or active duty status.</p><p>In the past, this benefit was limited to active duty personnel.</p><p>Michael A. Boulus is executive director of the Presidents Council State Universities of Michigan. He said "Our message is that Michigan's public universities are dedicated to supporting our veterans and their families. We value veterans and are committed to helping them get degrees that are vital to their success and the success of the state."</p><p> Mon, 11 Nov 2013 20:55:09 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 15230 at http://michiganradio.org All veterans now eligible for in-state tuition at all Michigan public universities Kalamazoo group honors WWII veterans: ‘I’ve never had such a day in my life’ http://michiganradio.org/post/kalamazoo-group-honors-wwii-veterans-i-ve-never-had-such-day-my-life <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It’s almost five in the morning. It’s cold and still dark in Kalamazoo. It takes about 45 minutes to load 21 veterans, 15 wheelchairs and 22 helpers onto a charter bus.</span></p><p>A cheery, caffeinated voice comes over the bus’ loudspeaker, “Good morning everybody how are we doing?” Bobbi Bradley is president of “Talons Out” the new honor flight hub based in Kalamazoo. This is the group’s first mission. It had to raise $34,000 to pull it off.</p><p>The donations cover the cost of the day trip for all the veterans on board who are well into their 80s. Bradley says the trip isn’t something many of these vets can physically do on their own.</p><p> Mon, 11 Nov 2013 14:10:15 +0000 Lindsey Smith 15219 at http://michiganradio.org Kalamazoo group honors WWII veterans: ‘I’ve never had such a day in my life’ In this morning's headlines: MI vets have low benefits, teachers and right to work, snow http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-headlines-mi-vets-have-low-benefits-teachers-and-right-work-snow <p><strong>Michigan veterans get little benefits compared to other states</strong></p><p>"This Veterans Day, Michigan has the dubious distinction of having its military veterans among those receiving the least government benefits of any in the 50 states. Michigan’s more than 650,000 veterans get about $3,400 on average in benefits. That's compared with a national average of nearly $5,000 a year," Steve Carmody <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/helping-michigans-veterans-get-benefits-theyve-earned">reports.</a></p><p>Click <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/helping-michigans-veterans-get-benefits-theyve-earned">here </a>to see what Michigan lawmakers are doing to help veterans</p><p><strong>Senate committee will investigate if teachers are following right to work laws</strong></p><p>A new state Senate committee will look at how teacher unions are complying with Michigan’s controversial right-to-work law this week. As the Detroit Free Press <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20131110/NEWS06/311100059/Senate-panel-look-into-how-teachers-union-following-right-work-law">reports,</a></p><blockquote><p>The right-to-work laws prohibit the financial contribution to a union as a condition of employment. . . Democrats and officials with the Michigan Education Association call the committee a politically motivated exercise meant to beat up on unions. . . . The Mackinac Center has filed suit with the Michigan Employment Relations Commission on behalf of eight teachers who say they have been unable to leave their union because they didn’t withdraw in August.<br />&nbsp;</p></blockquote><p><strong>UP could get 6 inches of snow</strong></p><p>"A cold weather system is bearing down on Lake Superior. . .&nbsp; The weather service forecasts some of the heaviest snow near Munising along the Upper Peninsula's Lake Superior shoreline, with about 4 to 6 inches accumulating by Monday afternoon. One to 3 inches could fall in parts of northern Lower Michigan," the Associated Press reports.</p><p> Mon, 11 Nov 2013 12:39:56 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 15217 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's headlines: MI vets have low benefits, teachers and right to work, snow Video: homeless Michigan veteran gets a makeover http://michiganradio.org/post/video-homeless-michigan-veteran-gets-makeover <p>This video chronicling the makeover of a Michigan homeless veteran has been viewed millions of times online.</p><p>http://youtu.be/6a6VVncgHcY</p><p>The nearly three-minute video featuring Jim Wolf of Grand Rapids has gotten more than 5 million clicks on YouTube as of Saturday.</p><p>The time-lapse video was produced by community event organizer Rob Bliss with support from a nonprofit group helping homeless veterans.</p> Mon, 11 Nov 2013 00:27:46 +0000 Associated Press 15216 at http://michiganradio.org Helping Michigan's veterans get the benefits they've earned http://michiganradio.org/post/helping-michigans-veterans-get-benefits-theyve-earned <p>This Veterans Day, Michigan has <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2011/11/michigan_ranks_last_among_stat.html">the dubious distinction</a> of having its military veterans among those receiving the least government benefits of any in the 50 states.</p><p>Michigan’s more than 650 thousand veterans get about $3,400 on average in benefits compared with a national average of nearly five thousand dollars a year.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> Sun, 10 Nov 2013 18:53:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 15195 at http://michiganradio.org Helping Michigan's veterans get the benefits they've earned In Michigan, sharp increase in opiate prescriptions to veterans http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-sharp-increase-opiate-prescriptions-veterans <p>The Department of Veteran Affairs may be overprescribing opiates to veterans &mdash; and in some cases, prescribing to those with known opiate addictions.</p><p>An investigative report from <a href="http://cironline.org/node/5261">PRX and the Center for Investigative Reporting</a> revealed that the VA agency &ldquo;has issued more than one opiate prescription per patient, on average, for the past two years.&rdquo;</p><p> Tue, 01 Oct 2013 18:17:54 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 14663 at http://michiganradio.org In Michigan, sharp increase in opiate prescriptions to veterans A place for healing for U.S. veterans http://michiganradio.org/post/place-healing-us-veterans <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Over the past 12 years, nearly 50,000 American troops have been wounded in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The visible injuries are often lost limbs from roadside&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">improvised explosive devices.&nbsp;</span></p><p>But, there are so many who are coping with the "non-visible" injuries: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury, for example. The kinds of injuries that can worsen with time and tear apart a soldier's home life, or worse.</p><p>Today we talk with Rick Briggs, a retired Air Force Major who has come up with what he thinks will be a perfect refuge&nbsp; for these vets: <a href="http://camp-liberty.org/">Camp Liberty</a>, using the beautiful outdoors of mid-Michigan as a place of healing.</p><p>Briggs is also the manager of the veterans program for the Brain Injury Association of Michigan.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Click on the link above to listen to the full interview.</em></p><p> Tue, 10 Sep 2013 20:03:29 +0000 Mercedes Mejia 14361 at http://michiganradio.org A place for healing for U.S. veterans Democrats want investigation into quality of care for veterans after worker privatization http://michiganradio.org/post/democrats-want-investigation-quality-care-veterans-after-worker-privatization <p><strong>Update 4p.m.</strong></p><p>The home’s administrator Sara Dunne says the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs just completed an annual inspection of the home in April. “They will not leave the homes if they feel there’s sub-standard being provided,” Dunne said.</p><p>There is no abuse and neglect going on at the home,” Dunne said, “There’s very strong language of what abuse and neglect is in long term care and there have been no instances of that at all.”</p> Fri, 28 Jun 2013 19:35:01 +0000 Lindsey Smith 13299 at http://michiganradio.org Democrats want investigation into quality of care for veterans after worker privatization Michigan veterans' disability claims continue to pile up http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-veterans-disability-claims-continue-pile <p>Sen. Carl Levin,&nbsp;D-Mich., says we are failing when it comes to providing health care to those who have served in the military:</p><blockquote><p>"Our nation has a moral obligation to provide quality health care to the men and women who put on our nations uniform and are injured and wounded fighting our nations wars… Our responsibility ends only when the wounds are healed…I am sad to say that we as a nation are not meeting this obligation."</p></blockquote><p>He made these remarks in early April during an <a href="http://www.levin.senate.gov/newsroom/speeches/speech/opening-statement-of-senator-carl-levin-chairman-senate-armed-services-committee-joint-hearing-on-dod-and-va-disability-rating-systems-and-transition-of-service-members-from-dod-to-the-va">opening statement </a>to the Senate Armed Services Committee Joint Hearing on Department of Defense and Veteran Affairs.</p><p>Back in August of 2012, we <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/veterans-disability-claims-limbo-michigan-va-office-share-your-story">reported on the long wait time </a>for veterans filing disability claims.</p><p>At the time of our report, veterans in our area were waiting an average of 319 days for a decision from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs on their disability claims. The national average was 257 days.</p><p>Unfortunately, there have been few improvements.</p><p>Today, the average wait time in our area is 321 days, a slight increase since 2011. And according to a <a href="http://watchdog.org/82465/va-disability-backlog-a-national-embarrassment/">Missouri Watchdog report</a> published last week, the national average has increased to 290 days.</p><p>This map shows the number of backlogged VA claims around the country. The Center for Investigative Reporting updates the map every Monday to show changes in each office's pending claims.</p><p></p><p><iframe height="438px" src="http://vivid-leaf-2293.herokuapp.com/pending-claims/timeline/130000000/michigan-public-radio" width="600"></iframe></p><p> Thu, 09 May 2013 16:19:42 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 12477 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan veterans' disability claims continue to pile up