veterans

John Bender / RIPR

On Veterans Day, residents and elected officials are commemorating their servicemen and women with a variety of ceremonies around the state. 

RIPR FILE

On this Veteran’s Day, columnist Bob Kerr shares his experiences as a volunteer driver for veterans. Kerr says it’s the conversations he cherishes, even more than the satisfaction of delivering a vet safely to his or her destination. 

State of Rhode Island

State leaders are touting their support for a $27 million bond for the construction of a new state veteran’s home. The Bristol home will serve more than 200 elderly veterans.

Voters approved a$ 94 million bond for the home in 2012, but costs swelled as the state worked to comply with federal guidelines. If the bond is approved, the state will spend less money than originally budgeted for the project, due to federal matching funds.

State department of Veterans Affairs spokesman Michael Jolin said the new home will provide both medical care and shelter.

City officials, veterans and their families gathered at Providence City Hall Friday to memorialize the 15th anniversary of the September 11th attacks.

A small crowd recited the Pledge of Allegiance before listening speakers including Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and the city’s chief of police, who recognized the thousands lost in the terrorist attacks. Veterans’ Organization, Operation Stand Down Rhode Island commemorated the servicemen and women who’ve died in the subsequent War on Terror.

Karen Brown / NENC

The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that up to 30 percent of former service members, from the Vietnam War to Iraq and Afghanistan, have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Veterans seeking care at the Providence VA can now sign up for acupuncture treatments. It’s just one of several new alternative medical therapies offered at the VA to try to address pain and mental health. 

RI Veterans' Voices: Jay McBride

Nov 10, 2015
Emily Wooldridge / RIPR

In honor of Veterans Day, Rhode Island Public Radio is sharing stories from veterans this week. Today, we hear from Jay McBride, a Bristol resident who served in the Coast Guard during the Vietnam War. McBride has found a new way to serve by working with veterans recovering from addiction. He spoke at the VA Medical Center where he volunteers on a daily basis.

He spoke with Rhode Island Public Radio intern Emily Wooldridge, who produced this story.

Rhode Island is on track to house all its homeless veterans by the end of the year. That’s according to the Rhode Island Coalition for the homeless. Advocates will celebrate the opening of 20 new housing units Monday.

Out of an estimated 200 homeless veterans, advocates say more than 160 have been housed so far in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island’s only law school, in partnership with a local law firm, is opening a legal clinic for disabled veterans. Students at the Roger Williams University Law School will work directly with veterans.

     

With a little supervision, the lawyers-in-training will help veterans who have been denied disability benefits, navigate the appeals process.

Erik Wallim, director of the veterans’ advocacy group Operation Stand Down Rhode Island, says that process can involve a lot of red tape and long wait times for a resolution.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The Veterans Health Administration has stepped up efforts to fight drug overdose deaths and prescription painkiller addiction.

Veterans are more likely to suffer from chronic pain than others, and opioid painkillers have been a mainstay of treatment.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

My friends Joe Labriola and Mike Skinner did the Walk for Hunger a few weeks back. They have done the walk before. They have done walks for Toys For Tots too. They have a problem with people going without in the richest country on earth.

RIPR FILE

The Providence VA is stepping up efforts to curb prescription painkiller abuse and overdose deaths. Now there are two new tools in the fight.

Nationwide, the VA rolled out its opioid safety initiative in 2013. Since then, VA systems around the country have begun tracking painkiller and other prescriptions better. That includes a new system to track whether a patient has also been prescribed a class of medication called benzodiazepines, which can be dangerous when combined with opioids.

RIPR FILE

Local veterans will gather at the Statehouse this Monday to remember troops who have died in combat. The ceremony is part of a national event with roots in New England.

Screenshot of live stream of hearing

In our ongoing series about hepatitis C, we look now at one of the hardest hit populations: veterans. Hep C is three times more prevalent among vets than in the general population. The Veterans Health Administration has the country’s largest hepatitis C screening and treatment program in the country. But that program is struggling to pay for new treatments – and the rising number of veterans who need them.

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In late August, the power was shut off at the River United Methodist Church. The church, in the heart of downtown Woonsocket, was about a thousand bucks in arrears on its electric bill.  The guy from National Grid apologized for doing what he had to do.

Church members, who specialize in doing a whole lot with very little, scrambled to do what they always do.   They took food from freezers and refrigerators and headed to a nearby park to feed hungry people. 

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