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Returning Home to Battle

For many veterans, the end of active duty means the beginning of a new fight with the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs – for benefits, housing and a chance to rebuild their lives.

Despite need, no plans to add veterans health centers at more colleges

Daniel Acree visits the Veterans Resource Center at City College of San Francisco. The idea for creating the center, which includes a clinic and social lounge, started with the campus, not the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.Monica Lam/KQED As a community college classmate brushed off the significance of civilian war casualties, Daniel Acree, a machine

Jul 25, 2013

Throwaway kids: Disciplined California teens struggle to school themselves

Seventh-grader Erick Araujo, 13, of Lost Hills, Calif., was expelled from his middle school last semester and sent to an alternative county-run school 38 miles away. Because of the distance, Erick is on an independent study program and sees a teacher one day a week. Reading and answering questions in this history text was the

Jul 15, 2013
Criminal Justice

Ex-VA hospital director facing corruption charges received bonuses

A former Department of Veterans Affairs hospital director indicted on 36 corruption-related charges received thousands of dollars in bonuses during the same period he is accused of taking bribes and kickbacks from contractors who received lucrative contracts with the agency.   VA data obtained by The Center for Investigative Reporting reveals that William Montague, head

Jun 24, 2013

VA backs off promise to fix veterans’ claim backlog

Navy veteran Wallace Watson, 60, shown at his home in Fremont, Calif., applied for veteran disability benefits in September 2010 and says he recently got an exam. “For the first time, I feel like something is actually happening,” he said.Erik Verduzco / For the Center for Investigative Reporting   The Department of Veterans Affairs has

May 22, 2013

Use our data, share your story: CIR launches VA backlog API

When we published our interactive map of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ backlog of disability benefits claims in August, our goal was to highlight the delays’ impact on veterans across the country. Updated with new data from the VA each week, the map also serves as an ongoing accountability tracker for the agency’s progress on

May 7, 2013

VA backlog follows veterans to the grave

Sheryl Cornelius, widow of Jack Cornelius, a Vietnam veteran who killed himself in the family home in 2009, visits his grave at a cemetery in Hinton, Okla. With her are her sons, Jim Ray (left) and Ian Ray; Ian's wife, Robyn Ray; and their two children, Abbigael Graice and Eli.Paul Hellstern/For the Center for Investigative

May 1, 2013

VA rewarded top officials with bonuses, despite growing claims backlog

In August, the VA’s inspector general said the weight of paper files at the agency’s Winston-Salem, N.C., office had compromised the structural integrity of the building.Office of the Inspector General/Department of Veterans Affairs The Department of Veterans Affairs handed out millions of dollars in bonuses to top officials over five years, even as the number

Apr 26, 2013
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