veterans

Mental Health
1:13 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Fighting Stigma of Mental Illness Goal of New Texas Nonprofit

Despite money put towards mental health care in Texas last legislative session, Texas ranks near the bottom in spending per capita on mental health. A new mental health policy nonprofit in Texas will work to identify ways to improve access to services.
Liang Shi for KUT News

Improving mental health practices for Texas and reducing the stigma associated with mental illness is the goal of a new statewide institute. Its focus will be on children, veterans and criminal justice policies.

The Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute opened its doors today. Tom Luce, its chief executive officer, says the nonprofit will do research to improve access to mental health care in Texas – and not just after emergencies like the recent Fort Hood shooting.

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Texas
1:13 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Study: Texas Cities Lead the Nation For Careers After Military

Participants in today’s Veteran’s Day ceremony at the Texas Capitol. Houston, Dallas and Austin are three of the top five cities for veteran employment according to a new study.
Matthew Alvarez for KUT News

new study reported by the military news outlet Stars and Stripes ranks Houston as the number one city in the country for job-seeking veterans. Dallas and Austin rank second and fifth among major metropolitan cities.

The rankings, put together by the USAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are the sunnier side of an issue affecting many veterans: finding employment after service ends. 

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Veterans Day
11:56 am
Mon November 11, 2013

America's Oldest Veteran Richard Overton Gets Standing Ovation from Obama

Richard Overton, the oldest living veteran of World War II, receives a standing ovation after U.S. President Barack Obama paid tribute to him today during a Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.
Reuters /Kevin Lamarque /Landov

America’s oldest living World War II veteran lives in Austin. And today, he was the guest of honor for a very notable host: President Barack Obama.

Today wasn’t the first time 107-year-old Richard Overton made the trek to Washington D.C. For this May’s Armed Forces Day, Overton was part of an Honor Flight to the nation’s capital. Nonprofit group Honor Flight Austin flies World War II veterans to D.C. to show them the national memorial built in their honor.

As USA Today reports, when Overton visited the capital this spring, he expressed a wish to meet President Barack Obama. “The president was out of town that day,” the paper writes, but Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell’s office facilitated a return visit to D.C. this weekend. And this time, Overton’s request came true.

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Veterans Day
8:47 am
Mon November 11, 2013

Veterans Day 2013: What's Open, What's Closed and What's Going On

Most city offices are closed Monday for Veterans Day.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Veterans Day Parade:

Travis County and the City of Austin are holding the annual Veterans Day Parade on Monday to honor service men and women.

The Grand Marshal of this year’s commemoration and parade is Austinite Richard Arvine Overton, who, at age 107, is the oldest living World War II veteran in the United States.

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Veterans Day
7:33 am
Mon November 11, 2013

Texas Veterans Stepping Up to Fill Boots of Aging Agricultural Workers

Yvonne Martinez-Higgins and her husband William have put together a business plan and a logo for their family farm. But they admit they've found the process slow and difficult.
William Higgins and Yvonne Martinez-Higgins

Agriculture is big business in Texas. Statewide, it has a $100 billion dollar economic impact.

But the industry may be at risk. The average age of a Texas farmer or rancher is 59. And fewer young people are taking over the labor-intensive work.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has set up a program to assist aging agricultural workers in Texas. They’ve also identified a population that may be well-suited for taking over the work – veterans.

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Veterans
9:00 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Interactive: Hearing on Prescription Drug Epidemic Among U.S. Veterans

A new report says that U.S. veterans are more likely to be prescribed addictive, and potentially lethal, opiates after returning home.
KUT News

According to a new report, the number of prescriptions veterans received for powerful opiates has surged since the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Central Texas veterans' prescriptions have jumped by nearly 340 percent, leading to increased risk of abuse, drug overdose and death, according to a report from the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the agency charged with helping veterans recover from war [the Department of Veterans Affairs]instead masks their pain with potent drugs, feeding addictions and contributing to a fatal overdose rate among VA patients that is nearly double the national average.

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Veterans
9:28 am
Fri October 4, 2013

America's Oldest Veteran Lives in Austin. What Happened to Him Yesterday Will Make You Smile

107-year-old Richard Overton relaxes on his front lawn. Yesterday, dozens of volunteers fixed the East Austin home Overton’s lived in since 1945.
Mark Gwin for KUT News

A diverse group of volunteers braved the heat Thursday to upgrade the residence of 107-year-old World War II veteran Richard Overton – the country’s oldest living World War II veteran.

The East Austin house has been Overton's home since he built it in 1945, when he returned from war. And though he’s done some upgrades over the years, it was beginning to have some serious issues: broken windows, a failing refrigerator and more.

But then a team of several dozen volunteers came to fix it all.

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Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument
11:55 am
Mon September 23, 2013

South Vietnamese Figure Removed from Texas' Vietnam War Memorial

Members of the Vietnamese community outside the Texas State Preservation Board hearing inside the Texas Capitol.
Matthew Alvarez for KUT News

The Texas State Preservation Board voted Friday to move forward with a proposed Vietnam War veterans' monument at the Texas Capitol. The final design features American combat troops – and not a South Vietnamese solider as initially proposed.

In 2005, the Texas Legislature authorized a Vietnam War memorial for the Texas Capitol grounds. The proposed design featured several combat-weary soldiers – one of them a South Vietnamese solider. But the backers of the memorial, the Texas Capitol Vietnam Monument Committee, chose to remove that figure. The preservation board approved the final design Friday. 

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Health
8:53 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Austin's New Outpatient VA Clinic is the Largest in the Country

Austin's new VA Clinic is the largest freestanding clinic in the U.S.
Central Texas Veterans Healthcare System

Austin’s new VA clinic opened this week, becoming the largest free-standing VA outpatient clinic in the U.S. The new, state-of-the-art clinic will to help accommodate Central Texas’s fast growing veteran population across 39 counties.

The clinic currently serves 23,000 veterans. The VA hopes to increase that number to 30,000 by 2025 with the expanded facilities, according to Central Texas Veterans Healthcare System spokeswoman Deborah Meyer.

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Education
12:43 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Military Service for College Credit? Texas Plan Gets $1.5 Million Boost

Texas veterans are being offered expanded advantages to attend college.
flickr.com/bright_idea

The Texas Workforce Commission is awarding Austin Community College over $90,000 as part of its College Credit for Heroes program.

ACC is one of six colleges joining the program, which is designed to translate veterans’ military experience into college credit hours.

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Veterans
4:37 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Texas Receives $750,000 Federal Grant to Help Veterans Find Jobs

Austin's Veterans Day parade in 2011. Texas is receiving a federal grant to help with veterans’ employment.
KUT News

Texas was given a $750,000 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to help U.S. veterans find jobs when they come home.

Along with Georgia, Illinois and North Carolina, the grant will reach out to active-duty soldiers within 90 days of their return from the Army, Texas Army National Guard and the Army Reserve.

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Austin
11:32 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Honor Flight Austin Departs Today With Texas' Oldest Living Vet Aboard

Richard Overton, 107, is the oldest living veteran in Texas. He was honored for his service at a May 9th Austin City Council meeting
Marissa Barnett, KUT News

35 Central Texas World War II veterans, including Texas’ oldest living veteran, are flying to Washington D.C. today as part of the Honor Flight program.

The flight leaves Austin Bergstrom International Airport at 12:30 p.m. after a ceremonial send off from Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell. Honor Flight Austin Chairman Allen Bergeron, a flight nurse and one guardian per veteran will also be on the flight. The trip is just one day, but the itinerary is packed with memorial visits and a trip to Arlington National Cemetery.

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2013 Legislative Session
5:35 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Bill Would Give Unclaimed Ashes of Veterans Final Resting Place

The Missing in America Project helps inter cremated remains of unclaimed veterans.
Missing in America Project

Click the player to hear the story as it aired on KUT 90.5 FM.

Funeral homes across the country face a challenge that might surprise you. They’re storing thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of unclaimed cremated human remains.

A bill before the Texas Senate today would address part of the problem – at least for deceased veterans.

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Texas
12:42 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Vets Commission Gives Out $3M Despite Dwindling Lotto Funding

A U.S. Army Soldier hugs his daughter at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Texas April 3, 2007, after returning from Iraq.
Cherie A. Thurlby

The Texas Veterans Commission gave out $3 million in grants today to more than two dozen organizations across the state that help veterans readjust to civilian life.

About $800,000 of it will go to programs that assist veterans here in Central Texas.

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Politics
5:22 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Legislature Talks Jobs for Vets

A Senate committee is looking at measures to help returning vets make the transition to civilian life.
Nathan Bernier, KUT News.

Unemployment among U.S. veterans fell in 2012 but is still higher than the rest of the workforce. Two bills dealing with vets and employment are before the Texas Senate Veteran Affairs and Military Installations Committee. One would help veterans find work in Texas agencies; the other would ensure they could take time off from work.

Both bills are aimed at reintegrating veterans into civilian life and jobs.

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