WASHINGTON — A bill aimed at reducing a suicide epidemic among military veterans is on its way to the president for his signature.
In light of soaring health and benefit costs for members of the armed forces, a committee created to offer reforms is calling for big changes. Hari Sreenivasan examines the recommendations with Alphonso Maldon, chair of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission. Continue reading
Some 2,500 dogs have accompanied American warriors on patrol and in close combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tasks like bomb detection and protection demand dedication to their human handlers, with whom they often form a special bond in the face of danger. Margaret Warner talks to Rebecca Frankel, author of “War Dogs: Tales of Canine Heroism, History and Love.” Continue reading
There are still ongoing lethal consequences of the Vietnam War that ended in 1975. Undetonated “bomblets,” dropped by the U.S. military during the conflict, are killing and maiming people who discover them by accident. To help close a painful chapter in history, American veteran Chuck Searcy has made bomb removal and education his humanitarian mission. Special correspondent Mike Cerre reports. Continue reading
Throughout the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, all kinds of things — batteries, paint, plastic, electronics, even whole vehicles — were disposed of in so-called “burn pits” by the U.S. military. Some veterans have filed a class action lawsuit against a defense contractor claiming toxic smoke from burning waste caused lung disease and cancer. Hari Sreenivasan and NewsHour producer Dan Sagalyn report. Continue reading
One of the most famous veterans in the U.S. shares stories of largely unknown American heroes from each of the nation’s armed conflicts in “Thirteen Soldiers: A Personal History of America at War.” Gwen Ifill sits down with author Sen. John McCain, who wrote the book with his longtime collaborator Mark Salter, to discuss the book and the incoming Congress. Continue reading
Veterans used to make up a strong majority of Congress. In 1972, more than 70 percent of Congressional members had served in the military. But those numbers have fallen dramatically. In 2012, for the first time in American history, the presidential election featured no candidate with military experience. And now, even with lawmakers who are veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, there will be fewer of them than at any time in at least the last 50 years — just 18 percent. NewsHour political director Domenico Montanaro reports on the changing numbers. Continue reading
A new book, “For Love of Country,” argues that Americans are not truly honoring the newest generation of veterans for their contributions to post-combat life. Chief foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Warner talks to co-authors Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, and Rajiv Chandrasekaran of The Washington Post about what we don’t understand about these servicemen and women. Continue reading