I recently spent a series of afternoons digging through closets at my parents’ house, searching for my sisters’ and my once beloved American Girl collection. In boxes and boxes of doll clothes, furniture, and accessories, I found Molly McIntire’s nightstand, complete with a doll-sized hot water bottle inside. The hot water bottle was adorned with… Read more →
In his 1919 novel The Man Nobody Knew, Holworthy Hall introduced readers to Richard Morgan, a fictional American soldier who enlisted in the French Foreign Legion during World War I. Disaffected from his hometown of Syracuse, New York and a broken engagement, Morgan fought in the war to prove his worth to society. Authorities reported… Read more →
Last September, while out for a walk in a German village called Miesau, clusters of striking yellow blooms on tall stalks with voluminous feathery leaves stopped me in my tracks. Given their prevalence, I wondered if they had any medicinal, nutritional, or aesthetic value. I was home visiting my parents, who have lived in the… Read more →
In May 2020, Prince Harry will inaugurate the fifth Invictus Games in The Hague, Netherlands. An international sporting event for wounded, disabled, and sick veterans of modern war that began in 2014, the Invictus Games will bring together five hundred athletes from over a dozen countries competing in events like wheelchair basketball, cycling, and archery…. Read more →
One month and eight days before world leaders signed the Armistice to end the First World War, New York Governor Charles Whitman wrote to Surgeon General William Gorgas to ensure that his state would play a role in caring for America’s veterans. He advocated on behalf of Saratoga Springs, a vibrant city forty miles north… Read more →
On May 12, 1923 hundreds of visitors poured into United States Veterans Hospital 81 for insane soldiers in the Bronx for the third annual National Hospital Day. New Yorkers toured the facilities and viewed exhibits of disabled veterans, paying particular attention to a new printing shop “where patients publish the hospital paper, Hospitality.” Touting the… Read more →
On April 30 People Magazine featured a story on Brad Snyder, a young swimmer seeking a gold medal at the summer Olympics in Rio this year. Snyder’s journey is extraordinary in and of itself, having served two tours of duty in the Middle East as a bomb disposal technician. The story is perhaps most intriguing,… Read more →
By Adam Turner
Since as far back as the American Revolution, politicians and the public have welcomed soldiers home from war with promises of cutting edge medical knowledge, comprehensive rehabilitation, and ongoing care as compensation for their service. Just as often, though, these promises have gone unfulfilled in the face of their enormous expense. The history of the veteran’s health system thus has been one of best intentions and poor funding.
By Guest Author
Recently, NPR reporter Quil Lawrence presented a radio series in which he profiled veterans who received other-than-honorable discharges from the military after violating rules of conduct, breaking the law, or getting in trouble with military authorities. Despite their service – including, for many, tours in active warzones – soldiers with so-called ‘bad paper’ are no longer considered veterans. As former Marine Michael Hartnett put it: “You might as well never even enlisted.” Hartnett was given bad paper in 1993 when he began abusing drugs and alcohol – an attempt to self-medicate his undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder. Veterans like Hartnett are no longer eligible to receive any of the veterans’ benefits they were promised when they enlisted.