Topic: Healthcare

Airmen of the Puerto Rico Air National Guard stand for a group photo Nov. 12, 2019, at the 332d Air Expeditionary Wing. Guam, Puerto Rico, and other U.S. territories have some of the highest rates of U.S. military enlistment. Photo by Senior Master Sgt. Ralph Branson, courtesy of the U.S. Air Force.

US Territories Have High Rates of US Military Service, but Battle for Veterans’ Benefits

Guam, Puerto Rico, and other U.S. territories have some of the highest rates of U.S. military enlistment, but their veterans also face major hurdles accessing benefits after their service.
A mobile vet center opens its doors for tours during a ceremony commemorating the partnership between the U.S. Marine Corps and Veterans Affairs to provide the mobile vet center services to eligible service members at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia, in 2022. Vet centers offer confidential help for veterans, service members, and their families in a nonmedical setting. The 300 vet centers and more than 80 mobile vet centers are used as points of care to enhance the existing support service provided by the Marine Corps. Photo by Ashley Boster, courtesy of the U.S. Marine Corps.

Vet Center Changes ‘a Stab in the Back’ as Delays, Counselor Shortages Grow

Vet centers may be losing what led veterans to depend on them after a slate of changes clients and counselors say have been damaging.
Three years after Secretary Denis McDonough promised that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs would begin covering gender-affirming surgery, that commitment has still not been met. Stock photo.

Years Later, VA Still Has Not Fulfilled Promise to Cover Gender-Affirming Care

Transgender veterans say they see the latest Department of Veterans Affairs delays as further evidence of politically motivated bias against them.
The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System serves veterans from a 10-county area in the Gulf region of Florida. It is listed as a VA facility at risk for increased hurricane damage due to climate change. Photo by Timothy Westmorland, courtesy of the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System.

VA Hospitals Vulnerable to Extreme Weather as Climate Changes, Report Finds

More than half of VA medical centers are exposed to climate change-driven extreme weather that could risk operations, a new report found.
Sgt. Robert B. Brown from Fayetteville, N.C. with Regimental Combat Team 6, Combat Camera Unit, watches over civilian firefighters at the burn pit as smoke and flames rise into the night sky behind him in May 2007.

PACT Act Update: VA Signs Up 280,000 New Veterans, But Some Are Still Left Out

While the PACT Act greatly expanded VA care for veterans who experienced toxic exposures, some places and conditions have been left out.

‘Invisible’–More Women Veterans Are Dying of Suicide and VA Still Lacks Resources, Advocates Say

The rate of women veterans dying by suicide is growing, showing VA lacks systems to protect them and that women veterans are invisible, advocates said.
Andrea Goldstein on the deck of a naval ship

Finding Empowerment in Choice, Asking for Help, and the Journey to Build a Family

As I began IVF, I felt grateful, empowered. But I mostly felt angry that VA would have covered my expensive medical procedure had I been married to a man.
Master Sgt. Darryl Sterling tosses scrapped items into a burn pit at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, in 2008.

Battling Bureaucracy After Burn Pits: Why Are Civilian Contractors Left Behind?

The PACT Act removed veterans’ burden of proving their exposure to burn pit toxins was responsible for their illnesses. Contractors were left out.
Public Health Officer 1st Lt. Gyasi J. Mann, right, and Bioenvironmental Engineer Senior Airman Emilio D. Gonzalez, second from right, both with the 108th Medical Group, New Jersey Air National Guard, help homeless veterans choose a pair of reading glasses during Stand Down 2012 at the National Guard Armory in Cherry Hill, Sept. 28, 2012.

VA’s Work to End Veteran Homelessness Is a Nationwide Model. Can It Translate for Civilians?

To date, 83 communities and the states of Connecticut, Delaware, and Virginia have effectively ended veteran homelessness. But can that success translate?