veterans | KCUR

veterans

Segment 1: Just because mental health services exist, doesn't mean that access to them is equitable.

As many as 56% of adults in the U.S. report that they are unable to receive the treatment they need for their mental illness, and there's no quick fix for the obstacles in their way. Organizations in Kansas City sare working to reach everyone who needs help, but they have a long way to go.

Segment 1: "Kansas City wants to end homelessness," said Josh Henges.

The Veterans Community Project gained national attention in 2018 by using tiny homes to help end veteran homelessness in Kansas City. Two years later and the initiative has expanded to several other states. 

Segment 2, beginning at 24:16: Can mushrooms save Earth?

Segment 1: How Making Movies' latest album gave a nod to Lou Reed.

Making Movies, a Kansas City band, released an album this year that got a lot of attention for reviving a Lou Reed song that never was. We listen to some tunes from it and visit with the band's frontman to hear about his project to teach teenagers the ins and outs of music production.

Segment 2, beginning at 27:52: A book explaining one day in the Surkhagan Valley.

File photo

Eighty-two veterans who were sexually abused by a former physician assistant at the VA hospital in Leavenworth have settled their lawsuits against the government for nearly $7 million.

The physician assistant, Mark Wisner, was convicted in 2017 of aggravated sexual battery and aggravated criminal sodomy and sentenced to 15 years and seven months in prison.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

It's not often that a candidate quitting a local mayor's race would get national media attention, but that's exactly what happened last October when Jason Kander announced he was dropping his bid to be Kansas City's chief executive.

"Like any other injury . . . it's something you can treat and you can recover."

It took almost 12 years for Jason Kander to realize he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and seek treatment for it.  The former Kansas City, Missouri, mayoral candidate and his wife Diana recalled the years leading up to the diagnosis and how that time affected them individually, as a couple and as a family.

Christina Elias / KCUR 89.3

Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said the Kansas City-based Veterans Community Project is “deeply impressive” during a campaign visit Wednesday morning. The nonprofit offers a range of veteran services, including temporary housing assistance.

“I’m going to be sharing this story everywhere I go,” he said after touring the VCP Village, where homeless veterans can live temporarily in a “tiny house.”

Segment 1: Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg in town for veterans project

As the second youngest mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and the first openly gay Democratic presidential candidate, Pete Buttigieg has made his way into the news. He discussed how he wants to approach the border crisis, Trump's racist tweets and the Veterans Community Project in Kansas City. 

After a few months away from the public spotlight, Jason Kander is back.

But Kander isn’t venturing into the electoral arena. Instead, he’s leading the national expansion of a group that is trying to eradicate homelessness among veterans.

Segment 1: A New York Times reporter sees votes for Quinton Lucas as votes for neighborhoods.

The weekend before Kansas City's mayoral election, a story appeared in the New York Times suggesting that this election came down to a choice: continued emphasis on downtown, or a shift toward prioritizing neighborhoods struggling in downtown's shadow. The author joins us to reflect on the outcome.

Mike Mozart / Creative Commons - Flickr

Wells Fargo has agreed to a second round of payments to more than 400 members of the military whose personal vehicles the banking giant repossessed while they were on active duty.

Each service member victimized by the bank will receive $12,300 from a $5 million-plus settlement fund Wells Fargo has agreed to set up. The settlement resolves a federal class action lawsuit filed in Topeka in 2017 by Jin Nakamura,  a soldier stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas.

Paul Darling

Retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Paul Darling made his wife beef wellington for Mother’s Day. Like anyone does in a relationship, he says that she thinks of him a certain way.

"My wife has a vision of me as father and husband. I don’t think she really liked seeing what I was in combat," Darling says of his wife's response to the book he wrote about his time in Afghanistan.

Segment 1: A preview of Making Movies' latest album

Making Movies, a Kansas City band, has a new album that's catching a lot of attention for reviving a Lou Reed song that never was. We listen to some tunes from it and visit with the band's frontman to hear about his project to teach teenagers the ins and outs of music production.

Segment 2, beginning at 27:40: Taliban Safari

Logan Black

In an environment where a person can be considered an "individual augmentee" and a dog a piece of equipment — that is, a combat situation — the relationship between the two may be the only humanizing factor.

Kansas City actor and playwright Logan Black’s one-man play "Bond" explores the trauma of serving in an Iraqi combat zone alongside his best friend, a Labrador named Diego.

Seg. 1: Logan Black | Seg. 2: Oregon Trail

Apr 24, 2019

Segment 1: Logan Black.

We visit with a veteran, actor, and playwright about his latest play, Bond, a story about his service in Iraq with Diego, his bomb-sniffing dog. 

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

A Kansas City-based project aimed at helping end homelessness among veterans was touted as a national model Wednesday by United States Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Missouri, who toured the campus of the Veterans Community Project in south Kansas City.

MGN Online

Segment 1: Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly is asking for more than 300 new intake workers to address a backlog of applications to the state's Medicaid program.

A white-haired man wearing glasses and a grey suit sits in front of a microphone in a radio studio.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: The former Missouri senator balances heavy workloads as CEO of Truman Medical Center and president of the state Board of Education.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

With poetry, red poppies and praise for peace, Kansas City on Veterans Day remembered soldiers from all wars as it commemorated the centennial anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I.

The National World War I Museum and Memorial

Of the 40 million people who died in World War I, only 441 were from around Kansas City. With so few casualties from this area, how did the national museum and memorial for this war end up here?

Mike Vietti, the museum's marketing director, hears this question a lot.

"This really was, in many respects, a crowdsourced National Museum and Memorial," Vietti says.

To understand why Kansas City was up to that challenge requires remembering what the city was like a hundred years ago.

1918 in Kansas City

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Jason Kander's withdrawal from the Kansas City mayor's race illustrates the long-term effects of PTSD.

As political watchers in Kansas City deal with the fact that the leading candidate in next year's race to replace Sly James is out, we sat down with a veteran and a counselor to discuss the challenges of living with and managing post-traumatic stress disorder.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

The VA Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri, has made a few changes after receiving a letter from U.S. representatives from Missouri and Kansas that detailed veterans' concerns about the quality of care.

Two Missouri General Assembly candidates sit with headphones on behind microphones for a radio interview.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Parkville candidates for Missouri House look to replace term-limited state Rep. Nick Marshall.

Lauren Arthur's big Senate win in Clay County has many Missouri Democrats hoping the same could happen in the neighboring state House race for District 13. We sat down with the two major-party candidates to discuss their proposed policies on a gas tax increase, marijuana legalization, violent crime and more.

U.S. Navy, National Archives

Brian Turner was packed and ready to ship out for Iraq when his grandfather finally broke a decades’ long silence about his own combat experience. When the words came, they were to say that Turner should grab the biggest weapon and as much ammunition as he could carry.

Donald and Laurie Draughon

When a federal judge decided in July that the Veterans Health Administration was liable for the death of an Iraq veteran who was treated at the VA and later killed himself, it was thought to be one of the few instances nationwide where the VA has been held directly responsible for a veteran’s suicide.

Now the federal government is appealing that verdict.

A notice of appeal filed Wednesday said the United States is seeking review of the judgment by U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson, as well as her findings of fact and conclusions of law.

Alex Smith / KCUR

Like many people who can’t afford medical care, Larissa Shively-Vitt of Shawnee, Kansas, has been spending a lot of time online lately, trying to tell her story and raise money through crowdfunding.

Medical expenses are the category most often used on GoFundMe, which is the largest crowdfunding platform. And in recent years, campaigns have snowballed for one particular kind of medical care: gender confirmation surgery.

The Mission Continues

Segment 1: After a year of controversy, how is the former governor's nonprofit bouncing back?

Before he was Missouri's governor, Eric Greitens founded The Mission Continues to help veterans reintegrate in and improve the communities where they lived. After he became governor and was accused of using the nonprofit's donor list to raise campaign funds, the charity came under intense scrutiny. Now that the dust is starting to settle, we spoke with the organization's leader and a volunteer to see how the group is moving beyond the scandal.

Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sits onstage during the 119th VFW National Convention in Kansas City, July 23, 2018.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff / Flickr - CC

Segment 1: Zippy new scooters are the newest form of transportation in Kansas City.

Nicolas Telep / KCUR 89.3

Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States opened its 119th National Convention in Kansas City Saturday morning. President Donald Trump will address the gathering early next week.

The convention runs through Wednesday at the Kansas City Convention Center. 10,000 members of the VFW and VFW Auxiliary — family members of veterans — are expected to attend.  President Trump is set to appear Tuesday.

Bigstock

Army veteran Cody Bolkenstyn remembers when his vehicle exploded in Iraq. And for him, hearing the sound of fireworks on the Fourth of July can put him back into that moment.

“It’s hard to control my breath,” he said. “In that instant I feel like I just got blown up or shot and then I kind of come back to reality really quick.”

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