What Are Burn Pits, and How Did They Harm U.S. Troops?

Veterans and their advocates describe continuously burning fires on overseas bases that consumed the military’s trash and produced toxic smoke.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #hazardous-and-toxic-substances, #respiratory-diseases, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-politics-and-government, #veterans, #veterans-affairs-department, #waste-materials-and-disposal

Biden Signs Bill to Help Veterans Exposed to Toxic Burn Pits

President Biden, who has long advocated the expanded benefits, has speculated that his son Beau developed brain cancer because of exposure to burn pits when he served in Iraq.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #hazardous-and-toxic-substances, #iraq, #law-and-legislation, #stewart-jon, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-politics-and-government, #veterans, #veterans-affairs-department

Senate Passes Burn Pits Legislation, Expanding Benefits for Veterans

Republicans who had blocked the bill, which would extend benefits to an estimated 3.5 million veterans, allowed it to pass after trying unsuccessfully to limit funding for the treatments.

#federal-budget-us, #hazardous-and-toxic-substances, #health-insurance-and-managed-care, #law-and-legislation, #senate, #toomey-patrick-j, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-politics-and-government, #veterans, #veterans-affairs-department

Experimental Psychedelic Therapy Returns to the V.A.

A series of clinical trials using MDMA and psilocybin mushrooms represent a resurrection of promising research abandoned in the 1960s.

#anxiety-and-stress, #clinical-trials, #ecstasy-drug, #lsd-lysergic-acid-diethylamide, #mental-health-and-disorders, #psilocybin-mushrooms, #psychedelic-and-hallucinogenic-drugs, #therapy-and-rehabilitation, #veterans, #veterans-affairs-department

Civil Rights Veterans Should Get Veterans Administration Benefits

Those who fought for America’s democracy should be treated as the war heroes they are.

#black-people, #civil-rights-movement-1954-68, #david-dennis-sr, #post-traumatic-stress-disorder, #the-movement-made-us-a-father-a-son-and-the-legacy-of-a-freedom-ride-book, #veterans, #veterans-affairs-department, #voting-rights-registration-and-requirements

A Balm for Psyches Scarred by War

MDMA-assisted treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder “represents real hope for long-term healing,” health experts say.

#clinical-trials, #drugs-pharmaceuticals, #ecstasy-drug, #iraq-war-2003-11, #johns-hopkins-university, #mental-health-and-disorders, #mithoefer-michael, #multidisciplinary-assn-for-psychedelic-studies, #post-traumatic-stress-disorder, #psychiatry-and-psychiatrists, #therapy-and-rehabilitation, #traumatic-brain-injury, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-marine-corps, #united-states-navy, #veterans, #veterans-affairs-department, #vietnam-war, #your-feed-health, #your-feed-science

Biden Aims to Boost Military and Social Spending in 2023 Budget

The president will unveil his latest budget proposal amid war in Ukraine and concerns at home about rising costs.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #defense-department, #democratic-party, #economic-conditions-and-trends, #federal-budget-us, #federal-taxes-us, #treasury-department, #united-states-economy, #united-states-politics-and-government, #veterans-affairs-department

In Texas, Biden Says New Legislation Could Expand Benefits for Burn Pit Victims

The president is focused on veterans who fell ill after breathing in toxic materials from burning waste in Iraq and Afghanistan, exposure that he believes contributed to the death of his elder son.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #agent-orange-defoliant, #biden-joseph-r-iii, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #hazardous-and-toxic-substances, #iraq, #iraq-war-2003-11, #law-and-legislation, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-politics-and-government, #veterans, #veterans-affairs-department, #waste-materials-and-disposal

Can an Athlete’s Blood Enhance Brainpower?

Scientists who injected idle mice with blood from athletic mice found improvements in learning and memory. The findings could have implications for Alzheimer’s research and beyond.

#alzheimers-disease, #animal-cognition, #brain, #elderly, #exercise, #longevity, #memory, #mice, #nature-journal, #proteins, #research, #stanford-university, #tests-medical, #veterans, #veterans-affairs-department, #your-feed-science

Ian Fishback’s Death Highlights Veteran Mental Illness Crisis

Ian Fishback revealed abuse of detainees during the Iraq war, but struggled after leaving the service. He died awaiting a bed at the V.A.

#content-type-personal-profile, #detainees, #fishback-ian, #iraq-war-2003-11, #mental-health-and-disorders, #torture, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #veterans, #veterans-affairs-department

Max Cleland, Vietnam Veteran and Former Senator, Dies at 79

He lost both legs and an arm in the war. Republicans impugned his patriotism by linking him to Osama bin Laden in an infamous TV spot.

#cleland-max, #deaths-obituaries, #elections-senate, #georgia, #political-advertising, #united-states-politics-and-government, #veterans, #veterans-administration, #veterans-affairs-department, #vietnam-war

Military Grants Few Coronavirus Vaccine Exemptions as Deadlines Loom

The majority of active-duty troops have gotten a mandatory coronavirus vaccine ahead of deadline, with religious-based exemptions largely dismissed.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #defense-department, #disease-rates, #freedom-of-religion, #labor-and-jobs, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #vaccination-and-immunization, #veterans, #veterans-affairs-department, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

Military Grants Few Vaccine Exemptions as Deadlines Loom

The majority of active-duty troops have gotten a mandatory coronavirus vaccine ahead of deadline, with religious-based exemptions largely dismissed.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #defense-department, #disease-rates, #freedom-of-religion, #labor-and-jobs, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #vaccination-and-immunization, #veterans, #veterans-affairs-department, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

For Military Families, V.A. Loans Are a Lifeline, but With a Catch

The mortgages have helped millions of soldiers buy homes, but they carry a mostly unfair stigma that has kept many families out of today’s competitive market.

#mortgages, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #real-estate-and-housing-residential, #united-states, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #veterans, #veterans-affairs-department

Agencies That Issued Mandates Before Biden’s Push Show Some Early Success

The military and Department of Veterans Affairs see vaccination rates increase, as do some companies and states, but they have a long way to go.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #defense-department, #mandates, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-politics-and-government, #vaccination-and-immunization, #veterans, #veterans-affairs-department

Covid Survivors More Likely to Have Kidney Problems, Study Finds

In a study of veterans, Covid survivors were 35 percent more likely than other patients to have long-term kidney damage or declines in kidney function.

#chronic-condition-health, #clinical-journal-of-the-american-society-of-nephrology, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #kidneys, #transplants, #united-states, #veterans, #veterans-affairs-department, #your-feed-science

Military and V.A. Struggle With Vaccination Rates in Their Ranks

President Biden could legally require members of the military to get vaccinated, but so far he has declined to do so.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #defense-department, #disease-rates, #mcdonough-denis-r, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-politics-and-government, #vaccination-and-immunization, #veterans, #veterans-affairs-department, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

V.A. Plans to Offer Gender-Affirming Surgeries for Transgender Veterans

The secretary of veterans affairs announced the shift in care at a Pride event over the weekend, but the process for changing benefits could take years.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #civil-rights-and-liberties, #discrimination, #mcdonough-denis-r, #surgery-and-surgeons, #transgender-and-transsexuals, #united-states-politics-and-government, #veterans, #veterans-affairs-department

Virtual Reality Therapy Plunges Patients Back Into Trauma. Here Is Why Some Swear by It.

An experimental treatment seems poised to address a dire mental health crisis.

#anxiety-and-stress, #mental-health-and-disorders, #phobias, #post-traumatic-stress-disorder, #psychology-and-psychologists, #research, #veterans, #veterans-affairs-department, #virtual-reality-computers

Family of Man Attacked by Fire Ants at V.A. Facility Before His Death Sues U.S.

Joel Marrable, an Air Force veteran, was largely bedridden by cancer and “incapable” of defending himself when ants attacked him at a Veterans Affairs facility, his family said.

#atlanta-ga, #deaths-fatalities, #insects, #marrable-joel, #suits-and-litigation-civil, #veterans, #veterans-affairs-department

Biden Team Rushes to Take Over Government, and Oust Trump Loyalists

President Biden named nearly all of his cabinet secretaries and their immediate deputies before he took office, but his real grasp on the levers of power has come several layers down.

#appointments-and-executive-changes, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #citizenship-and-immigration-services-us, #defense-department, #environmental-protection-agency, #foreign-service-us, #health-and-human-services-department, #homeland-security-department, #housing-and-urban-development-department, #immigration-and-customs-enforcement-us, #justice-department, #national-security-agency, #national-security-council, #state-department, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-agency-for-global-media, #united-states-politics-and-government, #veterans-affairs-department, #voice-of-america

Biden Team Delays Naming Some Interim Officials Until Trump Is Out

The unusual move underscores the deep mistrust of Trump loyalists among Biden transition officials even hours before the inauguration.

#appointments-and-executive-changes, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #haines-avril-d, #justice-department, #office-of-the-director-of-national-intelligence, #presidential-transition-us, #shiao-lora, #state-department, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government, #veterans-affairs-department

Biden Names Susan Rice, Denis McDonough to Key Jobs

Susan Rice, who was President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, will lead the Domestic Policy Council. Denis McDonough, Mr. Obama’s chief of staff, was nominated secretary of veterans affairs.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #domestic-policy-council-us, #mcdonough-denis-r, #presidential-transition-us, #rice-susan-e, #united-states-politics-and-government, #veterans, #veterans-affairs-department

Inspector General Criticizes V.A.’s Handling of Sexual Assault Complaint

The inspector general’s report also expressed disappointment that the V.A. did not determine whether to take action “to provide a safer and more welcoming environment” for women at its facilities.

#goldstein-andrea-n, #inspectors-general, #missal-michael-j, #sexual-harassment, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government, #veterans, #veterans-affairs-department, #wilkie-robert

Army Agrees to Review Thousands of Unfavorable Discharges for Veterans

If approved by a federal judge, the settlement agreement in a class-action lawsuit could result in thousands of veterans gaining access to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ full array of benefits.

#carson-alicia, #depression-mental, #kennedy-steve, #mental-health-and-disorders, #post-traumatic-stress-disorder, #suits-and-litigation-civil, #traumatic-brain-injury, #united-states-army, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #veterans, #veterans-affairs-department

Focusing on Firearms Proves Contentious in Struggle to Reduce Veterans’ Suicides

The gun control debate complicated an effort to encourage frank talk by health professionals about the risks posed by firearms.

#firearms, #gun-control, #hannon-john-scott-d-2018, #law-and-legislation, #mental-health-and-disorders, #suicides-and-suicide-attempts, #united-states-politics-and-government, #veterans, #veterans-affairs-department

‘A Hail Mary’: Psychedelic Therapy Draws Veterans to Jungle Retreats

Ayahuasca, a vomit-inducing hallucinogenic brew, draws thousands of people each year — including former soldiers — to jungle retreats that have become an unlicensed and unregulated mental health marketplace.

#amazon-jungle, #antidepressants, #costa-rica, #depression-mental, #drug-abuse-and-traffic, #mental-health-and-disorders, #peru, #post-traumatic-stress-disorder, #veterans, #veterans-affairs-department

Trump Cites the V.A. as a Central Achievement. But Troubles Simmer.

The department’s long litany of problems has left some questioning why President Trump is trying to make his record there a centerpiece of his re-election campaign.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #health-insurance-and-managed-care, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government, #veterans, #veterans-affairs-department, #wilkie-robert

Report Slams Doctor at V.A. for Dismissing Suicide Risk of Patient Who Later Killed Himself

Six days after being removed by the police from a veterans hospital in Washington, the man died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

#inspectors-general, #mental-health-and-disorders, #missal-michael-j, #suicides-and-suicide-attempts, #trump-donald-j, #veterans, #veterans-affairs-department, #wilkie-robert

Former V.A. Nursing Assistant Is Charged in Deaths of Seven Patients

Reta Mays, who worked at a hospital in West Virginia, is accused of administering fatal doses of insulin to veterans.

#diabetes, #insulin, #mays-reta, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #veterans, #veterans-affairs-department, #west-virginia

Despite Coronavirus, Federal Workers Head to the Office

Federal employees are being ushered back to office buildings under inconsistent and conflicting reopening plans, against the wishes of leaders in the nation’s capital.

#american-federation-of-government-employees, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-reopenings, #defense-department, #disease-rates, #energy-department, #environmental-protection-agency, #government-employees, #interior-department, #labor-and-jobs, #maryland, #office-of-personnel-management, #state-department, #states-us, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government, #veterans-affairs-department, #virginia, #washington-dc, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

The V.A. Made Me Vomit. And That Was a Good Thing.

After suffering from sleeplessness and anxiety for months, I finally saw a psychiatrist. I became so relaxed so quickly that I passed out.

#anxiety-and-stress, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-navy, #vasovagal-syncope-fainting, #veterans, #veterans-affairs-department

They Survived the Worst Battles of World War II. And Died of the Virus.

Inside the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home was a man who had served as a jailer to Hitler’s top aide. A man who had rescued Japanese kamikaze pilots from the sea. A man who carried memories of a concentration camp.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #holyoke-mass, #massachusetts, #veterans, #veterans-affairs-department, #world-war-ii-1939-45

Former Veterans Affairs Doctor Is Charged With Sexual Abuse of Patients

The doctor, Jonathan Yates, worked at a hospital in West Virginia. He was accused of causing bodily injury to some veterans and abusive sexual contact while they were incapacitated, according to the federal indictment.

#doctors, #sex-crimes, #veterans, #veterans-affairs-department, #west-virginia, #yates-jonathan-1968

Social Distancing for Coronavirus Has a History

The idea has been around for centuries. But it took a high school science fair, George W. Bush, history lessons and some determined researchers to overcome skepticism and make it federal policy.

#bush-george-w, #centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #defense-department, #epidemics, #health-and-human-services-department, #influenza, #influenza-epidemic-1918-19, #obama-barack, #philadelphia-pa, #quarantines, #sandia-national-laboratories, #shutdowns-institutional, #st-louis-mo, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government, #university-of-michigan, #veterans-affairs-department

New U.S. Treatment Guidelines for Covid-19 Don’t See Much Progress

A panel of experts said there was insufficient evidence about many drugs that have been considered as possible remedies for coronavirus patients, including some President Trump has advocated.

#azithromycin-drug, #clinical-trials, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #drugs-pharmaceuticals, #fauci-anthony-s, #hydroxychloroquine-drug, #national-institute-of-allergy-and-infectious-diseases, #trump-donald-j, #veterans, #veterans-affairs-department, #your-feed-healthcare

V.A. Health Care Workers Balk at Safety Practices

Officials at the Department of Veterans Affairs have denied that workers across their huge health care system — which serves nine million veterans and has 390,000 employees — have inadequate gear.

#centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #protective-clothing-and-gear, #stone-richard-a, #united-states-politics-and-government, #veterans, #veterans-affairs-department, #veterans-health-administration

Rethinking National Security for the Coronavirus Age

The Cuban Missile Crisis forced Kennedy to begin an era of arms control, and Sept. 11 forced Bush to reinvent counterterrorism. Will the coronavirus change the priorities of the Trump administration?

#bolton-john-r, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #defense-department, #senate, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-economy, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-navy, #veterans-affairs-department

Five Takeaways on What Trump Knew as the Virus Spread

An examination by The New York Times reveals that there were warnings from the intelligence community, national security aides and government health officials — even as the president played down the crisis.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #epidemics, #health-and-human-services-department, #mnuchin-steven-t, #national-security-council, #navarro-peter, #obrien-robert-c-1952, #pence-mike, #schwarzman-stephen-a, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government, #veterans-affairs-department