This week embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki is scheduled to face a Senate panel after veterans groups and some lawmakers have called for his resignation.
There’s bipartisan agreement that the V-A is failing hundreds of thousands of veterans who have waited months to get care. Some Republican lawmakers and two prominent veterans groups have called for the resignation of Shinseki amid reports that dozens of veterans died while awaiting care at a Phoenix V-A hospital.
For almost as long as there has been war, writers, poets and playwrights have offered their perspectives on the experience. From Sophocles to Shakespeare -to the present day, war and its aftermath continue to be explored in books, movies and poetry. But despite all that’s been written and said and thought about war, there is not a single academic department in the U.S. devoted to “veterans studies.” Some scholars at Virginia Tech are looking to change that.
Many Virginians go into the military hoping to retain skills that will provide career opportunities once they leave the armed forces. Homeless and jobless rates continue to rise because Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans are finding it difficult to get certification or college credits for their training to qualify for civilian jobs. But at least one group studying the issue is developing short-term solutions to this problem.
Veterans groups have a long list of issues for Congress to address but they say mental health remains their top priority. Virginia lawmakers say their state government also needs to step up to the plate.