veterans

Alchemy Sky Foundation

State officials say more than 100,000 service members from Georgia were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan between 2001 and 2012. Nationally, about 20 percent of veterans coming back from those conflicts have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and traumatic brain injuries.

Alchemy Sky Foundation is an Atlanta organization that helps people heal through music. It recently worked with a group of metro Atlanta veterans to create a song called "Adjust Fire."

 


State officials say more than 100,000 service members from Georgia were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan between 2001 and 2012. Nationally, about 20% of veterans coming back from those conflicts have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries.

The Atlanta organization Alchemy Sky Foundation helps people heal through music. It recently worked with a group of metro Atlanta veterans to create a song called "Adjust Fire." Jaye Budd, a musician and founder of Alchemy Sky Foundation, and Marcus McCreaery, an Army veteran with the project, joined On Second Thought to share details about the experience. 


Over his 19-year career with the Navy SEALs, Special Operations Chief Edward "Eddie" Gallagher earned high honors for valor and leadership as a medic, sniper and explosives expert. But less than a year after Gallagher returned from his eighth deployment – fighting the Islamic State in Mosul, Iraq – he drew a different kind of attention from the Navy: he was charged with war crimes, among them premeditated murder. Gallagher's case goes to trial in May. He and his family have denied all charges.

When New York Times national correspondent Dave Philipps began reporting on Gallagher's case, he thought he might learn that Gallagher had suffered some kind of psychotic break as the result of numerous combat deployments over the course of nearly two decades. But what Philipps has found, through interviews and hundreds of pages of internal military documents, defied expectations. Joining on the line from Colorado Springs, Colorado, Philipps told On Second Thought that Gallagher's case reveals a Navy SEAL culture "split between loyalty and justice." 


courtesy of Synchronocity Theater

We hear stories about the sacrifices military spouses make. But the wife's perspective is rarely at the center. That's why playwright Aline Lathrop decided to highlight that angle in The Hero's Wife - a play that's showing at Synchronicity Theater in Atlanta. It's an intimate look at a couple dealing with the invisible wounds of combat.


Drew Dawson / GPB News

March 29 is National Vietnam War Veterans Day and, in Augusta, they honored the day by unveiling the city’s first permanent Vietnam War Memorial. More than 15,000 Augusta area residents served in Vietnam, and 169 lost their lives there. 


Courtesy of Alchemy Sky Foundation

State officials say more than 100,000 service members from Georgia were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan between 2001 and 2012. Nationally, about 20 percent of veterans coming back from those conflicts have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and traumatic brain injuries.

Alchemy Sky Foundation is an Atlanta organization that helps people heal through music. It recently worked with a group of metro Atlanta veterans to create a song called "Adjust Fire." 


Some say music holds the power to heal, and, on her album "Rifles and Rosary Beads," Nashville-based singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier directs that power to veterans.

"Rifles and Rosary Beads" is up for Best Folk Album at the Grammy Awards this weekend. Chuck Reece of "The Bitter Southerner Podcast" spoke with Gauthier about the songs, each of which Gauthier co-wrote with veterans and military spouses. 


Leighton Rowell / GPB News

According to the Women Veterans Office, there are over 93,000 women veterans in Georgia. Women veterans are often invisible as a population because American society perceives veterans as predominantly men.

 

We spoke to Veda Brooks, director of the Women Veterans Office in the Georgia Department of Veteran Services. She discussed challenges women veterans face in finding jobs and translating their military experience to civilian positions.

 

BriGette McCoy also joined the conversation. She is the vice chair of the City of Atlanta's Veterans Affairs Commission and CEO of Women Veteran Social Justice Network. She discussed her experiences with military sexual trauma and working as an advocate for service members.

 

Stephen Fowler / GPB News

Republican nominee for governor Brian Kemp unveiled new policies aimed at Georgia’s military veterans on Wednesday.

The first pillar would eliminate state income tax for military retirement income, and he estimated it would cost the state about $60 million.


Matt Harriger / Flickr

According the United States Census Bureau, there are nearly 50,000 homeless veterans in America. In order to combat these issues with housing, popular TV shows like “Tiny House Hunters” are looking to create tiny homes as a solution.

Ildar Sagdejev / Wikimedia Commons

The Georgia 2018 legislative session recently legalized the use of cannabis oil for treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD affects about 31 million people in the United States. The disorder is often associated with veterans, but another group of heroes — first responders — also struggle with the disorder. According to one survey, one in 15 paramedics and EMTs has attempted suicide. 


Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Veterans Day is this weekend. We meet a veteran named Bradley Field, who works in the film industry. Among his credits: "Detroit," "Suicide Squad," and "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice." On Second Thought regular Kalena Boller caught up with Bradley just after production wrapped in Atlanta on "Den of Thieves," which is out next year.

Alix Blair

For many veterans returning from war, it can be difficult to adjust to civilian life. A new documentary premiering on PBS on Memorial Day tells the story of one veteran who has suffered emotionally and physically from war, only to return home as a farmer where he’s trying to find peace. The film previously ran at the Macon Film Festival last summer. 

Crystal Hernandez

Federal data show the suicide rate among veterans has risen over the last decade. In 2007, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs approached this problem with a 24-hour call center in upstate New York.

ABA

Veteran care is an important issue for Atlanta attorney Linda Klein. She was sworn in as the president of the American Bar Association earlier this month. One of her goals is to offer more legal aid to veterans.

We speak with Linda Klein about her new position and her plan to help veterans.

To find more information on Linda's veteran initiative as president, visit www.americanbar.org

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

More than half a million veterans wait at least a month for appointments at the VA. That's 70,000 more veterans than last year, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. As GPB's Sean Powers reports, there's a new push in Georgia to improve veteran care by helping them connect with their roots on the farm.

John Bazemore / AP

President Obama visited Atlanta Monday to discuss his administration’s efforts to help the nation’s veterans. He told the annual meeting of the Disabled American Veterans a lot had been accomplished, but there was still much to be done.

“America's commitment to our veterans is more than just lines in a budget, and it can't be about politics. It's not even really about policy,” Obama told the audience of veterans, their caregivers, and their families. “Our commitment to our veterans is a sacred covenant, and I don't use those words lightly.”