Veterans

Mark Combs

Our Struggle to Stay series continues as we follow actor and Iraqi war veteran Mark Combs and his good friend and artist, Cameron Elias Williams. These young men took off from West Virginia hoping to land on their feet in Los Angeles - the land of abundant creative jobs - far from their economically depressed homes in Appalachia. But the target life in L.A. was harder to hit than expected. 


Rebecca Kiger

This week on Inside Appalachia, we talk with Marcus Murrow, a West Virginia native who’s telling the story of southern West Virginia, and the surprising way cultural divides are sometimes bridged in and around Appalachia. He's working on a film called Staring up from the Mine Shaft.

courtesy Martinsburg VA Medical Center

West Virginia veterans earned over 30 medals last week at the national Golden Age Games. The competition is an athletic training program for veterans 55 years old or older and is designed to help veterans lose weight and become more physically fit.

About 800 veterans competed in the Golden Age Games competition in Biloxi, Mississippi May 7-11. Veterans from the Martinsburg VA Medical Center won medals in running, swimming, badminton, shot put and bicycling. Judi Roberts, from Martinsburg won first place in the discus competition.

Dept. of Defense

The city of Nitro has unveiled a park in honor of local military veterans.

Media outlets report the town dedicated the Living Memorial Park in celebration of its centennial Saturday. The park includes a statue of a World War I soldier, a fountain, a patriotic mural and more than 300 engraved pavers honoring veterans.

Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs / http://www.clarksburg.va.gov/

Veterans who receive care from the Clarksburg VA medical center lead the nation in a program that prevents drug overdose deaths. The program distributes Naloxone rescue kits to veterans who are at risk of overdose. Many of the kits have been used by veterans to save civilians who may have otherwise overdosed from opioids.

Veterans returning from combat often struggle with chronic pain and/or mental illness, and many are taking multiple medications. When combined… or when alcohol or non-prescribed drugs are also taken, these drugs can lead to a deadly overdose.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear from Wheeling Middle School students who worked with Northern Panhandle Bureau Chief Glynis Board to record stories and commentaries about standardized testing and the arts.

We'll also hear more from Inside Appalachia's recent episode about opioid addiction and the Veterans Administration.

Roxy Todd/ WVPB

It’s been about 20 years since the opioid epidemic started. Appalachia has been called ground zero for this crisis, and the Mountain State leads the country in drug overdose deaths. This episode of Inside Appalachia explores how the epidemic is affecting veterans, who are twice as likely to become addicted to opioids than the general, or civilian, population. 


Roxy Todd/ WVPB

This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll travel to Sugar Bottom Farm in Clay County West Virginia to meet Veteran Eric Grandon, the first veteran to go through the Veterans and Warriors to Agriculture program.

Adobe Stock

Veterans' benefits are expected to be tougher to qualify for next year, according to the Veterans Aid and Attendance Pension program, which subsidizes senior living and home care for veterans and their spouses.

The pension is designed to provide financial support to lower income veterans and their spouses who need help with daily living.

Marshall University
Wikipedia / en.wikipedia.org

Marshall University is honoring veterans starting Monday with its Greenlight a Vet campaign.

The university says the spotlights on the university's brick sign outside of Old Main will turn green and stay that way all month.

courtesy Jeremy Harrison

Suicide is a major problem for veterans all across the country. But the problem is even worse in rural areas, according to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). On this week’s episode, veterans in West Virginia share their stories about what it’s like to return home from war, and what veterans are doing to help and support each other.

Dept. of Defense

A West Virginia highway in Huntington has been renamed in honor of Wayne County veterans.

The Herald-Dispatch reports a dedication ceremony was held Monday to rename State Route 152 as the "Wayne County Veterans Memorial Highway."

Spcs. Tyler Foster, Shane Delong and Jakob Mays are soldiers in the Army Reserve 363rd Military Police Company in Grafton, West Virginia.  This April they will deploy to Afghanistan.
Chip Hitchcock / WVPublic

Several West Virginia attractions are participating in the National Endowment for the Arts initiative to offer free admission to active-duty military members and their families.

The Blue Star Museums program includes more than 2,000 museums across the country offering the deal from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

"Still Taking Casualties" Puts a Face on Veteran Suicide

May 24, 2016

Iraq War veteran Mark Combs was fed up and wanted to do something. He had just answered the phone in the spring of 2014 and was told another buddy had killed himself.

On this West Virginia Morning, a West Virginia native and WVU journalism school graduate is part of the team that received the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service based on an international investigation of the fishing industry in Southeast Asia.  

Over the course of 18 months, Margie Mason was among the journalists from The Associated Press who located men held in cages, tracked ships and stalked refrigerated trucks to expose the abusive practices of the seafood industry in that part of the world. She speaks with Beth Vorhees.

Bees, Honey, Honey Bees, Geezer Ridge Farm
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito stopped in Hedgesville to spotlight a unique program that uses bee-keeping to help veterans with post-traumatic stress.

Capito visited Geezer Ridge Farm in Hedgesville Monday. The farm is home to thousands of honey producing bees, and gives community members and veterans a chance to learn about bee-keeping. For many of those veterans the practice is also a form of therapy. 

On this West Virginia Morning, Soldiers in West Virginia’s Reserve 363 Military Police Company came home last month from Afghanistan and Kosovo in time to celebrate the Medical Reserve Corps's 108 birthday. Chip Hitchcock interviewed the Reserve unit’s commanding officer last year and brings us this report.

Kara Lofton / WVPB

At a federal prison in Morgantown, Jeff Marrero is working with his service dog Biley on how to close doors. The golden retriever walks over to the door, tugs the thick rope wrapped around the door knob and pulls it closed.

Dept. of Defense

A Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Huntington has suspended all activities amid an investigation of its finances.

The investigation of East Huntington VFW Post 9738 is being conducted by a committee appointed by the West Virginia Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The Morgantown High School Marching Band makes its way down High Street in Morgantown on Wednesday, Nov. 11, during the city's Veterans Day parade.
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Dec. 7, 2016 will mark the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, which thrust America into World War II. Morgantown High School’s marching band has been selected to represent West Virginia during a commemoration next year in Hawaii to honor that milestone.

One of the few remaining survivors of the attack came to the Mountain State from Texas to share his first-hand account of that fateful day with the band members and take part in Veterans Day ceremonies.

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