WBEZ | Veterans http://www.wbez.org/tags/veterans Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Veteran takes on Veterans Day http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-11-11/veteran-takes-veterans-day-111088 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP315713251574.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Veteran Rory Fanning says on Veterans Day, instead of thanking our troops we should be finding ways to truly support their needs. He joins us to tell us why he thinks we should abolish the holiday.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-how-to-really-support-our-troops-on-vete/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-how-to-really-support-our-troops-on-vete.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-how-to-really-support-our-troops-on-vete" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Veteran takes on Veterans Day" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Tue, 11 Nov 2014 11:34:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-11-11/veteran-takes-veterans-day-111088 Morning Shift: School resegregation in the 21st century http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-05-19/morning-shift-school-resegregation-21st-century <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Cover Flickr ECU Digital Collections.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We find out how to prepare for an emergency in Chicago. And, we examine the legacy of Brown vs. The Board of Education and the face of school segregation today.<br />&nbsp;</p><div class="storify"><iframe src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-school-segregation-for-the-21st-cent/embed?header=false&border=false" width="100%" height=750 frameborder=no allowtransparency=true></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-school-segregation-for-the-21st-cent.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-school-segregation-for-the-21st-cent" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: School resegregation in the 21st century" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 19 May 2014 08:04:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-05-19/morning-shift-school-resegregation-21st-century Morning Shift: School resegregation in the 21st century http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-05-19/morning-shift-school-resegregation-21st-century <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Cover Flickr ECU Digital Collections.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We find out how to prepare for an emergency in Chicago. And, we examine the legacy of Brown vs. The Board of Education and the face of school segregation today.<br />&nbsp;</p><div class="storify"><iframe src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-school-segregation-for-the-21st-cent/embed?header=false&border=false" width="100%" height=750 frameborder=no allowtransparency=true></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-school-segregation-for-the-21st-cent.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-school-segregation-for-the-21st-cent" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: School resegregation in the 21st century" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 19 May 2014 08:04:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-05-19/morning-shift-school-resegregation-21st-century Morning Shift: Learning from the past and looking for the future of Black History Month http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-02-26/morning-shift-learning-past-and-looking-future-black <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/by tartetatin1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We get a glimpse of the man behind African American History Month. And, we celebrate the music of Johnny Cash with music from Chicago actor Kent M. Lewis.</p><div class="storify"><iframe src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-learning-from-the-past-and-looking-f/embed?header=false" width="100%" height=750 frameborder=no allowtransparency=true></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-learning-from-the-past-and-looking-f.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-learning-from-the-past-and-looking-f" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Learning from the past and looking for the future of Black History Month" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Wed, 26 Feb 2014 09:05:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-02-26/morning-shift-learning-past-and-looking-future-black Morning Shift: The stories and voices of those who served http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-11-11/morning-shift-stories-and-voices-those-who-served <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/by USAG-Humphreys.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>It&#39;s Veterans Day and Morning Shift is taking a look at an arts organization that helps vets cope with mental health issues, and examining the issues that recent veterans and older veterans face.&nbsp;</p><div class="storify"><iframe src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-the-stories-and-voices-of-those-who/embed?header=false" width="100%" height=750 frameborder=no allowtransparency=true></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-the-stories-and-voices-of-those-who.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-the-stories-and-voices-of-those-who" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: The stories and voices of those who served" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 11 Nov 2013 08:25:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-11-11/morning-shift-stories-and-voices-those-who-served 'Valor Games' for disabled veterans to begin http://www.wbez.org/news/valor-games-disabled-veterans-begin-108375 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Vets 130812 AY.JPG" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">Hundreds of veterans and service members are set to compete in the annual Valor Games Midwest.</p><p dir="ltr">The event for the disabled begins Monday and ends Wednesday. Competitions include cycling, archery, powerlifting and indoor rowing.</p><p dir="ltr">The event is geared toward veterans or active service members who have been wounded or are ill. The first Valor Games started in Chicago two years ago, with events spreading to San Francisco, San Antonio and Durham, North Carolina.</p><p>Chicago&rsquo;s sponsors include the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Chicago Park District. Organizers say about 220 participants have registered for this year&rsquo;s games. Among those participating is Air Force Sergeant Israel Del Toro, or DT.</p><p>A bomb exploded under his truck eight years ago in Afghanistan. Del Toro lost fingers on both hands, had over 130 surgeries, got skin grafts for most of his body and wears a brace on his right leg. But for the next few days, he&rsquo;s cycling, powerlifting, and competing in the discus and shotput contests.</p><p>&ldquo;I thought all throughout my therapy, I could never work out at free weights, and when they encouraged me, &lsquo;Come on DT, try it, try it,&rsquo; I ended up winning gold in it,&rdquo; &nbsp;Del Toro says. &ldquo;That first Valor Games, I always say, that was the first time I actually got under a bench and started working out again.&rdquo;</p><p>Four years ago, Del Toro was the first disabled airman to re-enlist. For veterans who have left the military, he says the games can help them regain part of that experience.</p><p>&ldquo;They can start acting like they&rsquo;re back in the military, tell the same jokes they used to, pick on each other, &lsquo;cause that&rsquo;s just the camaraderie you don&rsquo;t get anywhere else,&rdquo; he says.</p><p>Howard Wilson, a retired Marine Corps veteran, agrees. After leaving the Marine Corps, he lost most of his vision through glaucoma, a disease that damages the optic nerve. He has competed at all three Valor Games in Chicago, and says despite the competition, everyone was working together at his first competition.</p><p>&ldquo;You had competitors, but everybody was still on the same side. We egged each other on, we made such each other do our best,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;The disability just opened up a new chapter in my life. I knew my vision was getting worse, I got depressed, started thinking about what I couldn&rsquo;t do. You see things slipping away: driving, your independence, you don&rsquo;t have to stop yourself from doing what you were doing initially, you just have to find other ways of doing it.&rdquo;</p><p>He says he is reinventing himself through sport, and hopes to qualify for the US Paralympic wrestling team.</p><p>Sport makes it easier to cope with injuries and depression, says retired Army Sergeant Noah Galloway. He was hit by a roadside bomb in Iraq and lost his left arm above the elbow and his left leg above the knee. He has since run two marathons and a series of races, including two <a href="http://toughmudder.com/">&ldquo;Tough Mudder&rdquo;</a> obstacle course races. He gets sponsored to run, but doesn&rsquo;t call himself a professional athlete. He says veterans just need to start participating.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve been at the bottom. I&rsquo;ve suffered the depression. I wanted nothing more than to have my arm and leg back, but when I accepted the fact that this is who I am, and I got up, and I got back in shape, and I started taking care of myself, everything turned around,&rdquo; Galloway says. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re not looking for Paralympian athletes, we&rsquo;re looking to take care of our veterans.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Alan Yu is a WBEZ metro desk intern. Follow him <a href="https://twitter.com/Alan_Yu039">@Alan_Yu039</a></em></p></p> Mon, 12 Aug 2013 08:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/valor-games-disabled-veterans-begin-108375 Updated benefits guide for service members, veterans http://www.wbez.org/news/economy/updated-benefits-guide-service-members-veterans-107373 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Screen Shot 2013-05-27 at 8.03.01 AM.png" alt="" /><p><p>The Illinois Attorney General&#39;s office has updated a guide to federal and state benefits for service members and veterans.</p><p>Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan&#39;s office says the 2013 edition of Benefits for Illinois Veterans is available in time for Memorial Day.</p><p>It features updates for veterans retraining programs and services for homeless veterans. The more than 150-page book also has information for military families and survivors.</p><p>Residents who want a paper copy of the guide can contact the attorney general&#39;s Military and Veterans&#39; Rights Bureau.</p><p>Digital copies are available <a href="http://illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/rights/Benefits%20for%20IL%20Veterans_2013.pdf">online</a>.</p></p> Mon, 27 May 2013 08:02:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/economy/updated-benefits-guide-service-members-veterans-107373 Afternoon Shift: Immigration as women's issue, Urlacher's retirement and insurance for vets http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2013-05-23/afternoon-shift-immigration-womens-issue-urlachers-retirement <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/immigration.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Is immigration a women&#39;s issue? Maria Pesqueira of advocacy group Mujeres Latinas en Acción says it is. Niala looks at why 1.3 veterans are uninsured. Finally, a national look at the Chicago public school closings.</p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/afternoon-shift-immigration-reform-retired-athlete.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/afternoon-shift-immigration-reform-retired-athlete" target="_blank">View the story "Afternoon Shift: Immigration as women's issue, Urlacher's retirement and insurance for vets" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Thu, 23 May 2013 12:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2013-05-23/afternoon-shift-immigration-womens-issue-urlachers-retirement Filipinos wait (and wait some more) for immigration reform http://www.wbez.org/news/filipinos-wait-and-wait-some-more-immigration-reform-105779 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F81060794&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/web.jpg" style="margin: 5px; float: left; height: 206px; width: 275px;" title="Remedios Cabagnot and her son Adolph have waited nearly twenty years for the rest of their family's reunification visas to come through.(WBEZ/Odette Yousef)" />Remedios Cabagnot keeps a shrine of small, framed photos and trinkets above the television in the Lakeview condo she shares with her adult son. They&rsquo;re photos of family members, and one is a black-and-white image of a young man in his army suit. It&rsquo;s Cabagnot&rsquo;s late husband, Serviliano, who was among hundreds of thousands of Filipinos who fought the Japanese under U.S. command during World War II. &ldquo;We really fought for them,&rdquo; Cabagnot reminisces. &ldquo;I can still remember the war. I was a teenager then.&rdquo;</p><p>Remedios, 86, is now saddled with a bevy of health troubles, including gout and lung problems. She has been fighting a separate battle of her own these last twenty years, one to reunite with her other grown children in the US. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a land of honey,&rdquo; she says, smiling. &ldquo;We loved America and we wanted to see America.&rdquo;</p><p>Remedios arrived in the U.S. in 1993, joining her husband who had come just a few years earlier through the Immigration Act of 1990. That act contained a special provision to allow Filipino World War II veterans to immigrate to the US. Their son Adolph was already in the U.S., but they left behind their other three adult children, assuming it would not take long to obtain visas for them and their families.</p><p>&ldquo;We petitioned them right away, [in] &lsquo;93,&rdquo; Remedios recalls. &ldquo;They gave us requirements: Do this, do that, so we did that. We filed everything, and then they were all approved.&rdquo; Remedios&rsquo; oldest son, Alphonsus, was approved in 1993, before the others. Remedios said her family is tight-knit, and they were encouraged by the speed with which the reunification petitions were approved.</p><p>But the Cabagnots discovered the bottleneck in family reunifications that has hindered many immigrants from establishing complete lives in the U.S.: The federal government caps the number of family reunification visas each year for non-dependent and non-immediate relations.</p><p>When the number of approved petitions exceeds the cap, it creates a queue. The longest queues are for prospective immigrants from China, India, Mexico, and, longest of all, the Philippines.</p><p>Last month the State Department was <a href="http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/bulletin/bulletin_5834.html">just getting to some Filipino visa applications from April of 1989</a>. Among those in line are children of Filipino war veterans. Jerry Clarito, Executive Director of the Chicago-based Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment, says this does not honor those veterans. &ldquo;They were in the front line of the battle. Now they are behind, waiting,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;So what happened with the veterans who came here? They came here, they continued contributing to America, but they&rsquo;re doing it alone.&rdquo;</p><p>Clarito plans to mobilize Filipinos now that Washington is revisiting the issue of immigration reform, and he has already started reaching out to congressional representatives. He says an obvious solution would be to exempt Filipino veterans&rsquo; children from the cap on family reunification visas, much like young, dependent children are not subjected to a limit.</p><p>Clarito said the local Filipino community did not push hard for such a change in 2007, the last year that Congress considered comprehensive immigration reform measures. But this time around, Clarito hopes lawmakers will seize the opportunity, even if they would only affect a small fraction of immigrant families. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a very, very small change, compared to the millions [of undocumented immigrants],&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;But to make this humane, and really comprehensive, we have to listen to those voices that are usually not being heard.&rdquo;</p><p>The story of Remedios Cabagnot and her children, meanwhile, has only gotten more complicated. After 17 years of waiting, Remedios&rsquo; oldest son, Alphonsus, got a visa number in 2010. But before he completed the final requirements to come to the U.S., his father, Serviliano Cabagnot, fell ill. Serviliano was hospitalized, and died at 91, before Alphonsus was able to come.</p><p>Remedios was then dealt a second blow when she received a letter from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. &ldquo;We were all devastated when they told us that our prayers and petitions died with my husband.&rdquo; Because veteran Serviliano Cabagnot had been the sponsor for the visa petitions, the petitions were revoked with his death.</p><p>Remedios&rsquo; attempts to change the sponsorship of her children&rsquo;s petitions to her name have been twice rejected. Last month, she appealed directly to Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, with the hope that his office might intervene. In an email to WBEZ, Durbin wrote &ldquo;It should be much easier to replace one U.S. citizen immediate family member with another on visa petitions &ndash; it&rsquo;s common sense particularly in this case.&rdquo;</p><p>In the meantime, Remedios and her children email each other updates on the status of visas, ever hopeful. &ldquo;I miss my children so much,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;My grandchildren, some are married. I miss them so much.&rdquo;</p><p>Follow Odette Yousef on Twitter @<a href="https://twitter.com/oyousef">oyousef</a></p><p><em>Correction: The original version of this story stated Remedios Cabagnot&#39;s age as 89. She is 86.</em></p></p> Tue, 26 Feb 2013 21:54:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/filipinos-wait-and-wait-some-more-immigration-reform-105779 A Forest Park vet struggles to keep others out of homelessness http://www.wbez.org/news/forest-park-vet-struggles-keep-others-out-homelessness-105502 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F79127553&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>When I met Homer Bizzle in his tiny food pantry in west suburban Forest Park, the lights were off.</p><p>Even though the pantry, called America Cares Too, had been open all day, Bizzle said the darkness was typical.</p><p>&ldquo;We just trying to conserve lights, cause, non-profit, you know,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Bizzle started the service project for vets and their families in 2011 after leaving the Army Reserves. He&rsquo;s been running the project on volunteer labor and financing it with small donations and cash out of his own paycheck.</p><p>&ldquo;I just wanted to give back to my fellow veterans and their families,&rdquo; Bizzle said.</p><p>By day, the 33-year-old native of the Austin neighborhood is an advocate for people with disabilities. In the evenings, he heads over to the his spare storefront on W. Harrison St. to meet up with the vets who come here seeking support.</p><p><strong>The battle at home</strong></p><p>In his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Obama announced that 34,000 troops will be home from Afghanistan by this time next year. That&rsquo;s a little over half the remaining troops in what most consider America&rsquo;s longest war.</p><p>But when they get here, many military vets face new, even longer battles - battles with trauma and homelessness. Many come home with mental or physical disabilities, and all come home to a slouching economy. Unemployment among veterans is higher than the national average, and <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/front-center/discrimination-against-our-countrys-heroes-103510" target="_blank">veteran status itself can be a stigma in a job search</a>. One in three men living on the streets is a veteran (although <a href="http://www.usich.gov/resources/uploads/asset_library/USICH-_Report_to_Congress_on_Homeless_Veterans.pdf" target="_blank">those numbers have declined in recent years</a>). And a recent study estimates that 22 vets commit suicide every day in the U.S.</p><p>All of this is familiar to Bizzle.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS7008_009-scr.JPG" style="float: right; height: 169px; width: 320px;" title="The America Cares Too storefront in Forest Park (WBEZ/Lewis Wallace)" /></p><p>&ldquo;Some of them suffer from PTSD, some anxiety, some have flash backs, shell shock...&rdquo; Bizzle said of the vets he serves.</p><p>While the VA does offer mental health services, Bizzle said traumatized vets who don&rsquo;t feel they can trust the government aren&rsquo;t left with many options.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s kinda hard for a soldier that&rsquo;s coming off active duty to get those kinda treatments in the civilian world because everything costs money, unfortunately,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>He believes the best solutions can come from veterans themselves.</p><p>&ldquo;No offense to politicians but they don&rsquo;t understand the veterans situation, and by me being a veteran I could understand our own situation, the problems we deal with,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>The main room at America Cares Too contains a donated TV and a desk with no phone (Bizzle uses his cellphone to run the project because the ComEd bill was too high).</p><p>Three computers sit on folding tables donated by a recovery group that meets next door. And in the back there&rsquo;s a spare office where Bizzle keeps vets&rsquo; files. The walls are lines with boxes of donated toys and socks and underwear purchased with TJ Maxx and Target gift cards. Bizzle&rsquo;s appeals to local government bodies and the VA for financial support <a href="http://austintalks.org/2013/01/former-austin-resident-starts-veterans-nonprofit/" target="_blank">have been unsuccessful so far</a>.</p><p><strong>A chronic lack of support</strong></p><p>This month Esquire reported that the Navy Seal who shot Osama Bin Laden is jobless and living without health insurance. The headline: <a href="http://www.esquire.com/features/man-who-shot-osama-bin-laden-0313" target="_blank">&ldquo;The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden...Is Screwed.&rdquo;</a> Although Esquire&rsquo;s story can&rsquo;t be independently verified - the man in question chose to remain anonymous for his own safety - it reflects a widespread disappointment in the services provided by the state for vets, especially younger vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. In the case of &ldquo;the shooter,&rdquo; as he&rsquo;s called in Esquire, the Navy Seal retired after 16 years of service. That meant no pension, and no more health care for his family. The cutoff point for long-term support is 20 years of service.</p><p>Bizzle&rsquo;s located just a couple miles from the Hines VA Hospital, which helps thousands of vets each year. The Hines complex includes housing for homeless vets, and a network of social service providers. I called them to ask how a vet would end up at a little joint like Bizzle&rsquo;s.</p><p>&ldquo;I think the predominant reasons are, there are a small cohort of veterans who just do not want to be in any system,&rdquo; said Anthony Spillie, the head of social work at Hines.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS7009_015-scr.JPG" style="height: 214px; width: 380px; float: left;" title="Homer Bizzle reorganizes his small food pantry for veterans. (WBEZ/Lewis Wallace)" />There are an estimated 18,000 homeless vets in the greater Chicago area, and he says that despite offering extensive services, some people just fall through the cracks. Groups like Bizzle&rsquo;s can help catch them.</p><p>&ldquo;There is no wrong door approach,&rdquo; Spillie said. &ldquo;You know most of the time you think of accessing services through the front door. Well, we&rsquo;ll open whatever door we can possibly open for veterans to end and treat their homelessness.</p><p>Bizzle wants to hire veterans to be case workers and counselors, and one day turn his own Bellwood home into a transitional housing center for <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-27/returning-home-presents-different-challenges-female-veterans-89707" target="_blank">female vets</a>.</p><p>But the lack of support is frustrating - and so is seeing what his fellow vets go through.</p><p>&ldquo;It be times I wanna throw that uniform in the garbage,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Follow <a href="https://twitter.com/LewisPants" target="_blank">Lewis Wallace on Twitter</a>.</p></p> Wed, 13 Feb 2013 10:54:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/forest-park-vet-struggles-keep-others-out-homelessness-105502