veterans

Kevin Lavery / WKAR

It's Veterans Day, and we at WKAR would like to thank all service members, past and present, for their contributions to our country.

Of the more than 21 million U.S. military veterans, more than two million are women.

Despite their accomplishments, many women who've served feel marginalized and voiceless.  They say women in uniform have to work harder than men to gain respect.

Kyle Hein photo
Courtesy photo / 'Invisible Wounds'

In World War One, soldiers called it “shell shock.” Today, the terminology is changing from PTSD to simply Post Traumatic Stress. As Veterans Day nears, we talk with the co-producers of a new MSU-produced film about veterans and the ongoing fight they live off the battlefield.


Justin Mendoza photo
Courtesy photo / Quicken Loans

The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency is working with employers and other organizations, including some that often compete with each other, to help veterans find jobs. We talk with David Dunckel, an employment analyst with the MVAA, and Justin Mendoza of Quicken Loans about the Why Michigan? Talent Attraction Team.


Courtesy photo / Michigan Department of Veterans’ Affairs

Back in February, a state audit revealed serious deficiencies in care, staffing and record keeping at the state run Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. We talk with the recently appointed interim director of Michigan’s Department of Veterans’ Affairs, James Redford.


Tom Barrett photo
Courtesy photo / Rep. Tom Barrett

Republican state Rep. Tom Barrett and Democratic State Sen. David Knezek are working together to form the Michigan Veterans Institute. The non-profit will work to help vets get services they need. Current State talks with Representative Barrett about the project.


Origami Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center photo
Kevin Lavery / WKAR

On this Veterans Day, we visit a brain injury clinic in mid-Michigan that offers assisted living services to veterans with traumatic brain injuries.


Courtesy of Steeplechase Films / PBS

Tue. Nov. 10 at 9pm on WKAR-HD 23.1 | Take an unflinching look at the reality of warfare through interviews with disabled veterans.

Veterans Day | Michigan Voices

Nov 9, 2015

In honor of Veterans Day, hear Michigan veterans tell their stories and remind us of their sacrifices, and those of their comrades.

Fred Roberto Jr. photo
Courtesy photo / Jodi Roberto Hancock

This week and next, Lansing’s Peppermint Creek Theatre Company will stage a production of stories told by veterans and their families. Current State talks with director Blake Bowen and Jodi Hancock, who will tell the story of her father’s Vietnam service in “Telling: Lansing.”


Dick Thelen photo
Kevin Lavery / WKAR

In the waning days of World War Two, a Japanese submarine sank the USS Indianapolis. Hundreds of sailors who survived the sinking spent four days in the water, facing sharks, dehydration and exposure. Current State’s Kevin Lavery brings us the incredible story of survivor Dick Thelen of Lansing.


Our Neighbors in Action segment this week looks at Camp Liberty in Jackson County. It’s a volunteer operation that gives veterans a chance to spend time outdoors enjoying activities like fishing, hunting, hiking and canoeing.


Norm Knappman photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR

Current State talks with Norm Knappman of Howell about the long-term effects he has suffered after his exposure to mustard gas during World War II.


Courtesy of Ryan Parrott

In February, we brought you the story of Ryan Parrott. He’s a former Navy Seal sniper from Michigan who now runs “Sons of the Flag”, an organization that helps veterans with burn injuries. Parrott is coming back to Michigan from Dallas, where he lives now, to serve as the grand marshal of Dearborn’s Memorial Day parade on Monday. With a name like Parrott, you know he picked up a nickname in the Navy Seals--he’s called Birdman.

Lansing’s Peppermint Creek Theatre Company is teaming up with a national organization that gathers stories from veterans and their families for an upcoming project. “The Telling Project” wants to hear from Michigan people with military ties for what Peppermint Creek will call “Telling: Lansing”. It will be staged in November.

Retired U.S. Army First Lieutenant William Milzarski.
WKAR/Kevin Lavery

    The Purple Heart is the oldest military award the United States of America gives to its service members.  It’s sometimes called “the medal nobody wants,” because it’s given to those killed or wounded in combat.  Now, a mid-Michigan man has joined those ranks.  First Lieutenant William Milzarski is  retired from the U-S Army.  He first enlisted back on August 1, 1990 -- the day before Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.  He spent just a few years in as a heavy construction operator.  He was injured, got out and eventually went to Cooley Law School.

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