A Special Report
Serving Connecticut’s Veterans
As a national scandal over long waits for medical appointments engulfed the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs this spring, The Mirror began to explore questions about how well the VA was serving Connecticut’s vets. We examined the wait times for care at VA facilities here; whether post-scandal reforms and budget increases will lead to better, more timely care; and whether the VA is making progress in preventing veteran suicides, a plague the agency has been grappling with for years. These issues are explored today in three stories, and in a video in which some veterans and their caregivers talk intimately about the struggles they face.
Suicide by veterans remains a daunting problem as VA struggles to improve care
While there’s evidence some progress has been made, the situation remains daunting, and suicide remains a risk to those who have survived the perils of the battlefield.
A refuge and a resource for veterans
Mike McMinn (right) channeled his focus on his studies at Tunxis Community College, and that’s where he found a bridge between his military and civilian worlds: the Veterans’ OASIS, a lounge for service members on campus.
Hear Connecticut veterans talk about their struggles with mental health and homelessness and see where they turn for help.
A breakdown of the approximately 1,000 homeless vets in Connecticut.
While Connecticut has a relatively low rate of veteran suicides, it is still almost twice that of the civilian population.
Veterans make up about 6.5 percent of the U.S. population, and about 7.3 percent of the Connecticut population.
A total of 58,155 Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers were allocated between fiscal years 2008 and 2013.