veterans

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Sedgwick County is creating a new discount card program for military veterans and active-duty personnel.

Hugo Phan / KMUW

Former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole made the rounds at his namesake Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center in Wichita Tuesday.

Dozens of veterans, patients and medical staff lined the hallways to greet newly appointed Col. Dole. President Donald Trump signed legislation Monday authorizing the honorary promotion of Dole from captain to colonel in the U.S. Army in honor of his service in World War II.

When a federal judge decided in July that the Veterans Health Administration was liable for the death of an Iraq veteran who was treated at the VA and later killed himself, it was thought to be one of the few instances nationwide where the VA has been held directly responsible for a veteran’s suicide.

Now the federal government is appealing that verdict.

A notice of appeal filed Wednesday said the United States is seeking review of the judgment by U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson, as well as her findings of fact and conclusions of law.

Army veteran Cody Bolkenstyn remembers when his vehicle exploded in Iraq. And for him, hearing the sound of fireworks on the Fourth of July can put him back into that moment.

“It’s hard to control my breath,” he said. “In that instant I feel like I just got blown up or shot and then I kind of come back to reality really quick.”

Veterans Health

Almost 1,000 veterans in Missouri, Kansas and Illinois were denied care at non-VA facilities because their wait times were incorrectly reported, an audit released last week concludes.

The report, by the Office of Inspector General for the Veterans Health Administration, found that 18 percent of appointments for new patients at VA facilities in the three states had wait times longer than 30 days. The facilities' own electronic scheduling systems, however, showed only 10 percent had wait times of more than 30 days.

Zach Gibson / Getty Images/NPR.org

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran is a frequent critic of the health care system run by the Veteran’s Administration. But at a recent town-hall meeting, the Kansas Republican made it clear he doesn’t want to replace it.

Moran is a strong supporter of the Choice Program, which gives veterans who live more than 40 miles from a VA medical facility the option of seeing private providers closer to home.

But he says he is opposed to efforts by some in the Trump administration to do away with the VA health care system.

Elana Gordon

A company that challenged the no-bid contract awarded to Cerner Corp. to update the electronic health records system of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs is appealing the dismissal of its lawsuit.

CliniComp International Inc. of San Diego on Monday filed a notice of appeal after the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C., last week threw out its lawsuit on jurisdictional grounds.

Because many of the documents in the case are sealed, including the court’s orders, the precise reasons for the case’s dismissal were not made public.

Vet-to-Vet Support Command, Inc. / Facebook

More than 40 community programs and agencies that provide services for veterans are coming together for an expo in Wichita on Saturday.

The 2nd annual Veterans Awareness Expo will feature informational displays and activities at the Mid-America All-Indian Center.

Event organizer Patty Gnefkow calls the expo a “one-stop-shop” for veteran services.

KCUR

A torrent of civil lawsuits over alleged sexual abuse by a former employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Leavenworth is expected now that a federal judge has refused to dismiss one of the cases.

Three more lawsuits were filed this week in federal court, bringing the total to 15 so far, and dozens more are expected to be filed in coming months.

The suits by military veterans accuse Mark E. Wisner, a one-time physician’s assistant at the hospital who held himself out as a doctor, of sexually molesting them during physical exams.

Courtesy

Cities across the country are honoring veterans today with parades, memorials and free dinners. But many Americans may not know how the holiday came about: Its roots are in Emporia, Kansas.

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