05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home | Louisiana Public Square | LPB
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05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Soldiers returning from the Vietnam Conflict in many cases faced a hostile homecoming. Post-9/11 veterans, conversely, have been welcomed with open arms. Despite the different reception the American public gave them, both sets of soldiers have shared similar difficulties transitioning back to civilian life. Last year as part of the Veterans Coming Home public media initiative, we explored the challenges that returning veterans face and the numerous state resources that are available to them.

Louisiana Public Square explores these issues in a special town hall event.

Airs Wednesday, September 27, 9:00 pm on LPB.

Since 2001, 2.6 million service men and women have been deployed to support operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Louisiana joins 11 other states with the second highest percentage of veterans aged 25 and under. The needs for these younger veterans as they return stateside are plentiful including securing civilian employment, obtaining healthcare and oftentimes housing, and addressing the mental rigors of transitioning from military to civilian life.

And with less than one-half of 1% of the U.S. population in the armed services today, reintegrating service members into communities whose understanding of war is gleaned largely from television may be as difficult as fighting a war. So, what challenges face our returning veterans; what resources are available to assist them and how do we bridge the “Military/Civilian Divide?” Louisiana Public Square explores these issues and more on a special town hall edition, “Louisiana Veterans Coming Home” aired Wednesday, May 25 at 7 p.m. on LPB HD.

This program is part of Veterans Coming Home, a public media effort to support veterans made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

For more information on the Veterans Coming Home initiative and national and local stories, visit veterans.lpb.org


Louisiana Public Broadcasting is part of the national Veterans Coming Home initiative. Funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and led by Wisconsin Public Television, Veterans Coming Home builds on public media’s strengths to address the needs of veterans in local communities.

Continued local support for Louisiana Veterans Coming Home is provided by Entergy. 10% of Entergy’s Louisiana workforce are military veterans…Entergy and Veterans…Together We Power Life.

Over the next several months, LPB will be producing content that focuses on the challenges that Louisiana’s returning veterans face in the areas of employment, healthcare, housing and mental stress. On May 25 at 7 p.m., LPB will air a special edition of Louisiana Public Square, “Louisiana Veterans Returning Home.” For more information on the Veterans Coming Home initiative and national and local stories, visit veteranscominghome.org and veterans.lpb.org

Our Panelists:

The following organizations offer counseling resources to veterans.

Lifeline for Vets – (888) 777-4443 Connects callers to other veterans of America’s armed forces. This hotline is “vets serving vets” and provides needed help to veterans, their friends, and their families.

National Center for PTSD – Provides resources to individuals seeking PTSD care for themselves or loved ones.

Vet Centers – (877) WAR-VETS (927-8387) Provides readjustment counseling to Veterans, active duty Service members and their families in a safe, confidential environment. Over 70% of VA’s Vet Center staff are Veterans of which the majority are combat Veterans.

Veterans Crisis Line – (800) 273-8255 Connects veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Vet¬erans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text.

The Mission Continues – Empowers veterans facing the challenge of ad-justing to life at home to find new missions.

The following organizations and programs offer resources to Louisiana’s veterans to help make their transition back into civilian life less challenging.

Transition Needs Survey – 2014 Louisiana Armed Forces Foundation Veterans Transition Needs Study in collaboration with the La. Dept. of Veteran Affairs

American Legion, Department of Louisiana / State resources for the nation's largest wartime veterans service organization / http://www.lalegion.org/

Bastion Community of Resilience / A neighborhood intentionally designed for Louisiana’s returning warriors and families. http://joinbastion.org/ 1-888-737-5577 / Dylan Tete / (504) 237-2321 / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Entergy / Military-Friendly Employer / Employing thousands of veterans and those currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces across our business / Contact: Roger C. Kitchens .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve / D.O.D. initiative promoting cooperation and understanding between civilian employers and National Guard & Reserve employees. / Frank Huff / 318-290-5246

Geaux Seven Blue Star Moms / Provides support for active duty service personnel, promotes patriotism, and assist Veterans organizations in Central. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Heroes on the Water / To help warriors relax, rehabilitate and reintegrate through kayak fishing and the outdoors. / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) / Paul Tullier / 985-630-7116

Louisiana Armed Forces Foundation / Assisting returning veterans in achieving successful readmission into civilian life by easing the “transition home.” Also helping to establish Louisiana’s Homegrown by Heroes program for veteran farmers. / Jaye Townsend / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Louisiana Department of Veteran Affairs / To provide comprehensive care and quality service to Louisiana’s Veterans and their families with regard to health care, education, disability benefits, long-term care and burial honors. http://www.vetaffairs.la.gov/ / Alex Juan, Media Contact / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) / John Nolan, Outreach / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) /

LSU Entrepreneurship Boot Camp for Veterans with Disabilities / Dedicated to teaching veterans the entrepreneurial skills they need to start their own businesses. / 225-578-0313 / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Louisiana Workforce Commission Veterans Program / Veteran services provides employment assistance and training opportunities to Veterans and other eligible persons. / http://www.laworks.net/WorkforceDev/VeteransServices/Vet_Main.asp / Scottie J. LeBlanc, Veterans Program Coordinator / (225)342-7664 / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Magnolia Care Center / The only licensed private Veteran’s home in the State of Louisiana. Located in Baton Rouge / Byron Comeaux, American Legion .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

National Resource Conservation Service / NRCS conservation programs for veterans including financial and technical assistance. / Dexter Sapp /(318)473-7688 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) / http://www.la.nrcs.usda.gov

Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System / V.A. healthcare facility located at 1601 Perdido Street New Orleans, LA 70112 /800-935-8387 / http://www.neworleans.va.gov

Team Red, White & Blue / Social community connecting civilians and veterans in Lafayette / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Troops to Teachers / A national program funded by the Department of Defense that assists military soldiers and their spouses to transition into teaching at the K-12 public schools. / http://www.laartroopstoteachers.com / Brittany Watkins / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

U.S.D.A. Farm Service Agency / FSA administers farm loans, commodity price support, disaster relief, conservation, and other available resources. To find your local FSA county office, visit http://offices.usda.gov.

U.S.D.A. Rural Development / http://www.rd.usda.gov/la Committed to helping improve the economy and quality of life in rural America through loans and technical assistance. Clarence Hawkins, State Director / (318) 473-7920

Veteran Peer Support / Veteran to veteran social network connecting with soldiers in the Lafayette area before they deploy. / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Women Veterans of Louisiana / The oldest Louisiana women veterans group in existence comprised of women from all branches of service and those who have served since WWII. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Wounded War Heroes / Louisiana-based hunting & fishing social club for veterans http://woundedwarheroes.org / Mike Chesne / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The Mission Continues / The Mission Continues empowers veterans who are adjusting to life at home to find purpose through community impact. / missioncontinues.org

Soldier for Life / Online home for retired soldiers featuring map of resources in your area of the state. / https://soldierforlife.army.mil/

Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) / Caring for the families of fallen soldiers. / http://www.taps.org

Fort Polk Soldier For Life-Transition Assistance Program / Tami Culbreath, Transition Services Manager /(337) 531-4621/1591 / Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FortPolkSFLTAP/

Children's Resources

Coming Home: Military Families Cope with Change Program / A 2009 primetime special with Queen Latifah and John Mayer that highlights four military families and their stories of hope, courage and strength. http://www.pbs.org/parents/cominghome/

Coming Home: Military Families Cope with Change Resources / Activities from PBS KIDS for children going through the transition process as their veteran parent returns home. Includes Arthur, Clifford the Big Red Dog and Mr. Rogers. http://www.pbs.org/parents/cominghome/activities.html

Sesame Street for Military Families: Transitions / Resource kits from Sesame Street for children in military families. http://www.sesamestreet.org/parents/topicsandactivities/toolkits/veterans#

I just watched this program,thank you so much for highlighting this subject.I am a retired Air Force Master Sergeant,having given 29 years to the military. The problem with the program this evening was the Army was the only service represented. Louisiana has a Navy base, Coast Guard, Air Force, and the headquarters of the Marine Corps Reserve in the state. Not only is there active duty, but reserveists from all 5 services. Granted,it is impossible to cover all of the issues that need to be covered in 60 minutes. I do appreciate you trying. I believe a program should be done to focus on the problems of reservists coming home from deployments. Thank you again for this, people in Louisiana are the most compassionate and helpful. I am proud to live here.
Naomi Soliday

Posted by Naomi Soliday  on  05/25  at  08:15 PM

Well done very informative program. Brothers in arms here at the Alex VAMC thank you & staff.
Roger Surratt
Vietnam, ‘70-‘71

Posted by Roger Surratt  on  06/06  at  01:55 PM
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Current Topic

     09/18 - Revisiting Reform

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended?
In 2017, Louisiana’s legislature passed the Justice Reinvestment Act, which sought to reduce the state’s highest-in-the-nation incarceration rate. The bill was championed by Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards and received bipartisan support including from community and business leaders. Now, just over a year later, the legislation has become a political football. State Attorney General Jeff Landry and Senator John Kennedy, both Republicans considering a run against Edwards in 2019, suggest that the reform package is a failure. They cite murders committed by two inmates released since the Act’s implementation.

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended? Has the legislation put more residents in harm’s way or are plea deals part of the problem?

Louisiana Public Square looks for answers to these questions and more on “Revisiting Reform” Wednesday, September 26 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE.

Our panelists are:
• E. Pete Adams, Executive Director, La. District Attorneys Association
• Alanah Hebert, ACLU of Louisiana & Justice Reinvestment Task Force
• Andrew Hundley, Louisiana Parole Project
• Sec. Jimmy LeBlanc, La. Department of Corrections

The program features interviews with Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry; Rep. Terry Landry, D- New Iberia, with the Justice Reinvestment Oversight Council; Deputy Assistant Secretary Natalie Laborde, with the Louisiana Department of Corrections; and Stephanie Riegel, editor of the Baton Rouge Business Report.

LPB CEO, Beth Courtney and professor Robert Mann with the LSU Manship School of Mass Communication host the show.

Louisiana Public Square can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

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Special Presentation

     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!

     10/18 - Louisiana Veterans Back Home

What are the programs and initiatives helping our veterans successfully transition to civilian life?

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