Veterans’ voices: After combat, a wait at the VA

Samara Freemark
Public Insight Network

American troops returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan are joining a growing queue of veterans seeking compensation — payments and other support — for service-related disabilities from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Across the country, local VA offices are struggling under a backlog of more than 800,000 disabilities claims. In the meantime, veterans wait.

These are some of their stories. (Scroll down to hear their voices.)




>> Add your story. What’s your experience of waiting for VA benefits?

More on delays at the Department of Veterans Affairs

After combat, a wait: Veterans face months of uncertainty on disability claims

Explore an interactive map of delays across the country from the Center for Investigative Reporting


Samara Freemark Reporter
Public Insight Network

Reporter/producer Samara Freemark joined the Public Insight Network after four years at Radio Diaries in New York City, where she spent her time helping ordinary people tell their extraordinary stories for NPR. In the process, she developed an unshakeable belief in the beauty and power of personal narrative.

Before Radio Diaries Samara worked as an environmental reporter, a posting that took her to sinking islands, Superfund sites, and literal snakepits – Burmese pythons, to be exact. She also churned out copy and tape in the newsroom of WUOM Ann Arbor. Before settling on a career in radio she tried out policy research, community organizing, and urban planning before deciding she preferred soundwaves to spreadsheets.