Returning now to veterans on this Memorial Day weekend. Close to one out of two veterans who've served in Iraq or Afghanistan have now filed disability claims for service-related injuries - everything from hearing loss and back problems to mental health claims like PTSD. The percentage of vets making claims now is more than double the rate of previous wars. The total cost could eventually come to close to a trillion dollars.
Marilynn Marchione of the Associated Press reported on the staggering increase and what might explain it.
Every few weeks on the program, we've been running an occasional series called Why Music Matters, where we bring you the stories of music fans in their own words, about how certain songs or even bands have changed their lives. Today's story comes from a young artist in Seattle. Her name is Vivi Perez, and she almost gave up on high school, that is until a community activist group called El Centro de la Raza introduced her to the music business.
VIVI PEREZ: I felt kind of, like, I didn't know where I was going a lot in high school.
Since 2001, more than 700,000 American children have had one or more parents deployed overseas by the military. Missed birthdays and other milestones become a part of life for military kids who are not always vocal about their feelings. In Grand Forks, N.D., a play called Deployed helped give some of them a voice. Meg Luther Lindholm reports.
Throughout our show this Memorial Day weekend, we're hearing from members of the 182nd Infantry Regiment of the Army National Guard. In this installment, Spc. Michael Cella remembers a close call while on patrol.
Throughout the summer, NPR News will look at the history, culture and current state of the American Dream. NPR's Ari Shapiro and John Ydstie join host Rachel Martin to take a political and economic look at the ultimate American aspiration.