Today marks Veterans Day, the federal holiday honoring U.S. men and women who have fought in the armed forces. Veterans continue to face extremely high levels of unemployment, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress and homelessness. Since 2000, nearly 6,000 service members have experienced traumatic amputations from injuries caused by improvised explosive devices and other war-related dangers. Nearly one million active service members have been diagnosed with at least one mental health disorder since 2000; nearly half of those have been diagnosed with two or more. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, an estimated 22 veterans take their own lives each day. Last year, more U.S. military personnel died by their own hands than the hands of others. On any given night, nearly 63,000 veterans are homeless. Many suffer chronic debilitating mental health problems. We are joined by long-time writer and photographer Ann Jones, author of the new book, “They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America’s Wars — The Untold Story.”

eTown webisode #349 - Slaid Cleaves - “Whim of Iron”

Hearing on e-town the cleverly turned phrase “Whim of Iron” that is the title (and chorus) of this song made me think of creative and determined people I know. Too bad that the video is missing Cleaves’s introduction to the song, in which he attributes the phrase to his grandfather, and the inspiration to his aunt.