(U.S. Air National Guard/Staff Sgt. Curtis J. Lenz)
Herman "Herk" Streitburger was on his final bombing mission and due to go home when his plane was hit by German fighters over Hungary in 1944. He was captured and held as a prisoner of war, enduring starvation, forced marches and a harrowing escape.
Streitburger just turned 100 years old. That makes him a national treasure as well as a Granite State hero.
Streitburger, who lives in Bedford, gets around using a cane and remains active in POW groups and events. It was he who donated his family Bible to a POW "missing man" display at the VA Medical Center in Manchester, which prompted a federal First Amendment lawsuit.
And every year, he tells his World War II story to Manchester schoolchildren. It's a story worth retelling.
It's been three years since doctors misdiagnosed an infection that was devouring the spine of Marine Corps veteran Brian Tally.
It's been two years since his hopes for damages from the Department of Veterans Affairs were dashed when he was informed that the doctor who made the mistake was a contractor — and the statute of limitations for legal action against the care provider had passed just weeks before he got the news.
And it's been a little under a year since he drafted the first "Tally Bill," a piece of legislation that he and a handful of vets and advocates stitched together — before that first bill died quietly in Congress in Sept. 2018.
Now, Tally might finally have a chance for closure.
Dr. Keita Franklin, Defense Suicide Prevention Office director, speaks to a crowd about the Department of Defense's plan to combat the issue of suicide among military members at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Jan. 30, 2017. The 15th Wing clinic was recognized for its superior efforts to prevent suicide in 2016. (Kaitlin Daddona/U.S. Air Force)
Editor's Note: This article by Richard Sisk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.
In the wake of a troubling trend of veteran suicides and at least one shooting on the premises of Department of Veterans Affairs facilities in recent weeks, VA leaders are preparing for congressional scrutiny and hearings on the matter.
What they're not doing, however, is planning to ramp up security at VA centers through the use of metal detectors. While incidents at individual VA facilities may prompt local reviews, the majority of security decisions are not made at the national level.
The Trump administration is looking into offering grants to connect veterans who are not already getting care from the Department of Veterans Affairs with the outside support they need as part a new initiative to tackle veterans suicides, a senior administration official said on Tuesday.