Nikki Wentling, Stars and Stripes

Nikki Wentling

Stars and Stripes

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Recent articles by Nikki:

Arlington National Cemetery loosens some restrictions on military funerals

More people will be allowed to attend funerals at Arlington National Cemetery starting Monday as the site moves to the next step of its phased reopening. → Read More

Active coronavirus cases at VA have more than doubled since the start of June

The Department of Veterans Affairs started the month with a hopeful milestone – fewer than 1,000 patients remained sick with the coronavirus. In recent days, however, the number of cases has again climbed past 2,000. → Read More

Democratic lawmakers condemn Trump’s plan to deploy military to protests

Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., and Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., described Trump’s statements as destabilizing, irresponsible and a step toward autocratic rule. → Read More

VA headquarters vandalized; DC mayor announces curfew

Department of Veterans Affairs offices in downtown Washington were vandalized as peaceful weekend protests over George Floyd’s death devolved into clashes with police and destruction. → Read More

VA secretary wants to keep Nazi gravestones for historical purposes

Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie argued Thursday against calls from lawmakers to remove German soldiers’ gravestones etched with swastikas from VA-operated cemeteries. → Read More

VA trials of hydroxychloroquine will continue despite troubling studies

About 1,300 VA patients have received hydroxychloroquine. The department did not say how many of those patients recovered from the virus nor how many died. → Read More

Honor Flight Network cancels trips to DC through August

The Honor Flight Network, which sends veterans to tour the war memorials in Washington, D.C., said Thursday that it would cancel trips to the nation’s capital through the end of August. → Read More

New law restores GI Bill benefits to veterans affected by pandemic

A new law will restore GI Bill benefits to veterans whose campuses closed or who were forced to withdraw from classes because of the virus. → Read More

VA nurses demand more protection against coronavirus

As a nurse, Dana Horton’s job is to keep patients alive — a task that has become more difficult as the coronavirus spreads and worsens in the United States, she said. → Read More

Study of malaria drug on VA virus patients shows no benefit, more deaths

An anti-malaria drug repeatedly touted by President Donald Trump as a “game-changer” in the coronavirus pandemic didn’t work on patients recently treated by the Department of Veterans Affairs. There were more deaths among those patients who were given the drug, hydroxychloroquine, than patients who received standard care, researchers found. → Read More

‘It's out of control’: VA nurses demand more protection against coronavirus

Nurses at the VA hospital in Atlanta say the rationing of personal protective equipment is creating a dangerous environment for medical workers. → Read More

Friends, advocates, Vietnam War veterans die days apart

Vietnam War veterans Charles Sharples and Craige Osborne were friends, neighbors and part of the gay community in California’s Coachella Valley. → Read More

Medal of Honor recipient Bennie Adkins, known for Vietnam heroics, dies of coronavirus

Medal of Honor recipient Bennie Adkins is credited with killing 135 to 175 Vietnamese in a nearly four-day battle while being wounded 18 times and helping fellow soldiers to safety. → Read More

VA, Treasury will automatically send stimulus checks to veterans

The VA could not give a date when the payments may be distributed but indicated it could take weeks. → Read More

VA secretary refuses to share documents that detail PPE supply, lawmakers say

After reassuring lawmakers for weeks that it has no shortage of personal protective equipment for its medical staff, Department of Veterans Affairs leaders are refusing to share documents with Congress that give an official count of its supply. → Read More

VA sees biggest single-day jump in reported coronavirus deaths

Two hundred veterans have died from the coronavirus at Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals across the country, the department said Friday. → Read More

VA spent $200,000 on controversial anti-malaria drug touted as coronavirus 'game-changer'

Department of Veterans Affairs officials said March 26 that it was “irresponsible” to suggest the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine had any merit as a coronavirus treatment. The same day, the VA placed an emergency order for it. → Read More

Wounded Warrior Project donating $10 million to veterans affected by pandemic

The nonprofit started reaching out to its members — more than 100,000 veterans — to identify who might be in financial distress. Members in need will be able to apply for $1,000 grants, intended to go toward groceries, utilities or housing. → Read More

Disabled veterans could get left out of stimulus money, lawmakers warn

For some veterans and their families, VA payments are their only income. But, because these payments are not taxable, the IRS lacks payment information for these individuals — whose numbers are potentially in the millions, advocates said. → Read More

Advocates ask VA to immediately distribute funding for homeless veterans

Advocates urged the Department of Veterans Affairs on Monday to immediately disburse millions of dollars included for homeless veterans in the sweeping $2 trillion stimulus bill Congress approved March 27. → Read More