Media

By the authors or reviewers of Our Veterans: Winners, Losers, Friends, and Enemies on the New Terrain of Veterans Affairs

Is Denis McDonough a Slow Reader?
American Prospect | 5.14.24 | Suzanne Gordon & Steve Early
“The VA secretary’s professed ignorance about a critical report he commissioned– describing an ‘existential threat’ to his agency–is alarming, to say the least.”
Can a Marine Vet Win in West Virginia?
BarnRaiser | 5.2.24 | Interview with Steve Early
“Zach Shrewsbury says his Senate campaign is bigger than party politics—it’s about class struggle.”
A Veteran in Labor Runs for U.S. Senate
Barn Raiser | 3.14.24 | Dan Osborn interviewed by Steve Early
“In his union-backed independent campaign, Dan Osborn is trying to unite workers, farmers, fellow veterans, and small business people against a MAGA incumbent.”
The Union Legacy of Former Marine Ron Carey
In These Times | 4.17.24 | Steve Early
“The late Teamster leader Ron Carey succeeded in turning around a corrupt and conservative union. Today’s labor reformers looking to revitalize their own unions can take lessons from his career.”
Privatization Warning
American Prospect | 4.11.24 | Suzanne Gordon & Steve Early
“A top level VA advisory panel, composed of outside medical experts, has issued a red alert about outsourcing.”
Trump vs Biden on Veterans Affairs
Washington Monthly |May-June 2024 | Suzanne Gordon & Steve Early
“Trump mocked veterans and privatized their health care. Biden passed the PACT Act but hasn’t reversed course on privatization.”
LAWCHA Journal Review of Our Veterans
Labor (Vol. 21, Issue I) | March 2024 | Bob Bussell
“Military veterans occupy an honored yet ambivalent place in American culture. They are hailed as exemplars of cherished social values (e.g., patriotism, sacrifice, selflessness) but often neglected or ignored once they reenter civilian life.”
Trump Plans for VA Will Make Biden Outsourcing Worse
American Prospect | 2.19.24 | Steve Early & Suzanne Gordon
“While Republicans plan further VA dismantling, a Biden cabinet member tells VA workers to ‘stay out of politics’ in 2024!”
VA’a Private Health Plan Faces Huge Cost Overruns
Washington Monthly | 1.3.24 |Suzanne Gordon & Russell Lemle
“The program was supposed to save money and lead to better healthcare outcomes. It’s done neither.”
PTSD Is a Nightmare. A Fully Funded VA Can Provide Relief.
Jacobin | 12.07.23 |Steve Early & Suzanne Gordon
“A new film and memoir explore the ‘invisible storm’ of PTSD and its successful treatment at the VA.”
Parallel Fights Against Privatization
Against Current | December 2023 |Steve Early & Suzanne Gordon
“Veterans’ healthcare and traditional Medicare face the same threats from healthcare profiteers and their political helpers.”
The Pentagon’s Failing Campaign Against Hate
The Nation | November 2023 | Jasper Craven
“How the military continues to downplay the spread of extremism in its ranks.”

The Rise, Fall, & Rise Again of School Based Military Training
New Politics | 11.20.2023 | Steve Early
“JROTC is sold to teachers, parents, and school board members as an opportunity for adult mentoring, exposure to military discipline, and inculcation of civic values.”

$23 Billion up for Grabs in VA Out-Sourcing
American Prospect | 10.25.23 | Suzanne Gordon & Steve Early
“Joe Biden’s embrace of outsourcing just got worse.”
VA Firings Reversed
Social Policy | Fall 2023 | Steve Early & Suzanne Gordon
“But now Trump and the GOP have made this union grievance settlement into a presidential campaign issue.”
Soldiers as Workers in a Toxic Workplace
Labor Notes | 10.13.23 | Review of ‘Our Veterans’ by Betsy Zucker
“The authors assess the job hazards of military service members from an occupational health and safety lens.”
Picketing at Fort Miley: VA Nurses Fight Scheduling Changes
Beyond Chron | 10.23.23 | Steve Early & Suzanne Gordon
“The national wave of healthcare worker unrest over job stress, burn-out, and short staffing has reached the VA in San Francisco.”

The New Terrain of Veterans Affairs

Reinventing Solidarity | New Labor Forum Podcast | 9.1.23 | Interview with Mark Dudzic

“This episode focuses on a discussion of publicly funded and operated health care in the United States. If this might seem a pipe dream with no national precedence, the authors of the recent book, Our Veterans: Winners, Losers, Friends and Enemies on the New Terrain of Veterans Affairs, suggest it’s not.”

The Militarism of Ron DeSantis
The Baffler | March 2023 | Jasper Craven
“The governor’s expressions of support for veterans, coupled with his own military record, have provided a valuable political shield—one that protects against attack and makes it easier to smuggle radical right-wing policies into the mainstream.”
A Progressive Analysis of Veterans and Veterans Affairs
New Politics | Summer 2023 | Book review by Betsy Zucker
“Our Veterans uncovers the dangers to which service members may be exposed during their enlistment, the difficulties they experience after discharge, and the corporations which line up to profit from them.”
Gunning for More VA Privatization
The American Prospect | 7.11.23 | Suzanne Gordon & Steve Early
“Veterans just dodged a GOP bullet to their health system, but now they face bipartisan fire once again.”
As veteran disability claims soar, unaccredited firm profits off frustration with VA
Texas Tribune | 7.5.23 | Jasper Craven
“Austin-based VA Claims Insider says it has helped hundreds of thousands of clients. It has also touched off complaints and investigations.”
Veterans Affairs at the Crossroads
New Labor Forum | June 2023 | Review by Mark Dudzic
“The authors of Our Veterans have taken a deep dive into a large and little understood corner of the social safety net.”
The Left Must Rebuild Links to Soldiers and Veterans
Jacobin | 6.12.23 | Author Interview by Derek Seidman
“While the armed forces carry out the mission of US imperialism, millions of working people sit at the heart of that machine, drawn to become soldiers by the promise of economic stability. A Left looking to rebuild links with the working class can’t avoid them.”
Corporate Politicians Are Privatizing the VA
Jacobin | 5.20.23 | Steve Early & Suzanne Gordon
“Amid the debt ceiling debate, House Republicans are pushing for cuts to the Veterans Administration, and corporate Democrats are continuing to support privatizing the agency’s socialized medicine. Both are an attack on working-class veterans.”
PACT Act Problems: The VA is Unprepared for a Flood
of Claims from Veterans Disabled by Toxic Exposure.

The Progressive | 4.5.23 | Suzanne Gordon & Steve Early
“Veterans will continue experience “an adversarial, complex, and burdensome claims nightmare.”

Unhealthy Competition: How creeping privatization of care for veterans is not helping them or their caregivers.
American Prospect | 4.17.23 | Suzanne Gordon & Steve Early
“In spite of an acknowledged 70,000 in-house VA vacancies, more and more workers are assigned to managing the MISSION Act’s private-sector network rather than directly caring for patients…”

Disadvantaging the VA: How VA Staff View Agency Privatization and Other Detrimental Policies

Veterans Healthcare Policy Institute | 3.21.23 | Suzanne Gordon, Jasper Craven, & Russell Lemle

“This report amplifies the voices of these frontline health care providers and VA benefits claims processors whose essential role has been undermined by costly, wasteful, and ineffective outsourcing under three different presidential administrations.”

Why Veterans in Labor Should Not Be Ignored
Working Class Perspectives | 3.3.23 | Steve Early
“Media stereotypes of military vets present them as right-wing and often reactionary, but as Our Veterans co-author Steve Early argues, that image ignores an important reality: working-class veterans are more likely to belong to unions than other workers. Veterans have led important labor battles, are still fighting against the privatization of government services and for improving access for vets and others to higher education and health care.”
Three New Books by Former Soldiers That the US Military Doesn’t Want You to Read
Jacobin | 2.5.23
“Several new memoirs from disillusioned military veterans reflect on the horrors of war. They’re essential tools for challenging US empire.”
“Our Veterans”, A Conversation
San Jose Peace & Justice Center | 1.28.23
“The social issues impacting veterans in the US, the fight for healthcare, and how this is connected to broader issues that impact us all” with authors Suzanne Gordon and Steve Early.
Do Veterans Need a New Agenda in Washington?
American Prospect Forum | 12.9.22
“A live panel discussion, with all three Our Veterans co-authors, about issues affecting veterans and why progressives should pay more attention to veterans affairs attended by Congressional staffers, labor and vet organization members, and healthcare reform advocates.”
The Race to Save Medical Research
Washington Monthly | 12.9.22 | Suzanne Gordon & Russel Lemle
“Will Congress pas a bill to see and reform the alliance between VA researchers and academic medical centers?”
Fortress on a Hill
FOH Podcast | 12.6.22 | Steve Early & Suzanne Gordon
FOH hosts Henri Hendrickson and Keagan Miller, both combat veterans, explore many aspects of Our Veterans, in this wide-ranging discussion.
“I am Vanessa Guillen”
Hollywood Progressive | 12.1.22 | Steve Early & Suzanne Gordon
Review of new film that vividly recounts a Latina-led fight against sexual abuse and for military justice reform.

Rag Radio: Veterans Month Special

by KOOP 91.7FM | 11.25.22 | Steve Early & Suzanne Gordon | Interview by Thorne Dreyer

“Our Veterans” author interview
East Bay Express | 11.9.22 | Janis Hashe
“Honor them with more than a parade.”

Support Veterans by Defending, Not Defunding, Public Sector Jobs
Labor Notes | 11.8.22 | Steve Early & Suzanne Gordon
“Federal workers—with many veterans among them—are still mobilizing at both the VA and the USPS to defend jobs and services that benefit all Americans.”

Ralph Nader: Midterm Postmortem
Ralph Nader Radio Hour (Apple Podcast) | November 12, 2022 | Steve Early
Ralph welcomes back labor journalist, Steve Early, co-author of “Our Veterans: Winners, Losers, Friends, and Enemies on the New Terrain of Veterans Affairs.”

Veterans in Labor and Politics
Against the Current | November-December 2022 | Steve Early & Suzanne Gordon
“When veterans of a Civil War entered U.S. politics in the late 19th century, they were far more ideologically diverse and labor oriented than their modern-day counterparts.”
Why is the Biden Administration continuing Trump’s VA privatization scheme?
Washington Monthly | 10.18.22 | Steve Early & Suzanne Gordon
“Trump era regulations are facilitating out-of-control outsourcing. The Department of Veterans Affairs needs to change course”
Review of Our Veterans
Stansbury Forum | 10.17.22 | Kim Scipes
“The strength of this book lies in its honesty about military service and and its after-effects.”
We Need More Military Veterans in Congress Who Oppose the “Forever Wars”
Jacobin | 10.15.22 | Steve Early & Suzanne Gordon
“Unfortunately, most veterans currently serving in Congress are foreign policy hawks who want to keep the war machine running.”
VA Research Verges on Breakdown without Congressional Action
American Prospect | 9.26.22 | Suzanne Gordon & Russell Lemlie
“Restrictions on funding of VA researchers affiliated with academic institutions is imperiling irreplaceable studies of veterans’ health.”

Can VT National Guard reform its ’toxic’ culture?
VTDigger | 9.23.22 | Jasper Craven
“A star soldier faces allegations of sexual misconduct.”

“Our Veterans, Wounds of War”
Mass Peace Action webinar | 9.17.22 | Suzanne Gordon & Steve Early
A discussion of veterans issues with Bonnie Gorman, from Veterans for Peace and Nancy Lessin, a co-founder of Military Families Speak Out

How to save money at VA without sacrificing veterans
The Hill | 9.14.22 | Suzanne Gordon
“There’s only one way to fix this privatization mess: fully fund and staff the VA.”

How A ‘Rent-a-Vet’ Strategy Helped Big Business in California
Social Policy | Summer 2022 | Suzanne Gordon, Steve Early, & Jasper Craven
“A narrow and ultimately self-defeating mindset has led some Veterans Service Organizations down a not-so-valorous path.”

New Veterans, New and Old Problem
Against the Current | 9.2022 | Review by Ronald Citkowksi
“Anyone having concerns about VA privatization will find Our Veterans to be an essential source of information.”

The US Military’s JROTC Program Is Even Worse Than You Thought
Jacobin | 8.23.22 | Steve Early & Suzanne Gordon
“According to a recent report, the military’s JROTC program is rife with sexual misconduct and outright abuse of young women.”

Congress and the VA MISSION Act
American Prospect | 8.10.22 | Suzanne Gordon, Steve Early, & Jasper Craven
“Buyer’s remorse or full speed ahead?”

New Book Exposes Harsh Truths About Veterans—And America
Beyond Chron | 8.1.22 | Our Veterans Book Review by Randy Shaw
“Central to the book is the broken politics surrounding veterans healthcare.”

Vermont Conversation: The human cost of America's forever wars

by VTDigger Podcast | 7.20.22 | Jasper Craven Interviewed by David Goodman | "Nearly half of troops returning from post-9/11 deployments report having reintegration problems, almost double the number reported by earlier veterans."

Biden’s Pro-Privatization Panel Blocked in the Senate
Common Dreams | 7.14.2022 | Steve Early & Suzanne Gordon
“Only an on-going community-labor campaign against privatization will insure that the VHA is ready and able to serve veterans.”

Two Vets Vie in NY Primary
Convergence | 7.1.22 | Steve Early & Suzanne Gordon
“Brittany Ramos DeBarros is taking on a centrist Democrat—and the military-industrial complex—in the race to represent NYC’s most conservative congressional district.”

The Myth of A “Vet-Friendly” Firm: How Amazon Wraps Itself in The Flag
Democratic Left | 6.30.22 | Suzanne Gordon, Steve Early, and Jasper Craven
“As the U.S. marks the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, it’s sobering to know how many veterans choose not to celebrate with us, but to end their lives…”
The Future of Veterans’ Healthcare Hangs in the Balance
Beyond Chron | 6.1.22 | Suzanne Gordon
“Donald Trump’s plan to dismantle the VHA should not be implemented by the Biden administration.”
Review of Our Veterans
The Veteran | Spring 2022 | John Ketwig
“This book will be incredibly helpful to any vet who takes the time to read it.”
Memorial Day Salute to a Repentant Ex-Marine
CounterPunch | 5.30.22 | Steve Early
“No critic of the U.S. military has been more frequently quoted, by anti-war veterans, than the ‘Fighting Quaker,’ who was the highest ranking and most decorated among them.”
How Valley Forge Military Academy Devolved Into “Lord of the Flies”
Mother Jones | May-June 2022 | Jasper Craven
“All they cared about was there was no negative press.”
Border Deployment Led To Union Organizing in Texas
Convergence | 4.28.2022 | Steve Early & Suzanne Gordon
“Politicized mission and bad conditions push soldiers to join the Texas State Employees Union.”
UK War Resister Reflects on Troubled State of Veteranhood
New Politics | 4.18.2022 | Steve Early & Suzanne Gordon
“Military service in the U.S. and the U.K. promised more than it ever delivered for many post-9/11 volunteers.”
The Green Marine
Popular Resistance | 4.15.2022 | Steve Early & Suzanne Gordon
“A different kind of ‘service candidate’ runs for Senate.”

The Labor of Veterans

by KPFA, Against the Grain | 4.13.2022 | Suzanne Gordon and Steve Early discuss military service as work, attempts to privatize veterans’ healthcare, and the efficacy of veterans groups and labor organizations involved in these issues. (Begins at 5:00 min.)

Democrats are Stacking the Deck Against Vets
Washington Monthly | 4.13.2022 | Steve Early & Suzanne Gordon
“Biden may soon put the VA’s future in the hands of privatization advocates.”
Biden Is Not Building Back Better at the VA
CounterPunch | 3.23.2022 | Steve Early & Suzanne Gordon
“On March 14, Joe Biden’s Secretary for Veterans Affairs, Denis McDonough took an even bigger step away from building back better at the VA. “
Biden’s VA Secretary Proposes Shutting Down Dozens of Facilities
American Prospect | 3.21.2022 | Suzanne Gordon
“The Administration’s VA infrastructure plan is both bad politics and bad policy.”
Why veterans and municipal labor must defend VA patient care in NYC
The Chief Leader | 3.16.2022 | Steve Early & Suzanne Gordon
“Among those who will be adversely affected by further VA outsourcing are the many NYC municipal workers who served in the military.”
VA Critic Becomes Virginia’s New Veterans Affairs Chief
The Washington Monthly | 2.1.2022 | Suzanne Gordon & Steve Early
“What Glenn Youngkin’s appointment of Daniel Gade reveals about the GOP’s real attitude toward returning soldiers. “
The Rampant Fraudulent Billing in Outsourced Veterans’ Health Care
The American Prospect | 1.5.2022 | Suzanne Gordon
“With taxpayers on the hook for services never performed.”
The Right Wants to Make Disabled Veterans Into the New “Welfare Queens”
Jacobin | 12.28.2021 | Steve Early & Suzanne Gordon
“Conservatives have long worked to dismantle the American welfare state. They’ve been so successful that some are even turning their sights on a formerly sacrosanct group: combat veterans returned from war.”
VHA Caregivers Provide Privatization Reality Check
The American Prospect | 11.20.2021 | Suzanne Gordon
“Surveys show that veterans are not getting better or more timely care from the private sector.”