Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "Department of Veterans Affairs" ...

  • VA nursing home quality revealed

    A rolling, joint investigation of Department of Veterans Affairs nursing home quality that pressured the agency to release internal ratings and data the agency had kept secret for years, depriving veterans and their families of potentially crucial health care information.
  • Reliving Agent Orange

    Four decades after the Vietnam War, scientists are still learning how exposure to the defoliant Agent Orange has harmed veterans and their children. This report showed that the Department of Veterans Affairs has hesitated to compensate sick veterans, instead weighing political and financial costs in secret. To bolster their position, they found that government officials have routinely turned to a known skeptic of Agent Orange’s deadly effects – a scientist who has also been paid by the chemical makers. And they obtained internal VA data on hundreds of thousands of vets and conducted a first-of-its-kind analysis, producing new evidence suggesting a connection between Agent Orange and birth defects that experts say should force the government to take action. https://www.propublica.org/article/agent-orange-vietnam-veterans-their-families-share-stories-exposure https://projects.propublica.org/graphics/alvin-young
  • WWII Secret Mustard Gas Testing

    This investigation uncovered new details about once-classified chemical weapons experiments conducted by the U.S. Military during World War II, in which African American, Puerto Rican and Japanese American troops were exposed to mustard gas to look for racial differences that could be exploited in battle. The series also revealed the Department of Veterans Affairs’ failure to compensate troops who were used in World War II chemical tests, despite promises made more than half a century earlier. http://www.npr.org/2015/06/22/415194765/u-s-troops-tested-by-race-in-secret-world-war-ii-chemical-experiments http://www.npr.org/2015/06/23/416408655/the-vas-broken-promise-to-thousands-of-vets-exposed-to-mustard-gas http://www.npr.org/series/417162462/world-war-ii-secret-mustard-gas-testing
  • INVISIBLE WOUNDS

    KARE 11’s yearlong investigation documented how the Department of Veterans Affairs was using unqualified doctors and inadequate tests to improperly deny benefits – and access to medical care – promised to the nation’s veterans. Our groundbreaking reports prompted official federal investigations and helped spur reforms nationwide. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLi0111Ywj0
  • Candy Land: The Tomah VA

    The Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Tomah, Wisconsin, was known as “Candy Land” by patients and staff members alike. Its chief of staff had earned the nickname “Candy Man” for liberally prescribing a powerful drug cocktail to veterans struggling with mental and physical pain. But Washington paid no attention until reporter Aaron Glantz sounded the alarm. Among his story’s more shocking revelations: Patients arrived for appointments so stoned that they nodded off during therapy sessions, and a 35-year-old Marine Corps veteran fatally overdosed on drugs prescribed to him inside the hospital’s psychiatric ward.
  • VA Whistleblower Retailiation

    CNBC has uncovered more allegations of fraud, cover-ups, and intimidation at the Department of Veterans Affairs. We got an exclusive look into how management manipulated patient wait times and what the VA did to retaliate against those who were unwilling to game the system and cook the books. CNBC's Dina Gusovsky reports.
  • MSNBC - Ronan Farrow Daily / “Inside the VA” Series / “VA Colonoscopy Injury Claims Denied”

    In 2009, the Department of Veterans Affairs contacted more than 10,000 U.S. military veterans who had received medical care at VA facilities in three states, notifying them that there was a possibility that they could have been exposed to infectious viruses during VA colonoscopy and endoscopy procedures -- because of problems with the configuration and cleaning of some of the equipment used. Five years later, after receiving a response from the VA to our Freedom of Information Act request, the NBC News Investigative Unit and MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow Daily show entered into an investigative collaboration to follow-up on this story. We discovered that the majority of those claims were listed as “denied by [VA] regional counsel.”
  • Veterans waiting to die

    Veterans are dying for lack of medical care while the Department of Veterans Affairs uses scheduling tricks and manipulated data to hide long delays. Unscrupulous VA administrators are rewarded for their deception with positive reviews and bonuses. For years the internal watchdog has looked the other way as whistleblowers who reported wrongdoing faced retaliation.
  • Reveal - The VA's Opiate Overload

    Many veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are addicted to prescription painkillers. The Center for Investigative Reporting and Aaron Glantz investigated the extent of the problem and substantiated the government’s role in feeding veterans’ addictions to dangerous narcotic painkillers. In the summer of 2013, The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain, 12 years of prescription data from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The CIR analysis exposed a startling 270 percent increase in the number of opiate prescriptions in Department of Veterans Affairs’ hospitals, a phenomenon that had contributed to a fatal overdose rate among VA patients that was nearly double the national average. On Sept..28th, CIR reporter, Aaron Glantz’s investigation, The VA’s Opiate Overload, premiered on Reveal, a new radio program showcasing investigative reporting. The riveting documentary detailed how the Department of Veterans Affairs became the drug dealer of choice for many veterans caught in the trap of prescription painkillers.
  • Veterans Disability Claims

    Yvonne Wenger’s story for The Baltimore Sun examined the disability claims backlog at the Baltimore office of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Through her reporting and use of an online database, she discovered that the Baltimore office, which services all of Maryland, had the worst backlog in the country and made the most mistakes. Servicemen and women in Maryland were waiting an average of 12 months for an initial decision about benefits; in some cases, it could take years more to receive the payments. Yvonne reached out to dozens of veterans but found that all were fearful to speak to a reporter because they thought doing so would affect their claims. She eventually did find a combat veteran, Robert Fearing, who was willing to be interviewed. He was suffering from paranoia and anxiety and had been waiting 2 ½ years for the Baltimore office to make a decision about his claim. After publication of the article, reaction from Maryland’s congressional delegation was swift. Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin both took action to seek changes locally and nationally to address the backlog. And just days after the article was published, Fearing had his claim reviewed and approved.