VA podcasts get thumbs up

The Department of Veterans Affairs has launched a weekly podcast titled “This Week at VA” that includes benefit information and interviews with veterans. So far it’s pretty good.

One episode features a blind Navy vet who’s a Paralympic Gold Medalist. Bradley Snyder is currently the world record holder for the 100-meter freestyle swim event. His description of  12-07 Page 4A.inddhow he’s adapted to his blind life (he lost his vision in an IED explosion) is inspirational. He’s also written a book, “Fire in My Eyes.” While a podcast is speech and sound only (no video), check out the picture of this veteran’s most excellent dog. What a beauty.

Another podcast is about Haley Carter, a female Marine veteran and graduate of the Naval Academy. She is a former goalkeeper for the Houston women’s soccer team and currently is the assistant coach for the Afghanistan women’s national soccer team. (Try to wrap your mind around that: Afghan women playing soccer?) Carter also talks about claiming the VA benefits she’s entitled to — education, buying a house, health — and what it was like to transition out of the Marine Corps.

Yet another podcast is an interview with the Massachusetts secretary of veterans’ services, Francisco Urena. He talks about VA benefits, why he joined the military, serving in Syria and Kyrgyzstan, and more.

Granted, you’re not going to hear from veterans who’ve been waiting years for disability benefits or who’ve had their paperwork lost five times, but chances are you’ll get something good out of listening to the stories of these other veterans.

To access the podcasts on your computer, go to and scroll down the list on the right to This Week at VA Podcast. Click that. You also can sign up on iTunes and get weekly updates when a new one is put up.

(c) 2016 King Features Synd., Inc.