• In this Monday, May 2, 2016 photo, Tom Alligood, a veteran and certified nursing assistant, speaks during an interview at the Dorn Veterans Administration Hospital in Columbia, S.C., Alligood knows all about the bad press suggesting the nation isn’t properly caring for its veterans. The nurse assistant and former Army tanker says he’s where he needs to be, working at a Veterans Administration hospital in South Carolina. He says it saved him. (AP Photo/Bruce Smith)

    Military veteran finds a mission nursing fellow vets at VA

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Nursing assistant Tom Alligood wears camouflage scrubs during his emergency room shifts at the Dorn VA hospital because he says it helps other veteran patients realize they’ve “walked over the same dirt,” the 62-year-old former Army tanker says.

  • In this May 27, 2016 photo, Zachariah Fike, founder of the organization Purple Hearts Reunited, holds in St. Albans, Vt., a certificate issued to a World War I service member wounded in battle. Fike's Vermont-based non-profit group Purple Hearts Reunited is working to return 100 medals and certificates by next April, the 100th anniversary of the United States' entry into World War I. Over the years the organization has returned hundreds of lost Purple Hearts and other medals to the people who won them or their descendants. (AP Photo/Wilson Ring)

    A veteran’s race against time to return WWI Purple Hearts

    ST. ALBANS, Vt. (AP) — A group that seeks to reunite lost Purple Hearts with service members or their descendants is embarking on an ambitious project: to return 100 such medals or certificates earned in World War I before the 100th anniversary next April of the United States’ entry into the conflict.

  • This Friday, May 27, 2016 image from video provided by KCBS-TV/KCAL-TV shows graffiti on a Vietnam War memorial in the Venice area of Los Angeles. The homespun memorial painted on a block-long wall on Pacific Avenue lists the names of American service members missing in action or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, painted by a Vietnam veteran and dedicated in 1992. The wall has been tagged previously but the latest vandalism - within the past week - covers the bottom half of the memorial for much of its length. (KCBS-TV/KCAL-TV via AP)  TV OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT

    Veterans sites in California, Kentucky, Virginia damaged

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Memorials to veterans in a Los Angeles neighborhood and a town in Kentucky, as well as a Civil War veterans cemetery in Virginia, were damaged as the nation prepares to mark Memorial Day, officials said.

  • This Friday, May 27, 2016 image from video provided by KCBS-TV/KCAL-TV shows graffiti on a Vietnam War memorial in the Venice area of Los Angeles. The homespun memorial painted on a block-long wall on Pacific Avenue lists the names of American service members missing in action or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, painted by a Vietnam veteran and dedicated in 1992. The wall has been tagged previously but the latest vandalism - within the past week - covers the bottom half of the memorial for much of its length. (KCBS-TV/KCAL-TV via AP)  TV OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT

    Veterans sites in California, Kentucky, Virginia damaged

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Memorials to veterans in a Los Angeles neighborhood and a town in Kentucky, as well as a Civil War veterans cemetery in Virginia, were damaged as the nation prepares to mark Memorial Day, officials said.

  • In this Nov. 15, 2015 photo, Harold Schook an Air Force veteran who every year at this time plants small American flags near area veterans' graves examines five new Civil War-era gravestones belonging to soldiers at the Odell Township Cemetery in Odell, Ill. High school students in Odell discovered the names of several Civil War veterans whose gravestones were battered by decades of rain, wind, snow and pollution and were replaced with new ones. "These kids gave these men their identity back," said Schook. (Joy Butler/Pontiac Daily Leader via AP)

    Illinois students give Civil War vets ‘their identity back’

    CHICAGO (AP) — With more than a century of rain, wind, snow and pollution conspiring to erase what was once carved into a row of headstones, about the only thing anyone in the tiny north-central Illinois community of Odell knew of the men buried there was that they’d fought in the Civil War.

  • In this photo taken Feb. 25, 206, Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald speaks in Washington. Republicans are criticizing McDonald after he compared wait times to receive VA health care to the hours people wait for rides at Disney theme parks. McDonald has told reporters on Monday, May 23, 2016,  that the VA should not use wait times as a measure of success because Disney doesn't either. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

    VA chief: ‘I deeply regret’ wait-time comparison to Disney

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald said Tuesday he regrets remarks he made comparing long wait times at VA health care sites to waiting in line at a Disney amusement park.