Quil Lawrence

David Aquila ("Quil") Lawrence is an award-winning correspondent for NPR News, covering the millions of Americans who deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan as they transition to life back at home.

Previously, Lawrence served as NPR's Bureau Chief in Kabul. He joined NPR in 2009 as Baghdad Bureau Chief – capping off ten years of reporting in Iraq and all the bordering countries. That experience made the foundation for his first book Invisible Nation: How the Kurds' Quest for Statehood is Shaping Iraq and the Middle East, published in 2008.

Before coming to NPR, Lawrence was based in Jerusalem, as Middle East correspondent for The World, a BBC/PRI co-production. For the BBC he covered the fall of the Taliban in December 2001 and returned to Afghanistan periodically to report on development, the drug trade and insurgency.

Lawrence began his career as a freelancer for NPR and various newspapers while based in Bogota, Colombia, covering Latin America. Other reporting trips took him to Sudan, Morocco, Cuba, Pakistan and Iran.

A native of Maine, Lawrence studied history at Brandeis University, with concentrations in the Middle East and Latin America. He is fluent in Spanish and conversant in Arabic.

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3:36pm

Wed June 4, 2014
Shots - Health News

VA Health Care's Chronic Ailments: Long Waits And Red Tape

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 5:40 pm

Soldiers returning from the Pacific wave from the deck of the USS General Mitchell on Dec. 11, 1945. Much of the health care demand in the VA system is from veterans of earlier wars.
AP

More than 2.5 million veterans served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they qualify for health care and benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. These recent vets have been putting in for more service-related conditions than previous generations, for everything from post-traumatic stress disorder and brain injury to the bad knees, bad backs and bad hearing that nearly every new vet seems to have.

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4:16pm

Fri May 30, 2014
News

Shinseki's Apology Punctuates A Long Career Of Service

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 7:07 pm

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki apologized for lengthy waits at VA facilities, saying he's ousting the leaders of a VA hospital in Phoenix, Ariz., after stories about delays in care there. Shinseki's decision to resign marks a muddy end to an illustrious career, which began when he joined the Army nearly five decades ago.

12:26pm

Fri May 30, 2014
U.S.

Embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki Resigns

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 12:36 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, let's hear more now about the resignation of Eric Shinseki, Secretary of Veterans Affairs. President Obama says he accepted that resignation a short time ago at the White House. He had just finished making a statement after the two men held a short private meeting. The President Shinseki's resignation has been accepted partly for political reasons, in that he says it would be politically difficult for Shinseki to focus on the questions at hand for the VA.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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11:18am

Fri May 30, 2014
U.S.

VA Secretary Apologizes For 'Indefensible' Treatment Delays

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 12:36 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. Eric Shinseki, the embattled secretary of Veterans Affairs, meets this hour with President Obama at the White House. Now, earlier today, Shinseki spoke at a conference on homeless veterans, and addressed what he called the elephant in the room. The issue of VA clinics lying about how quickly they were seeing patients.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

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4:27pm

Thu May 29, 2014
Performing Arts

Veterans' 'Philoctetes' Puts Modern Spin On Ancient Greek Play

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 7:11 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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4:21pm

Wed May 28, 2014
News

Report Finds Systemic Problems With VA Wait Lists

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 6:17 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

A systemic problem nationwide - that's how the Inspector General for Veterans Affairs has described the problem of falsified wait times at VA medical centers. At one facility in Phoenix, veterans waited on average 115 days for an appointment.

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5:06am

Thu May 22, 2014
Around the Nation

VA's Health System: Some Love It, Some Hate It

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 9:18 am

Nearly 30 VA facilities are accused of falsifying statistics on how long veterans must wait for care. President Obama said the problems go back decades, but most veterans are satisfied with the care.

6:25am

Fri May 16, 2014
Politics

Shinseki Pressed By Senate Panel On VA Hospital Delays

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 12:07 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Yesterday, the secretary of Veterans Affairs had to answer some questions on Capitol Hill. Eric Shinseki told lawmakers he's trying to get to the bottom of a problem. Veterans say they are waiting months for medical appointments. But VA hospitals say everyone is being seen within just 14 days. Both can't be right.

NPR's Quil Lawrence has our report.

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4:08pm

Thu May 15, 2014
The Impact of War

On Hill, VA Chief Shinseki Faces Hospital Death Allegations

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 8:18 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki faced tough questions from senators today. They wanted to know about allegations that VA clinics are cooking the books claiming they see patients within 14 days, when in reality veterans can wait months for an appointment. And there was something else senators raised with the secretary: Whether he should take responsibility for the troubles and resign. Here's NPR's Quil Lawrence.

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5:34pm

Tue May 6, 2014
News

American Legion Calls For VA Secretary's Resignation

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 1:34 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The country's largest veteran's organization wants the secretary of Veterans Affairs to resign. The American Legion hasn't targeted a public official this way since 1941. And in the past, they've supported VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. But now, there are allegations that dozens of veterans died waiting for health care. And VA hospitals are accused of fixing the stats. The VA is investigating.

As NPR's Quil Lawrence reports, even its defenders say the department had better have some answers soon.

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