Military

Eileen Pace

SAN ANTONIO — H.W. “Bill” Sparks never had trouble scheduling his annual physical at a Veterans Affairs clinic in El Paso until his doctor left early this year. Now he’s been left in limbo, waiting several months to be paired with a new physician.

Sparks, a retired Army warrant officer, said the clinic has tried to reduce wait times since an audit last summer revealed it had one of the nation’s worst backlogs. Yet it still struggles to attract staff and build enough capacity to treat a large veteran population. “They don’t have enough staff to do it,” he said. “So why promise something you can’t deliver?”

Eileen Pace

An Associated Press analysis has determined that Texas veterans spend more time waiting for medical care than the national average.

From September through February, 3.4 percent of appointments at the state’s 54 VA facilities were not within 30 days — the health system’s stated goal after a scandal last summer over lengthy wait times.

The national average during this span was 2.8 percent.

A U.S. service member was killed and several other American troops wounded when a man in an Afghan army uniform opened fire in the city of Jalalabad, a Pentagon official says.

NPR's Tom Bowman tells us there is no word on the condition of the wounded. The man in the Afghan uniform was shot and killed.

The incident occurred after a meeting between a senior U.S. official and the provincial governor in Jalalabad, according to a statement from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.

Fort Hood Press Office

FORT HOOD — One year from the time a 34-year-old soldier, Spc. Ivan A. Lopez, killed three people and injured 16 in Fort Hood, using an unregistered weapon bought at a local Killeen store. It was just one of 45 instances of unregistered weapons entering a Central Texas Army post in 2014.

Over a 10-year period there have been more than 230 instances of soldiers violating Army regulations by bringing an unregistered firearm on to a Central Texas post.

Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio Could see as many as 6,000 jobs cut as the Army considers eliminating a quarter of its total workforce. Five high-ranking Army officials from Washington, D.C. were in the Alamo City on Tuesday to hear concerns.

Over 1,000 military family members and community leaders packed the Freeman Coliseum Expo Hall to hear details of how federal budget sequestration is expected to force cuts in military jobs.

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