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.

Pages

4:17pm

Mon June 30, 2014
National Security

Obama Taps Former Procter & Gamble Chief To Helm VA

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 7:01 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

President Obama has decided on his choice to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. He has nominated Robert McDonald, the former CEO of Procter & Gamble. This afternoon the president introduced him at the VA, here in Washington.

Read more

2:44pm

Thu June 19, 2014
Parallels

How The Kurds Could Benefit From Iraq's Crisis

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 3:01 pm

The Kurdish areas of northern Iraq have remained peaceful despite the recent surge in fighting. Here, a member of the Kurdish peshmerga forces directs traffic at a checkpoint in Kalak, in northern Iraq.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

The current crisis in Iraq has focused on the Sunni-Shiite conflict, but relatively little has been heard from the other major ethnic group in Iraq, the Kurds. And that's just the way the Kurds would like it.

The Kurds have been seeking an independent state for a century but have been stymied at every turn. As the Shiites and the Sunnis slug it out, the Kurds are demonstrating, so far at least, that they can maintain peace and stability in their semi-autonomous region in the northeastern part of the country.

Read more

5:12am

Thu June 12, 2014
Politics

Senate Version Adds Costs To VA Overhaul Measure

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 9:39 am

The Senate passed a bipartisan bill to overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs. The measure is close enough to a version already passed by the House that it could reach the president's desk soon.

5:10pm

Wed June 11, 2014
Politics

In A Rare Act Of Bipartisan Speed, Senate Passes VA Reforms

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 6:24 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Read more

3:29pm

Tue June 10, 2014
National Security

With More Veterans Needing Health Care, What Will The Cost Be?

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 8:31 pm

Sloan Gibson, acting secretary of Veterans Affairs, spoke in Phoenix last week. After a visit to a VA hospital, he said additional resources were likely needed in the area. Nationwide, the number of veterans seeking health care has risen dramatically in recent years.
Matt York AP

A new generation of American vets is home from war — about 2.6 million of them. And there are about 10 million older veterans, many from the Vietnam era, hitting their 60s, 70s or 80s. Taking care of both groups is getting expensive.

"If they can afford to pay for wars, they can afford to pay for the treatment after the wars," says Garry Augustine, with Disabled American Veterans. DAV and other private veterans' organizations draw up their own "independent budget" for the Department of Veterans Affairs every year.

Read more

4:06pm

Mon June 9, 2014
News

Audit Reveals Vast Scale Of VA Waitlist Issues

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 6:42 pm

Before former Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki stepped down, he ordered an audit of the VA system, hoping to find how many hospitals were lying about wait times. The audit found that approximately 100,000 veterans are waiting too long for care at the VA.

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.

Read more

5:45pm

Tue June 3, 2014
Shots - Health News

Can Civilian Health Care Help Fix The VA? Congress Weighs In

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 8:03 pm

Sen. John McCain discussed the Veterans Choice Act at a news conference on Tuesday, with fellow Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Veterans across the country are still waiting too long for medical care, a situation that drove the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki last week.

Now Republicans and Democrats in Congress are competing to pass laws they think will fix the problem of medical wait times and other problems at the VA. The discussion over how to reform veterans' health care is starting to sound familiar.

Read more

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)

Read more

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)

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

4:25pm

Tue March 18, 2014
News

After A Long Wait, 24 Models In Heroism Get Their Due

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 4:50 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

On today's program, in interviews and stories from NPR reporters, we're following events in Crimea, as well as the continuing search for Malaysian Air Flight 370.

Read more

Pages