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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National Security
1:07 pm
Tue June 9, 2015

The Unfinished VA Hospital That's More Than $1 Billion Over Budget

Sloan Gibson, deputy secretary of Veterans Affairs, speaks in April at the construction site of the VA hospital in Aurora, Colo. The unfinished hospital is more than $1 billion over its original budget and congressional funding runs out this week.
David Zalubowski AP

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 3:57 pm

A decade ago, plans were drawn up for a huge Veterans Affairs hospital near Denver intended to replace old and crowded facilities for nearly 400,000 vets in Colorado and neighboring states.

The original budget was $328 million, but that was totally unrealistic, the VA now acknowledges. So how much did it finally cost?

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Law
10:34 am
Fri April 3, 2015

When Civilians Accuse Troops Of Rape, Military Courts Often Decide

Originally published on Fri April 3, 2015 3:42 pm

Brittany Bentz was 16 years old in 2012, living near Edwards Air Force Base in California. She went to the same martial arts studio as a family friend, who was 25 and in the Air Force.

"He was like a brother so I felt comfortable talking with him, hanging out with him," Bentz says.

It's NPR policy to name plaintiffs in sexual assault cases only if they want to tell their story — and Bentz does.

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Politics
2:59 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

President Obama Visits Phoenix Hospital At Center Of VA Crisis

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 5:00 pm

President Obama and Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald visit the veterans hospital in Phoenix Friday to announce a new outside advisory committee to help the VA with customer service. A scandal last year at the Phoenix facility led to revelations of long wait times for veterans throughout the VA medical system.

Law
2:32 am
Wed March 11, 2015

9 Iraqi Interpreters Sue U.S. Government Over Visa Delays

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 3:38 pm

During a decade of war, U.S. troops relied on interpreters — thousands of Iraqis and Afghans — who worked and often fought alongside Americans.

Many of them were promised visas to the U.S. but they have been waiting for years with no answer. Now, nine Iraqis are suing the U.S. government to get their status resolved.

All the Iraqis in the lawsuit go by code names because of ongoing threats to their lives.

Plaintiff Alpha was in an ambush with U.S. troops and got shot in the back, but he continued to work with the U.S. military after he recovered.

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U.S.
2:16 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

VA Secretary Apologies For Exaggerating Military Service

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 5:16 pm

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U.S.
2:25 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

End Of Life Care Can Be Different For Veterans

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 4:20 pm

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Shots - Health News
1:30 am
Wed January 28, 2015

VA Steps Up Programs As More Veterans Enter Hospice Care

A hospital bed is draped with a flag after a veteran died in the hospice ward at St. Albans VA in Queens, N.Y.
Quil Lawrence NPR

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 2:32 pm

Ask Americans if someone in their family served in the military, and the answer is probably no. After all, fewer than 1 percent of Americans serve these days.

But ask if one of their grandfathers served, and you'll likely get a different answer. Between World War II and the wars in Korea and Vietnam, millions of men were drafted into service — and both men and women volunteered.

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Back At Base
1:35 am
Tue January 13, 2015

VA Data Show Disparities In Veteran Benefits Spending

George Murray, who served in Vietnam, was able to access his medical benefits from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs relatively easily while living in Boston. But veterans living in other parts of Massachusetts, like Cape Cod, have more difficulty. Across the U.S., VA data show the unevenness in its benefit spending.
Jesse Costa WBUR

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 10:08 am

NPR — along with seven public radio stations around the country — is chronicling the lives of America's troops where they live. We're calling the project "Back at Base." This is the first of a three-part series about veteran benefits (Part 2 / Part 3).

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Law
2:54 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

Lawyers Try To Fight Death Penalty With New PTSD Understanding

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 4:36 pm

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

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National Security
2:26 pm
Fri December 26, 2014

Military Policy Impedes Research On Traumatic Brain Injuries

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

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