A Vietnam War veteran watches the proceedings in Fairfax, Va., May 25, 2013, as hundreds of thousands of motorcycle riders gather on Memorial Day weekend for the 26th Annual Rolling Thunder Rally to remember POWs and MIAs from America's wars. Mike Theiler/Reuters
Current and former members of the military attend the 'Hiring Our Heroes' job fair in New York, March 27, 2013. Brendan McDermid/Reuters
Iraq veteran Alroy Billman (l.) meets the new horses in Rick Ianucci's Cowboy Up! Horses for Heroes program in Santa Fe, N.M., March 18, 2011. The program, free to veterans, is a horse therapy wellness and vocational rehabilitation program for injured combat veterans. Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff
Veterans salute during a ceremony on Memorial Day at the World War II Memorial in Washington on May 27, 2013. Yuri Gripas/Reuters
Vietnam veteran Barry Boudreau, formerly homeless, hangs out in his apartment in Quincy, Mass., in a group home for veterans on Jan. 12, 2012. The home is part of Father Bill's homeless shelter organization. Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff
Cub scout Ryan Swenor pauses at a grave site of a US military veteran at the Los Angeles National Cemetery during a flag placement event to commemorate Memorial Day in Los Angeles, May 25, 2013. Jonathan Alcorn/Reuters
Veterans Patrick Young (from l. to r.), Earl Johnson, and David Landymore survey a Baltimore neighborhood on April 13, 2012, as part of a nonprofit foundation called Come Home Baltimore, a development group that reclaims vacant buildings for revitalization. Joanne Ciccarello/Staff
First lady Michelle Obama visits with military families at a barbecue before a NASCAR race in Homestead, Fla., on Nov. 20, 2011. Her visit is to highlight new commitments by American companies to hire and train Miami-area veterans and military spouses. Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff
Vietnam-era veteran Ed McLeer (c.) receives treatment on Sept. 20, 2011, in Portland, Ore., in Medical Teams International's dental van at Stand Down, a yearly event that brings dozens of employers and agencies together to assist veterans. Rick Bowmer/AP
Army veteran Matt Hilerio, who served as a corporal in the Iraq war, attends the University of Tennessee in Knoxville on the GI bill. Mary Knox Merrill/Staff
Veterans watch as Navajo medicine man Albert Laughter fans the fire in his teepee with pheasant and eagle feathers during a ceremony to care for the warriors on Nov. 9, 2005, in Prescott, Ariz. Laughter, who has a contract with the Department of Veterans Affairs, uses traditional techniques to treat veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder or other health challenges. Paul Connors/AP
The backlog of veterans disability claims was reduced 37 percent after peaking last March, but hit a plateau after the VA stopped its mandatory overtime policy. The path forward is unclear.
Anna Mulrine, Staff writer /
February 3, 2014
Samuel Hoffman/The Journal Gazette/AP/File
Despite having made good progress to reduce a backlog of disability claims that peaked last March, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ efforts have lost momentum in recent months, according to a new report from Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).