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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: This is Veterans Day 15 years into the war in Afghanistan. Though it is now the longest war in American history, it's one that few Americans have experienced firsthand. That makes for a growing gap between military families and other Americans. To bridge that gap, singer-songwriter Becky Warren put the experiences that she knows well into a new album. She talked about it with NPR's Quil Lawrence. QUIL LAWRENCE,...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. KELLY MCEVERS, HOST: Some of the biggest issues that will face the next president have barely been mentioned in prior debates. There has been little discussion of the longest war in American history, Afghanistan. And as NPR's Quil Lawrence reports, even less has been said about veterans. QUIL LAWRENCE, BYLINE: Check the transcripts. The presidential candidates have spoken about 28,500 words in two debates. Veterans have been...

Thirteen years ago, just as the United States began what was to become its longest war, a futuristic wheelchair hit the market. The iBOT allowed paralyzed people, including many veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, to stand up by rising to eye level. It also did something no wheelchair ever had: climb stairs. But even though users loved it, the iBOT went out of production in 2009 when Johnson & Johnson discontinued it. "I was very disappointed," says disabled veteran Gary Linfoot, a former Army...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Four years ago, Jason Brezler sent an urgent message to a fellow Marine in Afghanistan, warning him about a threat. The warning wasn't heeded, and two weeks later, three U.S. troops were dead. Now the Marine Corps is trying to kick out Maj. Brezler because the warning used classified information. Solving a problem Jason Brezler never thought he'd make a career out of the Marine Corps — his family history was FDNY. "My grandfather was a firefighter, my father was a firefighter and fire chief,"...

Stephen Coning, a 26-year-old former Marine, took his own life this summer, leaving behind a wife and a 2-year-old son. By chance, it was the same week the Department of Veterans Affairs released conclusive data showing that the rate of suicide for those who served is now much higher than for civilians. Despite that connection, the VA does not presume all suicides to be "service connected." Sounds like red tape — but that means Coning's family has so far received little formal support from...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Less than 1 percent of American families include a veteran. Those who did serve feel like they are constantly being asked to explain the past 15 years of war, and some of those vets are now doing that through fiction. NPR's Quil Lawrence spoke to several new authors who are trying to find the balance between being spokespeople for their wars and simply writing good novels. QUIL LAWRENCE, BYLINE: For the majority of...

Donald Trump picked a military town — Virginia Beach, Va. — to give a speech Monday on how he would go about overhauling the Department of Veterans Affairs if elected. He blamed the Obama administration for a string of scandals at the VA during the past two years, and claimed that his rival, Hillary Clinton, has downplayed the problems and won't fix them. Trump outlined 10 ways he would change the department. In addition to creating a direct hotline to the White House for veterans having...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. DAVID GREENE, HOST: Providing health care to veterans has seemed like a challenge for years now. One idea for how to fix this - shift away from a government program to a private one. It's an ideological fight much like the one over the Affordable Care Act - a debate over the preferred role of government. And yesterday, a government commission delivered a report to the White House on the way forward on health care for veterans. Here's...

When clinical psychiatrist Cher Morrow-Bradley and other health care providers call the Veterans Choice program, they are greeted with a recorded, 90-second "thank you" from Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald. It's not having the intended effect. "Why don't you make this easier? The process is so cumbersome, and I have to listen to you thanking me for spending all this time and then I get put on hold," says Morrow-Bradley, adding that she hasn't figured out how to skip the message. She...

Pages