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 hide caption

itoggle caption David Zalubowski/AP

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 hide caption

itoggle caption Quil Lawrence/NPR

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 hide caption

itoggle caption Jesse Costa/WBUR

BASETRACK Live incorporates photographs, videos and interviews to tell the story of warfare, both at home and abroad. Courtesy of En Garde Arts hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of En Garde Arts

For some rural vets who live far from a VA hospital, getting medical care has meant driving a day or two from home, and missing work. iStockphoto hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto