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American Homefront

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

It happens hundreds, if not thousands, of times a year nationwide. A veteran dies, but there’s no family nearby. So, the Department of Veterans Affairs steps up to handle the burial.

USN

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels will streak across Tampa Bay skies this weekend as the Goodyear Blimp motors along at a slower pace for the 2018 AirFest. Admission is free to the public, along with free parking, at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.

Female veterans are nearly 2 1/2 times more likely than their civilian counterparts to kill themselves. Advocates say women's mental health challenges are different from those of men.

The Bureau of Land Management has partnered with Team Rubicon - a veterans group - to train former service members to fight wildfires.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Without leaving the comfort of his Ocala apartment, Joshua Lawhorn, 28, is getting help with his memory problems by learning to play the guitar.

Hundreds of troops have arrived to assist Border Patrol agents.  But National Guard operations are not yet fully underway.

Some veterans say they contracted hepatitis from the "jet gun" that was used to immunize them in the Vietnam era, but researchers haven't proven that link.

Some veterans groups say they’re uncertain about the future of care at the Department of Veterans Affairs, after President Trump ousted Secretary David Shulkin and nominated White House physician Ronny Jackson to head the agency.

As part of a recently released plan, the Trump Administration is proposing an increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal. 

VA Blog / U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

This Thursday marks the 50th anniversary of National Vietnam War Veterans Day. Hundreds of commemorative events are being held  nationwide on or around March 29, including some Tampa Bay remembrances.

When veterans with war injuries need accessible housing, they often have few options.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Military retirees can camp, golf, and fish at hundreds of  military bases. It costs less than civilian resorts, making the bases popular vacation spots for thousands of former service members.

The waters of Tampa Bay lap at the marina boat ramp on the southern tip of the Tampa peninsula. Visitors can dock their boats at the slips, buy fresh and frozen bait, or spend a day on the water.

The Veterans Health Administration is planning to make mental health care more available to help reduce veteran suicide. But veterans advocates worry about the impact on the already strained VA health system.

The average military family moves every two to three years. Their household goods are supposed to move with them, but that doesn’t always happen ... and some families say the military doesn't do much to help.

Senate Pitches Health Care Alternative For Veterans

Feb 28, 2018

A state Senate proposal would authorize Florida to begin negotiations with the federal government to see if the state could offer managed health-care programs to veterans and their families as an alternative to the health system provided by the federal Veterans Administration.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

The Department of Defense estimates 14,900 service members experienced some kind of sexual assault in 2016 - its most recent report. But because of the stigma - many wait decades before they get help - usually from the VA.

So it’s no surprise, the average age is 45 for women and 50 for men for veterans entering the Bay Pines VA Center for Sexual Trauma Services in St. Petersburg.

The Trump Administration wants to grow the Army substantially, even as potential recruits get harder to find. That's putting more pressure on recruiters than they've seen in years.

About 1.7 million troops are eligible to switch from a traditional pension plan to a blended plan that works more like a 401(k). But some lack the financial skills to evaluate their options.

Fewer than one percent of Americans are in the military, compared with about nine percent during World War II. Researchers say that's helped create a divide between veterans and non-veterans.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

The ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere rarely make the headlines nowadays. Yet, men and women in the United States military continue to serve there and some die there. 

"The Secret Ops of the CIA" calendars spotlight an unusual art genre: meticulous paintings of spy missions.

California has become the eighth state to legalize recreational marijuana.  But using the drug can still end a military career.

Homelessness often looks different for veterans living in rural communities: Rather than living in the streets, they may be couch-surfacing, sleeping in their cars, or camping in the woods.

Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

A Florida driver’s license can show if a person has served in the military. But there’s a problem with the law that permits the “veteran” designation on the license – it doesn’t prohibit counties from charging veterans extra for that service.

A workshop in New York uses creative writing and Shakespearean monologues to help veterans heal.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

December is a month of religious celebrations – there’s Chanukah and Christmas. It’s also a time when many service members are stationed far away from family and friends. Which leads to the question: How does the secular military take care of the spiritual needs of the men and women in uniform?

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Among the many bills to be considered during Florida’s 2018 legislative session is legislation that would offer alternative treatments to veterans with post-traumatic stress.

A new program in Los Angeles is trying to provide female veterans with health care outside the VA, which some consider a male dominated environment.

This month’s mass shooting at a Texas church has raised questions of whether the military does enough to help former service members with bad conduct discharges. They're not eligible for veterans' mental health care.  

Naval History and Heritage Command / USDoN

A memorial inscribed with the names of 520 Hillsborough County residents killed during World War II will be dedicated Dec. 7, 2017 as part of a Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day ceremony. It's the 76th anniversary of the Japanese surprise attack that marked the United States official entry into the war.

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