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An agency pilot program aims to bypass regulations that can make it hard for veterans to get cutting-edge medical treatment.

Inflexible work schedules and lack of support can make it tough for new mothers in the military to keep breastfeeding their children.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

As he transitions out of the military this fall, Justin Duhe is going into business for himself. The 28-year-old Army linguist and cyber specialist bought a five acre coconut grove in Homestead, Fla. last year - sight unseen. He knew nothing about coconuts at the time.

The VA has opened more call centers and hired hundreds of additional responders after complaints that some callers experienced long hold times or were sent to voicemail.

James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital

September is Suicide Awareness Prevention Month. To mark the occasion, both the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital and the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System are hosting suicide prevention awareness fairs Friday.

There will also be a separate event benefiting the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay that evening.

Last year, the VA began offering mental health treatment to vets who don't normally qualify for V-A care. Since then, fewer than 200 people have used the program.

More than 20 veterans take their own lives every day in the U.S. and the majority never sought the help that was available to them.

Veterans now make up less than 20 percent of Congress, compared with about 75 percent in the 1960s. Some high-profile candidates are trying to reverse that trend.

Families hope advances in DNA technology and thawing U.S./North Korean relations will help the government recover and identify long-missing remains of service members.

The new secretary of veterans affairs pledged to the American Legion on Wednesday that he won't privatize his agency's health care services even as it increases options for veterans to seek care in the private sector.

The number of veterans in the VA healthcare system who are 70 or older is expected to grow 30 percent in the next eight years.

A new group is using what they learned in the military to fight threats to South Florida's coral reefs.

When military families move, the careers of service members' spouses may grind to a halt because they lack a professional license in their new state.

FL AP Broadcasters

In recent months, journalism groups have been recognizing news outlets across the country for outstanding work done in 2017, and WUSF has garnered multiple awards.

This week on Florida Matters we highlight some of the award-winning journalism produced by our WUSF news team.


Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Department of Veteran Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie was President Trump's second choice to replace fired Secretary David Shulkin.

But the former Pentagon official is now running the VA said he's promised to protect the VA from politics and total privatization.

The VA hopes to roll out a national "whole health" program for veterans, offering them acupuncture, tai chi, yoga,and other alternative mental health therapies.

From 2009 to 2016, the Defense Department recruited more than 10,000 non-citizens into the armed forces. Now some say they're being discharged without explanation.

What are believed to be the remains of some 55 U.S. servicemen killed in the Korean War have arrived in South Korea aboard a U.S. Air Force transport plane from the North in accordance with an agreement made last month between President Trump and Kim Jong Un at their summit in Singapore.

"A U.S. Air Force C-17 aircraft containing remains of fallen service members has departed Wonsan, North Korea," the White House said in a statement late Thursday.

The Senate on Monday confirmed Pentagon official Robert Wilkie to be secretary of Veterans Affairs, charged with delivering on President Donald Trump's campaign promises to fire bad VA employees and steer more patients to the private sector.

After months of tumult, Pentagon official Robert Wilkie is expected to become secretary of Veterans Affairs when the Senate votes Monday to confirm him, taking on the task of fulfilling President Donald Trump's promises to fire bad VA employees and steer more patients to the private sector.

Under the Trump administration, the military is shifting its strategy back towards more traditional warfare.

For her new album, Nashville singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier collaborated with veterans to write songs about war, service, and life after the military.

As the Senate considers Robert Wilkie's nomination for VA secretary, veterans groups worry that the agency's leadership gap has slowed its work.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

The VA is now mailing identification cards to veterans who want tangible proof that they served in the military. But after waiting almost three years for the new government-issued I.D., some veterans are not happy that the card contains an advertisement.

More than 1.4 million veterans of all ages rely on government food assistance, but food insecurity is disproportionately common among post 9/11 veterans.

During the Cold War, U.S. planes accidentally dropped nuclear bombs on the east coast, in Europe, and elsewhere. "Dumb luck" prevented a historic catastrophe.

In the first program of its kind in the nation, the West Los Angeles VA has opened its campus to veterans who sleep in their cars. Officials say it's a less-than-ideal starting point to help homeless vets.

In California - a state with strong differences with the White House on immigration policy - about 400 troops are on border duty. But they're keeping a low profile.

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.

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