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American Homefront

In early 2017, WUSF joined the national American Homefront project, a national collaborative covering military life and veterans issues.

We're visiting bases to chronicle how American troops are working and living. We're meeting military families. We're talking with veterans -- in their homes, on their jobs, at school, at VA hospitals -- to learn about the challenges they face.

Partners in the project include WUSF, KPBS in San Diego and North Carolina Public Radio - WUNC.

The American Homefront project in Tampa builds on the success of WUSF's Off The Base project, which was created through a 2010-2011 Rosalynn Carter Fellowship to build a bridge between the civilian community and active-duty military, veterans and their families.

American Homefront receives support from: The Bob Woodruff Foundation, dedicated to ensuring that post-9/11 injured service members, veterans, and their families make a successful transition.  

Flickr Creative Commons

One of the federal programs affected by the partial government shutdown is the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or SNAP. If the shutdown continues into March, funding for the program could run out. And in Florida that means a lot of low-income and homeless veterans may have to fend for themselves. More veterans in Florida rely on food stamps than any other state.

Thousands of troops who were deployed to the border in the fall have left, but the Trump Administration may call for a second deployment of thousands more.

Facing a shortage of pilots, the Air Force is experimenting with ways to make training programs faster and less expensive.

At "recreational therapy" camps, outdoor activities and mindfulness help veterans with PTSD, sexual trauma, and other issues.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike, along with military leaders, are reacting with sadness and concern over Defense Secretary Jim Mattis' sudden resignation announcement.

A retired Marine Corps four-star general, Mattis is widely seen as one of the most respected members of President Trump's Cabinet and was confirmed by the Senate on the same day as Trump's inauguration in a near-unanimous vote.

Chris Kurtz is trying to keep his sense of humor. Even after the VA told him last summer that he no longer needs a caregiver.

"Apparently my legs grew back, I dunno," he says with a laugh, and sinks into his couch in Clarksville, Tenn. And then he mentions that he probably can't get out of the couch without help from his wife.

Incoming Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has named a state representative who is a member of the Army Reserves to be his veterans' affairs director.

3 New F-35 Squadrons Proposed For Florida's Tyndall Air Force Base

Dec 12, 2018

Florida politicians are quickly giving support to a U.S. Air Force recommendation to use supplemental funds to eventually locate three squadrons of F-35 fighters at hurricane-ravaged Tyndall Air Force Base.

Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Mark Milley will become the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

President Trump made the announcement via Twitter on Saturday.

"I am pleased to announce my nomination of four-star Gen. Mark Milley, Chief of Staff of the United States Army — as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, replacing General Joe Dunford, who will be retiring," Trump wrote. "I am thankful to both of these incredible men for their service to our Country! Date of transition to be determined."

The VA says 8500 requests for wheelchairs, artificial limbs, and other equipment have waited more than 30 days. That's down from 64,000 requests last year.

The ninth annual veterans survey from the Jacksonville-based Wounded Warriors Project shows those surveyed made a 40 percent employment gain between 2014 and 2018.

Approximately 5 million veterans live in rural America, and almost sixty percent of them rely on VA healthcare. But accessing that care can be a challenge.

State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory.

This is citrus harvesting season in Florida, where oranges make up the largest part of an industry that contributes $8 billion a year to the state economy. Yet, few know that the citrus business owes much of its success to the U.S. military.

Before Devin Kelley killed 26 people at a Texas church, the Air Force failed to enter his criminal history into the FBI's background check system. Several victims' families are suing.

A new study suggests military spouses vote much less than servicemembers, and they may not be getting the help they need to cast their votes.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

There are plenty of veterans needing help with their denied VA benefits claims and a good supply of law student volunteers to help them. But what is in short supply at the Stetson Veterans Law Institute and Advocacy Clinic is space.

A few years ago, the institute opened in a small home across the street from the Gulfport campus with three law students helping on cases. Now, there are 15 law students in the same cramped quarters.

Michael Rivera / Wikimedia Commons

A phone call from Tampa to a wrong number in Nebraska delivered just what a man in pain needed: a ride to a hospital.

"Ring of Red: A Barrio Story" relies on oral histories to tell the rarely heard stories of Mexican-American veterans.

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

Pasco County will soon be home to a new 114,000-square-foot veteran’s outpatient clinic.

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.

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.

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 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.

The Trump administration is taking aim at a law designed to protect military service members from getting cheated by shady lending practices.

NPR has obtained documents that show the White House is proposing changes that critics say would leave service members vulnerable to getting ripped off when they buy cars. Separately, the administration is taking broader steps to roll back enforcement of the Military Lending Act.

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