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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.  

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.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Two Miami men are charged with stealing items meant for homeless veterans that were worth more than $300,000.

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. 

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.

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