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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.  

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.

Copyright 2018 North Carolina Public Radio – WUNC. To see more, visit North Carolina Public Radio – WUNC.

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.

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.

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.

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