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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.  

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.

The new veterans ID cards were mandated by a 2015 law. But some veterans groups are raising questions about the possibility that the cards will include corporate branding.

AMVETS

It might seem a bit surprising – but there is no standardized Identification Card for veterans. Military retirees with 20 years or more service have their own ID card. And veterans who use VA health services have another. But there was no ID card for all veterans - until now.

Though the federal government has no current plans to downsize the number of military bases, local communities aren't taking any chances.

AMVIC

The United States will mark the 76th Anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the country’s official entry into World War II on Dec. 7, 2017. And Tampa’s own World War II American Victory Ship plans to commemorate Pearl Harbor Day with a cruise Saturday, Dec. 2.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

States are competitive whether they’re vying to keep their military bases or to attract new corporate headquarters. And now, there’s a new tug of war over military retirees who come with pensions, health care and are a proven workforce.

Florida, already a retirement haven, is adding veteran specific programs to entice even more military retirees to the Sunshine State.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

If you can’t make it to a Veterans Day parade or ceremony, there are other ways to show your appreciation for the men and women who have served or are currently serving in the Armed Forces. Here are a few suggestions - you can practice them year-round:

James A. Haley VA

Special ceremonies throughout the Tampa Bay region, Florida and the nation will recognize the sacrifices of those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces and those who are currently active-duty.

You can find Veterans Day events celebrated nationwide at the Department of Veterans Affairs website. For local, regional and statewide observances, check the listings below. More will be added, so, check back often.

A month and a half after hurricane Maria, the VA Caribbean Healthcare system is delivering care in unconventional ways. And it's helping veterans whose PTSD was triggered by the storm.

Many residents are making daily visits to distribution sites, where the Army has set up portable water purification systems.

Removing pythons helps the ecology of the Everglades - and helps veterans transition from the battlefield to civilian life.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Hillsborough County veterans with outstanding traffic tickets or past due court costs are being given a chance to resolve their minor legal issues.

Hillsborough County is holding a one-day, Veterans Outreach Court Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, at the James A. Haley Primary Care VA Annex, 13515 Lake Terrace Lane, Tampa.

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