military families

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have drafted more than a million family members into caring for returning wounded and injured troops. They've been called "Hidden Heroes" - the military caregivers of Post-9/11 veterans.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

The military is big business in Florida. Business leaders estimate the state's 20 military installations, along with the defense industry and veterans,  account for 10 percent of Florida's economy.

So, it's no surprise that protecting Florida’s bases from realignment or closure is a top priority for elected officials and businesses alike.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

  Next month, it will have been 15 years since the United States went to war in Afghanistan and then later, into Iraq. It’s estimated 2.5 million men and women have served during that time and each has a story to tell.

Helping those service members and veterans shape and share their story is why Tampa brothers Matt and Mark Fetterman started the non-profit organization, The Homefront Foundation.

Bobbie O'Brien/WUSF / WUSF Public Media

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp started up this week. But before they opened their practices to the public, even before the players started working out in pads, the team invited active-duty military, veterans and their families for a special Military Appreciation Day.

Hundreds turned out Friday before 8:45 a.m.

A U.S. Army staff sergeant and assistant professor of military science at the University of South Florida ROTC, Jonathan Darm, said there are some similarities between the military and professional athletes.

U.S. Department of Defense

We are smack dab in the middle of the peak moving season for military families. Traditionally, it’s May through August. And it happens every two to three years --- to most all military families.

It’s called “Permanent Change of Station” or PCS.

Department of Veterans Affairs

Military service involves more than the person wearing the uniform – families are always a part of that equation.

A team of three University of South Florida psychology doctoral students and a graduate of the School of Social Work are conducting a research study looking at how reintegration affects military veterans and their children.

Their focus looks at how veterans are “reintegrating” to both civilian and academic life and also examines the student veterans’ well-being and that of their children.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

A powerful, photographic tribute to American soldiers and Marines from the Civil War to the Iraq War opens Tuesday at the St. Petersburg Museum of History.

From the opening panel of the American Soldier exhibit – you immediately see the difference. The photo of the Union soldier from Civil War is staged in a photographer’s studio. He poses with his rifle. The Iraq War soldier is in an urban warfare setting, his finger poised on the trigger of his AK-47.

USF Psychological Services Center

Family therapy, couples therapy, individual therapy, even weight management groups are all services that have been available at the USF Psychological Services Center for decades. Now, the center’s director, who served 10 years in the U.S. Army, is reaching out to the veteran and military families offering help.

“We know that there are veterans, for whatever reason, are still hesitant about seeking services in the VA,” said Jack Darkes, director of the University of South Florida Psychological Services Center.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

With the war in Afghanistan possibly winding down, at least when it comes to U.S. involvement, but the situation in Syria remaining in question, the timing of a recent conference at the University of South Florida on the nature of warfare was impeccable.

Retired U.S. Army Colonel Derek Harvey is Director of Research and Strategy for USF’s Citizenship Initiative, which organized the conference, “Modern Warfare’s Complexity and the Human Dimension.”

“The purpose of the conference is to bring academics, think tanks, military officials, non-governmental organizations and others together who deal with conflicted societies where conflict exists or might exist, and make sure that we are learning the right lessons from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq,” Harvey said.


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Some things turn us to mush every time: Cute animals. Sappy Publix commercials. And most of all, surprise military reunions.

Nine-year-old Alayna Adams was chosen to throw out the first pitch at Thursday night's Rays game. What the Dunedin girl didn't know was that the catcher wasn't a pro ball player. It was her dad, Lt. Col. Will Adams, just home from Afghanistan.

After Alayna threw the ball, her father caught it. Then he lifted his catcher's mask. Alayna raced toward him and leaped into his arms.

And yes, the crowd went wild.

Transitioning into civilian life and a civilian career can require some major changes for military members.

Some are connecting to new jobs and career opportunities in the civilian world through LinkedIn, an online social media used primarily by professionals and business people.

“Wow!” was Julie McAdoo’s reaction when she first learned about LinkedIn at a South Tampa Chamber of Commerce presentation.