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American Homefront

The coronavirus pandemic has brought big changes to one of the defining aspects of military life -- boot camp. But some people question if the changes are adequate to protect trainees.

Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities are now screening patients, employees, and visitors for coronavirus. But some are questioning the agency's responce to the pandemic.

sign with U.S. Air Force logo and MacDill Air Force Base
Stephanie Colombini/WUSF Public Media

Tampa's MacDill Air Force Base has three positive cases of coronavirus.

MacDill's Commander Colonel Stephen Snelson declared a public health emergency on the base, which is also home to U.S. Central Command, and U.S. Special Operations Command.

The VA informed student veterans they may become ineligible for GI Bill education and housing funds if their college transitions from in-person to online classes. Congress has quickly passed a fix.

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting every aspect of American life - including military life.

Normally, Congress waits at least ten years after a war ends to authorize a monument. But supporters say a proposed "Global War on Terrorism" memorial should be built now.

 

The Las Vegas center is the VA's second inpatient treatment facility for veterans, who are at higher risk of gambling addiction.

Gene Popiolek (l) and his father Bernie sit in an assisted living facility bedroom.
Stephanie Colombini / American Homefront

The VA Aid and Attendance benefit can help some vets and spouses pay for nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and home health care. But the application process is often long and complicated.

Gov. Ron DeSantis
Governor's Press Office

Retired and active duty members of the military have a new incentive to put down roots in Florida.


Woman with search dog stands, speaking into microphones.
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Cadaver dogs and archaeologists began searching Tuesday for a lost cemetery that may be located in an area of MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.

It's the latest effort to find an unmarked, mainly African American burial ground, a number of which have been discovered recently throughout Florida. 

The peer-counseling programs, which have become common in many cities, may improve mental health, self esteem, and social functioning for veterans who are returning to civilian life.

The campaign, which launched in November, emphasizes Army careers in technology, medicine, and other non-combat jobs.

Researchers at the Tampa veterans’ hospital are training computers how to diagnose cancer. It’s one example of how the Department of Veterans Affairs is expanding artificial intelligence development.

  

The MAVNI program allowed non-U.S. citizens to enlist in the armed services if they had foreign language skills or other special expertise. But the program is now at a standstill.

Help For Homeless Veterans at 877-4AID-VET
VA.gov

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, wants to know why thousands of housing vouchers for homeless veterans were not used last year. The congressman sent a letter to two federal agencies Thursday demanding answers.

While the impeachment case centers on President Trump's handling of military aid to Ukraine, U.S. troops deployed in Ukraine say their mission hasn't changed.

A 2019 Department of Defense report concluded that the effects of a changing climate, including wildfires, threaten dozens of military bases.

For an organization that's still strongly associated with entertainers of the past, like Bob Hope, it's a constant challenge to stay relevant to today's service members.

Updated 8:38 p.m. Sunday ET

The Trump administration is planning to announce on Monday that more than 20 Saudi students receiving military training in the United States will be sent back to their home country, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

The expulsions come in the wake of a Pentagon review of the Saudi officer who opened fire last month at a naval base in Pensacola, Fla., leaving three young sailors dead and wounding eight others.

dolphins
pexels.com

Interacting with dolphins and cycling down segments of the Overseas Highway in the Florida Keys is providing therapy for 43 wounded military veterans of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Soldiers swam with the dolphins at Marathon’s Dolphin Research Center Friday, after traversing the highway in the Upper Keys using special adaptive bicycles.

Updated at 8:05 p.m. ET

Iraqis turned out in droves Saturday to mourn Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, just a day and a half after both men were killed in a U.S. airstrike that has prompted vows of revenge from leaders in Tehran.

The U.S. killing of a top Iranian military leader, Qassem Soleimani, in an airstrike in Baghdad this week has raised thorny legal questions. Experts disagree over whether the U.S. had the legal authority to launch the deadly strike.

President Trump stated that Soleimani was plotting "imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and American personnel, but we caught him in the act and terminated him."

Ryan Adams' life was changed by what was supposed to be a routine hernia operation.

The VA has eliminated the designated smoking areas at its hospitals, clinics, and other buildings. Many are celebrating the ban for creating a healthier environment at the VA, but the transition has been difficult for some patients and workers.

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As legislative session looms on the horizon, lawmakers are trying to squeeze in their personal projects into next years’ budget. However, not all of those proposals will make it.

Some Florida veterans are putting on a holiday performance at their local VA, but not just to spread cheer. It’s part of a program that uses harmonicas to help treat COPD.

The University of California, Irvine study found that combat exposure is almost as likely to cause grief as it is to lead to PTSD.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is offering couples retreats to help former service members communicate with their spouses.

The Army has embraced esports as a recruiting tool to reach young adults, who are drawn to the fast-paced action of military-themed games.

National Guardsmen who respond to domestic missions - such as providing disaster assistance or working along the southern U.S. border - may not qualify for V-A benefits.

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