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American Homefront

Tampa is hosting the annual Medal of Honor convention this week, with festivities kicking off Tuesday.

It brings together 46 of the 70 living recipients of the nation’s highest military honor, given to those who risked their lives during service.

The famous structure and popular tourist site will undergo a renovation project that's expected to last almost four years.

The Pentagon says reported cases of heat exhaustion jumped nearly 50 percent between 2014 and 2018.

More than 2,000 people recently attended a funeral for a veteran because they didn't want him to be buried alone, but a Florida newspaper reports that the man did in fact have immediate kin.

Sixty-five submarines have been lost since the U.S. Navy created an undersea force in 1900.

A new artificial reef recently opened off the coast of Sarasota honoring these boats and the more than 4,000 crew members who never made it home.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is training clergy members around the country to look for signs of psychological disorders and other issues among veterans in their congregations.

2,000-Plus Turn Up At Funeral Of Florida Veteran With No Family

Oct 1, 2019

Most of the 2,000-plus people who gathered in the Florida heat Tuesday didn't know Edward Pearson. They knew little, if anything, about the life of the 80-year-old Army veteran.

“This Veteran has no immediate family all are welcome to attend.”

That line in the obituary of 80-year-old Naples resident Edward Pearson has prompted an outpouring of support and gestures of solidarity from local veterans groups and community members who want to ensure that the elderly veteran receives a proper burial.

A growing number of programs try to treat PTSD by getting veterans into nature, even deep under the sea. 

The $325 million dollar plan is funded by private companies and is expected to result in renovations to 16,000 homes on seven Army posts.

Six advocates, from the executive director of the state's veterans agency to a formerly homeless veteran, met with two lawmakers in New Port Richey this week
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Lawmakers and advocates for more than a decade have done battle with the homeless crisis among military veterans.

Their number in the Tampa Bay region has been cut by 72 percent and in half statewide, but a U.S. House subcommittee meeting in New Port Richey Monday heard that more work needs to be done.

Members of the 6th Air Mobility Wing at MacDill Air Force Base will be taking a break from their normal duties Friday in order to focus on mental health and suicide prevention.
Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Airmen at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa are taking a break from their normal duties Friday. Instead, they will reflect on mental health.

In response to a string of suicides in the Air Force, every base is holding a one day stand down, where airmen can learn and talk about mental health issues.

Federal law protects the civilian jobs of National Guard and Reserve troops when they deploy. But federal employees allege the government itself doesn't always follow the law.

Many airmen at Tyndall are living in dorms, some that survived the storm and others built afterwards so that service members no longer had to sleep in tents.
Airman 1st Class Monica Roybal / U.S. Air Force

Tyndall Air Force in the Panhandle is making progress in a massive effort to rebuild after it was devastated by Hurricane Michael last fall. But the need for housing and sufficient funds to complete the repairs are still critical issues.

The military is spending millions of dollars to clean up water contamination around bases throughout the country. But people living with the contamination say the money has not gone nearly far enough.

The legislation requires the government to expand fertility coverage for service members and veterans who've suffered war-related reproductive injuries.

Observers watch an explosion during Operation Hardtack in 1958. 35 nuclear tests were conducted in the Pacific, exposing troops to radiation.
NEVADA NATIONAL SECURITY SITE

The new certificate recognizes as many as 550,000 veterans who were exposed to nuclear weapons tests between 1945 and 1992. But the certificates leave a lot of atomic veterans underwhelmed.

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Camp Lejeune, N.C. was the first of several bases to experience racial violence during the Vietnam War. It led to major reforms in military racial policies.

A thousand National Guard troops from Texas will try to address one of the unintended results of President Trump’s immigration crackdown -- traffic jams that are slowing international commerce.

The Government Accountability Office says the military isn't doing enough to deal with the effects of climate change, after more than $9 billion in hurricane and flood-related damage to three bases in less than a year.

Athletes take part in the archery competition at the 2019 Warrior Games at the Tampa Convention Center.
Carrie Pinkard / WUSF Public Media

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jimmy Covas stood with his eyes closed, pointing an air rifle at a target. He took three deep breaths, opened his eyes, and then pulled the trigger.

Covas is one of the 300 athletes competing in the 2019 Warrior Games.

Appearing at U.S. Central Command headquarters in Tampa, Secretary Pompeo addressed the recent decision to send 1,000 more troops to the Middle East amid growing tensions with Iran.
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed growing tensions with Iran Tuesday. He spoke to reporters after a closed meeting with military leaders at U.S. Central Command headquarters in Tampa.


Last week marked the anniversary of D-Day, when American troops stormed the beaches at Normandy during World War II. The organization Honor Flight flies veterans to Washington, D.C. at no cost to them to visit war memorials. With each passing year there are fewer WWII vets to participate.

Congress is considering legislation to encourage "outdoor therapy" for veterans with injuries or post-traumatic stress. Volunteer groups are already running similar programs in national parks.

 

A cooking program in upstate New York helps veterans find camaraderie in the kitchen.

Lt. Gerald Berry of Clearwater flew one of the planes that transported paratroopers behind enemy lines on D-Day. He was honored with eight other WWII vets during a ceremony at MacDill Air Force Base.
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Nine World War II veterans were honored Thursday in a ceremony at MacDill Air Force Base commemorating the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.


Raul Guerra was adopted, so his DNA couldn't be matched to blood relatives. Scientists instead turned to an emerging technique that linked his bones to the drinking water in the places he grew up.

Under a law now taking effect, the military branches are issuing American-made running shoes, instead of giving recruits an allowance to buy whatever sneakers they want.

Similar debates have played out elsewhere, as sports stadiums that were originally built as memorials to veterans take on new corporate names.

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