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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.

While President Trump pushes Congress to create a new military branch called the Space Force, the Pentagon is about to choose a permanent home for its existing Space Command.

The Pentagon is planning to hire a single private company to oversee the moving process for military families. The current system is plagued by delays, lost shipments, theft, and a lack of accountability.

President Trump is considering sending a new round of troops to the southern border. The military withdrew some service members from the border in December, after they laid miles of concertina wire – large steel coils with razor-sharp teeth.

The VA Mission Act hopes to improve upon the Choice program, which ran over budget and didn't do much to reduce wait times for many veterans.

The policy bans transgender recruits and prevents current troops from transitioning to another sex unless they were diagnosed with gender dysphoria before April 12.

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.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis receives a plaque from veterans after speaking at the launch of the "Forward March" initiative Friday at USF in Tampa.
Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

Florida is reaching out to the 1.5 million military veterans who call the state home with a new initiative.

"Forward March" brings together state and federal agencies, service organizations like the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs and private partners to help support veterans.

Robert Wilkie
Department of Veterans Affairs

The James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa is undergoing a $148 million dollar expansion to meet the growing demand for health care in Florida. 

WUSF's Stephanie Colombini recently spoke with Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie about the expansion and other ways the VA is trying to increase access to care.


The settlement with earplug manufacturer 3M has focused attention on service-related hearing loss, one of the most common health problems among veterans.

Wildlife biologist Kory McLellan shoots off pyrotechnics to scare birds away from the airfield at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.
Mariette Adams / U.S. Air Force

Fireworks, drones, and habitat relocation projects are among the ways that Air Force biologists are fighting the expensive and potentially deadly problem of bird strikes.


To keep up with potential adversaries such as China, the Pentagon is teaming with civilian technological innovators and trying to adopt some of the practices of the private sector.

The VA fully implemented the new law in February, hoping to clear up a backlog of appeals claims that numbers in the hundreds of thousands.

Encouraged by a Library of Congress initiative, volunteers and non-profit groups around the country are recording and preserving veterans' voices.

To increase interest in military service among teenagers, the Army is reaching out to some of the people who know them best: high school teachers and guidance counselors.

For thousands of elderly veterans, long term care means living in a nursing home or institutional care setting. But some have found a much homier option.

Veterans are about twice as likely as non-veterans to die by suicide. But the majority of those suicides are among veterans aged 55 or older -- whose military service was decades earlier.

Officials in charge of getting Tyndall Air Force Base back up and running gave an overview Thursday of where they are now and where they hope to be in the future. The base hosted it's first "Industry Day" since Hurricane Michael severely damaged it in October. 

The Marine Corps says Camp Lejeune, N.C. needs $3.6 billion in repairs, as scientists warn climate change will lead to more big storms and affect military readiness.

President Trump's restrictions on transgender troops moved a step closer to taking effect, even as several lawsuits challenging the policy remain unresolved.

Flickr Creative Commons

One of the federal programs affected by the partial government shutdown is the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or SNAP. If the shutdown continues into March, funding for the program could run out. And in Florida that means a lot of low-income and homeless veterans may have to fend for themselves. More veterans in Florida rely on food stamps than any other state.

Thousands of troops who were deployed to the border in the fall have left, but the Trump Administration may call for a second deployment of thousands more.

Facing a shortage of pilots, the Air Force is experimenting with ways to make training programs faster and less expensive.

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