LISTEN LIVE

Vietnam Veterans

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.

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.

"Ring of Red: A Barrio Story" relies on oral histories to tell the rarely heard stories of Mexican-American veterans.

Some veterans say they contracted hepatitis from the "jet gun" that was used to immunize them in the Vietnam era, but researchers haven't proven that link.

In the Vietnam War era, Americans became more interested in recovering missing troops -- largely because of the activism of some military families.

The well-equipped medevac helicopters that transported injured troops in Vietnam became the model for today's air ambulance services in the U.S.

The ten-part documentary by filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick is at times graphic, and people who work with veterans say it may trigger traumatic memories for those who fought in Vietnam.

For U.S. troops in Vietnam, the "China Beach" surfing spot provided a rare recreational outlet during the war. Some still seek healing from the waves.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

The Department of Veterans Affairs is struggling with another huge backlog and this time it is not veterans waiting for medical appointments.

Currently, a veteran who has had a disability claim denied must wait - on average four to five years - for an appeals hearing. VA Secretary Bob McDonald predicts that will grow to a 10-year backlog if laws aren’t changed.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

There’s a military tradition called a “Stand Down.” It’s when soldiers get a temporary break from combat for a shower, hot meal and peaceful night’s sleep.

Recently, Pasco County held a Stand Down for veterans in our community who are fighting a different kind of battle with homelessness, substance abuse or mental health issues.

Nathan Powell

On Saturday,  thousands showed up at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell for a ceremony to honor the nearly 100,000 veterans buried there.

Wreaths Across America is a nationwide effort to place wreaths on the headstones of fallen veterans.

Vietnam Veteran Bob Grimshaw called the ceremony "moving."

"It is deeply moving to me as a veteran, because I remember those that didn't return from Vietnam and all of the others from the other wars combined together, it is a deeply moving ceremony." Grimshaw said.

Barnett, Bolt, Kirkwood, Long & McBride law firm

Bill McBride volunteered for the Marine Corps and Vietnam in 1968 at the height of the war, an act that defined his character and his life.

Tampa attorney McBride died Saturday while spending the holidays in North Carolina. He was memorialized by family, friends and colleagues at a Tampa service today.

McBride was a loving father and husband and will be remembered for the strides he made as a former managing partner of Holland & Knight and more recently as senior partner of the law firm of Barnett, Bolt, Kirkwood, Long & McBride.

Yoselis Ramos / WUSF Public Media

Living with rats and bugs. Enduring no heat in the winter or cooling in the summer. Surviving torture.

These are conditions that Lee Ellis endured as a prisoner of war and he says taught him leadership.

Ellis is a retired Air Force colonel, a fighter pilot, who was shot down over Vietnam and spent more than five years as a POW in the downtown prison nicknamed the “Hanoi Hilton.”