American Homefront Project

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

Inflexible work schedules and lack of support can make it tough for new mothers in the military to keep breastfeeding their children.

Nurse Carpathia McRavin, left, draws blood from Bud Sadler, right, of Cedar Point, at a Veterans Affairs mobile health clinic in Havelock on Thursday, September 20, 2018 following Hurricane Florence.
Madeline Gray / For WUNC

The VA is trying to take care of hundreds of thousands of veterans in hurricane-damaged Eastern North Carolina. Some have medical problems that could be worsened by the storm; others have housing needs. 

An agency pilot program aims to bypass regulations that can make it hard for veterans to get cutting-edge medical treatment.

Approximately 5 million veterans live in rural America, and almost sixty percent of them rely on VA healthcare. But accessing that care can be a challenge.

Around the country, state governments and other agencies are trying to promote entrepreneurship among military veterans.

Last year, the VA began offering mental health treatment to vets who don't normally qualify for V-A care. Since then, fewer than 200 people have used the program.

The Navy is rolling out its latest plan to manage wildlife in its ocean training grounds from Southern California to Hawaii. But environmentalists worry the Navy is backsliding in its efforts to protect marine life.

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

During World War II, more than a quarter million Filipinos fought alongside American soldiers. Many are still awaiting the recognition promised to them.

Under the Trump administration, the military is shifting its strategy back towards more traditional warfare.

About 84,000 service members are married to another member of the military, and some find it hard to balance their marriages with their careers.

Congress mandated the card in 2015, but provided no funding. So the VA struck a deal with Office Depot.

As the Senate considers Robert Wilkie's nomination for VA secretary, veterans groups worry that the agency's leadership gap has slowed its work.

The VA in Florida has begun offering telehealth programs in dance, visual art, and music. The programs link therapists with veterans in their homes.

Deana Martorella Orellana's mother, Laurel Martorella (left), and Orellana's sister, Robin Jewell, hold her Marine Corps photo. Orellana killed herself a year after leaving the Marines. She had agreed to undergo counseling the day she died.
Jay Price / American Homefront

Female veterans are nearly 2 1/2 times more likely to commit suicide than civilian women, according to data from the Veterans Administration Suicide Prevention Program. The same data show male veterans are 18 percent more likely to kill themselves than civilian men. Why are female veterans struggling? The advocacy group Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN) released six recommendations on the mental health needs of women service members and veterans based on a poll of veterans in the civilian world and women on active duty.

Female veterans are nearly 2 1/2 times more likely than their civilian counterparts to kill themselves. Advocates say women's mental health challenges are different from those of men.

As the Navy plans to increase the number of ships, it's looking for new ways to keep sailors in the service, even allowing them to leave for a year and come back.

The app uses music and audio to help amputees lessen the pain and discomfort of walking with a prosthetic leg.

Since last year, the Army has required a fitness test before recruits start basic training.

The Navy blames cost-cutting for the elimination of its two Combat Camera units, which take photos and videos of naval operations.

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.

BMW, Microsoft, and CVS are among the companies that conduct on-base job training for service members who will soon leave the military.

As part of a recently released plan, the Trump Administration is proposing an increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal. 

When veterans with war injuries need accessible housing, they often have few options.

The VA hopes to roll out a national "whole health" program for veterans, offering them acupuncture, tai chi, yoga,and other alternative mental health therapies.

The Veterans Health Administration is planning to make mental health care more available to help reduce veteran suicide. But veterans advocates worry about the impact on the already strained VA health system.

About 1.7 million troops are eligible to switch from a traditional pension plan to a blended plan that works more like a 401(k). But some lack the financial skills to evaluate their options.

Homelessness often looks different for veterans living in rural communities: Rather than living in the streets, they may be couch-surfacing, sleeping in their cars, or camping in the woods.

 Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin speaks during a press briefing in Bridgewater, N.J.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo

When service members are discharged from the military, the degree to which they can receive benefits from Veterans Affairs depends largely on their characterization of service.

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