Military

Like most long-term care facilities, VA nursing homes haven't allowed in-person visitation since early March.

For some veterans, the demonstrations against police violence are a chance to find their voice.

The stones, engraved with swastikas, mark the graves of German POWs who died in the United States during World War II.

Alex Brandon / AP Photo

Active-duty troops brought in to help if needed with the civil unrest in the nation's capitol are beginning to return to their home base, after two days of more peaceful demonstrations in Washington, D.C., senior defense officials told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

In some states, recruiters are reporting an uptick in the number of people who are expressing interest in joining the Guard.

Jay Price / WUNC

As the year began, news was emerging from China about something called a coronavirus. At the same time, nearly 3,000 paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team left Fort Bragg on a short-notice deployment.

The UCLA study shows broad support among servicemembers for transgender people in the military. But the military still bans transgender people from enlisting.

Military recruiting and training has slowed down because of the pandemic. So the Navy is trying other ways to maintain the size of the force.

Sarah Blake Morgan / AP Photo

Maj. Brian Minietta's eyes are locked down the barrel of a camera lens. He sways gently back and forth in silence, then his gruff voice belts out, in singsong: "A little patience ... yeah, yeah!"

Deployments, job losses, and the Pentagon's "stop movement" order are among the factors contributing to financial stress for troops and their families.

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.

Lonon faces away from the cemetery while walking away.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

COVID-19 is changing all aspects of life — including the rituals we associate with death. All funerals have been upended, but veterans have now lost one particularly important ceremony: burial with military honors. 

Ivar Lonon holds two boxes containing the cremated remains of his mother and father at Salisbury National Cemetery in Salisbury, N.C., on Thursday, March 26, 2020.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Among all the milestones, the key rituals of life being cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic — weddings, baby showers, birthdays — is that iconic last one for military veterans, burial with military honors.

The Irreverent Warriors, seen here holding a 2016 'silkies hike' in Jacksonville, N.C., has been forced to suspend its hikes and hangouts because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sean Berry / U.S. Marine Corps

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced most of us into social isolation. But for veterans with mental health issues, staying at home runs counter to advice they've long received to get out and interact with the world.

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.

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.

RecruitMilitary

Kathryn Kuziel sees light at the end of the tunnel. With her husband Alex Kuziel getting out of the 82nd Airborne soon, she’s finally be able to look for a job as an IT project manager without worrying that potential employers will pass her over for someone with more staying power.

For military personnel at the U.S.-Mexico border, including National Guard troops, it's an unusual assignment. Many are quartered in hotels, and their families are allowed to visit.

Credit Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tom Gagnier / U.S. Navy

The U.S. Department of Defense identified two service members killed in Iraq on Sunday as members of a Marine special forces unit based in North Carolina.

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

Marines training at Camp Lejeune.
Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tom Gagnier / U.S. Navy

The Marines are moving nearly 1,000 special operations troops and civilian employees to Camp Lejeune.

From its beginnings in 2006, Marine Special Operations, or MARSOC, has been split between the East and West coasts, with some of the troops at Lejeune, and the rest at Camp Pendleton in Southern California.

That’s going to end. It has decided to pull all its forces together at Lejeune, where the unit’s headquarters anchors a high-security compound.

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.

Leoneda Inge

A World War II veteran living in Wake County received his Congressional Gold Medal over the weekend. He was a part of a unique all-Hispanic regiment.

Cup of black coffee.
Creative Commons

Warfare has been part of human existence since the beginning — and so have mind-altering substances. Drugs have funded wars, fueled soldiers on the battlefield, helped to expand and establish nationstates and more.

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 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.

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

Fort Bragg
Fort Bragg / creative commons

  A former U.S. Army Green Beret pleaded guilty to his role in a conspiracy while deployed to Afghanistan to steal about $200,000 from government funds meant for purposes ranging from humanitarian efforts to base construction, prosecutors said.

82nd Airborne paratroopers marching at Fort Bragg
Sgt. Kissta M. Feldner / U.S. Military

Iranian airstrikes on two U.S. military bases in Iraq yesterday marked a response to the assassination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani. In the past week, thousands of soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg rapidly deployed to the Middle East and Marines from Camp Lejeune are now also on their way to reinforce U.S. military presence.

The VA pilot program places federally-backed volunteers in the homes of veterans to help with cooking, cleaning and other low-skill tasks.

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