American Homefront Project

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.

 

Shantelle Campbell / U.S. Army

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

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.

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

In a first of its kind program, the VA in Long Beach, Cal. is partnering with law enforcement to proactively reach military veterans with mental health issues.

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

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.

At "recreational therapy" camps, outdoor activities and mindfulness help veterans with PTSD, sexual trauma, and other issues.

Active-duty troops are now at the U.S. border with Mexico, two weeks after President Trump ordered the deployment in response to a large group of migrants headed north from Central America.

The VA says 8500 requests for wheelchairs, artificial limbs, and other equipment have waited more than 30 days. That's down from 64,000 requests last year.

"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.

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