veterans

An Army review concludes that commanders did nothing wrong when they kicked out more than 22,000 soldiers for misconduct after they came back from Iraq or Afghanistan – even though all of those troops had been diagnosed with mental health problems or brain injuries.

The Army's report, ordered by Secretary Eric Fanning, seeks to reassure members of Congress that it's treating wounded soldiers fairly. But senators and military specialists say the report troubles them.

Veterans consider the next commander-in-chief

Nov 11, 2016
R
Reuters/Lucas Jackson

Veterans Day 2016 came the same week as a significant and divisive election. Veterans, like other groups of Americans, were divided in their voting.

We reached out to more than a thousand vets. Many offered strong opinions.

Mark Schermerhorn from Murfreesboro, Tenn., texted to us: "Thank God Trump won!"

Others wanted to make sure the new president does something about health care for veterans. Phil Moyart of San Jose, California, wrote, "Make America great again, reform the health-care delivery services of the Veterans Administration."

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.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

  Over the weekend, many people in South Florida and throughout the nation took part in ceremonies marking the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

One group of South Florida military veterans observed the anniversary by providing more service. The Miami platoon of The Mission Continues nonprofit traveled to Fort Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park.

  The group has been working with the Suncoast chapter of the National Parks Conservation Association to help out the parks. The National Park Service is marking its centennial this year.

World War II pilot Elaine Harmon, who died last year at the age of 95, wanted to be laid to rest with her fellow veterans at Arlington National Cemetery.

And on Wednesday, Harmon's wish was fulfilled — thanks to a dedicated effort by her family and a law passed by Congress.

Harmon was one of the Women Airforce Service Pilots, a group of female pilots who flew military planes in noncombat missions in order to free up male pilots for fighting.

The Chalcraft Family

The toughest writing assignment 16-year-old Konner Ross will have this year is to write a eulogy for a young man she’s never met. But there’s a part of him the Largo High School junior never forget – his green eyes.

“They have his wallet from when they found it on the beach and on his identification card, it says (he has) green eyes and brown hair,” Ross said. “I didn't know he had green eyes until then. So, that seems like something small, but it was really cool to learn for some reason.”

R
Carlos Barria/Reuters

President Barack Obama's visit to Hiroshima and the trip immediately preceding it, to Vietnam, have powerful and historic symbolism. And for Americans who served in Vietnam, and the dwindling band of World War II veterans, the visits have special significance.

We were curious, too, to find out how veterans of more recent US wars were reacting. We reached out to our online veteran community and asked them: "What's your reaction to Obama's Vietnam and Hiroshima trip? And how much do World War II and the Vietnam War shape your worldview?"

A Florida congressman says the Veterans Administration cut off the benefits of more 4,200 people nationwide after they were wrongly declared dead.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

 

As the number of veterans grows after 15 years of war, so do the number of veteran- and military-related charities. Today, there are an estimated 40,000 charities listed as serving vets and active duty military. But not all are legitimate.

Sandra Miniuitti, vice president of marketing for Charity Navigator, said there has been a 77 percent increase in these charities between 2000 and 2008, and a 41 percent increase in the past eight years.

CHARLES TRAINOR JR / Miami Herald

Steve Ligeikis has forgotten what happened to the cat.

“Alek!” The ex-military man scans each corner of the living room, looking for the familiar figure of the orange tabby to appear, purring against his legs.

His voice rises with anxiety on this rainy Sunday afternoon. “Alek!”

Steve’s wife, Emma, flinches by the front door of their two-bedroom apartment in suburban Fort Lauderdale.

Branson Rector

 

Shortly before Veterans Day, Veterans Ocean Adventures a Miami-based nonprofit that teaches veterans to scuba dive, sail and more, hosted a memorial scuba diving trip to honor one of its members. Steve Carraderro, a former Army sergeant, passed away unexpectedly last year.

Studies show that only about half of the veterans who need mental health care seek treatment. And of those who get care – many drop-out before treatment is complete.

“So, we’re only reaching a third of people ultimately who need the treatment,” said retired Army Col. Dr. Charles Hoge. He works as a civilian at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center where he used to head up PTSD research.

Florida has 160,000 women veterans living in the state, yet some of those women do not consider themselves a veteran and many more have never applied for veterans’ benefits.

Matching women veterans with available benefits, resources and support is the goal of the 2nd Annual Women Veterans’ Conference July 30-31, 2015 at the University of South Florida

Maryland GovPics / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

More than 60 local veterans will head to Washington, D.C., Saturday to celebrate the end of Military Appreciation Month. The trip is sponsored by Honor Flight, a nonprofit that organizes trips to the nation’s capital for veterans of the Korean and Second World wars.

Two Marines, Two Soldiers Become One Acting Troop

Apr 16, 2015
Kenny Malone / WLRN

For the last three months, four veteran servicemen have been writing and workshopping "Conscience Under Fire," a series of monologues premiering Sunday, April 19 at The Betsy Hotel on South Beach.

The production, funded by the Knight Foundation and presented by Miami Dade College’s MDC Live Arts, is directed by Miami actor/writer/director Teo Castellanos and performed by four veterans who also wrote the show.

Pages