veterans

Group Sues Over Access To Veterans Nursing Home

Nov 19, 2017

A disability-rights organization has filed a federal lawsuit against the Florida Department of Veterans' Affairs, contending the group was improperly prevented from having access to a state veterans nursing home.

Peter Haden / WLRN

Palm Beach County veterans now have greater access to benefits they’ve earned.

The county held a grand opening Wednesday for its new South County Veterans Services Office at 345 S. Congress Ave. in Delray Beach.

“We have a lot of veterans in the Delray-Boca area,” Palm Beach County Veteran Services Supervisor Jose Capellan said. “Having an office here — closer to our clientele — allows us to serve the south county veterans a lot easier.”

The new office is open for walk-ins or appointments. Previously, most vets had to travel to the main office in West Palm Beach.

Photo courtesy of Real Pictures, LLC

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Honorably discharged veterans could get a two-month break from sales taxes under a measure filed by Miami Democratic Representative Kionne  McGhee.

At the VA Hospital, Patients Often Wind Up in Court

May 31, 2017
Veterans Administration

One day in February, Salvatore Pelegrino, a cancer patient at the Veterans Administration hospital in Miami, was peeling an apple at a table on a patio outside the hospital when a police officer approached and confiscated his knife. Pelegrino, who uses a walker and breathes with the help of an oxygen tank, was handcuffed and detained at a facility on the hospital campus, then issued a ticket for carrying a knife with a blade longer than 3 inches.

“How would you like to deal with [the ticket], sir?” the judge asked Pelegrino in court, in April.

South Florida Marks Memorial Day By Honoring Fallen Heroes

May 29, 2017
Isabella Cueto / WLRN NEWS

Not all South Florida residents spent Memorial Day lounging by the pool or the beach. For many, this was a day of remembrance, dedicated to brave soldiers who gave their lives for our country. 

About 150 people gathered for a ceremony at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Miami. Volunteers and Boy Scouts had spent hours the previous day placing miniature American flags in front of more than 2,000 veterans’ graves.

Peter Haden / WLRN

Hundreds of people honored fallen American service members at the South Florida National Cemetery in Lake Worth Monday. It was the 10th Annual Memorial Day Ceremony on the grounds. WLRN’s Peter Haden brings us this audio postcard.

Read more: South Florida Marks Memorial Day By Honoring Fallen Heroes

A towering oak tree draped with Spanish moss offers little relief from the Florida sun as Andrew Lumish scrubs grime from the headstone of a World War I veteran.

"It's pretty messy, pretty dirty," he says. "We're pulling out dirt and biological material that's been here since 1921. So, a lot of elbow grease here."

Lumish, who has so far cleaned about 600 veterans' headstones, says he restores them out of respect for those who died and to learn about how they lived.

Bobbie O'Brien / AMERICAN HOMEFRONT

Memorial Day can be especially difficult for relatives of service members who died by suicide. They often feel stigmatized, even around other military families.

The American Homefront Project talks with service members and veterans about who they're remembering this Memorial Day.

As Memorial Day approaches, the Library of Congress is calling on families and friends of those who served in uniform to help preserve their stories.

Updated at 1:55 p.m. ET

The House has approved legislation that would make it harder to keep veterans who are "mentally incapacitated, deemed mentally incompetent" or prone to blackouts from buying guns. Critics of the bill say it could raise the suicide rate among veterans — a rate that has risen in the past decade.

At least a dozen Democrats joined Republicans to support the bill, which was approved by a 240-175 vote.

Did you know it’s worse to vandalize a public telephone than deface a Veterans’ monument in Florida? As one of the most populous states for veterans, Florida lawmakers are trying to correct that.

There’s a growing movement to help veterans transition from the battlefield to a more bucolic setting. Whether it’s a community agriculture initiative or a functioning farm – researchers are finding that raising food can offer veterans both a therapeutic and an economic value.

Florida’s veterans could enjoy two full months without sales tax if one South Florida lawmaker gets his way.  But he’ll face an uphill battle in a year with so little new money available.

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