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American Homefront Project

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The American Homefront Project is reporting on military life and veterans issues. We're visiting bases to chronicle how American troops are working and living. We're meeting military families. We're talking with veterans -- in their homes, on their jobs, at school, at VA hospitals -- to learn about the challenges they face.

Support for the American Homefront Project comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting , as part of CPB's ongoing effort to expand coverage of local, regional, and national issues. Additional support comes from our partner public radio stations -- North Carolina Public Radio-WUNC, Puget Sound Public Radio-KUOW, and Southern California Public Radio-KPCC.


Caption: Navy Lt. Commander Jeff Raunig, a physician, weighs his options under the new military retirement system. "Med school doesn't teach you that much about economics," he said., Credit: Libby Denkmann/American Homefront
About 1.7 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 financia...

Bought by KPBS, WOUB, and Texas Public Radio

  • Added: Jan 16, 2018
  • Length: 03:50
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Customers line up outside Urban Leaf, a marijuana dispensary in San Diego.
California has become the eighth state to legalize recreational marijuana. But using the drug can still end a military career.

Bought by WUSF and Texas Public Radio

  • Added: Jan 08, 2018
  • Length: 03:49
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: rtist Dru Blair shows his painting of a 1952 CIA operation in China that killed two pilots., Credit: Jay Price/American Homefront
"The Secret Ops of the CIA" calendars spotlight an unusual art genre: meticulous paintings of spy missions.

Bought by WUSF, Texas Public Radio, and WOUB

  • Added: Jan 05, 2018
  • Length: 03:58
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: San Antonio's VFW Post 76 is a popular hangout for veterans, who often prefer to socialize with each other rather than with non-veterans., Credit: Tim Hipps / U.S. Army
Fewer than one percent of Americans are in the military, compared with about nine percent during World War II. Researchers say that's helped create...

Bought by Prairie Public, KPBS, North Country Public Radio, and KPCC

  • Added: Jan 02, 2018
  • Length: 03:38
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Homeless veterans and other homless people live in this encampment near the Saratoga Springs, New York train station., Credit: Sarah Harris/American Homefront
Homelessness looks different for veterans living in rural communities, where shelters are few and far between, and people aren’t living in the stre...

Bought by KRZA, WAER, WUSF, Texas Public Radio, WOUB and more

  • Added: Dec 19, 2017
  • Length: 03:39
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Actor Stephan Wolfert directs a program called DE-CRUIT that welcomes veterans to the stage to perform Shakespeare., Credit: Sarah Harris/American Homefront
A workshop in New York uses creative writing and Shakespearean monologues to help veterans heal.

Bought by WUSF, KPBS, Texas Public Radio, and WOUB

  • Added: Dec 07, 2017
  • Length: 03:40
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: The veterans group AMVETS distributed this early prototype of the VA's new veterans ID card in October. The VA has not released a final design, and it's not clear if the Office Depot logo will appear on the final card., Credit: AMVETS
The new veterans ID cards were mandated by a 2015 law. But some veterans groups are raising questions about the possibility that the cards will inc...

Bought by KPBS, WUSF, Texas Public Radio, and WOUB

  • Added: Nov 30, 2017
  • Length: 03:35
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Military retiree Scott Neil is overseeing construction of his new distillary in Florida. He decided to retire in the state in part because of its programs for veterans and retirees., Credit: Bobbie O'Brien/American Homefront
States and cities around the country are ramping up their efforts to attract military retirees, whose presence can be good for the local economy.

Bought by North Country Public Radio, KPBS, Texas Public Radio, and KPCC

  • Added: Nov 28, 2017
  • Length: 03:56
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: The city of Goldsboro, N.C. is spending $6 million to build a new multi-sport recreation park on land owned by Seymour Johnson Air Force Base., Credit: Goldsboro, N.C. Parks and Recreation Dept.
Though the federal government has no current plans to downsize the number of military bases, local communities aren't taking any chances.

Bought by North Country Public Radio, KPBS, WUSF, and Texas Public Radio

  • Added: Nov 27, 2017
  • Length: 03:56
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Clinical psychologist Miatta Snetter (right) speaks to Marine Corps veteran Sherry Pope at the Fullerton College Veterans Resource Center. Snetter says woman sometimes feel uncomfortable around male veterans at the VA., Credit: Libby Denkmann/American Homefront
A new program in Los Angeles is trying to provide female veterans with health care outside the VA, which some consider a male dominated environment.

Bought by WAMC, WUSF, Texas Public Radio, WOUB, and KPBS

  • Added: Nov 21, 2017
  • Length: 03:51
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: Speaking at the National Press Club Nov. 6, Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin said he considered Texas shooter Devin Kelley a criminal, not a veteran., Credit: National Press Club
This month’s mass shooting at a Texas church has raised questions of whether the military does enough to help former service members with bad condu...

Bought by WUSF, KPCC, North Country Public Radio, and Texas Public Radio

  • Added: Nov 16, 2017
  • Length: 03:38
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: The crew of an Amphibious Assault Vehicle waits on Red Beach in California during an October exercise., Credit: Beverly Woodworth / KPBS
During a San Diego training exercise, the Marine Corps tried out some new tools to enhance its amphibious landings.

Bought by Texas Public Radio

  • Added: Nov 13, 2017
  • Length: 03:57
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Actors Patrick Schwarzenegger (left) and Jon Beavers crouch in position on set of "The Long Road Home.", Credit: Van Redin / National Geographic
The National Geographic mini-series depicts the true story of an ambush that killed eight Americans and hundreds of Iraqis.

Bought by KPBS, Texas Public Radio, and KSFR

  • Added: Nov 09, 2017
  • Length: 03:24
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Patients wait for medical care at a temporary hospital tent outside the VA hospital in Ponce, Puerto Rico. The main building is unusable after Hurricane Maria., Credit: Angel Valentin/American Homefront
A month and a half after hurricane Maria, the VA Caribbean Healthcare system is delivering care in unconventional ways. And it's helping veterans w...

Bought by WOUB, KSFR, WUSF, and Texas Public Radio

  • Added: Nov 02, 2017
  • Length: 04:05
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Sgt. Gary Wyckoff (left) helps residents fill containers with drinkable water in Utuado, Puerto Rico. Troops from Fort Bragg are using a filtration system to purify the water., Credit: Angel Valentin/American Homefront
Many residents are making daily visits to distribution sites, where the Army has set up portable water purification systems.

Bought by KBCS 91.3 FM Community Radio, WUSF, Texas Public Radio, WOUB, and WRST-FM Oshkosh

  • Added: Oct 31, 2017
  • Length: 04:41
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: Swamp Apes Joe ‘Mojo’ Detre and Tom Aycock dig a hole on the side of a levee looking for Burmese python nests., Credit: Niall Macaulay
Removing pythons helps the ecology of the Everglades - and helps veterans transition from the battlefield to civilian life.

Bought by KBCS 91.3 FM Community Radio, KPBS, WUSF, and Texas Public Radio

  • Added: Oct 30, 2017
  • Length: 04:04
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico mayor Enrique Questell Alvarado shows 105th Engineer Battalion Lt. Col. Cale Moody a road washed out by Hurricane Maria., Credit:  Angel Valentin / American Homefront
A North Carolina-based engineering battalion is making slow progress repairing roads that were blocked or damaged in Hurricane Maria. But months of...

Bought by WUSF, KPBS, and Texas Public Radio

  • Added: Oct 24, 2017
  • Length: 04:02
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Kevin Ziober testifies before the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs in 2016 about his firing from a California real estate firm.
Kevin Ziober says he was illegally fired because he served in Afghanistan. His employer is forcing him to take his complaint to binding arbitration...

Bought by KRZA, KSFR, Texas Public Radio, and KPBS

  • Added: Oct 20, 2017
  • Length: 03:47
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Pilots from the 45th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron fly a C130 to evacuate patients from St. Croix., Credit: Julio Ochoa/WUSF Public Media
More than a week after Hurricane Maria, the Air Force continues daily medical evacuation flights from St. Croix. Patients are heading to South Caro...

Bought by WRST-FM Oshkosh, Texas Public Radio, and KPBS

  • Added: Oct 02, 2017
  • Length: 03:37
  • Purchases: 3
Caption:  The 323rd Army Band, "Fort Sam's Own," performs outside the Alamo. The band is scheduled to be deactived in 2019., Credit: Carson Frame/American Homefront
The military has more than 130 bands with more than 6000 musicians. But their cost – about a half-billion dollars a year – has made them a target f...

Bought by WOUB, WUSF, PRX Remix, KPCC, North Country Public Radio and more

  • Added: Sep 01, 2017
  • Length: 03:41
  • Purchases: 7