President Donald Trump shakes hands with acting Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie after announcing he will nominate him to lead the department during an event on prison reform in the East Room of the White House, Friday, May 18, 2018.
Evan Vucci / AP

As the Senate considers Robert Wilkie's nomination for VA secretary, veterans groups worry that the agency's leadership gap has slowed its work.

Singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier appeared at McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, Cal. as part of her nationwide tour for "Rifles and Rosary Beads."
Libby Denkmann / American Homefront

For her new album, Nashville singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier collaborated with veterans to write songs about war, service, and life after the military.

A nuclear bomb and its parachute rest in a field near Goldsboro, N.C. after falling from a B-52 bomber in 1961. If it had detonated, it could have instantly killed thousands of people.
U.S. Air Force

During the Cold War, U.S. planes accidentally dropped nuclear bombs on the east coast, in Europe, and elsewhere. "Dumb luck" prevented a historic catastrophe.

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Army veteran Adam John Halvorsen and his girlfriend, Angela Del Castillo, were the first participants in a Safe Parking Program on the West Los Angeles VA campus.
Libby Denkmann / American Homefront

In the first program of its kind in the nation, the West Los Angeles VA has opened its campus to veterans who sleep in their cars. Officials say it's a less-than-ideal starting point to help homeless vets.

A bugler plays Taps at Bay Pines National Cemetery as veterans stand at attention for their fellow former service members who died without close relatives.
Bobbie O'Brien / American Homefront

Memorial Day is set aside to remember those who died in military service. But a group of military veterans in Florida works all year to commemorate their comrades who died with no family by their side.

Vietnam-era veteran Diane Fike selects vegetables at the Austin, Tex. VA food pantry. Studies have found a growing number of veterans are food insecure, including many who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Carson Frame / American Homefront

More than 1.4 million veterans of all ages rely on government food assistance, but food insecurity is disproportionately common among post 9/11 veterans.

Lt. Col. Khallid Shabazz leads Friday prayer for the Muslim community of Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Shabazz is the Army's first division-level Muslim chaplain.
Anna Boiko-Weyrauch / American Homefront

The military has made progress diversifying its chaplain corps. But it faces a shortage of chaplains of all faiths.

Diane Garrison Langston, a board-certified music therapist at the Gainesville, Fla. VA, is teaching Joshua Lawhorn guitar to help with his post traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury.
Bobbie O'Brien / American Homefront

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 than their civilian counterparts to kill themselves. Advocates say women's mental health challenges are different from those of men.

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