Airman 1st Class Jack Pepper (with goggles) attempts a maneuver on a simulator while Lt. Col. Paul Vicars looks on. Pepper is among the first participants in Pilot Training Next, which uses off-the-shelf virtual reality technology.
Carson Frame / American Homefront

These Air Force Trainees Spend Less Time In the Cockpit, More Time In Flight Simulators

Facing a shortage of pilots, the Air Force is experimenting with ways to make training programs faster and less expensive.

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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.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (left) and Manuel Padilla, chief of the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector, meet National Guard troops in Weslaco, Tex.
Carson Frame / American Homefront

Hundreds of troops have arrived to assist Border Patrol agents.  But National Guard operations are not yet fully underway.

Sage Decker, an Army veteran with 16 years of experience fighting wildfires, leads a training session put on by Team Rubicon and the Bureau of Land Management.
Libby Denkmann / American Homefront

The Bureau of Land Management has partnered with Team Rubicon - a veterans group - to train former service members to fight wildfires.

More than sixty percent of the students at Indian River Central School in Philadelphia, New York, are from military families.
Sarah Harris / American Homefront

Kids in military families average six to nine moves before they graduate high school. That means navigating new schools, finding new friends, and catching up in classes ... over and over again.

Sailors at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. raise a flag to recognize the station's success at retaining personnel. The Navy recognizes units that do a good job keeping sailors in the service.
Greg Mitchell / U.S. Navy

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.

Army veteran Rosemary Salak performs exercises with physical therapist Barbara Springer as part of her participation in a study of the ReLoad app.
Paige Pfleger / American Homefront

The app uses music and audio to help amputees lessen the pain and discomfort of walking with a prosthetic leg.

Some veterans groups say they’re uncertain about the future of care at the Department of Veterans Affairs, after President Trump ousted Secretary David Shulkin and nominated White House physician Ronny Jackson to head the agency.

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