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

When Veterans Die Without Loved Ones, These Volunteers Make Sure They Have A Send Off

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.

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At American Legion Post 87 in High Point, N.C., the bar is jumping, even though some of the patrons are almost 70 years old.

"The sad part is, some of the older vets, the World War II, the Korea vets, they're passing on," says Fred Iannone, the post's commander. "The Vietnam veterans so far, we're holding our own."

Veterans organizations, like the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, are losing their older members and struggling to attract the younger veterans of more recent wars.

Navy veteran Dick Oliver lives in Westchester, California.
John Ismay/American Homefront Project

To commemorate Veterans Day, the American Homefront Project talks with former service members about their time in the armed forces.

The Selective Service System promotes registration through these transit billboards, as well as TV and radio public service announcements.
Selective Service System

As more military jobs are opened to women, Congress may face the question of whether to require women to register for the Selective Service.


Selective Service program analysts Vince McClure (right) and Cristine Nguyen demonstrate the machines that would determine who would be drafted if the U.S. reinstates a miliatary draft.
Jagmeet Mac / American Homefront Project

The last American was drafted in 1973, but the U.S. maintains an elaborate infrastructure to re-activate the draft if Congress ever decides it's needed.


U.S. Teams Search For Missing WWII Remains In India

Oct 29, 2015

Hundreds of U.S. aircrafts were lost during World War II along a remote military supply route in the Himalayas called the Hump. The treacherous terrain caused hundreds of World War II service members to crash, scattering their remains along the region.

A U.S. recovery team has returned to a remote part of India to try to retrieve the remains of troops killed in World War II. Family members say a border dispute between India and China has delayed recovery efforts for years.


There are signs that transgender people could serve openly in the United States military within the next year.
U.S. Army / Flickr Creative Commons

WUNC's Frank Stasio talks with KUOW military reporter Patricia Murphy about the ongoing Pentagon effort to accommodate transgender service members.


Capt. Jennifer Peace walks into the room, a tall, thin woman in crisp uniform, with minimal makeup and trim brown hair.

But when soldiers call her ma’am, she has orders to correct them. They must call her sir.

A Theater of War performance at Columbia University in 2011.
Theater of War

Veterans perform tragic Greek plays for audiences of that include military combat veterans.


Veterans advocates, protesters, and even President Obama have cited the statistic that 22 veterans a day kill themselves. But the reality is complex, and the number can be misleading.

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