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

National Guard Deployments Start Slowly At U.S./Mexico Border

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

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Artist Dru Blair shows his painting of a 1952 CIA operation in China that killed two pilots.
Jay Price / American Homefront

"The Secret Ops of the CIA" calendars spotlight an unusual art genre: meticulous paintings of spy missions.

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.
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 a divide between veterans and non-veterans.

Homeless veterans and other homless people live in this encampment near the Saratoga Springs, New York train station.
Sarah Harris / American Homefront

Homelessness often looks different for veterans living in rural communities: Rather than living in the streets, they may be couch-surfacing, sleeping in their cars, or camping in the woods.

In Manteo yesterday, hundreds of people turned out for an annual reenactment of a heartwarming part of the Cold War -- when American pilots dropped candy from the sky for the children of Berlin during the Soviet blockade.

Actor Stephan Wolfert directs a program called DE-CRUIT that  welcomes veterans to the stage to perform Shakespeare.
Sarah Harris / American Homefront

A workshop in New York uses creative writing and Shakespearean monologues to help veterans heal.

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.
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 include corporate branding.

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.
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.

When service members are discharged from the military, the degree to which they can receive benefits from Veterans Affairs depends largely on their characterization of service.

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.
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.

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.
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 conduct discharges. They're not eligible for veterans' mental health care.  

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