Artwork in the office of Dr. Greg Serpa at the West Los Angeles VA includes toy army men in yoga poses.
Libby Denkmann / American Homefront

Teaching Veterans Kindness: VA Embraces Mindfulness, Whole Health

The VA hopes to roll out a national "whole health" program for veterans, offering them acupuncture, tai chi, yoga,and other alternative mental health therapies.

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Patients are evacuated from St. Croix by the 45th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron of Reserves based at Tampa's MacDill Air Force Base.
The 927th Air Refueling Wing

Military C-130 and C-17 aircraft have been outfitted with medical equipment, as the Air Force flies patients to hospitals in the mainland U.S.

Members of the Jacksonville, N.C. Rolling Thunder chapter pass a flame during a cememony honoring prisoners of war and troops missing in action.
Jay Price / American Homefront

In the Vietnam War era, Americans became more interested in recovering missing troops -- largely because of the activism of some military families.

Thomas J. Brennan first started writing about war through letters home to his wife when he was deployed in a remote village in Afghanistan’s Helmand province.

A San Antonio-based MAST crew loads a patient onto a medevac helicopter around 1970. The MAST program was designed to bring battlefield emergency medical techniques to civilians in the U.S.
Army Medical Department Museum

The well-equipped medevac helicopters that transported injured troops in Vietnam became the model for today's air ambulance services in the U.S.

Nancy Hatch Dupree helped preserve the culture and history in Afghanistan through years of war and turmoil. She moved to Kabul in 1962 with her first husband and went on to write five books and more than 100 articles on Afghanistan. 

Sailors steer the USS Gabrielle Giffords as the ship comes into San Diego.
Steve Walsh / American Homefront

The speedy, high-tech Littoral Combat Ship has been plagued with delays, mechanical problems and cost overruns.

The 323rd Army Band, "Fort Sam's Own," performs outside the Alamo. The band is scheduled to be deactived in 2019.
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 for budget cutters in Congress and at the Pentagon.

In the past decade the military has become increasingly open to service members of different genders and sexual identities.

The Fort Bragg division is best known for its parachute jumps in World War II. Today, its specialty is rapid deployments - with or without parachutes.

Liza Rodewald works from home and co-founded Hire Mad Skills, a job site that places military spouses in remote jobs.
Sarah Harris / American Homefront

Military families move a lot, and that makes it hard for service members’ spouses to hold steady jobs. About half of military spouses are either unemployed or underemployed – and that can take a toll on their families, their earning power, and the economy. 

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