Bobbie O'Brien

Bobbie O'Brien has been a Reporter/Producer at WUSF since 1991. She reports on general news topics in Florida and the Tampa Bay region.

Bobbie also produces the blog, Off the Base, and covers military affairs, veterans’ issues and military families. She was named a Rosalyn Carter Fellow in 2010-2011. She supervises WUSF's news interns and frequently contributes to NPR programs.

Prior to joining WUSF, she worked at WTVT- TV as a researcher/segment producer, at the Tampa Tribune and at WFLA-TV. She attended Kent State University and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications from the University of South Florida in 1980.

Her work has been honored by the Society of Professional Journalists, the Radio and Television News Directors Association, Public Radio News Directors Inc., American Women in Radio & Television, the Florida Associated Press and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

Ways to Connect

Congress mandated the card in 2015, but provided no funding. So the VA struck a deal with Office Depot.

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.

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.

Rhode Island resident Tom Peters regularly vacations at the MacDill Air Force Base RV park.
Capt. Jessica Brown / U.S. Air Force

Military retirees can camp, golf, and fish at hundreds of military bases. It costs less than civilian resorts, making the bases popular vacation spots for thousands of former service members.

Natural light floods the hallways and community spaces at the new Bay Pines VA Mental Health Center in Florida. The center houses a special inpatient unit for sexual trauma survivors.
Bobbie O'Brien / American Homefront

Sexual trauma can be especially damaging for members of the military, where the perpetrator may be a commander and have access to weapons.

Military retiree Scott Neil is overseeing construction of his new distillery 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.

Pamela Richardson and her dog, Buttons.
Libby Denkmann / American Homefront

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

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.

Retired Army Lt. Col. Mo Bolduc shows the display of ribbons and flags that adorn the JROTC room and computer lab at his Florida high school.
Bobbie O'Brien / American Homefront

Family traditions and popular culture are among the things that motivate today's teenagers to join the armed forces.

Veterans and family members at Tampa's American Legion Post 5 participate in a special Memorial Day ceremony for troops who died by suicide.
Bobbie O'Brien / American Homefront

Memorial Day can be especially difficult for relatives of service members who died by suicide. They often feel stigmatized, even around other military families.

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