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

The sunshine state was well represented at the White House Wednesday as President Trump signed a bill extending and improving the Veterans Choice Act which allows veterans to seek medical care outside the VA system under certain conditions.

A community leader and advocate for homeless people – especially veterans – has died. Bruce Fyfe served more than 23 years as chairman of the board at Clearwater’s Homeless Empowerment Program (HEP).

Lt. Col. Carol Barkalow, now retired, was in the first class at West Point that included women.
Gustavo Sebran / U.S. Army

The Marine Corps photo scandal has disappointed some veterans who helped break down barriers for women in the military, but they say it shouldn't overshadow the progress of female service members.

 Marine Corps veteran Bernie Lodico straightens one of the fence posts in the Veterans Garden.
Bobbie O'Brien / American Homefront

Researchers at the Department of Veterans Affairs say that raising food or animals has therapeutic value for former service members.

It’s estimated the high tech industry will create more than 200,000 "new collar” jobs in the next three years. To fill those positions, IBM is tapping into a workforce that’s already well trained - veterans.

“We need to get people to hit the ground running and be productive,” said Tampa IBM executive Stuart Bean. “And you just can’t fill them unless you have people who are already disciplined, already trained, mature enough, (and) can hit the ground running.”

Dr. David Shulkin faces a Senate confirmation hearing for the position of Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Department of Veterans Affairs

The Senate is expected to confirm Dr. David Shulkin - President Donald Trump's nominee for Secretary of Veterans Affairs. He's the only holdover from the Obama administration on the Trump cabinet. He would also be the first non-veteran to lead the VA.

VA Secretary nominee David Shulkin tours the Cinncinati VA medical center in July 2016.
Dept. of Veterans Affairs

Some vets question whether President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for Secretary of Veterans Affairs -- a current VA Under Secretary -- will bring reforms to the agency.

Leonard Stevens is one of the last living World War II glider pilots.
Bobbie O'Brien / American Homefront

One of the last living World War II glider pilots lives in a modest home in Tampa, Florida, where he's developed a special bond with his neighbors.

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Bob McDonald testifies before a Senate committee in January 2016 on the VA's efforts to streamline the disability appeals process.
CSPAN

Veterans with denied disability claims wait an average of four to five years for appeals hearings. The VA predicts the delay will get worse if Congress doesn't streamline the process.

Navy Lt. Jessica Vaeth assists fellow sailors on the Navy assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard register for absentee ballots for the 2016 election.
Jeanette Mullinax / U.S. Navy

In 2000, the Florida ballots of overseas service members were a key point of controversy in the contested Bush vs. Gore election.  Now, 16 years later, little has changed for most overseas troops, who still vote absentee mostly through international mail.

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