american homefront

Local Veterans Affairs officials met with reporters this week to talk about some of the steps they're taking to improve accessibility and quality of care for veterans. 

One of the Seattle VA's new initiatives is to help veterans deal with chronic pain -- a problem that can often lead to opiate dependence and addiction. Another critical initiative addresses the 11 percent growth in VA Puget Sound's patient load. 


Performance Psychologist Meghan Halbrook of Fort Bragg's Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Center shows a soldier how to use an ear sensor to monitor his stress level as he rests between sessions of machine gun training.
Jay Price / American Homefront

With biofeedback, breath control, and other mindfulness techniques, an Army unit hopes to help turn its paratroopers into more effective fighters.

Lt. Colonel Eric Flake of Madigan Army Medical Center meets with Major Ruth Racine, whose 7 year old son is being treated for autism.
Patricia Murphy / American Homefront

The new center in Tacoma, Washington comes after years of complaints from service members that it’s nearly impossible to find autism therapy for their children.

Dozens of women who take care of military veteran spouses got to take a break Saturday morning at Bob Hope Patriotic Hall in downtown Los Angeles. The event offered day care, arts and crafts, mindfulness training, and free massages.
KPCC/John Ismay

Dozens of women who take care of military veteran spouses got to take a break Saturday morning at Bob Hope Patriotic Hall in downtown Los Angeles. The event offered day care, arts and crafts, mindfulness training, and free massages. KPCC/John Ismay

For many women in Los Angeles, taking care of a disabled spouse is a full-time job.

Veterans attend a meetup of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America in Seattle.
Patricia Murphy / American Homefront

What does it mean to be a veteran in the 21st century?  For the more than two million former service members who've returned from Afghanistan and Iraq, it can be challenging to transition back into civilian life.

The wait times for VA primary care patients in the Fayetteville area had been among the longest in the country, but have fallen sharply in recent months. VA officials say that a big reason is the massive outpatient health care center they opened in November.

At Cargomatic in Venice Beach, California, Air Force veteran Blake Pickell uses his 'MBV' degree as a senior manager.
John Ismay / American Homefront

The University of Southern California is doing something unique -- offering a college degree called an MBV – a Masters of Business for Veterans.

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American Homefront reporter Jay Price talks with WUNC's Frank Stasio about the potential dangers of burn pits, which were commonly used to dispose of trash at U.S. bases in Afghanistan and Iraq. Price, who spent time at several of the bases as a journalist, explains that burn pits were among many things that polluted the air in war zones.

Marine Lance Cpl. Richard Carmichael disposes of trash in a burn pit in Afghanistan in this 2013 photo.
Sgt Anthony L. Ortiz / U.S. Marine Corps

So-called "burn pits" were common at U.S. military outposts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Legislation in the Senate would create a center to study the effects of breathing their smoke.

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