Department of Veterans Affairs

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

President Donald Trump shakes hands with acting Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie after announcing he will nominate him to lead the department during an event on prison reform in the East Room of the White House, Friday, May 18, 2018.
Evan Vucci / AP

As the Senate considers Robert Wilkie's nomination for VA secretary, veterans groups worry that the agency's leadership gap has slowed its work.

Army veteran Adam John Halvorsen and his girlfriend, Angela Del Castillo, were the first participants in a Safe Parking Program on the West Los Angeles VA campus.
Libby Denkmann / American Homefront

In the first program of its kind in the nation, the West Los Angeles VA has opened its campus to veterans who sleep in their cars. Officials say it's a less-than-ideal starting point to help homeless vets.

Vietnam-era veteran Diane Fike selects vegetables at the Austin, Tex. VA food pantry. Studies have found a growing number of veterans are food insecure, including many who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Carson Frame / American Homefront

More than 1.4 million veterans of all ages rely on government food assistance, but food insecurity is disproportionately common among post 9/11 veterans.

Some veterans groups say they’re uncertain about the future of care at the Department of Veterans Affairs, after President Trump ousted Secretary David Shulkin and nominated White House physician Ronny Jackson to head the agency.

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.

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

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.

Army veteran Phillip Faustman sifts through his belongings at a San Diego homeless shelter.  Faustman says he attempted suicide three times in two and a half years.
Christopher Maue / KPBS

The Veterans Health Administration is planning to make mental health care more available to help reduce veteran suicide. But veterans advocates worry about the impact on the already strained VA health system.

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.

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.  

Pages