veterans

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.

San Antonio's VFW Post 76 is a popular hangout for veterans, who often prefer to socialize with each other rather than with non-veterans.
Tim Hipps / U.S. Army

Fewer than one percent of Americans are in the military, compared with about nine percent during World War II. Researchers say that's helped create a divide between veterans and non-veterans.

Homeless veterans and other homless people live in this encampment near the Saratoga Springs, New York train station.
Sarah Harris / American Homefront

Homelessness often looks different for veterans living in rural communities: Rather than living in the streets, they may be couch-surfacing, sleeping in their cars, or camping in the woods.

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.

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.

The number of North Carolina veterans who fought in World War II is declining. But last week, four of them got an official thanks from a country they helped liberate.

Swamp Apes Joe 'Mojo' Detre and Tom Aycock dig a hole on the side of a levee looking for Burmese python nests.
Niall Macaulay

Removing pythons helps the ecology of the Everglades - and helps veterans transition from the battlefield to civilian life.

Vietnam veterans James Lischer, left, and Bobby Lux get ready to surf at Del Mar. Since the 1960's, surfing has helped them open up about their experience in Vietnam.
Katie Schoolov / KPBS

For U.S. troops in Vietnam, the "China Beach" surfing spot provided a rare recreational outlet during the war. Some still seek healing from the waves.

Army veteran Russel Keyser shakes hands with his dog, Artemis, outside of his Ronkonkoma, NY home. Keyser says the dog helps him deal with the effects of PTSD.
Paige Pfleger / American Homefront

A growing number of veterans are acquiring service dogs to help cope with PTSD. But the VA won’t pay for them and says their effectiveness hasn’t been scientifically proven.

Army veteran Hector Barajas stands outside the Deported Veterans House in Tijuana. The House has a database of 350 deported veterans, but Barajas estimates the numbers could be much higher.
Dorian Merina / American Homefront

Hundreds of veterans - who served in the U.S. military as non-citizens - were later deported for committing civilian crimes. 

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