Retired Army Colonel Herminio Blas-Irizarry volunteered for a VA COVID-19 vaccine trial. "It's something I want to do for my country," he said.
Stephanie Colombini / American Homefront

Veterans Find A New Way To Serve: They're Volunteering for COVID-19 Vaccine Trials

More than 50 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers are involved in trials to test vaccines and treatments for COVID-19, and the agency is calling on vets to volunteer.

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Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs is serving as temporary headquarters of the U.S. Space Command for at least the next six years. But several cities, including Colorado Springs, are competing to become the permanent home.
Duncan Wood / U.S. Air Force

Communities in 26 states hope to be chosen as the headquarters for U.S. Space Command, which could employ an estimated 1,400 people.

President Donald Trump speaks at a 2019 American Veterans Convention in Louisville, Ky. Former Vice President Joe Biden salutes a veteran at a 2019 Iowa town hall event.
Shealah Craighead / Official White House photo. Adam Schultz / Biden for President.

Veterans traditionally are more likely to vote for Republican candidates. But polls suggest their support for President Trump has eroded.

Medical personnel care for a patient in the parking garage of the  James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital in Tampa. Much of the emergency department has been relocated outside.
Ed Drohan / James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital

Medical facilities run by the Department of Veterans Affairs are reopening at a slower pace than many civilian health systems. But the VA has recently started to expand in-person care.

Comedian Fernando Sanchez warms up attendees of American Legion Post 397's comedy night Oct. 10. The Monterey Park, Cal. post has turned to events like this to raise money during the pandemic.
Robert Garrova / American Homefront

American Legion posts across the country serve as a community hub for veterans and their families. But the pandemic has put the future of many posts in jeopardy.

Josey Garcia, Pharaoh Clark, and Jourdyn Parks hold a banner as they march through San Antonio in July, shortly after Vanessa Guillen's body was found near Fort Hood.
Jolene Almendarez / American Homefront

Following Guillen's killing, the Army launched an independent investigation into the climate of Fort Hood, but critics say the problems are systemic.

Voting by mail is nothing new for military service members. Deployed worldwide at any of the nearly 800 foreign bases, military personnel are offered some exceptions during the elections. Some vote by fax from a battleship, and many sent their ballots weeks ago, after receiving them earlier than most voters, at least 45 days before the election. 

San Diego County Registrar of Voters Michael Vu stands in a warehouse filled with supplies for the 2020 election.
Mike Damron / KPBS

Military personnel have been voting by mail since the Civil War. This year, some polls suggest that troops' political preferences may be changing.

A soldier in Logar Province, Afghanistan reads about the capture of Osama Bin Laden in a 2011 issue of the Stars and Stripes.
Christopher Hall / Georgia National Guard

The 159-year-old military newspaper, which is published by the Department of Defense, has been targeted for elimination by some Pentagon leaders.

At General Clarence Tinker K-8 School on MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., about four in five students are attending classes in person.
Danielle Quilla / U.S. Air Force

Most military children are used to moving and changing schools. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be especially hard to make friends and feel comfortable in a new place.

In a training exercise at Joint Base Cape Cod, Army ROTC cadets practice ambushing opposing forces.
Lindsay Grant / U.S. Army

Like many college classes, ROTC training is mostly online because of the pandemic. But some cadets have resumed limited in-person training.

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