Gene Popiolek, 68, (left) visits his father Bernie, 95, at an assisted living facility outside Baltimore. Bernie, a WWII veteran, pays to live here with help from the VA's Aid and Attendance benefit.
Stephanie Colombini / American Homefront

A VA Program Can Help War Veterans Pay For Long-Term Care, But Applying For It Can Be An Ordeal

The VA Aid and Attendance benefit can help some vets and spouses pay for nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and home health care. But the application process is often long and complicated.

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Seojun Lee stands outside an Army recruiting station near Phoenix. Lee signed up for the Army more than four years ago, but hasn't been allowed to serve.
Josie Huang / American Homefront

The MAVNI program allowed non-U.S. citizens to enlist in the armed services if they had foreign language skills or other special expertise. But the program is now at a standstill.

A Ukrainian and American soldier talk through a potential battlefield scenario with the help of an interpreter at the Combat Training Center in Yavoriv, Ukraine. The Wisconsin National Guard is helping train Ukraine's military.
Levi Bridges / American Homefront

While the impeachment case centers on President Trump's handling of military aid to Ukraine, U.S. troops deployed in Ukraine say their mission hasn't changed.

Television commericals in the Army's 'What's Your Warrior' campaign feature researchers in lab coats as well as soldiers in uniform.
U.S. Army

The campaign, which launched in November, emphasizes Army careers in technology, medicine, and other non-combat jobs.

A fire fighter monitors a controlled burn Sept. 18, 2019 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The burn was intended to reduce the risk of wildfires.
Aubree Milks / U.S. Air Force

A 2019 Department of Defense report concluded that the effects of a changing climate, including wildfires, threaten dozens of military bases.

World War II veteran Gerry Bennett, 92, plays cards with Gloria Estrello, a volunteer with the Choose Home Senior Corps program.
Carson Frame / American Homefront

The VA pilot program places federally-backed volunteers in the homes of veterans to help with cooking, cleaning and other low-skill tasks.

Congresswoman Jackie Speier, left, meets with Army Sergeant Richard Stayskal, center, his wife, Megan, and his attorney, Natalie Khawam, in Speier’s Washington office before an April 2019 subcommittee hearing on the Feres Doctrine.
U.S. House of Representatives

Congress has established an administrative process for service members to pursue malpractice claims. But they still can't sue in civilian court.

Air Force veteran Ronald West, 70, said he leaves his hospital room several times a day to smoke outside the Tampa VA property.
Stephanie Colombini / American Homefront

The VA has eliminated the designated smoking areas at its hospitals, clinics, and other buildings. It's a difficult transition for some patients, visitors, and VA workers.

Veteran David Wheaton said he's noticed his COPD has improved since he began playing the harmonica. He said he used to be able to exercise for only a few minutes, but now can work out longer.
Stephanie Colombini / American Homefront

Some Florida veterans are putting on a holiday performance at their local VA, but not just to spread cheer. It’s part of a program that uses harmonicas to help treat COPD.

Comedian Paula Poundstone performs at a USO show in Washington, D.C.
Katie Lange / U.S. Department of Defense

For an organization that's still strongly associated with entertainers of the past, like Bob Hope, it's a constant challenge to stay relevant to today's service members.

John and Barbara Browning attended a Warrior to Soul Mate session to improve their marriage in light of John's PTSD symptoms and other health challenges. 'He never told me what he went through in Vietnam until he went to pieces,' Barbara said.
Carson Frame / American Homefront

The Department of Veterans Affairs is offering couples retreats to help former service members communicate with their spouses.

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