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American Homefront

Kara McDermott for KUOW

New rules that go into effect Monday from the Department of Defense detail protocol for military doctors who care for transgender service members.

The rules also establish guidance for commanders.

Patricia Murphy

The Department of Education is partnering with education nonprofits to help answer questions from students affected by the abrupt shutdown of ITT Technical Institute.

The 40,000 former students will have to find new schools if they want to pursue their education. But for the more than 6,000 of those ITT students who were veterans, the problems can be much more complicated.

Homeschooling is becoming more common, and studies suggest that military parents are more likely to homeschool their kids.

John Zimmerman, a nurse anesthetist for the Veterans Administration in Minneapolis, leans over a patient. Under a new rule, some nurse practicioners are allowed to work independently rather than under a physician's close supervision.
Association of Veterans Affairs Nurse Anesthetists

Nurses may soon do work doctors normally do at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

This includes nurses performing work that anesthesiologists have been doing – and that has some physicians irate.

In an agency that was "built for men," VA leaders are working to add health care services for female veterans.

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

While the Army and Marines are just now opening all combat jobs to female troops, women have been serving on -- and commanding -- Navy warships for years.

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.

When clinical psychiatrist Cher Morrow-Bradley and other health care providers call the Veterans Choice program, they are greeted with a recorded, 90-second "thank you" from Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald.

It's not having the intended effect.

"Why don't you make this easier? The process is so cumbersome, and I have to listen to you thanking me for spending all this time and then I get put on hold," says Morrow-Bradley, adding that she hasn't figured out how to skip the message.

To commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the D-Day Invasion, some American high school students are traveling to Normandy, France to make sure the victims of World War II aren't forgotten.

An initiative at several veterans hospitals adds something new to patients' medical records: their life stories.

Families of service members missing in action gather at the Bellevue Marriott to hear how the Department of Defense is trying to match them with recovered remains.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

On a recent Saturday, the mood at the Marriott in Bellevue was lively considering the reason that people gathered there. From 7:30 in the morning until 5:00 in the evening, families packed into a ballroom to be briefed on what the federal government is doing to recover the remains of their loved ones.  

Roosevelt Ward Jr. after receiving a 50th anniversary commemorative pin. Ward served in the US Navy between 1965-1966.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

Veterans and their families packed the lobby of VA Puget Sound in Seattle on Tuesday for the department’s local commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.

Winston-Salem is among a group of cities nationwide that say they've met the White House goal to end veteran homelessness.

Marine veteran John Knox arranges fall produce at the Growing Veterans farm stand at the VA Hospital in Seattle. Knox says learning to farm helped him make the transition back to civilian life.
KUOW photo/Patricia Murphy

Army vet Josh Wheeldon can tick off a half-dozen veterans groups he has volunteered with: The Mission Continues, AmeriCorps Vet Corps, Team Rubicon, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, 22Kill, Seattle Stand Down and Team Red White and Blue.

He’s also a lifetime member of the older Veterans of Foreign Wars. But he doesn’t always feel like he fits in there.

The leadership of the American Legion and VFW is seeking younger, more diverse members. But they face a challenge changing their public image.


Groups like the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars have served former service members for a century. But declining membership threatens to lessen their influence.


The last American was drafted in 1973, but the U.S. maintains an elaborate infrastructure to re-activate the draft if Congress ever decides it's needed.


As more military jobs are opened to women, Congress may face the question of whether to require women to register for the Selective Service.


A U.S. recovery team has returned to a remote part of India to try to retrieve the remains of troops killed in World War II. Family members say a border dispute between India and China has delayed recovery efforts for years.


A single number has shaped the way that Americans think about young military veterans.

It's the number 22, as in, 22 vets take their lives each day.

The number has become a rallying cry for advocates trying to call attention to suicide among vets, especially those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Twenty-two, not some vague, rounded-off number. Not 30, not 20. Twenty-two.

A number so specific it inspires action. Speeches, fundraisers, marches and even walks clear across the country.

But 22 doesn't quite add up.

Veteran Housing Vouchers Scorned by Landlords

Sep 4, 2015

The building manager's office was closed, but Veronica Schenkelberg and Adrian Carrillo decided to wait.

All day, they'd been hitting buzzers and knocking on doors, looking for an apartment for Carrillo, and this building showed promise--it had an apartment available, and from what Carrillo could gather online, it took Section 8 housing vouchers.

After 35 minutes, Cindy Morrison arrived to unlock the door and deliver the same statement the two had been hearing all day:  The building doesn't take federal rent assistance vouchers.

Henry Chamberlain looks at mementos from World War II. He spent three and a half years as a prisoner of the Japanese.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

In 1945 President Harry Truman declared Sept. 2 as Victory Over Japan Day. Japan surrendered aboard the USS Missouri. It was the official end of World War II.

But the suffering wasn't over for Henry Chamberlain, who had been captured on the Philippines' Bataan Peninsula more than three years before.