Military

Military families move a lot, and that makes it hard for service members’ spouses to hold steady jobs. About half of military spouses are either unemployed or underemployed – and that can take a toll on their families, their earning power, and the economy. 

28 people have been charged so far in the so-called "Fat Leonard" bribery scandal. While the Navy has beefed up its ethics training, it also faces longstanding cultural challenges.

Arm of Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr.
Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff - Dominique A. Pineiro / Flickr - Creative Commons

High-level U.S. military officials are clarifying the policy surrounding transgender service members after President Donald Trump announced a ban of transgender members of the military via Twitter. Trump cited “tremendous medical costs and disruption” as a cause of the ban. Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, issued a message to top military officials clarifying that “no modifications” to the military’s transgender policy will come into effect as a result of the declared ban. 

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.

13,000 Afghans who helped American troops are waiting for special visas to come to the U.S. Their lives could be in danger as they wait.

A retreat for combat veterans and their families is coming to the Fayetteville area.
Fort Rucker / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/aDwYea

A non-profit group started by a Navy Seal who was involved in one of the most famous incidents of the war in Afghanistan is about to start building a retreat for combat veterans and their families near Fayetteville.

Christian Wade of the 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune shoots a suppressed carbine. The surpressor is the canister on the end of the barrel.
Timothy Lutz and Clarence Wimberly / U.S. Marine Corps

The Marine Corps is experimenting with suppressors and high-tech headsets to quiet some battlefield noises, while making it easier for troops to hear other sounds.

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.

Soldier training with firearm
Edward Johnson / Flickr - Creative Commons

We often think of the battlefield as a place of chaos, where the explosive sounds of gunfire ring out over commands. But the technology of warfare is changing and so is the sound.


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

Non-citizens are eligible to serve in the U.S. military. But even as veterans, they can still be deported if they commit crimes after they leave the service.

Since 2011, more than 30,000 service members have filed federal complaints about consumer scams. Regulators say troops are frequent targets of predatory lending schemes.

the.myrmldon / Flickr/Creative Commons

Any military veteran who commits a crime must do the time. But veterans who are not U.S. citizens face a special sentence: deportation. Even after serving their sentence, they may be kicked out of the country they served. Some find their way to a makeshift shelter and support center in Tijuana, Mexico that was set up by another deported veteran.

PHOTOS: The 82nd Airborne Division Turns 100

Jun 1, 2017

As the Army's 82nd Airborne Division commemorates its 100th anniversary this year, its annual homecoming event was an opportunity to show off some of its capabilities.

A west coast group is using youth theater to tell the stories of an often forgotten group of children -- kids who grow up in military families.

An image of veteran farmer Alex Sutton
Courtesy Alix Blair

Note: this segment is a rebroadcast from November 10, 2016.

A new documentary explores the personal journey of North Carolina veteran and Purple Heart recipient, Alex Sutton. Sutton carves out a life as a farmer after three military combat tours in Iraq. But his path to healing is marked by stark contrasts between bucolic farm life with his wife and children, and the challenge of grappling with both post-traumatic stress disorder and his own post-war identity.

Bobbie O'Brien

An average of 20 military veterans commit suicide each day. While men and women killed in combat are remembered as heroes, those who take their own lives after returning home are rarely glorified. 


The Honor Was Mine: A Look Inside the Struggles of Military Veterans
Grand Harbor Press

 Note: this segment is a rebroadcast from September 7, 2016.

The American Homefront Project talks with service members and veterans about who they're remembering this Memorial Day.

To prepare for sophisticated enemies, soldiers are learning to use and defend themselves against cyber weapons.

A growing number of homeless veterans are women. But there are few places that specialize in helping them get back on their feet.

The Pentagon doesn't track how many deployed service members are mothers (or fathers). But being a parent while serving the country creates unique challenges.

Construction projects at the Durham VA hospital include a 10-bed hospice wing, a radiation oncology wing, and expanded space for primary and dental care.
Jay Price / WUNC

New Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities in Fayetteville, Charlotte, and elsewhere have reduced wait times. But the VA concedes it must do more.

The debilitating effects of post traumatic stress are well documented. But studies suggest that surviving trauma might also lead to personal growth.

When service members return from the battlefield with lifetime disabilities, their spouses often become full-time caregivers.

social media icons
howtostartablogonline.net / Flickr, Creative Commons

It’s now a crime for sailors or Marines to post nude photos of service members without their consent.

The measure is the Navy’s latest response to a scandal involving a private Facebook group used by male Marines and veterans.

Thousands of military households rely on government food assistance programs, but the Pentagon doesn't track how many service members have trouble feeding their families.

Rashmi Patel is at the wheel of an electric-powered shuttle, one of the Army's two first autonomous vehicles, at Fort Bragg.
Jay Price / WUNC

Rashmi Patel is at the wheel of an electric-powered shuttle, but not for long. The vehicle is one of two shuttles making history at Fort Bragg as one of the Army’s first autonomous vehicles.

Sea Level Rise Threatens Military Bases

Mar 21, 2017
An F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the “Blue Blasters” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 34 takes off from the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.
Courtesy of the National Museum of the U.S. Navy's Photostream

A report by the Union of Concerned Scientists reveals that 128 U.S. military installations could be threatened by rising sea levels.

WUNC Military reporter Jay Price found that some bases are already experiencing flooding, and that the Department of Defense has no long-term plan for addressing climate change.
 

Guest host Phoebe Judge talks with Jay Price about the findings and the military’s uncertain path forward.  

Lance Cpl. Justin A. Rodriguez / U.S. Marine Corps

The Department of Defense has launched an investigation after the non-profit news organization The War Horse broke a story about Marines spreading nude photos of female service members online. The report says Marines used a closed Facebook page to post links to explicit photos of the women with their ranks, names, and military stations of duty.

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