As traditional veterans organizations like the American Legion and VFW lose members, younger vets are gravitating toward dozens of smaller, more specialized groups that offer a social outlet and opportunity to serve.
For many veterans of World War II and Vietnam, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion posts were popular social gathering places to share stories of war experiences. And they were powerful lobbying voices in the political sphere.
But across the nation, participation in these organizations has declined. Veterans groups are making new efforts to recruit younger members.
People across the state are honoring those who served in the military on this Veterans Day. There are parades and ceremonies in many communities and other events where veterans get to tell their stories of service.
Cornell Wilson, Jr. is the Secretary for the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs for North Carolina. He says it is always important to thank veterans for their service.
"We have roughly 800,000 veterans in this state, a combination of retirees and those that just got off active duty and they are a very vital part of our community," says Wilson.
Hundreds of U.S. aircrafts were lost during World War II along a remote military supply route in the Himalayas called the Hump. The treacherous terrain caused hundreds of World War II service members to crash, scattering their remains along the region.
For decades, families have waited for the lost veterans' remains to return to the U.S., but a border dispute between India and China has stalled military search efforts from recovering the remains.
In the late ‘90s, there was a group of very dangerous Islamic radicals in Jordan. They were such a threat that the country had reopened an abandoned prison in the middle of the desert as a way to isolate them from spreading ideas to other prisoners.
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.
Jay Price reports on efforts in India to recover the remains of American troops from World War II.
What makes someone want to become a soldier? What does it look like to transition from a civilian to a soldier? How does it affect individuality?
Raymond McCrea Jones, who used to be on staff at the New York Times, wanted to answer those questions. He embedded himself in a company of 162 Army recruits at Fort Benning in Georgia for 10 weeks. His fly-on-the-wall photos show the experience of basic training, from 4 a.m. wakeup calls to grueling field exercises.
The American military permits people to serve regardless of sexual orientation, but there are still policies precluding military service based on gender identity.
About 15,000 transgender people currently serve in the American military in violation of the rules. The United States lags behind many other Western nations that allow transgender people to serve openly, but Secretary of Defense Ash Carter is pushing for change.
Tommy Sowers served two tours in Iraq as a green beret. The Duke graduate earned a Ph.D. at the London School of Economics, and he taught at West Point and at Duke.
Sowers ran as the Democratic Party's nominee for Missouri’s 8th Congressional District in 2010 and later became an assistant secretary for the Veterans Affairs. He worked to help veterans gain access to benefits.
The U.S. Army announced Thursday it is cutting about 40,000 soldiers nationwide. Fort Bragg is home to more than 50,000 troops in Fayetteville. The base will largely be spared deep cuts in the latest round of military downsizing.
Some combat veterans are posting signs in their yards, asking neighbors to be courteous with their fireworks this July Fourth weekend. The signs come from a non-profit called Military with PTSD, and it's sending them to vets across the country.
Christine Weber is a former Marine with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder who lives in Charlotte. She says sudden loud noises, including fireworks, remind her of gunfire and rocket launchers during her deployment in Iraq.
Fifteen military veterans are wrapping up a week-long academic training bootcamp at UNC-Chapel Hill designed to help them transition easier into college. It's part of a national program called the Warrior-Scholar Project.
Lara Taylor, director of Carolina's orientation, says some vets come straight from service, while others have been out for a few years.
The discipline of military service, as it does for many young men, changed John Blackjack’s life.
"He was a wild child with us," said Roseanne Wray, whose family adopted and raised Staff Sgt. Blackjack. "The Army did something wonderful for him. They turned him into a soldier."
Blackjack, who died May 31 of a respiratory illness, was a miniature mule. Since 1983, he had served as the mascot for a major supply unit, the 1st Theater Sustainment Command. An estimated 25,000 soldiers had contact with him while serving at Ft. Bragg since the Wrays donated him to the Army.
Most people expect their eternal rest will be peaceful.
But not the ones who want to be buried in the Eastern Carolina State Veterans Cemetery now under construction in Goldsboro.
North Carolina’s newest veterans cemetery is right under the flight path of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. On some days, the roar of low-flying fighter jets and aerial tankers overwhelms the cemetery every few minutes.
A massive data breach at the federal Office of Personnel Management has exposed the Social Security numbers and personnel records of nearly every federal worker. The implications for federal employees, military service members and the intelligence community could be extraordinary.
But at a very basic level U.S. service members have been at high risk for identity theft for decades.