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Live events: Life for veterans in the Southland

Part 1: Jobs and Housing

Finding and keeping a job, or a place to live, is among the challenges many Southern Californians face every day. But among those struggling residents, veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces must overcome very particular obstacles in the post-service battle to secure jobs and housing. KPCC’s Frank Stoltze moderated an audience-inclusive conversation at The Crawford Family Forum



Part 2 : Physical, Mental and Emotional Health

Leaving war doesn’t mean that you leave war behind. Traumatic brain injury – loss of limb – PTSD – anxiety, depression, even suicide – what are the costs of deployment to battle? On Sunday, October 16, KPCC’s Frank Stoltze moderated Part 2 of “Coming Home – Life for Veterans in the Southland" which focused on physical, mental, and emotional health. This audience-inclusive dialogue brought together veterans and their family members, guest panelists, and attendees representing on-the-ground community organizations working to address the health and wellness needs of past and present service members.


Recent coverage of issues affecting veterans

Southern California veterans struggle with PTSD

What was once called "battle fatigue" afflicts hundreds of thousands of Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans. Post-traumatic stress disorder sometimes surfaces in a suicide, but more often chips away at the emotional well-being of veterans trying to re-enter the society they went to war to protect.


Elderly war vets from Riverside County get high school diplomas

Thirty military veterans from Riverside County earned their high school diplomas this week, decades after they put aside their studies and went off to war. The annual Operation Recognition ceremony was held in Moreno Valley this week.


Orange County court gives combat veterans a second chance

Many veterans face mental health issues after returning home from combat. Most can cope, but some don’t. Three years ago, Orange County opened a special court to handle cases of veterans who get caught up in the criminal justice system. It's one of nine of its kind in the state.


Navy veteran describes sexual assault

To date, 22 million Americans have served in the military. Many of them see the trauma of war. A few experience a different kind of horror — at the hands of fellow service members. One of them was Paul Casey.


Iraq and Afghanistan wars spur medical advances for soldiers

U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Leroy Petry, who lost a limb in a grenade attack, spoke at a recent University of Southern California (USC) health care forum. The Medal of Honor winner reflected on his injury and recovery.


VA seeks to help homeless veterans in Los Angeles

The debate rages over how well the federal Department of Veterans Affairs helps the more than 8,000 homeless men and women living on the streets of Los Angeles. Earlier this year, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the VA. It accused the agency of failing to provide adequate help to homeless vets at its sprawling 400-acre West L.A. campus.


Part 2: UCLA's Operation Mend helps reconstruct wounded veterans’ faces, limbs

These days, military veterans are surviving injuries that would have killed them in previous wars. They return home with severe burns that leave them so disfigured their families and friends might not recognize them. One Southland-based program helps these veterans through the next stage of recovery.


Part 1: Operation Mend: to reconstruct soldiers and marines wounded in war

Operation Mend – a partnership between the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas and the VA of Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System – offers free reconstructive surgery to U.S. military personnel severely wounded during service in Iraq and Afghanistan. Patt Morrison talks with their lead surgeon and his patient, Joey.


Thousands of Iraqi translators are being left behind

Thousands of Iraqis helped American forces during the war, working as interpreters and subcontractors. In 2008, Congress established a special visa program that was supposed to fast-track their passage to the U.S., but the program has stalled.


Veterans, civilians don't see eye to eye on war

Veterans and the general public have different views on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the value of military service and even the subject of patriotism, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center.


New vouchers on the way for homeless vets in LA, but are they enough?

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced Tuesday that it’s providing more than 400 housing vouchers for homeless veterans in the Los Angeles area – far too few, critics countered, to cover the need.



The changing face of the U.S. military after 9/11

Changing attitudes about service, economic uncertainty, and new approaches to recruitment have altered the image of the modern U.S. military. But ongoing wars and shifts in the military's demographics pose new and difficult challenges for servicemen and women. KPCC's Patt Morrison sat down with several recruiters and military families to discuss today's warriors.



Military families and their private front lines

Military families face so many challenges, many amplified by the unknown: finding and keeping a good job, caring for children, staying connected while separated by thousands of miles, helping a loved one who has returned from the war with wounds to the body or brain. Every family has a story; we would like to hear yours.



California veteran Mary Bandini reflects on challenges for women in the military

There are almost 170,000 female military veterans in California. Former Staff Seargant Mary Bandini is one - a machine gunner who served in Bosnia and Qatar. She saw combat in what was considered peacetime when a peace keeping mission turned into a combat mission after 9/11. What unique challenges do women face within the military hierarchy and medical system? The Woodland Hills native shares her war stories with us.



In war, there are no unwounded soldiers—suicides haunt veterans of Iraq & Afghanistan

More active duty soldiers and veterans have died from suicide than from combat wounds over the past two years, a source of fear for soldiers returning from duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and a source of major concern for the government agencies treating these vets. Today the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee held a hearing to investigate the causes of these suicides and what the Department of Veterans Affairs and other groups can do to offer more support to military members and their families.


Tell everyone #wheretheyserved

For Veterans Day we are asking you to share personal stories about people you know who have served in the military. Help us create a comprehensive map by marking the place where you, your friends, family or loved ones have been stationed throughout the world. Once you mark the location, add memories, messages and photos to your post.


View #wheretheyserved in a larger map