veterans

An agency pilot program aims to bypass regulations that can make it hard for veterans to get cutting-edge medical treatment.

More than 20 veterans take their own lives every day in the U.S. and the majority never sought the help that was available to them.

Much has been said about the plight of disabled, homeless and legally-troubled military veterans. Leon County has a number of resources in place to help those area vets who fall into these categories of need.

Julio Ochoa/Health News Florida

Charles Claybaker spent five tours in Afghanistan, kicking in doors and taking out terrorists. But an aircraft crash in 2010 left the Army Ranger with a crushed leg, hip and spine and a traumatic brain injury.

Army doctors loaded him up with a dozen prescriptions to numb the pain and keep his PTSD in check.

Julio Ochoa/Health News Florida

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist was in Largo on Wednesday to introduce legislation that would protect federal employees who use medical marijuana in states where it is legal.

Military veterans in Clay County are getting a new Veterans Administration outpatient health clinic.

Intersection: The Road To Better Care For Veterans

Aug 8, 2018
Matthew Peddie, WMFE

One of the challenges facing Veterans  after their service is getting access to healthcare. Veterans Affairs secretary Robert Wilkie, who was sworn in last week, will address American Veterans today at the group’s annual convention in Orlando. Improving access to healthcare is one of the issues the service organization is looking to Wilkie to address.

Without leaving the comfort of his Ocala apartment, Joshua Lawhorn, 28, is getting help with his memory problems by learning to play the guitar.

Some veterans say they contracted hepatitis from the "jet gun" that was used to immunize them in the Vietnam era, but researchers haven't proven that link.

Senate Pitches Health Care Alternative For Veterans

Feb 28, 2018
Cheap Health Insurance / Flickr

A state Senate proposal would authorize Florida to begin negotiations with the federal government to see if the state could offer managed health-care programs to veterans and their families as an alternative to the health system provided by the federal Veterans Administration.

Among the many bills to be considered during Florida’s 2018 legislative session is legislation that would offer alternative treatments to veterans with post-traumatic stress.

A new program in Los Angeles is trying to provide female veterans with health care outside the VA, which some consider a male dominated environment.

Libby Denkmann reports on a new effort to provide services to female veterans.

This month’s mass shooting at a Texas church has raised questions of whether the military does enough to help former service members with bad conduct discharges. They're not eligible for veterans' mental health care.  

Veteran homelessness has dropped 80 percent in Jacksonville since 2009, that’s according to a new report from nonprofit Changing Homelessness.

Fact Check: Trump On Veterans' Health Care

Nov 13, 2017
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Veterans Day prompted President Donald Trump and his administration to take stock of what's been done to fix health care for those in uniform. They claimed more progress than has been made.

A bill that would create a Florida system parallel to the existing federal Veterans Health Administration passed its first committee hearing Tuesday.

It would allow veterans to opt into the state’s Medicaid system in addition to or even instead of the VA.


Veterans Health Program Proposed

Oct 8, 2017
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Saying Florida has the “infrastructure and capacity to serve the health care needs of our veteran community,” a Republican senator Friday proposed a program that would allow veterans to tap into the state Medicaid managed-care system as an alternative to the federal Veterans Health Administration system.

After Marine Sgt. Thomas ("TJ") Brennan was hit by the blast from a rocket-propelled grenade in Afghanistan in 2010, he suffered a traumatic brain injury that left him unable to recall much of his immediate past — including, at times, the name of his own daughter.

"When I got blown up, it erased a lot of my memories," Brennan says.

Jacksonville is one of six Florida cities Congress has approved for new VA outpatient facilities. 

While the public is normally urged to “thank a Veteran” they meet, the head of Florida’s Department of Veterans' Affairs also wants people to ask a state vet about their earned federal and state health benefits.

This week the Department of Veterans Affairs expanded emergency mental health care to vets with other-than-honorable discharges. It's part of an effort to curb the recent increase in veteran suicide.


The U.S. has seen an increased rate of suicide among its veterans, and those deaths can change the lives of family and friends forever. This week on Florida Matters, our special two-part program on veteran suicide and the impact it can have on comrades and loved ones continues.


Air Force veteran Billy Ramos, from Simi Valley, Calif., is 53 and gets health insurance for himself and for his family from Medicaid — the government insurance program for low-income people. He says he counts on the coverage, especially because of his physically demanding work as a self-employed contractor in the heating and air conditioning business.

Despite recent efforts by Congress to improve the performance of the Veterans Administration, some Tallahassee vets and even a local caregiver say their situation hasn’t improved.

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One day in February, Salvatore Pelegrino, a cancer patient at the Veterans Administration hospital in Miami, was peeling an apple at a table on a patio outside the hospital when a police officer approached and confiscated his knife. Pelegrino, who uses a walker and breathes with the help of an oxygen tank, was handcuffed and detained at a facility on the hospital campus, then issued a ticket for carrying a knife with a blade longer than 3 inches.

“How would you like to deal with [the ticket], sir?” the judge asked Pelegrino in court, in April.

Memorial Day can be especially difficult for relatives of service members who died by suicide. They often feel stigmatized, even around other military families.

More Floridians could lose their health insurance under legislation being considered by the U.S. Senate. That includes the poor, the disabled and military veterans.

Almost half a million veterans gained health care coverage during the first two years of the Affordable Care Act, a report finds.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have drafted more than a million family members into caring for returning wounded and injured troops. They've been called "Hidden Heroes" - the military caregivers of Post-9/11 veterans.

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