Veterans

United States Department of Veterans Affairs / Via Wikimedia Commons

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.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Florida Governor Rick Scott has signed a pair of veterans-focused bills. He held the signing ceremony Tuesday at Jacksonville’s National Guard armory.

The measures are meant to make it easier for vets and active duty service members to get an education and a job.

United States Department of Veterans Affairs

Saturday is Veterans Day.  Here on the First Coast both Jacksonville and St. Augustine will be holding parades to honor the service of our veterans.

Wikimedia Commons

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.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Congressman John Rutherford, R-Florida, is spearheading an effort to bring more workforce training to returning veterans.

The measure would create a matching grant program housed in the Department of Veteran Affairs.


soldiers march in Vietnam
"The Vietnam War" / PBS

“The Vietnam War” is a new, multi-part documentary film from Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, and it debuted this week on WJCT Public Television.

At the same time, on 89.9 WJCT-FM, we’re bringing you stories of Vietnam veterans with ties to the First Coast. Their interviews were recorded and produced at WJCT Studios as part of the Community Hospice Veterans History Project.

homeless man on sidewalk
Mo Riza via Flickr

The Jacksonville nonprofit Changing Homelessness is asking for volunteers next month to help survey the city’s homeless population, especially those who once wore a uniform.

Bonnie Zerr / WJCT News

Jacksonville has been awarded $225,000 to help homeless veterans get jobs.

Military Affairs and Veterans Department Director Bill Spann said the city has received the federal grant from the U.S. Department of Labor for at least five years.

Bonnie Zerr / WJCT News

WJCT and the city of Jacksonville are hosting a traveling wall, commemorating American soldiers who lost their lives in Vietnam.

The Wall that Heals is a half-scale replica of the memorial wall in Washington D.C. The wall is open 24 hours a day until 3 p.m. on Easter Sunday.


Flazingo Photos / Flickr

Jacksonville's Navy bases are inviting any military member transitioning out of service, their family members and all veterans to a job fair Wednesday, featuring more than 100 companies.

Republican National Convention

Donald Trump is officially the presidential nominee for the Republican party.

Trump claimed the nomination Tuesday night during the second day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

The second day went a little more smoothly than the first, after a series of hiccups involving everything from dissent on the floor over Trump’s nomination, to a plagiarism scandal around a speech given by Melania Trump.

Matt Corrigan, professor of political science at the University of North Florida, joins us with his thoughts about where the convention will go from here.


Ashton Elder

A new Florida law allows more military vets to qualify for a diversion program meant to keep offenders out of prison. 

One Jacksonville army veteran said this program saved his life.


briefcase
J. Mark Bertrand via Flickr

The local, state and federal governments are looking to do business with more women, minorities and veterans.

Several agencies are hoping to meet with business owners on Tuesday at the University of North Florida.


The Florida Legislature is on the cusp of passing a throng of health care-related measures aimed at cutting the cost of treatment.

Among those are two bills, one eliminating so-called “surprise billing” and another creating a database of common procedure prices. Supporters say it’s a way to protect consumers, but some doctors think they leave an important actor out of the equation -- insurers.

Dr. Steven Kailes is an emergency room doctor who works in Orange Park and the President of the Florida College of Emergency Physicians. He joins First Coast Connect guest host Ryan Benk to discuss this issue.


One of the premier facilities in America treating veterans and NFL players for traumatic brain injury and PTSD has chosen Jacksonville as its location for expansion into the Southeast.

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