military veterans

panel of people speaking at a press conference, people seated at tables listening to them.
Sky Lebron / WJCT News

Health insurance company Humana is launching a program in Jacksonville to evaluate the physical and mental health of its military service members, veterans and their families. 

Department of Veterans Affairs

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

Wikimedia Commons

The University of North Florida is hosting a meet and greet with World War II veterans and prisoners of war Monday.

  Wednesday on First Coast Connect we discussed the future of students who arrived in the U.S. as children with Ericka Curran, professor at Florida Coastal School of Law and Giselle Carson, an immigration attorney with Marks Gray Law Firm. We also spoke with Bob Buehn, the Entrepreneurship Training Program manager at the University of North Florida’s Military and Veterans Resource Center and John Fails from Bunker Labs, about a program at UNF to help veterans start their own business. Founder and president of Games Art and Music talked about an upcoming party on Saturday where they are collecting toys for Toys for Tots. 

Distenfield head shot
John Burr

A new Jacksonville nonprofit that helps veterans start businesses is getting grant money from financial-services company JPMorgan Chase.

In this week’s “Business Brief,” analyst John Burr introduces WJCT News Director Jessica Palombo to the veteran in charge of Jacksonville’s Bunker Labs, Derek Distenfield.

  Jacksonville City Councilman Tommy Hazouri announced Saturday that he will suspend his push to adopt local discrimination protections for the LGBT community.

Hazouri is withdrawing his bill that would amend the city’s human rights ordinance to protect those citizens from discrimination in jobs, housing and public accommodations. The move means this divisive local issue will be put on the back burner, at least for now, leaving Jacksonville one of the largest major cities that still lacks legal discrimination protection for the LGBT community.

The HRO has been controversial in large part because opponents have raised religious objections to the legislation.

We’ve also seen the debate over rights vs. religious liberty at the national level.

In 2014, the Supreme Court ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. recognized a for-profit corporation's claim of religious belief. Following this ruling many states, including Florida, have since proposed expanding state religious freedom laws to include for-profit corporations.

We speak with Toni Van Pelt is co-founder, president and Congressional lobbyist for the Institute for Science and Human Values. She’ll be speaking about the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act” and what she calls its its dangers to secular society and government at an event presented by the First Coast Freethought Society.

As the legislative session continues this month in Tallahassee, lawmakers are looking at a number of bills involving the state’s water.

Environmental groups around Florida are criticizing a sweeping water policy bill recently signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott.

We hear how this legislation affects the agriculture industry as we speak with Phil Leary, principal at Leary Governmental Affairs Consultants, who represents the North Florida Growers Exchange.

Friday, Oct. 2, is the deadline for veterans to sign up to share their stories of combat in Jacksonville.

Florida Blue is inviting veterans to record interviews next week that will be saved in the Library of Congress for future generations.

AARP To Hold Free Vietnam War Documentary Screening

Jul 22, 2015

AARP Florida plans to hold a free screening of a documentary about the Vietnam War this Saturday at WJCT.

AARP’s Summer Movie Classics presents “Last Days In Vietnam,” which looks at the final days of the war and the stories of those who escaped.

Gregory Todaro / WJCT News

Gov. Rick Scott was in St. Augustine Thursday for a Veterans’ Service Award Ceremony.

At the same time as the ceremony, a Washington congressional panel was taking a look at problems with the St. Johns County Department of Veterans Affairs clinic.

St. Johns County Veterans' Outpatient Clinic
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

A Department of Veterans' Affairs medical clinic in St. Johns County will be the focus of a congressional hearing Thursday.

District 6 Congressman Ron DeSantis is holding the hearing to explore why it’s taken so long to move the county’s VA clinic.

St. Johns County Veterans Council Chairman Bill Dudley says he’s been in near-constant contact with DeSantis’s office as the county has negotiated with the federal Veterans Administration.

Peter Haden / WJCT News

Hundreds of people gathered at the Duval County Veterans Memorial Wall in downtown Jacksonville Monday for the city’s Memorial Day Observance ceremony.

Five new names have been added to the wall.

All branches of the United States military were well represented at the ceremony. Current and former members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and the Coast Guard, their families, and members of the public came to honor Duval County veterans who died in service to their country.

Florida National Guard Adjutant Gen. Michael Calhoun announced those most recently taken: