Veterans

Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

More than 50 organizations have signed up to recruit employees at a veterans and military spouses job fair that will be held Thursday, Feb. 27, at TIAA Bank Field.

United States Department of Veterans Affairs / Wikimedia Commons

The ninth annual veterans survey from the Jacksonville-based Wounded Warriors Project shows those surveyed made a 40 percent employment gain between 2014 and 2018.

City of Jacksonville

Veterans Day is this Sunday but the city of Jacksonville has already been honoring those who served in the armed forces.  

Abukar Adan / WJCT News


  Eight local veteran-serving organizations were awarded a combined $50,000 in Resources and Reintegration community grants Friday, part of this year’s Celebration of Valor.

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.

Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT

A 27-year-old military veteran is driving from the Florida Keys to Houston, Texas, raising money along the way to give to others who’ve struggled since leaving the military. 

Remington Lahaye, who served with the Army’s 82nd Airborne, made a stop in Jacksonville last week. He calls his fundraising campaign Undercover Veterans.

“We want to be like 'Undercover Boss.' And we want to surprise people. You know, 'Hey! We’re gonna help you!'And change their lives," Lahaye says. 

The unemployment rate among Florida’s 1.5 million veterans is around 5 percent. That’s lower than the rate among all Floridians.  

Still, the state’s top economic development officer says Florida can do better by its veterans.

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Jesse Panuccio says most employers want to hire veterans but don’t, many times because of the disconnect between military and civilian job descriptions.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

A WWII veteran who lives in Jacksonville is having his story archived in the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.

His video interview is part of an initiative called the Veterans History Project, aimed at preserving combat-veterans’ experiences for future generations.

Lindsey Kilbride

 

At the Doubletree Hilton Hotel on the Southbank of Jacksonville, more than 100 people were getting settled at round tables, Thursday.

It was day one of the action camp called: ZERO 2016, an intense two-day event aimed at ending veteran homelessness.

 


The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville is an arm of city government that awards money to cultural organizations. We discuss public funding for art and the organization's work with Tony Allegretti, Executive Director of the Cultural Council, Christie Holecheck, Director of the Art in Public Places program, and Daniel Austin, Communications Director.


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:

NASA / Wikimedia Commons

New legislation currently before Congress that would set regulations on an array of environmental hazards is being closely watched here in Jacksonville, a city consistently rated poor in air quality. The upcoming annual Northeast Florida Environmental Summit will discuss how these environmental hazards impact our community, children, and food production. We speak with Eric Hull, summit chairperson and professor at Florida Coastal School of Law, Patricia Pappan, president of the Environmental Law Society, and Dr. Quint White, marine biologist at Jacksonville University.

New Group To Grow State’s Veteran Population

Oct 21, 2014

A new state-formed group called “Florida Is For Veterans” is charged with helping promote Florida as a veteran friendly state and enticing military members to make Florida their new home.

The legislature created the group through a bill passed last session. During an organizational meeting Monday group members talked about several goals including a plan to contract with a university to create a veteran entrepreneur program. Florida Department of Veterans Affairs Legislative Director, Bobby Carbonell, talked about what that program could look like.

Peter Haden

Brian Richmond, 25, was discharged from the United States Air Force four years ago. He's been homeless for the last three and a half.

"My mom passed away. I ran out of money and couldn’t keep my house up, so had to sell it," he said. "So, I had to come out here - out to the streets."

He slept in a tent under a bridge in Jacksonville for two years. Then he got into the Sulzbacher Center - a transitional housing facility where he stays now.

Wounded Warrior Project

As the nation reacts to President Barack Obama's announcement of an open-ended campaign against the threat posed by the Islamic State, the Wounded Warrior Project examines the state of veterans injured in combat.

Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT

Florida Governor Rick Scott met with hundreds of area military veterans at the National Guard Armory on Jacksonville's Westside Monday morning  and presented each of them with the Governor’s Veterans Service award.

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