Veterans Affairs

Dwight Burdette / Wikimedia Commons

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

City of Jacksonville

The City of Jacksonville has been selected as one of the first 25 communities by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to participate in a new program called the Veterans Economic Communities Initiative.

The Veterans Economic Communities Initiative is aimed at helping those who have served in the military find jobs through meetings and an employment website with listings from over 250 companies.

Retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Victor Guillory is Director of the Jacksonville Military affairs and Veterans Department.

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.

Marissa Alexander, the Shipyards and Quality Education for All are in the headlines today.

Rep. Charles McBurney, Nippers Beach Grille, and the World Cup are in the headlines today.

Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT

The campaign trail brought Governor Rick Scott back to JAXPORT on Wednesday with a promise to spend a billion dollars on Florida’s deep water ports.

Anybody found to have manipulated or falsified Veterans Affairs records "will be held accountable," President Obama said Wednesday. The president condemned the reported widespread problems at the VA, defending Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki.

Obama spoke after he and Shinseki met in the Oval Office Wednesday morning with White House deputy chief of staff Rob Nabors, who since last week has been detailed to work with the VA. Neither of those men attended the president's news conference.

In an appearance on WJXT Channel 4's Morning Show, Florida Gov. Rick Scott called on U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign over the recent scandal involving delays in care for veterans at VA hospitals, including in Gainesville.

Aspen Ideas Festival

A new series executive produced by best-selling author and U.S. Army combat veteran Wes Moore will premiere on PBS stations this week.

Tenisha Finley

U.S. Army veteran Wes Moore is not only a best-selling author, but also the executive producer of the PBS series “Coming Back,” premiering May 13 on WJCT and PBS stations across the country.

Ryan Begin hasn't always been the life-loving pot smoker he is today. Back in 2005, the sergeant nearly lost half his arm to an IED while serving in Iraq and was sent home for reconstructive surgery. Upon his return to Belfast, Maine, Begin was plagued by physical pain and outbursts of aggression. He was prescribed a cocktail of drugs as his treatment.

"They took the soul out of me. All that stuff, it drained my soul, it blackened my soul," Begin says.

Begin's mother, Anna, noticed the prescription drugs seemed to exacerbate his post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.

Blues Legend In Jax For Veterans Benefit Concert

Oct 18, 2013

American blues legend Bill Homan, professionally known as Watermelon Slim, will perform October 24 at Jacksonville’s Friday Musicale auditorium.

Slim has been performing since the 1970s with some of the biggest names in blues, artists like John Lee Hooker, Robert Cray, Bonnie Raitt, and many others.

"He’s interacted with some of the best there is," said event organizer Willie Hager. "He’s come a long way from learning to play the guitar in Vietnam."

Slim, a W. C. Handy Award nominee, has a prestigious blend of Delta blues, Chicago blues and trucker music — all rolled into one.

The Friday Musicale venue features a large, Colonial-style auditorium where people regularly hear classical chamber music from symphonies and orchestras.

"We’re going to light it up with some blues," Hager said.

The event is being presented by Vietnam Veterans Against the War-Old School Sappers and Occupy Jacksonville. Hager said he and Slim are both from the VVAW, which is part of a broader group of veteran organizations under the United Veteran’s Front.

"The way we approach people is through transformational organizing," said Hager.

Eleanor Wilson, Finance Director for Occupy Jacksonville, said she hopes the event will raise awareness and funding for local projects.

Hager said people need to know the occupy movement isn’t simply about camping out somewhere.

"It’s really about empowering people," he said.

Slim will perform at the Friday Musicale auditorium 8:00 p.m. Oct. 24. Buy tickets at the door, or online at Ticket River.

CPT Christopher Neeley / DVIDS

The city of Jacksonville is hosting a free career counseling seminar this afternoon for military veterans who are looking for work in the civilian job market.

Ken Johnson is the Senior Policy Advisor to the Mayor for Military Affairs.

He says even though it’s called a seminar, there’s a lot of one-on-one counseling that takes place as well.

 "What they need to do is come in and sit down and talk with somebody who can walk them through things they need to know.  If they have a resume, bring it.  We’ll critique it," he said.

Courtesy The Forty & Eight

Jacksonville has been named "City of the Year" by veterans’ organization the Forty & Eight.

Jacksonville City Council Member Don Redman, accepted the award at the Forty & Eight's convention in Phoenix, Ariz., on Friday, Sept. 13.

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