Honorably discharged veterans could get a two-month break from sales taxes under a measure filed by Miami Democratic Representative Kionne  McGhee.

Rep. Neal Dunn (R-FL2)
Neal Dunn Campaign

The U.S. House is taking steps to make it easier for veteran owned businesses to get contracts with the Veterans Administration.  Panama City Republican Neal Dunn sponsored the legislation.

Rep. Kionne McGhee in 2015.
Mark Foley via FL House website / Florida House of Representatives

Florida’s veterans could enjoy two full months without sales tax if one South Florida lawmaker gets his way.  But he’ll face an uphill battle in a year with so little new money available.

Capt. Humayun Khan lost his life in Iraq in a suicide car bombing.
Calcobrena via wikimedia commons

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s spat with a gold star family is putting Florida’s top elected officials in an awkward position.

Capital City Marks Memorial Day

May 31, 2016
Tom Flanigan

Memorial Day was observed Monday (5/30) at several sites around Tallahassee. One of the yearly ceremonies took place at the city's Oakland Cemetery.

MGN Online

Could Florida do a better job at helping veterans who have mental health issues? Some experts seem think so, like Miami-Dade County Circuit Judge Steve Leifman. He’s the chairman of the Florida Supreme Court Task Force on Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues in the Court.

Susan Plank / MGN Online

A bill making it easier for disabled veterans to renew or replace disabled parking permits is now heading to the Senate floor. Its sponsor is Senate Democratic Leader Arthenia Joyner (D-Tampa).

“After the initial certification for a disabled parking permit, which meets the statutory standards, this bill would require qualified veterans to submit form 27-333 in lieu of a certificate of disability for subsequent renewals or a replacement of the permit,” said Joyner.

Florida is for Veterans Executive Director Bobby Carbonell.
The Florida Channel

A Florida agency tasked with raising the state’s profile among veterans is getting down to business.  Monday, Florida is for Veterans named its executive director and discussed its strategic mission.

Minnesota National Guard

While Veterans Day may be over, organizations around the state are hoping to use the full month to show veterans their gratitude.

Throughout the month of November, those visiting the Florida History Museum will have the chance to send handwritten thank you notes to the state’s Veterans. Kerri Post, Deputy Secretary of Cultural Affairs and historical Resources says just outside the World War II exhibit, visitors will pass a small table covered with notecards.

Here's Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera speaking just before the event got under way.
Nick Evans

The transition from solider to civilian isn’t always easy, especially when jobs are hard to come by.  But Florida’s job-placement agencies are trying to help.

A group of veterans is making its way down the hall at Career Source Capital Region.  It’s the Tallahassee office of the state-backed workforce agency. 

Malcolm Randall VA Medical Center
Veterans Affairs Administration

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is renewing his call for state inspectors to enter federal veterans’ hospitals as a new VA secretary takes office. Florida inspectors were turned away from the facilities earlier this year.

Florida Department of Veterans' Affairs

St. Lucie County is one step closer to becoming the next site for Florida’s newest veterans’ nursing home. That’s after several counties lobbied members of a select panel considering the next location to build the state’s seventh VA nursing home.

Governor's office

A bill aiming to make Florida the most veterans-friendly state in the nation got signed into law Monday. Surrounded by several military personnel and elected officials, the Governor signed the measure at a National Guard Armory in Panama City.

There are about 1.5 million veterans in Florida, and Governor Rick Scott says in signing the so-called “G.I. bill,” his hope is it makes Florida a better place to live for even more veterans.

Soldier cutout
Jessica Palombo / WFSU-FM

When Rep. Ricardo Rangel (D-Kissimmee) returned to civilian life from military duty in 2010, he says he had the same difficulty finding a job many veterans experience. So when Rep. Clay Ingram (R-Pensacola) offered up a bill encouraging companies to hire veterans, Rangel was excited to vote for it.

“It’ll give the opportunity for some of these private sector employers to actually go ahead and start putting in place their own criterias (sic) and their own program to assist veterans to find work, so thank you very much,” Rangel says.

Jessica Palombo / WFSU News

A bill giving military veterans in-state college tuition passed its second committee stop on Tuesday. The measure passed the Florida House last year and seems poised for success in the full Legislature this time around.

Last year’s bill would have granted all veterans in-state residency, so their bill from Florida colleges would be smaller. This year’s grants out-of-state vets a tuition waiver without taking residency spots from other students.

Florida State University student-veteran Andrew Sloan says he had to pay out of state tuition, but he hopes his successors won’t.

New Veterans' Memorial Unveiled Downtown

Jun 5, 2013
Chris Ford

A new memorial honoring veterans from Leon County schools now stands downtown. The tall granite slab is in front of the Bloxham Building. Leon County school spokesman Chris Petley said placing the memorial in front of the Bloxham Building was appropriate because of its history as the former Caroline Brevard School.

In the dedication ceremony, tearful family members placed roses at the base of the wall after the names of their loved ones were read aloud. Leon County Superintendent Jackie Pons spoke during the ceremony.

Voters in Florida rejected most of the constitutional amendments on their ballots Tuesday. The historically long ballot was part of the blame for the long lines at polling places. However, eight of the 11 proposals didn’t meet the 60 percent votes needed to pass.

Jessica Palombo / WFSU-FM

Military veterans are speaking out against U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, who is in a tight reelection race against former state lawmaker Al Lawson for his District 2 Congressional seat. The veterans spoke at a Tallahassee press conference organized by the Florida Democratic Party on Tuesday.

Jessica Palombo / WFSU-FM

Island Dolphin Care, in Key Largo, is the world’s oldest freestanding nonprofit center that offers dolphin-assisted therapy. It’s been giving children with special needs the chance to become friends with dolphins for the past 15 years.

When Peter Hoagland and his wife, Deena, moved to Key Largo in 1990, their 3-year-old  son, Joe, had just had one of several open-heart surgeries. A stroke left the boy paralyzed on the left side of his body. And traditional therapy didn’t seem to be helping him regain his body function.

Sascha Cordner

With the presidential election about a month away, both the Obama and Romney campaigns are tailoring their message to certain groups. Republicans sent former GOP presidential candidate, U.S. Senator John McCain, to Tallahassee Wednesday to talk to his fellow veterans about why Mitt Romney deserves to be the next President of the United States.

“I’m Dale, and I’m here to introduce you to a personal friend, who I’ve known for many years, and whom I’ve served with for many years in the prison camps in North Vietnam.”

WFSU/Steven Rodriguez

A new campaign is underway to reach out to Florida veterans, who do not realize they can collect millions of dollars in benefits. While the state has about 1.6 million veterans, for example, only about 40-percent are enrolled in Veteran Affairs Health Care. Now, the Florida Department of Veteran Affairs says they want to thank the men and women for their service by helping them to take advantage of the federal and state benefits owed to them.

Soldier cutout
Jessica Palombo / WFSU-FM

Military veterans, especially those making the transition from active duty to civilian life, now have a new place to go for help in Leon Co. After a grand opening on Wednesday, the Veterans Resource Center brings services that used to be spread out over several offices together under one roof, in a more intimate and approachable setting.