• Senior Airman Frances Gavalis tosses unserviceable uniform items into a burn pit March 10 at Balad Air Base, Iraq. Military uniform items turned in must be burned to ensure they cannot be used by opposing forces. Photo by (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Julianne Showalter
    November 17, 2014  

    Throughout the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, all kinds of things — batteries, paint, plastic, electronics, even whole vehicles — were disposed of in so-called “burn pits” by the U.S. military. Some veterans have filed a class action lawsuit against a defense contractor claiming toxic smoke from burning waste caused lung disease and cancer. Hari Sreenivasan and NewsHour producer Dan Sagalyn report. Continue reading

  • 13soldiers_bookfly
    November 17, 2014  

    One of the most famous veterans in the U.S. shares stories of largely unknown American heroes from each of the nation’s armed conflicts in “Thirteen Soldiers: A Personal History of America at War.” Gwen Ifill sits down with author Sen. John McCain, who wrote the book with his longtime collaborator Mark Salter, to discuss the book and the incoming Congress. Continue reading

  • mccain
    November 17, 2014   BY  

    McCain sat down with co-anchor Gwen Ifill to talk about his new book, “”Thirteen Soldiers,” which tells the personal stories of courageous Americans who have served in each of the nation’s conflicts. In this online exclusive, McCain tells the story of Monica Lin Brown, a combat medic who served in Afghanistan. Continue reading

    November 11, 2014   BY  

    Veterans used to make up a strong majority of Congress. In 1972, more than 70 percent of Congressional members had served in the military. But those numbers have fallen dramatically. In 2012, for the first time in American history, the presidential election featured no candidate with military experience. And now, even with lawmakers who are veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, there will be fewer of them than at any time in at least the last 50 years — just 18 percent. NewsHour political director Domenico Montanaro reports on the changing numbers. Continue reading

  • Photo courtesy of  Johann Wolf
    November 11, 2014   BY  

    As the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan prepares to wind down later this year, more American veterans are returning home and struggling to process their wartime experiences. “War Ink,” new online exhibit, uses tattoo art to spark conversations with war veterans about their time in combat and the fallen comrades they lost along the way. Continue reading

  • U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, who is a Lt. Colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard, will deliver the GOP's response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday. Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via Getty Images
    November 11, 2014   BY  

    The 114th Congress will be made up of 70 current members and 11 incoming members of the U.S. House of Representatives who have served or are serving in the U.S. military. Three of the incoming members are Democrats; the other seven are Republicans. A number of veterans who are currently serving in the House decided to retire this year, and a small number lost re-election. Continue reading

  • The Senate approves of a bill that allows female World War II pilots to place their ashes at Arlington Cemetery, the Associated Press reported Wednesday. Photo by Dan Sagalyn
    November 11, 2014   BY  

    PBS NewsHour will live stream the Veterans Day Observance Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery where Vice President Joe Biden will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and then deliver remarks inside the Memorial Amphitheater. Continue reading

  • willittsgallagher2
    November 9, 2014  

    Tuesday is Veterans Day — a day to honor those who have served. But since the draft ended in 1973, the number of Americans who serve in the armed forces has decreased dramatically, leading to what some fear is a lack of understanding between our military and civilian populations. Now, a group of young veterans in Brooklyn have devised a program to try to bridge the divide. NewsHour’s Elisabeth Ponsot reports. Continue reading

  • newswrap
    November 7, 2014  

    In our news wrap Friday, the Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald will announce a major department overhaul, including dismissal or demotion of up to 1,000 staff members, in response to the scandal over long response times. Also, President Obama authorized 1,500 more non-combat troops to go to Iraq to advise and train forces who are fighting the Islamic State. Continue reading

  • XSTAT wound device
    November 7, 2014  

    Combat medics have one mission: keep the wounded alive until they can be safely treated elsewhere. But while survival rates have improved dramatically in the last few decades, one of the biggest challenges that medics still face is uncontrolled bleeding. The NewsHour’s Cat Wise reports on a new invention that stops bleeding much faster than traditional gauze. Continue reading