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Army Veteran Finds Housing Through San Diego Program

A U.S. Army veteran on Tuesday said his life changed thanks to a San Diego homeless program launched in 2011.

Tommy Faccio was one of 36 homeless people selected to be a part of Project 25, a United Way homeless initiative to find permanent housing for the chronically homeless.

Faccio said he suffered from severe physical disabilities and mental illnesses. But his disabilities worsened from being homeless for eight ...

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Many Ways To Mark Memorial Day In San Diego County

Memorial Day, set aside to honor American military members who died in service to their country, will be observed at several events on Monday in San Diego County.

Nearly 250,000 veterans live in the county, which has the third largest population of veterans in the U.S., according to a 2013 report.

Here is a list of some of the Memorial Day events happening on Monday:

• 7:30 a ...

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Marine Veterans Remember Final Hours Of Vietnam War

It’s been four decades since Marine veterans John J. Valdez and Douglas Potratz were side-by-side in Vietnam. Both were stationed as security guards at the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, where they helped evacuate more than 7,000 people during the final 31 hours of the war.

The two men recently reunited at Valdez’s Oceanside home to reminisce about their time in Vietnam and make plans to return ...

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Traveling Vietnam War Memorial Replica Helps Veterans, Families Heal

The first day Patty Lee returned to school in 1967 after her father was killed during the Vietnam War, a classmate approached her with a message.

“My parents said your dad deserved to die,” the classmate told 12-year-old Lee.

Now a 60-year-old grandmother, Lee said that experience taught her to stay silent about her father’s service in one of America’s most unpopular wars.

“From that I learned when ...

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Midday Edition From The Midway: Special Coverage To Mark End Of Vietnam War

Midday Edition is taking its Friday show to the USS Midway Museum in downtown San Diego. The show starts at noon and is part of KPBS’ special coverage of the fall of Saigon, an event that marked the end of the Vietnam War on April 30, 1975.

In the final hours of the war, a helicopter airlift brought thousands of Americans and South Vietnamese from Saigon to safety aboard the ...

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Building Civilian Career Is Challenge For National Guard Members

Building a career is no easy task for those in the National Guard who have to balance their commitment to be available for military training with a civilian job.

The National Guard can be mobilized at any moment in a crisis, but its members have to support themselves by working in the civilian workforce. While many veterans find it challenging to transition from military to civilian life, those in the ...

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San Diego Veterans Invited To Voice Questions, Concerns At Town Hall

San Diego veterans and their families are invited to share their benefits questions and concerns with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Thursday at a town hall meeting.

The forum is one of many the VA is holding around the country to improve services and rebuild community trust. The effort follows a national VA audit last year that found a backlog of benefits claims and long wait times for ...

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Aspire Center For Veterans Celebrates One Year Anniversary

Aspire Center in Old Town celebrated a significant milestone on Tuesday. The center, which celebrated its one year anniversary, is San Diego's first and only residential treatment center for young veterans suffering from brain injury and post-traumatic stress.

"We are serving the wounded warriors from Iraq and Afghanistan, so we see primarily combat veterans," said the center's director Debbie Dominick. "We are also very focused on being able ...

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Even The Devil Can't Fool A Dog - Part 12

Carlos had also to come to terms with the fact that his life after the Marine Corps looked nothing like he thought it would when he enlisted as a kid.

“In Chicago I was a punk teenager, and I needed change. The Marine Corps was a way out. Where I was headed in my life, it was a bad route. I joined the Marine Corps to stay alive. I was ...

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Obama Signs Veterans Suicide Prevention Bill

Acknowledging the struggles of the nation's veterans, President Barack Obama on Thursday signed legislation intended to reduce a military suicide epidemic that is claiming lives by the day.

"If you are hurting, know this. You are not forgotten," Obama said, addressing soldiers and veterans as he prepared to affix his signature to the law.

The law requires the Pentagon and Veterans Affairs Department to submit to independent reviews of ...

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Even The Devil Can't Fool A Dog - Part 11

Our sleepy, overcast Sunday morning eased into a sunny afternoon, and Carlos and Logan were headed off to see a Padres baseball game in downtown San Diego - an invitation from a fellow Marine.

Carlos told me he and Logan had been to only one public sporting event since he returned from Iraq. It was another Padres game, and the experience drained him.

“It’s not easy. I don’t go ...

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Even The Devil Can't Fool A Dog - Part 10

As our conversation at the Carlsbad coffee house winded down, a palm frond fell from a tree onto a nearby table.

The loud bang quieted the patio of voices, until the embarrassed laughter of diners being scared over nothing broke the silence.

I turned back to face Carlos. He was looking down at his hands. Logan had moved from his comfortable position beneath the table, and was now resting his ...

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Even The Devil Can't Fool A Dog - Part 9

Meribeth Russell sited a statistic about Freedom Dogs of which she is most proud.

“Nothing is guaranteed, and there are always people you wish you could’ve done a little more for. They’re like family and we follow them for life. But I can tell you we’re 100 percent in one regard- not one of our participants has committed suicide.”

I found this statistic particularly impressive, considering the ...

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Even The Devil Can't Fool A Dog - Part 8

When Carlos first started attending training sessions at Freedom Dogs, he felt he didn’t fit in. Big reason: Carlos was afraid of dogs. He didn’t like them, and he believed they didn’t like him. In the tough, gang-infested Chicago streets where Carlos grew up, dogs were treated more as weapons than pets.

A big part of Freedom Dogs is getting a shell-shocked troop to trust him or ...

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