WBFO Veterans News Desk

Funding for WBFO’s Veterans News Desk is provided by St. Bonaventure University’s Office of Veterans Services, helping veterans take full advantage of their educational benefits

National Warplane Museum

A flyover involving four World War II-era airplanes Thursday helped kick off this weekend's air show in Niagara Falls.

The suicide rate for female veterans has soared 85 percent in recent years, leading the military, VA and advocacy groups to try new ways to improve women's mental health care during and after service.

One key focus: how to tailor the sometimes tricky jump from the military to the civilian world.

Women's experiences in the military are different from men's, so their transition needs to be different, too, said retired Army Col. Ellen Haring, director of research for the advocacy group Service Women's Action Network (SWAN).

courtesy Alan Feinberg

He is best known to most Americans as the developer of classic television shows including "All in the Family," "Sanford and Son," "The Jeffersons" and "Good Times." Before that, during World War II, Norman Lear was part of a B-17 crew that ran missions over Germany. What many may not know is his Buffalo connection and how the war influenced his TV career.


Courtesy Alan Feinberg

Jewish Americans accounted for a higher percentage of the US military during World War II than the entire US population. On Sunday, May 27 at 9:30 p.m., WNED-TV will broadcast a documentary which celebrates the Jews who contributed to the war effort, specifically members of the US Army Air Corps.


Sen. Chris Jacobs

Decorated WWII veteran and former prisoner of war Sydney Cole has been inducted into the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame. Now 103, Cole served with honor and distinction for both Canadian and American forces.

Student-produced play tackles PTSD of a war vet

May 7, 2018
WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Students at St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute in Kenmore tackled a difficult mental health issue through a stage play performed this past weekend.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says students wrote, directed, composed music and choreographed the two act musical called 'Army of One' with all proceeds going to a veteran organization. 


Peter Sloane, Am-Pol Eagle. Used with permission.

The Polish-American newspaper Am-Pol Eagle will mark this year's 100th anniversary of Poland's restoration as a sovereign state with a special ceremony at St. Adalbert Basilica in Buffalo. Among those to be honored as part of the celebration are surviving Polish-born World War II veterans.


Updated at 9:05 a.m. ET

Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, President Trump's embattled nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, has withdrawn from consideration for the post amid allegations he had fostered a hostile work environment and behaved improperly while serving as the top doctor leading the White House medical unit.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Among the challenges veterans face upon ending active duty and entering civilian life is being able to communicate one's thoughts and emotions to spouses, other loved ones and other peers. The Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center in East Aurora played host this week to a group of veterans and spouses who were participating in Project Odyssey, a retreat facilitated by the Wounded Warrior Project.


Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Two Buffalo-area colleges, one of them a two-year public institution and the other a four-year private school, are uniting in a partnership to provide a smooth path to a bachelor's degree for students with military connections.


Capt. Jessica Brown, U.S. Air Force

Military retirees can camp, golf, and fish at hundreds of military bases. It costs less than civilian resorts, making the bases popular vacation spots for thousands of former service members.

Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

Many small businesses owned by minorities, women and veterans have limited opportunities to network with larger corporations. This barrier can prevent owners from taking their enterprises to the next level.

National Cemetery Administration, U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs

By this fall, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hopes to begin construction on the new Western New York National Veterans Cemetery in the Town of Pembroke. Officials with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs encourage those who served in the military to do their homework, and take advantage of a benefit that many may not know is one to which they are entitled.


Michael Mroziak / WBFO News

Erie County Clerk Michael Kearns is expanding local services and recognition for veterans of the United States military.

National Cemetery Administration

The long-awaited national veterans cemetery planned for Genesee County has taken another step closer to reality.

courtesy African-American Veterans Monument WNY

Construction of a new monument paying tribute to African-American veterans is expected to begin this spring, boosted by the recent awarding of a $600,000 state grant.


Art classes helping veterans readjust to civilian life

Jan 12, 2018

For many military personnel, readjusting to civilian life can be a battle. Transitioning from active service or returning from deployment can bring on feelings and emotions that are difficult to manage. For some, art can be a way to understand those feelings and find peace within oneself. In his series on the arts and social integration, WBFO’s Scott Sackett talks with artist and U.S. Army Colonel Jim Becker, one of the founders of the Artists/Veterans Art Collaborative.


The New York Times is reporting the death of America's first female Army general. A native of Buffalo, Anna Mae Hays died of a heart attack at the age of 97 in Washington.

War veteran impressed with students' patriotism

Jan 8, 2018
Photo provided by Grand Island schools

A local World War II veteran is overwhelmed by Grand Island students who honored his military service. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says a letter writing project brought the two very different generations together. 

WBFO file image

The Niagara County Clerk's Office has begun providing assistance to veterans by offering satellite office hours in Niagara Falls and North Tonawanda, once per month in each location. The idea is to create more convenient opportunities for veterans in need of help.


WBFO file image/Dept. of Veterans Affairs

For many, the holiday season brings depression and, in more severe cases, thoughts of suicide. This includes many veterans who, upon returning home from overseas tours, may be struggling to process their experiences as they a time of year that's expected to be festive. A professional who works in mental health with the Department Veterans Affairs in Buffalo offers pointers for recognizing when a veteran may be in need of help.

Marra named new CEO of Veterans One-Stop Center

Dec 19, 2017
Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The former head of the Buffalo-area chapter of the American Red Cross has been named the new chief executive officer of the Veterans One-Stop Center of Western New York. Chuck Marra will assume his new role in January.


Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park

The newly commissioned U.S.S. Little Rock LCS-9 will be carrying out its duties with a bit of history from its namesake.

Eileen Koteras Elibol / WBFO News

The USS Little Rock LCS-9 is now in service to the United States. After months of anticipation, the Navy's newest warship was formally commissioned Saturday at Buffalo's Canalside.

Avery Schneider / WBFO News

9,000 tickets have been distributed for the new USS Little Rock’s commissioning ceremony on Saturday. That will mean long lines, wait times, and tight security in cold temperatures. Here’s what you need to know if you’re planning to attend.


Avery Schneider / WBFO News

The future USS Little Rock LCS-9 has been a special guest of honor along Buffalo's waterfront since arriving Dec. 4. The highly-anticipated and historic commissioning ceremony will be held on Saturday morning. On Thursday, the crew of the future Little Rock put in a busy day, both on and off the ship.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A couple from East Aurora, both of whom served in the U.S Marines, were featured on a special program hosted by popular cooking show host Lidia Bastianich. Mark and Denise Beyers will be among those spotlighted on the PBS program "Lidia Celebrates America: Homegrown Heroes," which pays tribute to veterans who, in their next phase of life, are working the land to produce food.


Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The "Date Which Will Live in Infamy" was remembered, as it always is on December 7, at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park. This year's edition of the Pearl Harbor Remembrance ceremony featured honors for two veterans who served on submarines in World War II and remarks from one of the officers aboard the soon-to-be-commissioned new USS Little Rock LCS9.


Eileen Elibol / WNED|WBFO

The Caledonia bagpipers were on the Central Wharf Monday for the official reception to the harbor for LCS-9, with the name "Little Rock" just barely visible on the stern. The U.S. Navy's newest ship is finally docked at Canalside, readying for a first-of-its-type commissioning, next to its much larger predecessor.

The new USS Little Rock arrives in Buffalo

Dec 4, 2017
Eileen Elibol / WNED|WBFO

The long-anticipated arrival of the new USS Little Rock finally came Monday morning, as the littoral combat ship arrived in the Buffalo River. The ship was greeted by hundreds of civilians and saluted by docents who stood aboard the ship's decommissioned elder counterpart.


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