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Monday, Jun 29, 2015

Howard Altman

Tribune Staff
Altman, Howard

Hurricane planes get overhaul as NOAA eyes next generation

- As NOAA gives life-extending overhauls to the two Tampa-based aircraft that fly into hurricanes, the agency is also experimenting with drones to possibly take over the data collecting missions.

Fellowship will explore the topic of military suicides


One of the best things about being a reporter is that pretty much every day, I am paid to learn something new.

USF cyber academy promises veterans top jobs quickly


TAMPA — If Hollywood ever does a remake of “The Graduate,” the scriptwriters might need to update the famous piece of advice Dustin Hoffman gets about the future.

Combat vets post sign to stave off flashbacks from fireworks

- No one knows how many combat veterans have a hard time dealing with fireworks, but an Indiana-based nonprofit organization has come up with a way to help those who do.

Skipper’s Smokehouse owner has storied military career

- You know that Air Force veteran Tom White is one of the co-owners of Skipper’s Smokehouse. But did you know that White “has a chest full of medals” and spent part of his time in Vietnam dropping 15,000-...

Tampa spinal injury treatment center comes to life

- The Stay in Step spinal cord injury center, which officially opens Saturday, is the culmination of a lot of hard work and a community effort to help victims regain as much functionality as possible.

Children of fallen commandos pay tribute during college program


The young men and women wandered over to the long walls full of polished black granite tiles, each looking to find the name of a father who was a commando killed in action or during training.

Tampa, Brandon make list of best cities for veterans to live

- Tampa, home to MacDill Air Force Base, was named the 18th best large city (250,000 or more residents) for veterans to live in the first “Best for Vets: Places to Live” ranking by Military Times. And Brandon came...

MacDill AFB commander joins Twitterverse


On June 3, Col. Daniel Tulley, commander of MacDill Air Force Base, joined the modern world of communications.

Ex-CIA operatives concerned about personal data breach

- The information may be in the hands of Chinese hackers, who could use it to compromise American spies and develop a better understanding of what American intelligence personnel are doing, several former spies and a Florida ...

Vietnam War vet’s service significant despite medal confusion


It is just one small word, but for the family of a St. Petersburg Vietnam veteran, it’s created heartache at a difficult time.

Rolling Stones provide plenty of satisfaction during Orlando stop


ORLANDO — Right from the opening notes of the opening song — “Jumping Jack Flash’’ — the Rolling Stones proved they aren’t your grandparents’ grandparents.

It’s puppy love for MacDill group training guide dogs


Mike Jernigan couldn’t see the four playful puppies on stage Wednesday afternoon at the Palma Ceia Country Club, and not just because his back was to the action.

Modifications, other problems delay opening of MacDill hotel

- Several design changes along with other unforeseen problems have delayed the opening of the 200,000-square foot hotel that will have 350 rooms for visitors to MacDill Air Force Base.

Don’t buy the conspiracies about Jade Helm 15


Years ago, the diminutive mayor of Newton, Massachusetts, taught me a few lessons that have outlived him and stayed with me since.

Postal service honors Vietnam vet's valor with stamp

- More than 45 years after a five-day battle where his actions earned him the Medal of Honor, St. Pete Beach's Gary Lee Littrell choked up as he talked about the value of the ultimate sacrifice made by more than 58,000 U.S....

Runner finishes tough Key West trek to fight vet suicide


For Army veteran Alex Estrella, who finally arrived in Key West on Tuesday after a 405-mile trek on foot, the first seven days of his “Run for Jamie” to raise awareness about veteran suicides was bad enough...

Whistleblower exposes problems with government war contractors


A federal civil trial, opening Monday in the Western District of Virginia, offers an intimate view of the sausage making of war procurement, which over the years has resulted in billions of dollars in waste and fraud.

Combat wounded Marine sees new horrors in role as child porn hunter

- A program gives wounded, ill and injured commandos training in high-tech computer forensics and law enforcement skills, to assist federal agents in the fight against online child sexual exploitation.

Officer based at MacDill AFB arrested in teen-sex sting


On May 22, an Air Force captain from Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base traveled to Brevard County thinking he was going to meet up with the father of a 13-year-old girl, according to investigators. The father, invest...

Power outage leads to appointment rescheduling at Haley VA outpatient pharmacy


About 100 veterans were forced to reschedule appointments at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital’s outpatient pharmacy building thanks to a power outage caused by a transformer explosion, according to a h...

Islamic State also gaining ground in information war


The recent battlefield successes by Islamic State in Iraq (retaking Ramadi) and Syria (capturing Palmyra) show the jihadi group’s tenacity and resilience.

When a soldier’s life ends, the job of another soldier begins

- As the nation honors the fallen on Memorial Day, The Tampa Tribune examines the critical relationship between families of those killed in action and the troops who help them through the grieving process.

Veteran on 400-mile run to raise awareness of suicide, PTSD

- Army veteran Alex Estrella is making the 405-mile journey from MacDill AFB to Key West on foot, in his combat boots, in an effort to honor Air Force veteran Jamie Brunette

Memorial pays tribute to Gold Star families’ sacrifices


Spurred on by an old Marine who earned the Medal of Honor for heroics during one of the bloodiest battles of World War II, the students of Benjamin Franklin Boys Preparatory Academy undertook a mission.

Local reviewers list all-time favorite war movies for Memorial Day


As a kid, if I wasn’t outside playing baseball, football or army with the guys, I could usually be found watching a Mets game on Channel 9 or old war movies.

Clapper lauds special ops, intel teamwork in Islamic State fight


TAMPA — Last week’s successful raid against a top Islamic State leader is a prime example of how the special operations and intelligence communities are working in tandem to battle America’s enemies,...

Socom must combat narrative of groups including Islamic State, general says


Inside the cavernous grand ballroom of the Tampa Convention Center, special operations commanders like Army Brig. Gen. Kurt Crytzer told defense industry leaders what they need from those who have flocked to Tampa for th...

Socom looks to enhance interactions with industry, academia


Imagine a Special Operations Forces Industry Conference in Tampa every single day of the year. Imagine U.S. Special Operations Command reaching out to inventors, industry and academia with needs, and a place to bring the...

Author explores women’s role on special ops battlefields


Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and contributor to Atlantic Media’s Defense One, has just published Ashley’s War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on th...

Special ops conference means nearly $3 million to Tampa economy


The annual Special Operations Forces Industry Conference returns to town this week, highlighting the role of MacDill Air Force Base as a regional economic powerhouse.

Military museum distributes veteran photos, introduces new exhibits


One by one, the veterans or in some cases family members came to the front of the indoor Quonset hut at the Armed Forces History Museum and accepted black and white portraits.

Tampa, top hacking target, to get expert help


What can business owners do to protect themselves against cybercrime, which one recent study says cost U.S. companies nearly an average annualized $13 million last year? Especially in Tampa, a city another study said is ...

Aging veterans push for health care options


John MacPhee, who was in the first wave of troops to hit Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944, has to travel to Tampa from his home in Sun City Center for some of the medical care he receives from the Department of Veterans Affai...

Security levels at military bases raised after jihadi activity

- MacDill AFB and other installations are at the second lowest level, Force Condition Bravo, according to a spokeswoman, who was quick to point out that the change is not the result of a specific threat, but as a reaction to ...

Clearwater vet remembers V-E Day 70 years later


Shortly before 9 a.m. on the morning of May 8, 1945, Gerald “Bud” Berry heard a commotion outside his tent, which was pitched on a dirt airfield in Etain, France.

Report ranks St. Petersburg VA office among worst for claims backlog

- Officials from the Veterans Benefits Administration’s St. Petersburg Regional Office are taking issue with being named in a scathing Senate report as one of the worst-performing offices in the nation in terms of the t...

Sun City Center captain had front seat for evacuation of Saigon

- Larry Chambers was captain of an aircraft carrier that was helping in the evacuation of Saigon when a South Vietnamese air force pilot in a Cessna with his wife and five children asked to land on the crowded deck.