"Patches" is one of the C-123 cargo planes used to spray Agent Orange. It's now on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

When Stephen Ratcliffe went to Vietnam, he says he knew what he signed up for, but he didn’t know anything about Agent Orange.

“I remember seeing the spray planes flying over,” Ratcliffe says. “But they told me it was mosquito repellent, but you never know.”

Jerry Kenney

A medical foster care program for veterans is growing here in the Miami Valley. This year there were 120 VA’s participating. That means 900 Veterans found homes around the country.

One VA foster care site in Springfield, Ohio is the home of Alan Hansbarger. He was born in Canton, Ohio in 1923. A year later he moved to the western edge of the state, where he grew up with his mom and his older brother.

Veterans and military personnel looking for work can visit more than a hundred Kroger grocery stores in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Springfield today.  Kroger will take job applications and conduct on-site interviews from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The grocery giant has about 1,100 positions open, and would like to fill as many of them them with vets, current service members and their families. Patty Leesemann, the public affairs manager in Cincinnati, says the employment outreach is part of Kroger’s Honoring Our Heroes (HOH) program.

Fireworks could cause problems for some veterans this weekend.
User: Taylor Burnes / Flickr/Creative Commons

Many will be celebrating America’s independence and the veterans who fought for it this holiday weekend. But some Ohioans might also do something that causes those same veterans a great deal of grief.

"Patches" is one of the C-123 cargo planes used to spray Agent Orange. It's now on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

The group Vietnam Veterans of America is criticizing the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs over its slow response to concerns from Air Force reservists who may have been exposed to Agent Orange in the 1970s.

The organization has joined the chorus demanding answers for about 2,000 people who crewed C-123s, the clunky cargo planes that were used to spray Agent Orange, after those planes came back from the war.

A bill has been introduced in the Ohio legislature that would give businesses within the state an incentive to hire veterans.

Democratic State Representative Herschel Craig says businesses should want to hire veterans.

“Hiring veterans is not just good will. It is good business.”

Craig explains veterans have valuable skills. And yet, Representative Niraj Antani says too many veterans are unemployed.

“Veteran unemployment rate for post 9/11 veterans is tremendously high – 11.8% - whereas the state unemployment rate is low – 4.8%.”

Tuskegee Airmen
Jerry Kenney/WYSO / NMUSAF

This month, the National Museum of the United States Air Force is featuring an exhibit dedicated to the Tuskegee Airmen—an all African-American army air corps squadron who served in the WWII.  The museum has expanded the exhibit, and to find out more about the Airmen and their historical significance, we spoke with museum historian Dr. Jeff Underwood. In the following interview, Underwood calls the inception of the Tuskegee Airmen into WWII a 'watershed moment' in American military and civil rights history.

A C-123 image from an old Air Force training slide.
Insomnia Cured Here / Flickr/Creative Commons

A new study finds some Air Force reservists could have been exposed to Agent Orange while flying missions in the U.S. Vets who have been denied benefits claims are hoping the Veterans Administration will change its stance on Agent Orange exposure outside Vietnam, and this independent report by the non-profit Institute of Medicine could help their cause.


L.E.T. Group, Inc.

The statewide unemployment rate in Ohio, as of November, was about 5 percent, but for Veterans that number stands at almost 7 percent. With those figures in mind, the Ohio Military Veterans Resource Center is holding a job fair for veterans Wednesday at Wright-Patt. More than 40 “military-friendly employers” will be on hand to help Vets and their families find jobs.

Abby Reynolds with the resource center says Vets have additional challenges entering the civilian job market.

Jeremy Dobbins

Jeremy Dobbins served four years as an infantry rifleman in Afghanistan, and when he got out in 2012 he found it difficult to talk to people about his military experience. But when he was ready, he chose to tell his stories to an old family friend from Springfield named Charlie Dyke.

Jeremy had joined the Marine Corps at age 17. Charlie enlisted during World War II shortly after his 18th birthday. Both men returned to Springfield after their service ended to raise families and begin new lives.