Joint Base San Antonio

RAND Corporation

5.5 million people are caring for the injured and returned military veterans across the U.S. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have seen a dramatic rise in the need for caregivers.

Since 2001, 2.5 million troops were deployed. Many died and tens of thousands returned and are now living with a disability--relying on friends and family for day-to-day assistance. 

Joint Base San Antonio

On Tuesday three of the nation’s top military medical commanders offered a look at the current state of military health care in San Antonio -- from advances in research to new advanced battlefield treatment.

Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Douglas Robb, director of the Defense Health Agency in Falls Church, Va., joined Maj. Gen. Jimmie Keenan, director of the San Antonio Military Health System, and Maj. Gen. (Dr.) Byron Hepburn, the first director of the San Antonio Military Health System, for the panel discussion.

Eileen Pace / TPR News

Although San Antonio was treated kindly in the recently-signed budget bill, local officials are starting now to prepare for possible base closures later this decade.

Mark Frye serves on the City of San Antonio Military Transformation Taskforce, a group that advocates for the local military at the national level. He said the budget bill just signed into law after Christmas only protects bases through the next budget year.

Eileen Pace / TPR News

Military chaplains at Joint Base-Fort Sam Houston kicked off their holiday giving this year with a family-style dinner for all the chaplains and their staff members on the post.

Col. Chaplain Terry Whiteside volunteered to be the turkey for the day, bringing some light-hearted fun to the chaplains' pre-Thanksgiving dinner.

"This is a great opportunity to let our hair down, what little we have, and just enjoy life and each other," Whiteside said.

Eileen Pace

Military defense strategists from around the country are touring San Antonio’s military installations today including those that were shuttered during the Defense Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) in 1995. 

The group is meeting here Friday to strategize protecting regional military presence in the face of future budget cuts. Members of the six-state Southwest Defense Alliance are watching those budgets and seeking ways communities in the region can protect their military presence.