Since ancient times, combat veterans have suffered from war stress, PTSD, and suicidal urges. The Veterans Outreach Center is bringing Theater of War to Rochester to examine those issues. The classic Greek story of Ajax depicts the warrior, struggling with pride, reputation, family, and ultimately suicide. Centuries ago, as today, it was difficult to talk about these issues. Theater of War aims to open the door to discussion and to healing. Our guests:

  • Nick Stefanovic, veteran and board vice president for the Veterans Outreach Center 
  • Melissa Fitzgerald, actor in Theater of War
  • Zach Grenier, actor in Theater of War

Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

Sheriff Patrick O’Flynn announced a new housing area in the downtown Monroe County Jail specifically designated for incarcerated military veterans.

Laura Stradley, Executive Director of the Veterans Outreach Center says it’s important to focus on these defendants because they once put their lives on the line for our country.

"They spend possibly years away from home, time away from family and situations in circumstances that many Americans can’t even fathom."

freeimages.com/Thomas Pate

The Ken Burns and Lynn Novick documentary "The Vietnam War", which debuted on WXXI-TV this week, could trigger symptoms for some veterans who suffer from PTSD, depression, or other conditions.

Actors from popular television dramas of the past and present are coming to  Rochester on Friday, September 22. However, they’ll be performing a different type of drama -  live reading of the Greek Tragedy Ajax. The ancient play describes the visible and invisible wounds of war. The play is part of an innovative public health project intended to create an open dialogue and understanding about the impact of war on veterans, their families and communities. We discuss the importance of Theater of War and how it can serve as a bridge to understanding.

Women March in Seneca Falls/Facebook

Homeless women veterans and their children now have a new housing option in Seneca County.

Honor House, a single story home on Fall Street in Seneca Falls, will accommodate one family at a time for up to two years as the veteran transitions back to civilian life following her military experience.

The home was donated to Habitat for Humanity of Seneca County by one of the nonprofit's late members, "Honor " Annie Calland.

Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

New York Senator Charles Schumer stood with the family of local veteran and Veterans Outreach Center founder Tom Cray Monday afternoon, calling on the VA to better assist veterans diagnosed with glioblastoma.

Cray served two combat tours in Vietnam, but does not receive service-related compensation for the cancer because it is not recognized as a service-connected illness by the VA.

Filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick believe now is the time to turn back to the Vietnam War. They say to understand war, we need the passage of time. Their forthcoming 10-episode series called The Vietnam War, launches Sunday, September 17 at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV. It's an immersive narrative featuring archival footage, photographs, and conversations with nearly 100 witnesses, both in American and Vietnam. You can watch a 30-minute preview here

Lynn Novick is the co-director and producer of the series with Ken Burns. She's our guest this hour, discussing how the project came together and what she hopes viewers will gain from watching the series.

You can join the live audience of two special broadcasts of Connections at The Little Theatre on Thursday, August 24. The episodes will explore different elements and perspectives of the Vietnam War. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Please register here.

Karen Shakerdge/WXXI

For the first time, veterans with an other than honorable discharge can access mental health services at VA centers. Veterans with this kind of status served in the military but have not been eligible for benefits until now.

V A Center In Canandaigua

CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. (AP) — Construction funding totaling $141 million has been allocated for an upgrade to an upstate New York veterans medical center.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will issue construction bids next month for the Canandaigua Veterans Affairs Medical Campus. The money will be used for renovations and new buildings, including an 84,200-square-foot  outpatient clinic.


SOUTH BRISTOL, N.Y. (WXXI News & AP)  A 100-year-old woman honored at a New York air show last weekend for her World War II service as a civilian pilot flying military aircraft has died. 

According to her obituary posted on the Johnson-Kennedy Funeral Home website, Dawn Seymour died Tuesday at her home in the Finger Lakes region.  Her obituary says she died peacefully at home, overlooking Canandaigua Lake.