WWII veterans Myron Petrakis and Marvin Elman meet in a nursing home in Evanston, Ill. (WTTW News)

Two local WWII veterans associated with a deadly ship explosion off the coast of Japan met in person for the very first time last week in Evanston. Myron Petrakis is just shy of his 102nd birthday; Marvin Elman is 97.

Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Terry Prince (third from left) testifies before the Illinois Legislative Audit Commission at the Capitol in March 2024. He was testifying regarding an audit of a deadly COVID-19 outbreak at the LaSalle Veterans Home that killed 36 residents in 2020. (Andrew Campbell / Capitol News Illinois)

Beginning in October 2020, LaSalle Veterans Home experienced a COVID-19 outbreak that sickened nearly 200 people. A whopping 85% of residents and 35% of staff tested positive for the virus, which eventually killed three dozen residents.

In this photo provided by Gabriella Rico, Vietnam War-era Army veteran Harold Tilson Jr., stands in a room on the campus of the Veterans Empowerment Organization in Atlanta, Nov. 10, 2023. (Gabriella Rico via AP)

Since January 2020, the numbers of homeless veterans have fallen 11% and have gone down 55% over the past 13 years, according to a government count. That's in sharp contrast with the general homeless population.

Myron Petrakis is one of the veterans whose photo is on display in “American Heroes: Portraits of Service” at Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports. (WTTW News)

Photographer Thomas Sanders has made it his life’s mission to share the stories of veterans across the country. His work is currently on display in “American Heroes: Portraits of Service.”

Planes at Chicago O'Hare International Airport. (WTTW News)

Nearly 4,800 pilots are being investigated by the Federal Aviation Authority for potentially concealing major health issues that could have them grounded. The FAA has already ordered 60 pilots who “posed a clear danger to aviation safety” to stop flying immediately.

Veteran Art Movement is partnering with UIC and three art institutions to highlight work created by artists impacted by war. (WTTW News)

Veteran Art Movement is partnering with UIC and three art institutions to highlight work created by artists impacted by war. Veterans from across the country are gathering to experience that art and share stories from their time in the service.

President Joe Biden hugs his grandson Robert Biden, son of the late Beau Biden, after signing the "PACT Act of 2022" during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

The law, which Biden described as long overdue, caps a years-long battle to ensure treatment for chronic illnesses that veterans have blamed on burn pits, which were used to dispose of chemicals, tires, plastics, medical equipment and human waste on military bases. Estimates of affected troops run to 3.5 million.


The Honoring Our PACT Act will make it so veterans who served in certain areas over a period from the ‘90s on, and who have conditions like certain cancers, will get the presumption it’s related to their service and burn pit exposure.

Activist and entertainer Jon Stewart hugs fellow advocate Susan Zeier of Sandusky, Ohio, just after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., assured veterans and military family members that the Senate will vote on a bill designed to help millions of veterans exposed to toxic substances during their military service, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite)

The Senate approved the bill by a vote of 86-11. It now goes to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law. Biden described the legislation as the biggest expansion of benefits for service-connected health issues in 30 years and the largest single bill ever to address exposure to burn pits.

World War II reenactors gather on Omaha Beach in Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, Normandy,France Monday, June 6, 2022, the day of 78th anniversary of the assault that helped bring an end to World War II. (AP Photo / Jeremias Gonzalez)

As several dozen D-Day veterans — now all in their 90s — set foot on the sands that claimed so many colleagues, they are thankful for the gratitude and friendliness of the French toward those who landed here on June 6, 1944.

(WTTW News)

Since 2010, more than 65,000 veterans have died by suicide – that is more than the total number of deaths from combat during the Vietnam War and the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.

(WTTW News)

Thirty-six residents of the LaSalle Veterans’ Home died in November 2020 as part of a COVID-19 outbreak. A new report from the state’s auditor general finds that IDPH neglected to respond to the outbreak at the state-run facility until for many, it was too late.

Pearl Harbor survivor Herb Elfring, center, speaks with National Park Service workers in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy)

A few dozen survivors of Pearl Harbor are expected to gather Tuesday at the site of the Japanese bombing to remember those killed in the attack that launched the U.S. into World War II. They will observe a moment of silence at 7:55 a.m., the same minute the attack began decades ago.

Naval Station Great Lakes is the largest military installation in Illinois and home to the Navy’s only boot camp. (WTTW News)

Located about 35 miles north of downtown Chicago on the shores of Lake Michigan, North Chicago houses Naval Station Great Lakes, home of the Navy’s only boot camp.

President Joe Biden salutes as he stands with Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough and Army Maj. Gen. Allan M. Pepin during a wreath laying ceremony to commemorate Veterans Day and mark the centennial anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021, in Arlington, Va. First lady Jill Biden is at left. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden saluted the nation’s military veterans as “the spine of America” on Thursday as he marked his first Veterans Day as president in a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.

Major James A. Ellison, left, returns the salute of Mac Ross of Dayton, Ohio, as he inspects the cadets at the Basic and Advanced Flying School for Black United States Army Air Corps cadets at the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Ala., in Jan. 23, 1942. (AP Photo / U.S. Army Signal Corps, File)

The new legislative effort would benefit surviving spouses and all living descendants of Black WWII veterans whose families were denied the opportunity to build wealth with housing and educational benefits through the GI Bill.