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Ileana Najarro - Military and People in Business Reporter

Military and People in Business Reporter

I’m a journalist because I believe in the power of stories. My own story begins with my Salvadoran parents fleeing the violence of war. There are chapters of joy, tragedy, hope and perseverance in my hometown of Los Angeles. There are scenes in Washington D.C., New York and Mexico City. There’s a whole adventure in Houston. My story now continues in Tampa where I hope to find and share the stories of those serving and who have served in the military, their families, their communities, as well as the tales of the bay’s diverse residents.

  1. The Dale Mabry entrance of Macdill Air Force Base is pictured on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021 in Tampa. 
  2. An exterior look at the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System 10000 Bay Pines Blvd, Bay Pines, FL, on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021.
  3. Artists Brett Cothern works on a tattoo for Marine Corps Cpl. Breyanna Taylor inside the new American Tattoo Society studio MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa on Saturday, March 20, 2021.
  4. The Dale Mabry entrance of Macdill Air Force Base is pictured on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021 in Tampa. The U.S. Special Operations Command is based here.
  5. James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021 in Tampa.
  6. Lou Brown, 64, poses for a portrait outside his childhood home, which is also home to his local real estate business Lou Brown Realty, in St. Petersburg on Friday, Jan. 29, 2021.
  7. James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021 in Tampa.
  8. Fidel Ortiz, 29, and his son Julian Ortiz, 4, of New York, walk toward their rental car at Tampa International Airport's Rental Car Center on Friday, March 19, 2021.
  9. James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021 in Tampa.
  10. MacDill Air Force Base is hosting F-35B Lighting II fighter jets this month as they conduct training.
  11. Throughout most of her military service, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Sage Iverson wore her hair short or in a bun as seen left. Thanks to new regulations, she can wear her hair in a ponytail as seen right.
  12. Mansi Mathur, 33, lives near Orlando and is on the H-4 visa as she waits for legal permanent residence.
  13. James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021 in Tampa.
  14. The artwork of U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Kristopher Battles is featured in a new exhibit at the Tampa International Airport called MacDill AFB: At Home and Abroad. Artwork pictured on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021 in Tampa.
  15. Amiah Richardson, 19, of Riverview and Corrie Edwards, 17, of Clearwater, share a moment at Clearwater Beach on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021.
  16. An exterior look at the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System 10000 Bay Pines Blvd, Bay Pines, FL, on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021.
  17. The nonprofit Veterans Florida, which offers a fellowship to get military veterans into agricultural fields, is now leading a Florida coalition to connect transitioning servicemembers to employers by promoting the Department of Defense SkillBridge program.
  18. Rick Nelson, owner of The Fulfillment Lab, poses for a portrait in his office, Monday, Feb. 15, 2021 in Tampa.
  19. Artist renderings of the new Lakeland VA clinic to be completed in 2024.
  20. Soldiers with the Florida Army National Guard support Feed Tampa Bay in their efforts to distribute food to the local community on May 12, 2020 as part of their COVID-19 response.
  21. A sign notifying vehicle of a Coronavirus roadside screening checkpoint as vehicles enter the Bay Pines VA Hospital at Bay Pines VA, 10000 Bay Pines Blvd, on Monday, March 16, 2020 in Bay Pines.
  22. Robyn Donaldson, 51, owner of Renew Construction Services, poses for a portrait in downtown Tampa on Saturday. Donaldson's company won a contract with the Super Bowl through the NFL's Super Bowl LV Business Connect program.
  23. About 600 members of the Florida National Guard deployed to Washington, D.C., to help secure the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20.