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Ileana Najarro - Military Affairs and General Assignment Reporter

Military Affairs and General Assignment 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. U.S. Army veteran Don Adams, 65, (right) holds his Veterans Treatment Court Certificate of Completion as he hugs Hillsborough Judge Michael Scionti last week. The special court graduated its 700th veteran during a presentation  in honor of the Veteran's Day weekend. "This court saved my life," said Adams, who did not want to participate in the program at first. "This court saved me from me." Pictured left is James. A Jeffries, Chaplain for Hillsborough County veterans.
    The specialized version of drug court puts veterans’ rehabilitation at the forefront. It is becoming a national model.
  2. Medal of Honor recipients Retired Army Maj. Drew Dix, left, and Ret. Army Sgt. Maj. Gary Littrell pose for a portrait before the start of the Medal of Honor Convention this week at the Tampa Marriott Water Street in Tampa,
    Forty-six of the 70 living recipients are expected to attend. The week-long celebration kicks off Tuesday
  3. Jorge Zambrana and Fabiola Montealegre listen to the music at the Town 'N Country Senior Center.
    It all started at the exercise bike, after he approached her. He had a feeling.
  4. (left to right) Trevor Yarborough, 17, Kadie Weston, 17, and Connor Gadson-Yarbrough, 18, supervise their NJROTC classmates while preparing for the Iron Bear Challenge at Robinson High School in Tampa.
    Many of America’s future soldiers are too young to have a personal connection to the terror attacks or the war in Afghanistan that followed.
  5. The KC-135s are the main aircraft for the 6th Air Mobility Wing soon to be redesignated as the 6th Air Refueling Wing.
    The 6th Air Mobility Wing celebrates its 100th anniversary while getting a redesignation
  6. A F/A-18A Hornet, assigned to the U.S. Navy flight demonstration team the “Blue Angels,” makes a pass past the crowd at the 2004 Joint Service Open House.
    MacDill Air Force Base will host Navy aircraft for three weeks beginning Oct. 1
  7. A homeless Vietnam War veteran in Clearwater answers questions for a Pinellas County homeless survey. A shortage of affordable housing is considered a major cause of homelessness among vets in the Tampa Bay area. [Times files]
    Local agency leaders called on members of Congress to increase national affordable housing options as a solution to veteran homelessness
  8. MacDill Air Force Base will observe a full-day, "resilience tactical pause'' Friday to address a growing number of suicides in the Air Force. Airmen will participate in team-building activities and small-group discussions on mental health. This is happening at military bases across the U.S.  [Times files].
    An estimated 78 airmen nationwide have taken their lives this year, prompting leaders to boost prevention efforts
  9. Hurricane Dorian's projected path, as of 2 p.m. Saturday.
    But much of Florida remains in the “cone of uncertainty” after the latest forecast.
  10. Workers cover stained glass windows with plywood sections at the Santa Maria del Mar Catholic Church in preparation for Hurricane Dorian, Friday, Aug. 30, 2019, in Flagler Beach, Fla. [John Raoux | Associated Press]
    New forecasts show an earlier northern turn that may keep it from making landfall in Florida.