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As homeless vet gets place to live, commuters thanked for helping out

This sign was posted Sunday, June 26, 2016, at the entrance ramp to the Long Island Expressway in Queens.

The sign says it all.

A homeless Army veteran who used to collect donations from passing motorists now has a place to live, according to the sign at an entrance ramp underneath the Long Island Expressway in Queens, N.Y.

US Embassy closed, but taking photos still a no-no

DAMASCUS, Syria – The U.S. Embassy in the Syrian capital has been empty for more than four years now, but try taking a photo of the hulking building surrounded by high walls topped with razor wire.

“No photo, no photo,” screamed an alarmed taxi driver as a journalist tried to point a camera at the forbidding compound. Syrian soldiers at a sandbagged checkpoint on the sidewalk stared suspiciously at the vehicle.

Sailor’s arrest provides glimpse into Japan’s lagging ‘right to know’

Japanese reporters interview an MV-22B Osprey pilot at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in 2013.

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Stars and Stripes wanted to know whether Japanese prosecutors would indict a Navy officer accused of groping and assaulting a Japanese woman aboard a flight from San Diego to Tokyo in March.

What we ended up getting, after speaking with government officials, academics and reporters, was a glimpse into why some groups, both domestically and internationally, view Japan as increasingly hostile to freedom of information and the public’s right to know.

Scholarship open to wounded warriors, spouses and caregivers

Starting April 1, wounded warriors, their spouses and caregivers can apply for a full-tuition scholarship to Colorado Technical University.

The university created the Wounded Warrior Scholarship in 2008 with the Yellow Ribbon Fund to give higher-education opportunities to men and women injured while serving in the U.S. military, including the Reserve, National Guard and Coast Guard.

In competition for Navy trademarks, it’s Padres 1, baby diapers 0

From left, San Diego Padres manager Andy Green; outfielder Wil Myers; Capt. Craig Clapperton, commanding officer of aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt; pitcher James Shields; San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer; and Padres president Mike Dee pose on the Roosevelt’s flight deck Dec. 1, 2015, during the unveiling of the team’s new Navy-inspired uniform.

San Diego Padres pitcher James Shields and outfielder Wil Myers will dress as the Navy boys of summer during some Sunday home games this season at Petco Park.

The pair will be sporting jerseys using the Navy’s “blueberries” camouflage digital pattern, which the service officially calls Navy Working Uniform Type 1.

Arlington National Cemetery wreath cleanup postponed again, to Feb. 13

Wreaths Across America at Arlington National Cemetery on Dec. 12, 2015.

The "Retiring of the Wreaths" at Arlington National Cemetery — already rescheduled for this weekend because of the blizzard that hit the Washington, D.C. area — will now take place two weeks later, on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016.

"There is just so much snow and the crews are already working around the clock to open up the grounds and make them safe for visitors," Wreaths Across America chairman Wayne Hanson said in a press release. "It is not fair to them, or our volunteers, to put on the additional strain of preparing for our event before it is safe.”

Weather forecast prompts postponement of wreath pickup day at Arlington

Last month's Wreaths Across America event at Arlington National Cemetery was held with temperatures in the 60s, drawing a large crowd to place more than 241,000 memorial wreaths on the graves of the fallen. But the forecast of a return to more seasonable weather — and possibly a lot worse — has led to the postponement of the wreath pickup effort scheduled for this Saturday to Saturday, Jan. 30.

Wreaths Across America Chairman Wayne Hanson said in a press release on Tuesday that "normally we host our events regardless of the weather and with no planned rain dates, because the men and women who serve our country also serve everyday regardless of weather events." But with the possibility of several inches of snow and blustery winds hitting the area Friday night into Saturday, "safety for our volunteers is the top priority, and there are too many weather models predicting a significant impact on the Capital Region," Hanson said.

Website shows status of American vets

Did you know that of the nation’s more than 22 million veterans, the largest populations live in California, Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania?

But those aren’t the states with highest percentage of veterans. That status belongs to Alaska, Montana, Maine, Virginia and Wyoming. And if you delve into veterans by county, you’ll find that a disproportionate number live in rural areas, where incomes are lower, according to the Housing Assistance Council, which has developed a new online database tool to look at how veterans are faring in their communities.

Elmo in the Army? Sesame Street website reaches out to military families

Sesame Street character Cookie Monster waves to children at the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps base, Aug. 9, 2014, during the Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families. The puppet troupe will now be featured on a website designed to help preschoolers adjust to life in military families.

Don’t be surprised if you hear the Sesame Street puppets break into a chorus of, “You’re in the Army now, Mr. Elmo!”

Sesame Workshop and the Defense Department’s National Center for Telehealth and Technology announced Friday the launch of a website designed for military families that features many of show’s familiar characters. The site is mobile friendly and can be easily accessed from cell phones and tablets.

Soldiers take a walk to recharge their batteries

It could be light years away or coming soon to an Army shop near you.

The Army is testing backpacks that self-generate power while troops are on the move, potentially eliminating the need for big clunky batteries that are used to power everything from night-vision goggles to radios.