Starting Monday, military veterans in the Coastal Carolina region will be able to seek medical treatment closer to home. The new Wilmington Health Center, located next to the airport, will enhance and expand health care for as many as 18,000 veterans.

Veterans requiring specialty treatment falling outside the capacity of smaller outpatient clinics in Wilmington and Brunswick County endure long trips to Fayetteville to receive care. Fred Roche, the administrator of the new Wilmington Health center, says much of that travel time will now be alleviated.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s announcement to lift the combat ban for women serving in the military came as no surprise to author Kirsten Holmstedt. The Iraq War started while she was working on her MFA in creative writing at UNCW in 2003. She heard about women serving in the line of fire and decided to collect their stories first-hand. 

Wilmington resident Norma Luther is riding in a caravan of about 20 trucks and busses for the Wreaths Across America program.