The North Carolina Humanities Council is hosting a five week book group offering local veterans a place to share experiences  and connect with veterans in discussion of literature related to war and homecoming.  Mac McKee speaks with Executive Director Paula Watkins about the bi-monthly program at the Havelock-Craven County Public Library.

Cape Fear Regional Theater in Fayetteville and the Hidden Voices project are in the process of collecting stories from military spouses about finding courage in the challenges they face during and after deployment. The organizations hope to turn these stories into staged readings to help connect the military families with the greater community. Mikel Peterson has more.

Dora Bullock lives in New Bern and remembers the struggles vividly she faced during her husband’s deployment back in 2010.

Onslow County will soon be home to a solar farm that will power more than 2,400 homes.  This week on the Down East Journal, we talk about the scope of the project and tour the facility that is currently using landfill gas to create electricity. And, a nonprofit in New Bern breaks ground soon on an organic garden maintained by disabled and homeless veterans. Listen for the Down East Journal airs Friday at noon on all of the PRE stations.  And Saturday at noon on News and Ideas.

This week on the Down East Journal, we speak with the acting State Health Director Dr. Robin Cummings about the new, statewide telepsychiatry program starting in January, and how East Carolina University will be involved with the program.  And thirty years after the bombing of a military barracks in Beirut, we speak with a veteran organizing a ceremony in Jacksonville next week to remember the 240 Americans killed during the attack.

This week on the Down East Journal, the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs recently announced they’re implementing an initiative to expedite disability compensation claims for Veterans who have waited a year or more.  And, a project to help restore declining fish populations is underway along the Cape Fear River.  We’ll explain how crushed granite will be the basis for a new fish habitat.