Howard Altman, Military Affairs and General Assignment Reporter

Howard Altman

Military Affairs and General Assignment Reporter

I am an award-winning journalist covering national security, the military and veterans issues for the Tampa Bay Times. One of my main missions is reminding readers there are still tens of thousands of troops in harm’s way in dangerous places. And that the sacrifices made by them and their loved ones are made in your name and on your dime. I also have a passion for shining the light on issues faced by veterans, of which there are about 250,000 in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties, as well as how your tax dollars are spent on defense-related issues. So if you have a story to tell or a tip to share, please reach out to me.

Gold Star wife commands a MacDill unit where she and her husband served together

On April 27, 2011, Air Force Maj. Raymond Estelle II was one of nine killed in Kabul, Afghanistan in an insider attack. Now his wife, Air Force Lt. Col. N?Keiba Estelle, has taken command of his old unit at MacDill Air Force Base, the 6th Communications Support Squadron. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times ]
Air Force Lt. Col. N’Keiba Estelle works in a building named after Maj. Raymond Estelle II, killed in Afghanistan nearly eight years ago

Kathy Castor holds sixth event honoring Vietnam era veterans

A unit of the 1st Battalion, 5th Regiment U.S. Marines, rests alongside a battered wall of Hue’s imperial palace after a battle for the Citadel in February 1968, during the Tet Offensive. The Marines reported heavy casualties in street fighting in the ancient capital city of Vietnam. (AP Photo)
The Tampa Congresswoman wants to heal long-ago wounds

Pinellas Congressman Gus Bilirakis seeks videos from veterans suffering from burn pit exposure

A bulldozer dumps a load of trash into a burn pit just 300 yards from the runway at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan in a 2012 photo. [Photo Credit: Mark Rankin]
His office says the testimony will be used to gain approval for a bill helping veterans who encountered the poisonous toxins.

Epilogue: An Air Force brigadier general, Thomas E. Penick Jr. helped the area’s most vulnerable as a judge

Thomas E. Penick Jr., worked to protect the area’s most vulnerable residents in his more than 25 years as a Pinellas-Pasco judge. He also was a retired Air Force general. He died last month at the age of 80.
The Pinellas-Pasco judge was sprayed with Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. He was 80 when he died of complications from that exposure.

Howard Altman: A huge thanks to an amazing community
Altman will serve as managing editor of Military Times.