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Weekend America Series

First Weekend Home

This series asks a very elemental question: What's the first thing you want to do when you've been away from home for an extended period of time?


  • First Weekend Home: Laid Off

    Rosanna Leisure driving a forklift

    For 544,000 people in the US, the line that divides the week and the weekend got a little more murky last month. The unemployment rate now stands at 6.7 percent, the highest it's been in 15 years. For reporter Jonathan Menjivar in Philadelphia, all these statistics recently became a reality. Not for himself, but for his mother, Rosanna Leisure.

  • First Weekend Home: After the Coma

    Justin Logan in rehab with his son Michael

    Traumatic brain injury - or an injury caused by a severe blow to the head - is the leading cause of death and disability for children and young adults. One of the most common causes of those injuries is car accidents. That's how high school student Justin Logan wound up in the hospital a few months ago. Reporter Tori Marlan followed Justin out of rehab and through his first weekend home in his mother's care.

  • Coming Back, Fitting In


    Unlike the Civil War veteran, who had to trudge across muddy fields and back roads for weeks or even months before getting home, today's soldiers are put on a jet in Baghdad one day and are back home at Wal-Mart the next. Some military experts say the transition from combat to civilian life is too fast. And veterans say when they do get back they're strangers in their own country.

  • From Refugee Camp to Austin Apartment

    A new home in Texas

    For our continuing series "First Weekend Home," reporter Tori Marlan brings the story of a family of refugees from Myanmar (formerly Burma) spending their first weekend in a place they hope will one day feel like home: Austin, Texas. But just getting used to common things -- light switches, supermarkets and beds -- is a challenge.

  • New Life for Hamtramck's Black Enclave

    Area of Concern

    The small city of Hamtramck, right in the middle of Detroit, fought a court order to help rebuild an African-American enclave destroyed by neglect. Now that enclave has new life, thanks to 200 new homes. And for two sisters, it's a new beginning.

  • Surreal Comforts of Home in Iraq

    Inside Camp Anaconda

    Navy Petty Officer Leonard Neely describes his experience in Iraq -- 14 months of being confined to a huge Army base, dodging mortars. Coming home to a "normal" life, he says the transition wasn't what he expected.

  • A Return Home from a Gray War


    Army Specialist Andrea Gillingham didn't see any combat in Iraq. In fact, she never left her base. She talks with Weekend America's Michael May about the dullness of military life as they hang out in a karaoke bar in Killeen, Texas.

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