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Veterans Chronicles

English, Social, 1 season, 431 episodes, 3 days, 20 hours, 15 minutes
About
Veterans Chronicles tells the stories of America's greatest heroes in their own words.
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T/5 Buck Winters, U.S. Army Engineers, WWII

Roger "Buck" Winters was a recent high school graduate working at a tool factory in Texas when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. He immediately wanted to quit his job and join the U.S. Army Air Corps. The government would not let him do either of those things at first. Winters would join the Army in 1943 and get trained as an engineer. He would be deployed to Guadalcanal and then to Cebu in the Philippines, where he would have a front row seat to history.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," 100-year-old Buck Winters tells us about his ordnance training and his work of destroying and building as an engineer in the Pacific theater of World War II. He will share what it was like to come under attack by the Japanese on Guadalcanal. He also explains what it took to find and eliminate the holdout Japanese soldiers who refused to surrender.From there, it's on to Cebu, his shock at hearing natives speaking excellent English, and the hard work of rebuilding Cebu City. But the most vivid memory for Buck Winters is serving on the honor guard that welcomed Gen. Douglas MacArthur on his return to Cebu.
4/17/202421 minutes, 57 seconds
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LCDR Lou Conter, WWII, Pearl Harbor, Last Survivor USS Arizona

On April 1, 2024, LCDR Lou Conter, U.S. Navy (Retired) died at the age of 102. He was the last living survivor of the USS Arizona, which was sunk by the Japanese during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. His passing marks a somber milestone for a generation that courageously rose up to defend our nation and our allies.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Conter shares how he joined the Navy, got assigned to the USS Arizona, and was privy to the conversations of commanders aboard the battleship. He also shares what it as like to live through the Japanese attacks that killed nearly 1,200 of his shipmates, what he was doing before and after the order to abandon ship, and the difficult work that followed.But Conter's service did not end there. He also describes going to flight school in Pensacola, Florida, just weeks after the attacks, his service as a PBY pilot in the Pacific theater, and how he survived being shot down into the ocean.Conter also shares some of his service surveilling the Soviets near Iceland in the early days of the Cold War and how the tough jungle survival course he taught turned out to be a critical asset for the Americans imprisoned at the infamous "Hanoi Hilton" in Vietnam.
4/10/202439 minutes, 41 seconds
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Chris Alvarez, U.S. Navy SEAL, Afghanistan

Chris Alvarez grew up knowing he wanted to serve and that he wanted to serve with the best. After being convinced to join the Marines once he was old enough, a high school teacher who had served in the Marines encouraged him to learn more about the U.S. Navy SEAL's. It didn't take much research for Alvarez to decide that's exactly what he wanted to be.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Alvarez takes us through the grueling BUD/s training required to become a U.S. Navy SEAL. He explains what was most challenging for him and what's most important to understand about what the training is designed to accomplish.He also details his service with SEAl Team 10 in Afghanistan and with U.S. Southern Command in Latin America. And finally, he reflects on heading back to BUD/s training to serve as an instructor.
4/3/202452 minutes, 34 seconds
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CPT Kelly Elminger, U.S. Army, Iraq, Afghanistan, Paralympian

Kelly Elmlinger was a three-sport athlete in high school. She excelled in cross country, basketball, and track. After considering military service, she decided to keep playing sports at the next level, but she quickly decided college was not for her. That's when she joined the Army and became a combat medic, eventually with the 82nd Airborne Division, serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Later, she became a nurse and then a cancer patient herself. Yet even after losing a leg, Elmlinger persevered and represented the U.S. at the Paralympic Games just a few years later.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Elmlinger shares how the 9/11 attacks changed the trajectory of her military service and how her combat medic training suddenly became much more real. She also describes her service in Afghanistan, meeting and connecting with the Afghan women, and what the Afghan men thought about her.Then she explains how different and how much harder the same job was in Iraq, why there was often little combat medics could do to help, and the painstaking efforts she and her teammates took to to find some personal effect to present to the families of every fallen service member.Elmlinger then recounts her decision to become a nurse and work with wounded veterans in San Antonio and how that work helped to prepare her to be a patient there as she battled cancer in her leg. And finally, she updates us on how she became an elite adaptive sports athlete - representing the U.S. at the 2021 Summer Paralympic Games in Tokyo. And she'll do it again this summer in Paris!
3/27/202448 minutes, 41 seconds
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Thomas 'Drago' Dzieran, Political Prisoner, U.S. Navy SEAL, Iraq,

Thomas "Drago" Dzieran grew up in Communist Poland. He realized he was being fed lies and propaganda as a boy when he got in big trouble at school for asking simple questions about the government. As a young man, he became actively involved in the Solidarity movement and in spreading anti-Communist messages. His activities landed him in prison and he was eventually expelled from Poland.Poland's loss was America's gain. In 1984, Drago Dzieran came to the U.S. Seven years later he became an American citizen - what he still considers his greatest accomplishment - and soon joined the U.S. Navy. A short time later he began BUD/s training and became a Navy SEAL.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Drago shares tremendous detail about his life behind the Iron Curtain, the grueling process to become a SEAL, and his three back-to-back deployments in Iraq. He will also tell us about his SEAL teams pursuing high-value targets and the toll that work took on his health.Finally, Drago shares what it was like returning to SEAL training as an instructor and why he enthusiastically loves the United States. It's an infectious enthusiasm will likely make you even prouder to be an American.
3/13/202454 minutes, 36 seconds
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SFC Earnie Savage, U.S. Army, Vietnam, Ia Drang

In the early 1960's, the U.S. Army developed a new way of moving troops into and out of strategic locations. It was called Air Cavalry and operated under the theory that moving forces by helicopter was faster and more precise than driving them or having them jump out of airplanes. One of the earliest and best known Air Cavalry engagements was at Landing Zone X-Ray during the Battle of Ia Drang in November 1965. Young Earnie Savage was part of Bravo company in the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry of the 1st Air Cavalry Division. Shortly after landing at X-Ray, his platoon was cut off and the two highest-ranking member of the platoon were killed. That suddenly left him in charge, surrounded by the enemy and trying to keep any other men from being killed.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Savage tells us about the platoon getting cut off, how he adjusted to being in command, his strategy for holding off the enemy for many hours until they could reconnect with other American forces, why he did not get very nervous in combat, and much more.Savage also tells us about going right back to the fight shortly after surviving this ordeal and what it was like to train new members of the battalion after many of his friends completed their tours.
3/6/202440 minutes, 38 seconds
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CMDCM Leon Walker, Jr., U.S. Navy, Attack on the USS Stark

Leon Walker, Jr. grew up in a family full of Army and Marine Corps veterans. He tried to enlist in the Marines but the recruiter didn't want to be bothered on his lunch hour. Within minutes, Walker joined the U.S. Navy. He was initially assigned to serve as a deckhand on the fast frigate USS Reid, but on his first deployment he started learning how to navigate. For the next 21 years, he served as a navigator on many different deployments before rising to the rank of command master chief.On his second deployment, Walker and the USS Reid were in the southern Persian Gulf in May 1987, when another fast frigate, the USS Stark, was struck by two missiles fired by an Iraqi pilot in the northern part of the gulf during the Iran-Iraq War. The Reid raced to help and arrived the next day to find the Stark smoking and listing. Thirty-seven Americans were killed on the Stark and 21 others were injured.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Walker takes us step by step through the very difficult work of searching the Stark for the remains of those killed in the missile strike and tells us what he saw and did while on board. He also explains how he became numb do his duties that day and how it created post-traumatic stress that was not diagnosed for decades. Finally, Walker reflects on other deployments to the Persian Gulf and what it was like to navigate through the Suez Canal and the very rough waters of the Bering Sea.
2/28/202446 minutes, 19 seconds
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CMSgt Melvin Jenner, USAF, WWII, Berlin Airlift

Melvin Jenner was already in the Michigan Air National Guard when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. After joining the U.S. Army Air Corps and undergoing training for a bomber crew, he was soon flying missions in the European Theater of World War II. The next few years would bring him harrowing bomber missions, a secret flight over Normandy on D-Day, and an unforgettable role in the Berlin Airlift.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Jenner tells us how he ended up flying missions in the A-20 with the British Royal Air Force before he ever flew with an American crew - and about his shock when he discovered those missions with the UK did not count towards his total needed for a ticket home.Jenner also describes his roles as radio man and gunner on the B-17, the most tense missions of the war and what it was like to fly through flak. He also shares what he saw from the sky as he flew over the D-Day landings on June 6, 1944.But Jenner's memorable career did not end with the war. He also shares an emotional recollection of serving in the Berlin Airlift as the U.S. flew in provisions to break the Soviet blockade there. Finally, he tells about his role in helping Chuck Yeager break the sound barrier.
2/21/202443 minutes, 1 second
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Cpl. Patrick Finn, USMC, Korea, Chosin Reservoir

Patrick Finn fibbed about his age in order to join the U.S. Marine Corps a bit earlier than he should have. He served honorably and was ready to end his service before the Korean War ever began. But his inability to come up with $92 led him to re-enlist and in the summer of 1950 he was off to fight a war in a place he knew nothing about.The summer of 1950 was chaotic in Korea. The North Koreans invaded the south in late June and nearly conquered the whole peninsula. But U.S. forces arrived just in time, pushing out from the Pusan Perimeter and executing the very successful Inchon Landing. Within a couple of months, U.S. forces thought they would be home by Christmas.But in late 1950, just as the U.S. and our allies had pushed the North Koreans back to the Yalu River, Chinese forces came swarming across the border, inflicting severe American casualties, taking many troops prisoner, and surrounding U.S. Marines at Chosin Reservoir.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Patrick Finn describes the surprise of the Chinese onslaught, the brutally frigid temperatures at Chosin Reservoir, how the Marines fought while surrounded, and what it was like to fight hand-to-hand. Mr. Finn also reflects on the proce of our freedom and tells us why returning to Korea in recent years was such a powerful experience.
2/14/202439 minutes, 45 seconds
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Col. Joe Peterburs, USAF, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, POW Part 2

In our last edition of "Veterans Chronicles," we learned about the World War II service of U.S. Air Force Col. Joe Peterburs (Ret.). He told us all about escorting U.S. bombers into Germany, strafing Luftwaffe airfields, and shooting down a highly decorated German ace before getting shot down himself on the very same mission. Please be sure to listen to Part 1 of his story.But the story of Col. Peterburs goes well beyond World War II. In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Col. Peterburs takes from his quiet desk jobs in the Air Force after World War II to being back in the P-51, providing close air support to American forces during the Korean War.Later on, Peterburs tells us all about his service in Vietnam, the critical role he performed there in air traffic control, and the very close call he endured during the Tet Offensive. Finally, Peterburs tells about the commmand that he's most proud of from more than 36 years in uniform.
2/7/202436 minutes, 5 seconds
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Col. Joe Peterburs, USAF, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, POW

Joe Peterburs was on track to become a priest. All of that changed when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The next year, Peterburs joined the U.S. Army Air Corps and trained to be a fighter pilot. He mastered the P-40, but by the time he got to England in late 1944, the P-51 was waiting for him.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Col. Joe Peterburs takes us through his service in World War II as he began a military career lasting more than 36 years.You'll hear about his first mission and a whole lot more about his last one...including how he shot down a German ace, got shot down himself on the very same day, was taken prisoner, and ended up fighting alongside Russians. And he shares the tale of an unthinkable reunion.Also, watch next week for the second part of our interview with Col. Peterburs, as he tells about his service in Korea and Vietnam.
1/31/202442 minutes, 44 seconds
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Tom Toski, U.S. Navy, WWII, Okinawa, Leyte Gulf

Tom Toski was drafted into the U.S. Navy in 1943 and was deployed on a destroyer escort to the Pacific theater upon completion of his training. By the end of the war, just two years later, Toski had earned five battle stars, including Leyte Gulf and Okinawa.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Toski shares his story of service, describes his memories of those critical battles, and explains why he is so proud of his service during the war.
1/24/202437 minutes, 51 seconds
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PFC Royal Earle, Jr., USMC, Saipan, Iwo Jima

After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Royal Earle, Jr. and a buddy were on their way to join the the U.S. Marine Corps to take the fight to Japan. But his friend got snagged by the U.S. Navy instead. Unfazed, Earle endured Parris Island and Camp Pendleton and received training as a switchboard operator and wireman in preparation for service in the Pacific.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Mr. Earle walks us through his biggest challenge in boot camp and a big mystery during his time at Camp Pendleton. Then he describes operations in the Marshall Islands before the landing and combat on Saipan, which Earle says involved the most terrifying moments of his wartime experience.Earle goes on to tell us about landing on Iwo Jima, navigating the black sand beaches, and the toll the Japanese inflicted on the Marines, including switchboard personnel. He also shares the most harrowing moment on Iwo Jima that brought a much happier ending than he first feared.Finally, Mr. Earle explains the pride and honor her feels to have served in the Marines and how that feeling welled up in him many decades later.
1/17/202431 minutes, 2 seconds
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PFC John DeGennaro, USMC, World War II, Iwo Jima

John DeGennero was just 15 years old and playing at a park on the Sunday the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. After turning 17 in 1943, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps, determined to help win the war. Over the next two years, that teenager perfected a skill that would be crucial to winning the Battle of Iwo Jima. In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Mr. DeGennaro tells us about boot camp at Parris Island and then specializing in the science of sound ranging. From there he describes arriving at Iwo Jima and barely surviving his first night on the beach, watching the flag raising atop Mt. Suribachi, and the sounding ranging work he did to pinpoint and eliminate Japanese artillery positions on the island - and for which his unit was honored with a presidential citation.Finally, DeGennaro shares what the plan for his unit would have been if an invasion of Japan had been necessary - a plan he says that would likely have wiped out his entire division.
1/10/202416 minutes, 56 seconds
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Brig. Gen Richard Baughn, USAF, World War II, Vietnam

Richard Baughn served as an officer in the U.S. Army Air Corps and then the U.S. Air Force for more than 30 years both active duty and reserve. He retired as a brigadier general. Gen. Baughn's passion was flying and he put it to excellent use as a P-51 pilot over Europe in World War II and flying the F-104 and F-105 in Vietnam.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Gen. Baughn takes us along on his missions in World War II, both as a fighter escort for American bombers and his frequent strafing missions against German airfields. He also tells us about his most memorable aerial combat and the often overlooked role that air power played at the Battle of the Bulge.Baughn also tells us about his top secret work in Europe during the Korean War to deter any mischief from the Soviet Union and his inside role developing fighter jets such as the F-100, F-104, and F-105.From there, Gen. Baughn describes his leadership roles in the Vietnam War, the excellent men he served with, and the frustrating rules of engagement that he says tied the hands of American pilots and significantly endangered theirt lives.Finally, Baughn details his time leading the Air Force Tactical Fighter Weapons School during the war and his assignment in Saigon during the final months before it fell to the Communists.
1/3/202452 minutes, 43 seconds
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PFC Vincent Speranza, U.S. Army Airborne, WWII, Battle of the Bulge

Vincent Speranza was born to immigrant Italian parents in New York City. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Speranza's father stressed to his boys that they were Americans and that America must not lose the war. He was quite a bit more conflicted over the prospects of his sons fighting against Italy. Once old enough to serve, Speranza was assigned to the U.S. Army infantry but eventually moved to the airborne.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Speranza details how he joined the 101st airborne after D-Day and the failure of Operation Market Garden in Holland, what it was like to be rushed to the Battle of the Bulge in brutally cold temperatures, and what he accomplished as a machine gunner during the battle.Finally, Speranza recounts his legendary effort to find beer during the battle for his wounded friend. And he tells us about his return to Bastogne decades later, during which he discovered he was a local legend.Sadly, Vincent Speranza died in 2023. But the service and stories of the Beer Man of Bastogne live on!
12/27/202335 minutes, 56 seconds
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SSgt Lester Schrenk, U.S. Army Air Forces, WWII, POW

Lester Schrenk joined the U.S. Army Air Forces on his 19th birthday in November 1942. Even though he still sees perfectly today, he was told he could not become a pilot due to poor eyesight. So this Minnesota farm kid was assigned as a ball turret gunner on a B-17 bomber crew. At 5'11", he was much bigger than most men tasked with squeezing into that very tiny space. Roughly a year later, he was deployed to Europe.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Schrenk tells us what the missions were like for a ball turret gunner and he describes a harrowing mission in which his damaged bomber barely made it back to England but not all the way back to base.Then he shares the story of his bomber being badly damaged over Denmark in February 1944, bailing out and being immediately captured. He describes the very intense interrogation he endured from the Germans and life inside a prison camp in LithuaniaHe tells us how the Germans forced him and other prisoners on an 86-day death march as Soviet forces closed in on the prison from the east. Finally, Schrenk explains his diligent search to find the German pilot who crippled his plane and find out why his crippled bomber wasn't blown out of the sky before the men had a chance to get out. Decades later, he found the pilot and got his answer.
12/20/202342 minutes, 34 seconds
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Roy Gleason, U.S. Army, Vietnam, World Series Champion

Roy Gleason grew up near Chicago and fell in love with baseball while watching Cubs games with his grandfather. As a young teenager, he learned he had a tremendous amount of talent. After moving to California, he soon found himself signed to the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.In 1963, Gleason was a late-season call-up for the Dodgers, played in several games as a pinch runner and got one very memorable at-bat. After a few difficult years back in the minors, Gleason seemed poised to return to the Dodgers for the 1967 season. After a very strong spring training, he got the call-up, but not from the team. He'd been drafted by the U.S. Army.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Gleason describes the shocking shift from the field of dreams to the rice paddies and jungles of Vietnam, the dangerous patrols and enemy ambushes he had to navigate, and how he longed to get back to baseball.He also takes us inside his actions to rescue fellow soldiers in early 1968 and the mission later that year that left him wounded and wondering what he could have done better to protect his men on that deadly day.Gleason was immediately evacuated for medical treatment and several prized possessions were lost, including his 1963 World Series ring. But more than 30 years later, the Dodgers made sure that story had a happy ending.
12/13/202345 minutes, 3 seconds
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Louis Bourgault, USMC, WWII, Bougainville, Iwo Jima

Louis Bourgault was 16 years old when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor - too young to formally join the military. After his father rejected a teenage plot to go join the Canadian forces, Bourgault enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps when he turned 17. After grueling basic training at Parris Island, Bourgault was tapped as a message runner. He was soon off to San Diego and then shipped to New Zealand. After spending time loading and unloading ships at Guadalcanal, it was soon time to enter the fighting.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Bourgault gives an unvarnished look at basic training and how it prepared new Marines for war. He also describes a Japanese torpedo attack at Guadalcanal. From there, he takes into the combat on Bougainville, where Bourgault and many others fought both the Japanese and tropical ailments.Bourgault then shares his vivid memories of the difficulties in getting onto the beach at Iwo Jima, what he saw there, and being medicially evacuated a short time later. He also remembers seeing the U.S. flag atop Mt. Suribachi and what it was like to hear the war had ended several months later.Lastly, Mr. Bourgault shares how much it means to him that so many Americans make a point of thanking him for his service.
12/6/202333 minutes, 54 seconds
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Maj. John 'Lucky' Luckadoo, U.S. Army Air Corps, Bloody 100th Bomb Group

John 'Lucky" Luckadoo wanted to join the war effort against Nazi Germany even before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He and a friend hatched a plan to join the service in Canada until Lucky's father refused to allow it. But his friend went through with it. After Pearl Harbor, while in his first year at college, Luckadoo joined the U.S. Army Air Corps. Before long he was assigned to be a co-pilot in the "Bloody 100th" bomb group. He would be one of the few to survive 25 missions early in the war and earn a trip home.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," 101-year-old Lucky Luckadoo takes us into his ups and downs of flight training to the challenges of co-piloting a B-17 bomber. He tells us about the mission where he nearly lost his toes to frostbite and his most harrowing mission after losing an engine while under intense anti-aircraft fire.Luckadoo also shares how he advanced from co-pilot to pilot to operations officer, the evolution of using fighters to keep the bombers safe, what he sees as the legacy of the Bloody 100th, and the tragic conclusion of his friend's service in the war.
11/29/202355 minutes, 42 seconds
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Sgt. Dakota Meyer, USMC, Afghanistan, Iraq, Medal of Honor

Dakota Meyer decided to have some fun with the U.S. Marine recruiter visiting his high school. Within minutes he had a change of heart and signed up to serve. Meyer would serve in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a horrific day in September 2009 would change his life forever.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Meyer shares the very difficult story of watching from a a mile away as his fellow Marines came under deadly enemy fire. Defying orders, Meyer spent the next several hours against nearly impossible odds to save and recover his fallen comrades.For his actions that day, Meyer received the Medal of Honor. But while sharing his story with us, Meyer explains why the medal actually made his life more difficult.
11/22/202333 minutes, 56 seconds
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Capt. Russell 'Rusty' Schweikart, USAF, Air National Guard, NASA, Apollo 9

Russell "Rusty" Schweikart grew up with a great interest in aviation and watching the planes fly around Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey. So it was no surprise when he joined the U.S. Air Force and was trained as a fighter pilot. He later joined the Massachusetts Air National Guard. But in 1963, he was selected as a NASA astronaut and was soon on track to be part of the Apollo program to fulfill President John F. Kennedy's vision of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles, Capt. Schweikart takes us through his days in the Air Force and Air National Guard. He also details the moment in a cafeteria that he decided to pursue becoming an astronaut and the training he went through to prepare for space. Schweikart also walks us through the dark days following the deadly Apollo 1 fire that killed Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee in 1967 and the changes that were made as a result.Finally, Schweikart takes us step by step through his Apollo 9 mission, the testing of the lunar module and Apollo space suits, and the mesmerizing moments of looking back towards Earth during the first-ever Apollo spacewalk.
11/15/202347 minutes, 5 seconds
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Col. Howard Hill, USAF, Vietnam, POW

Howard Hill attended the U.S. Air Force Academy and went on to flight training, where he became a radio intercept officer (RIO). Deployed to Vietnam as a backseater on an F-4, Hill flew many missions, including one that earned him his first Silver Star before being shot down two months later.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Col. Hill details that successful mission in October 1967. He then takes moment by moment on the December mission in which his plane was shot down and he was taken prisoner by the North Vietnamese. He describes the torture he endured for refusing to give up information to the enemy and what life was like in the Hoa Lo prison - better known mockingly as the Hanoi Hilton - for more than five years.Col. Hill also describes how he kept his mind sharp in captivity by writing poetry expressing his love for America. Finally, he tells us about his release and how Americans should appreciate their freedoms.
11/8/202358 minutes, 41 seconds
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Wayne "Whitey" Johnson, U.S. Army Air Corps, WWII, Flying Tigers

Whitey Johnson was a farm kid from Minnesota who had the chance to fly a crop duster when he was a teenager. The day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he stood in line to join the U.S. Army Air Corps.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Johnson describes his excitement at being assigned to the Flying Tigers, serving on the Shanghai Raids and his heart-pounding drama of being shot down and nearly captured while being hidden by the Chinese.
11/1/202346 minutes, 27 seconds
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Col. Randy Bresnik, USMC, Iraq, NASA

Randy Bresnik was born into a family that already had an aviation legacy. His father was a U.S. Army Air Cavalry helicopter pilot in Vietnam and his grandfather spent five years as the official photographer for Amelia Earhart. But Bresnik would chart his own path, attending The Citadel as a Navy ROTC student and ultimately choosing the U.S. Marine Corps. He has flown 86 different types of planes but his favorite is the F/A-18.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Bresnik takes us through his journey as a pilot, his early deployments, his memories of 9/11, and he goes into great detail about his close air support missions in the opening weeks of the Iraq War. He also details his pursuit of becoming a NASA astronaut, training for missions, and the family drama that played out on earth while he performed his first mission. Finally, Bresnik explains what a spacewalk is like and why he is excited about what lies ahead for the U.S. space program
10/25/202357 minutes, 37 seconds
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SFC Brendan Quisenberry, U.S. Army Special Forces, Afghanistan, Iraq

Brendan Quisenberry grew up with a deep appreciation for military service, as both his father and grandfather were veterans. As a sophomore in high school when terrorists struck the U.S. on 9/11, he knew he needed to serve. A couple of years later he joined the U.S. Army and by 2004 he was on his first deployment overseas - this one to Iraq. Following that deployment, Quisenberry successfully completed the training needed to become a U.S. Army Ranger. Soon he was off to the first of several assignments in Afghanistan.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Quisenberry walks us through the difficult days on those deployments and the major challenge of trying to avoid improvised explosive devices, or IED. He also details how those intense deployments led to record-level suicides when the men came home.He also describes an elite parachuting opportunity with the 101st Airborne Division, pursuing and achieving his dream of becoming a Green Beret, and his important work now as executive director of the Transcend Foundation, helping service members and first responders heal from their physical and mental injuries.
10/18/202333 minutes, 13 seconds
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Harrison 'Jack' Schmitt, Lunar Module Pilot, Apollo 17

Harrison Schmitt's father was a geologist but it wasn't until college thatSchmitt decided to follow in his dad's footsteps. By the mid-1960's, Schmitt had a Ph.D and was working at the U.S. Geological Survey's Astrogeology Center. Before long, NASA was looking for geologists to advise on the upcoming lunar missions. Schmitt then advised the Apollo 11 crew on what to look for and to bring home. And he also consulted with every subsequent mission. But before too long, NASA decided to send Scmitt himself to the moon and the rest is history - the only man to visit the moon who was not a military aviator.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Schmitt describes training in the T-38 and helicopters with the U.S. Air Force at Chandler AFB and why that training was so critical to his mission. He also tells us what it was like to blast off, walk on the moon, and take one of the most famous photos in history. He also tells us what he considers to be the most important geological discoveries from the Apollo missions.
10/11/202341 minutes, 46 seconds
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SSgt Ray Hildreth, USMC & U.S. Army, Vietnam, Hill 488

Ray Hildreth joined the U.S. Marine Corps in an effort to shape up after a brush with the law as a teenager. He joined during the Vietnam War, never once thinking he would be sent overseas. But after a grueling basic training period, Marine recon training, and sniper school, he was soon on his way to Okinawa to prepare for service in Vietnam.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Hildreth explains how the Marines' legendary basic training prepared him well for what would soon follow. He then describes the patrol missions his platoon was assigned once they got to Vietnam. But the vast majority of Hildreth's story centers on the June 1966 battle for Hill 488. He explains how the fighting began, how it quickly intensified, and how he and his fellow Marines suffered many casualties while vastly outnumbered by the North Vietnamese Army soldiers there.In incredible detail, Hildreth takes us moment by moment through the nighttime fighting and what he and the other Marines did to hold off the enemy and to help each other survive. He also tells how he twice took out an NVA machine gun position with just a rifle. Finally, Hildreth reflects on the tremendous cost required to hold the hill and why every American needs to know about the courage and sacrifice of the men he served with there.
10/4/202345 minutes, 50 seconds
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COL Ramon 'Tony' Nadal, U.S. Army, Vietnam, Ia Drang

Ramon "Tony" Nadal continued a proud family legacy when he was accepted into West Point after high school. Nadal's father was one the first Puerto Rican graduates of the U.S. Military Academy back in 1928. After his commissioning and officer training, Nadal quickly pursued special forces training with the Army Rangers and Pathfinders among others. Eventually that elite training made him an ideal choice to be a leader in a brand new type of air mobile warfare, which moved troops by helicopters instead of in trucks or on foot. In Vietnam, the air mobile concept would be put to the test.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Col. Nadal takes us inside this cutting edge approach to warfare in the 1960's. He also takes us into the ferocious battle for Landing Zone X-Ray as part of the Battle of Ia Drang in November 1965, where he served as commander of A Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, 1st Air Cavalry Division. Nadal explains the circumstances leading up to the battle, how then-Col. Hal Moore and the other officers responded to a U.S. platoon being cut off from other forces, being in the midst of intense combat, and how the Americans successfully fought off North Vietnamese forces with much larger numbers.Don't miss this detailed reflection on a critical engagement in the early months of the Vietnam War.
9/27/202343 minutes, 14 seconds
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CPL David Marshall, U.S. Army, WWII, Roer Valley, Battle of the Bulge

David Marshall was 16 years old and lying in a New York hospital room after suffering a sports injury when he heard about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Upon turning seventeen the following year, he was drafted into the Army, intially trained as a medic before assigned as an engineer in the infantry - specifically the 84th Infantry Division. The unit deployed to England in September 1944 and came ashore in France at Omaha Beach some five months after D-Day.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," David Marshall takes us inside his first combat around the town of Geilenkirchen near the border of Germany and the Netherlands. He shares the powerful of the close friend who forced him to make a promise just before the fighting started.He then takes to the Battle of the Bulge as his unit was suddenly ordered to confront the German offensive in the Ardennes. He explains how brutally cold it was there and what it took to defeat the enemy advance.Marshall then describes further action in the Roer Valley, crossing the Rhine, and the horrific discovery of a Nazi slave labor camp.
9/20/202340 minutes, 52 seconds
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SSG Paul Cunningham, USAF, Korea

Paul Cunningham graduated from high school in 1948 and had no idea what he wanted to do with his life. After some convincing from the local Air Force recruiter, he was off to train as a radar repairman. Just two years later, he was at war halfway around the world in Korea.In this edition of "Veterans Chonicles," Cunningham describes his work assembling, repairing, and moving radar equipment as the conditions of the war changed. He explains the critical role that radar played in assisting the allies and spotting enemy planes long before they arrived. Cunningham also describes the shock of assuming the war was nearly over in late 1950 only to see the Chinese pour into Korea and extend the war for another two-and-a-half years. He also tells us what Korea was like in the early 1950s, as so many there lived in abject poverty.He contrasts that with his recent visit back to Korea and that stunning differences he saw there thanks to the freedom the South Koreans enjoy as a result of the sacrifices made by the U.S. and our allies. He also stresses the enduring gratitude of the South Korean people towards those who liberated them.Finally, Cunningham, who later became a history teacher, stresses the need to teach our kids about the Korean War, why it happened, and the aftermath that impacts us to this day.
9/13/202340 minutes, 18 seconds
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Giovanni Renteria, September 11th Terrorist Attacks

Giovanni Renteria was in New York City undergoing training for Morgan Stanley in their offices inside the South Tower of the World Trade Center. On day two of the three-week program, Renteria and his colleagues finished their first session early. He and another employee headed downstairs for some coffee. While down there, they saw the debris falling after the first airliner struck the North Tower. Told by security that everything in the North Tower was fine and they should return to the office, Renteria and his colleague weren't so sure. It was then that the second plane hit the tower he was in.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Renteria walks us through that entire, horrible day. He explains the unlikely encounter that prevented him from going back upstairs, running from the building after the second plane struck, and watching people surrounded by flames on the upper floors choose to leap to their deaths. He also describes his response to the collapse of the towers and not knowing what happened to the rest of his colleagues. He also shares what that day taught him after more than two decades of reflection.
9/6/202336 minutes, 5 seconds
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Joe Mantegna, Actor, Host of the National Memorial Day Concert

Joe Mantegna grew up around multiple family members who were combat veterans of World War II. He tried to become a pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War but was dismissed due to poor eyesight. But for more than 20 years, Mantegna has been a very active supporter of our active duty military, veterans, and families of the fallen. Since 2002, he has been a part of the National Memorial Day Concert, serving almost all of those years as a host or co-host alongside fellow veterans advocate Gary Sinise.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Mantegna shares his story from growing up in Chicago to becoming a successful actor on stage and screen. He also explains how his understanding of Memorial Day changed drastically once he was asked to be a part of the concert. Mantegna also tells us how the powerful stories that get presented each year are chosen and what it is like to share such emotional moments in front of the families who lived it and often lost their loved ones.
8/30/202332 minutes, 5 seconds
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SSgt. Craig Morgan, U.S. Army, Panama, Airborne

You may know him best as country music star Craig Morgan. But for 17 years, including 10 years on active duty, Craig Morgan Greer served our nation in the U.S. Army. He spent time with both the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions. Morgan is also a veteran of Operation Just Cause, the U.S. mission in Panama in December 1989.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Morgan shares why he joined the Army and his determination to serve a cause much bigger than himself. He takes us into his time as a long-range artillery observer, learning to jump or rappel out of an aircraft, and serving on clandestine missions.He also talks a great deal about his service in Panama, including having to take on more responsibility when his supreior was shot, mistakenly jumping out of his helicopter 20 feet off the ground, and being in combat for the first time.Then Morgan tells us about deciding between a very realistic track to become Sergeant Major of the Army and pursuing a country music career. He also shares how his music left a powerful impact on active duty forces and veterans - and actually helped to save lives.Finally, Morgan ends the interview with a big announcement. Don't miss it!
8/23/202349 minutes, 53 seconds
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Lt. Col. Charles 'Frank' Blount, USAF, Vietnam

Frank Blount was commissioned into the U.S. Air Force in 1960 upon graduation from Florida State University and completion of its ROTC program. Over the next 20 years, Blount would pilot planes carrying everyone from the President of the United States to heroes of our space program to precocious kids. He would also see intense action as a gunship pilot in Vietnam.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Col. Blount takes us through his early days as a Super Constellation pilot and some of the unusual circumstances he faced in that role. He then tells us about changing to the C-130 and flying through 18 typhoons in East Asia before returning to the U.S., where he flew the Apollo 13 crew to Washington after the dramatic conclusion of that mission. He also flew the president and vice-president as a pilot of Boeing 707's commonly known as Air Force One and Air Force Two.Finally, he describes rejecting an assignment stateside in order to fly an AC-130 gunship in Vietnam. Blount takes us inside the intensity of that combat, being close to one of the rare gunship disasters of the war, and flying a mission after the war was officially over.
8/16/202333 minutes, 25 seconds
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CAPT Charlie Plumb, U.S. Navy, Vietnam, POW

Charlie Plumb ended up in the U.S. Navy because money was tight for his family and it was a big economic relief when he was recommended and accepted at the U.S. Naval Academy. Upon commissioning from Annapolis and competion of flight school, Plumb would soon be flying an F-4. Little did he know what awaited him just a few years later in Vietnam.Plumb was deployed to the war zone in November 1966. He routinely flew missions over North Vietnam, including Hanoi, which he says was the most heavily protected city in the world at that time. On each mission, he came under fire in a variety of forms.In May 1967, Plumb was shot down by a surface-to-air missile (SAM) and taken prisoner. He was soon held prisoner at the infamous "Hanoi Hilton."In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Captain Plumb recounts his memories of being shot down, his remarkable prayer while parachuting into enemy territory, the brutal torture and deprivation in the prison, and how the U.S. POW's kept each other going. Finally, he shares what it was like to breathe as a free man after nearly six years of captivity.
8/9/202336 minutes, 7 seconds
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CMSgt. William Walter, USAF, Panama, Grenada, Desert Storm

William Walter joined the U.S. Air Force in 1976. Two years later he arrived at Hurlburt Field in Florida for AC-130 gunship training. Over the next couple of decades, his serice in Air Force special operations would place him on missions from Operation Eagle Claw to rescue U.S. hostages in Iran to Operation Just Cause in Panama to Operation Desert Storm, among several others.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," CMSgt. Walter vividly describes what makes serving aboard AC-130 gunships special and why those who serve there almost never leave. He then takes us inside the unsuccessful mission to Iran in 1980 and what the role of the AC-130's was supposed to be. He also explains the assignment for the gunship crews in rescuing medical students in Grenada in 1983.Much of this conversation centers around Walter's role during Operation Just Cause in December 1989, the effort to seize Rio Hato airfield, and what that combat was really like. Finally, he shares what the AC-130 crews were tasked with in the Gulf War, Somalia, and Bosnia. And he shares the tragic stories of teams lost in Iraq and near Somalia.
8/2/202351 minutes, 24 seconds
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Maj. Michelle Curran, USAF, Afghanistan, Air Force Thunderbirds

Michelle Curran was a teenager when she was mesmerized by the roar and power of military jets. Soon she was off to ROTC in college. Within just a few years, she would be at war in Afghanistan and eventually become the lead solo pilot for the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Maj. Curran takes us inside her role in providing "Danger Close" air support for our allies in Afghanistan as an F-16 pilot, how the missions were executed, and how enemy attacks were essentially futile.Curran then shares the unlikely way she discovered an opportunity to pursue a spot with the elite Air Force Thunderbirds, the qualities that commanders considered even more important than flying ability, and how she eventually became just the second female solo lead pilot for the Thunderbirds. She then tells us about the hard work that goes into a successful air show, just how precise the pilots need to be, and how her closest call with disaster had nothing to do with another plane.Finally, Curran desribes her new children's book, "Upside Down Dreams," which she hopes will motivate young girls and all kids to pursue their biggest dreams.
7/26/202356 minutes, 54 seconds
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Brig. Gen. Charlie Duke, USAF, Apollo 16

Charlie Duke attended the U.S. Naval Academy but accepted a commission into the U.S. Air Force upon graduation. After early assignments, including service near Berlin in the tumultuous days of the early 1960's, Duke was accepted as a NASA astronaut as the United States pressed on towards President Kennedy's goal of sending a man to the moon and returning him safely to the earth before the end of the decade.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Gen. Duke walks us through his early days in the space program and his critical contributions to the development of the lunar module propulsion system. He also takes us into mission control during the momentous days of Apollo 11, during which Duke served as capcom, meaning he was the voice the astronauts heard from Earth.Duke also tells us about contracting German measles as a member of the backup crew for Apollo 13, and how that forced a change in the primary crew. He then explains how he and the other backup crew members worked to solve the problems facing the crew after an explosion on board.Gen. Duke then talks in detail about his April 1972 mission to the moon aboard Apollo 16. He describes the key objectives of the mission and the awesome realization that he was actually on the moon. You'll hear about the boyish stunt that almost killed him on the moon and much, much more.
7/19/202345 minutes, 24 seconds
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Gary Sinise, Actor, Director, Veterans Advocate

While not a veteran himself, actor and director Gary Sinise is now synonymous with devotion to our active duty military, our veterans, and their families.Sinise turned 18 years old shortly after the U.S. withdrawal of forces from Vietnam. However, hearing the stories of service in Vietnam from his wife's brothers instilled a deep appreciation for those who served and a desire to help them - especially those who struggled after coming home to a hostile public and had difficulty returning to civilian life.That passion grew even more after Sinise was cast as "Lieutenant Dan" in the movie "Forrest Gump". He describes going through training for the role and connecting deeply with the arc of Lieutenant Dan's story - from a proud officer to a double amputee spiraling out of control to recovery in both his personal and professional lives.Sinise also walks us through how "Forrest Gump" led to the creation of the Lieutenart Dan Band, which played countless shows for troops at home and abroad. He tells us how his work with the band eventually led him to co-host the National Memorial Day Concert at the U.S. Capitol. And he shares how his work serving military and veteran families prompted the creation of the Gary Sinise Foundation, which is extremely active in serving our heroes in many way throughout the year.Don't miss this conversation with one of the military community's most steadfast friends.
7/12/202353 minutes, 51 seconds
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Col. Ed Hubbard, USAF, Vietnam, POW

Ed Hubbard has been fascinated by flight since he can remember. When he was a kid, his parents dropped him off to watch planes at the local airfield for hours at a time. He joined the Air Force Reserves in hopes of becoming a pilot. He later went on active duty, became an officer and earned his wings. While serving in Europe in the mid-1960s, orders came for Hubbard to take his family back to the U.S. and prepare for service in Vietnam.While serving on a reconnaissance flight over North Vietnam in July 1966, Hubbard's plane came under fire. Explosions near the aircraft caused the plane to catch fire and Hubbard quickly ejected.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Hubbard expertly shares what happened on that ill-fated mission, what he thought about and planned as he parachuted to the ground, his attempts to evade capture by the North Vietnamese, and what happened to him once he was taken prisoner.From there, Hubbard tells us what life was like as a prisoner of war - from the interrogations and torture to the conditions in the prison to the tap code and other communications that served as a lifeline to the prisoners. And he tells us what it was like to taste freedom again after nearly seven years of captivity and how his experience as a POW gave him a mindset that has served him well ever since.
7/5/202353 minutes, 36 seconds
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Col. Ronald Webb, USAF, Vietnam, POW

Ronald Webb was commissioned as a U.S. Navy officer through the ROTC program at Indiana University. First trained as a navigator, Webb later received his pilots' wings in 1966. Soon, he was off to Vietnam, flying missions out of Da Nang with the 390th Tactical Fighter Squadron. On most missions, he served as the "backseater" to Korean War double ace pilot Frederick C. "Boots" Blesse.On June 11, 1967, Webb was flying with a different pilot, but he was more concerned with the dangerous flight pattern they were being asked to be a part of that day. After being overruled, the mission began. They would never return to base and Webb would spent nearly six years as a prisoner of war.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Col Webb explains the tragic collision that forced them to eject, his futile attempts to evade capture by the Vietnamese, and his treatment after being taken into custody.Webb also details the interrogations and torture he endured from the communists demanding military intelligence and who were trying to use American prisoners as propaganda tools. He also tells us about the tap code that was a lifeline of morale and sanity for the prisoners.Finally, Col. Webb tells us what it was like to taste freedom again after losing it for so long.
6/28/202351 minutes, 14 seconds
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Maj. Gen. John Raaen, Jr., U.S. Army, WWII, Brittany, The Bulge Part 3

John Raaen, Jr. entered the U.S. Military Academy in the summer of 1939, just weeks before World War II broke out in Europe. During his four years at West Point, there was no question his class would be going to war. Commissioned in 1943, Raaen soon joined the elite Army Rangers. Just a year later, as a captain, Raaen led men ashore at Omaha Beach on the morning of June 6, 1944. He is believed to be the last living officer to serve at Omaha Beach on D-Day.In our previous two episodes, retired Major General Raaen offered a gripping moment-by-moment account of coming ashore at Omaha Beach and reaching the the top of the bluff above the Dog White Sector. He also told us about the days following D-Day, including a deadly incident of friendly fire and fending off a German counterattack.In this final episode of our three-episode series with General Raaen, we move forward to the Battle of Brittany and specifically the Rangers' efforts to take out the German forts along the Atlantic coast and neutralize the powerful Graf Spee gun battery. He also shares two incidents in Brittany that nearly took his life.From there, Raaen takes to his service near the Battle of the Bulge, the work he did there and the injuries that ultimately ended his service in World War II.Finally, General Raaen tells about the balance of his 40-year career in the Army, most of it spent on armament logistics and development, including two types of ammunition that he invented.Don't miss this final chapter of our visit with 101-year-old World War II and Vietnam veteran Maj. General John Raaen, Jr.
6/21/202337 minutes, 59 seconds
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Maj. Gen. John Raaen, Jr., U.S. Army, WWII, D-Day & Normandy Part 2

Just before 8 a.m. on June 6, 1944, U.S. Army Captain John Raaen, Jr., of the 5th Ranger Battalion, landed at Omaha Beach in Normandy as the Allies launched their campaign to breach Adolf Hitler's Atlantic Wall and work to free Europe from Nazi tyranny. In our previous edition, Raaen, who is believed to be the last living American officer from Omaha Beach, described the extensive preparations for the D-Day landings, having his landing spot changed at the last minute, and how high tide and a beneficial brush fire on the bluff helped him and his men scale the bluffs above the Dog White sector of Omaha Beach.But that was just the beginning. In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Raaen explains what his orders were after getting to the top of the bluff and how he temporarily found himself in command of more than a battlion of soldiers.He also describes a very close call in the days after Normandy, rousing a tank crew to help fight off a German counterattack, and being in the midst of a tragic case of friendly fire.Finally, Raaen, who retired as a major general, explains how he assembled his after action report on D-Day and how he views Hollywood depictions of D-Day, such as "The Longest Day," "Saving Private Ryan," and "Band of Brothers."This is the second of a three-part interview with General Raaen. In our third and final edition of the series, Raaen will take us inside the fight for Brest in the Battle of Brittany and his service near the Battle of the Bulge.This show is part of the Spreaker Prime Network, if you are interested in advertising on this podcast, contact us at https://www.spreaker.com/show/2980518/advertisement
6/14/202333 minutes, 57 seconds
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Maj. Gen. John Raaen, Jr., U.S. Army, WWII, D-Day Part 1

John Raaen, Jr. grew up in an Army family and his father was a West Point graduate. Long before World War II, the Raaens were family friends with the Eisenhowers, the Bradleys, and other figures who would become household names in World War II. In 1939, Raaen followed in his father's footsteps and enrolled at West Point just as war was about to engulf Europe.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Raaen, who is now 101 years old, walks us through his commissioning from West Point, becoming an Army Ranger, and preparing extensively for the Allied invasion of France, even though he did not know the exact details until the voyage across the English Channel.Raaen takes us through his experience at Normandy on June 6, 1944, including being re-routed from Pointe du Hoc to the Dog White sector of Omaha Beach and what he saw as he comes ashore. He also recounts some close calls as the landing craft made its way to shore and how he learned what the earlier waves of American forces endured on the beaches.He also shares how his men blasted through German barbed wire on the beach, and how several fortunate breaks allowed them to have a relatively smooth journey up the bluff. He also explains how the Ranger motto of "Rangers Lead the Way" was born right there on Omaha Beach.This is the first of a three-part series with General Raaen, who is believed to be the last living officer who served at Omaha Beach. Be sure to listen to the second part of our conversation next week, as he continues to tell us about his service on D-Day and beyond..This show is part of the Spreaker Prime Network, if you are interested in advertising on this podcast, contact us at https://www.spreaker.com/show/2980518/advertisement
6/6/202341 minutes, 53 seconds
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MSgt Bernie Oder, USAF, Grenada, Panama, Desert Storm

Bernie Oder joined the U.S. Air Force in 1972 when his number came up among the final names in the military draft. While serving as a supply clerk in the Philippines, Oder became friends with service members in special operations and decided to pursue that for his own career. After rigorous training in many disciplines, Oder was soon part of Air Force special operations.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Master Sgt. Oder takes us through his role in planning and executing Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada and how that mission led to special operations coming under one roof at U.S. Special Operations Command. He also takes through his significant role in plotting and carrying out the seizure of Rio Hato airfield during Operation Just Cause in Panama in December 1989, how his team adjusted when things did not go according to plan, and the importance of that operation to the success of the overall mission.Finally, Oder takes us through his role in the build up to Operation Desert Storm and U.S. involvement in Bosnia.This show is part of the Spreaker Prime Network, if you are interested in advertising on this podcast, contact us at https://www.spreaker.com/show/2980518/advertisement
5/31/202332 minutes, 56 seconds
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LCDR Mike Saraille. USMC, U.S. Navy SEAL, Iraq, Afghanistan

When college wasn't working out, Mike Sarraille decided to become a U.S. Marine when he became friends with a recon Marine and was impressed by his humble confidence. Saraille also become a recon Marine as well as a sniper. But a couple years later, after being encouraged to become an officer, he entered BUD/s training and became a U.S. Navy SEAL.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," LCDR Saraille shares his memories of serving with SEAL Team 3 in Iraq, including the brutl fight for Ramadi in 2005 and 2006. He tells the devastating, awe-inspiring story of fellow SEAL MIchael Mansour, who selflessly saved the rest of his men by falling on an enemy grenade while on a rooftop in Ramadi.He also explains the rigorous standards for advancing to DevGroup, his harrowing missions in Afghanistan, the horror of losing SEAL members on Extortion 17, and his time as a trainer back at BUD/s. Finally, Saraille discusses some of the key principles in his new book "The Everyday Warrior: A No Hack, Practical Approach to Life."
5/24/20231 hour, 1 minute, 21 seconds
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T/5 Donald Banks, U.S. Army, WWII, 82nd Airborne

Donald Banks enlisted through the Draft Board to join the U.S. Army and then jumped at the chance to serve in the 82nd Airborne Division. After very difficult paratrooper training, Banks soon found himself jumping into Normandy on D-Day and later fighting in the Netherlands as part of Operation Market Garden and at the Battle of the Bulge.In this edition, Banks shares some of his memories of serving in Normandy but confesses he cannot discuss much of what he did there because "it's too gruesome." But he also takes with him into intensity of combat in Nijmegen and how he was wounded there. Banks also describes being rushed to the front lines in response to the surprise German offensive known at the Battle of the Bulge, and what it was like to battle the enemy and the bitter cold there.
5/17/202319 minutes, 56 seconds
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Col. George Ferkes, USAF, Vietnam, Operation Eagle Claw

George Ferkes could not pass up the opportunity to fly in the U.S. Air Force. After finishing flight school in 1970, he soon found himself in the skies over Vietnam. Ferkes flew in support of Operation Lam Son 719/Dewey Canyon II and the Siege of Fire Support Base Fuller. Less than a decade later, Ferkes was co-piloting an MC-130 gunship as part of Operation Eagle Claw in the mission designed to rescue hostages in Iran.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Ferkes takes us inside the intensity of combat in Vietnam and the actions for which he received a Silver Star during the fight at FSB Fuller. He also walks us through the planning for Operation Eagle Claw, how the mission unfolded, and how it ultimately had to be aborted and ended in in the loss of eight American heroes.Finally, Ferkes shares his memories of Joint Special Operations Command and U.S. Special Operations Command taking shape in the wake of Operation Eagle Claw and his role in planning the U.S. intervention in Grenada and our response to the terrorist hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship in the Mediterranean Sea.
5/10/202352 minutes, 4 seconds
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S1C Willie Clemons, Jr., U.S. Navy, WWII, Korea

In February 1945, Willie Clemons, Jr. joined the U.S. Navy while still 17 years old. Within just a couple of months, he was off to the Pacific Theater. Within a few more months, the Japanese surrendered and the war was over. After leaving the military, Clemons returned to the Navy in 1953 and served in the Korean theater.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Clemons discusses why he joined the Navy at a young age and what it was like to serve while the military was segregated. He tells us about his service in the Philippines and the reaction of the men when they learned Japan had surrendered. Then Mr. Clemons tells us about his second stint in the Navy and what he and his ship were doing in the waters off of Korea. He also shares how life was different in the Navy after desegregation and what it's like for him to see South Korea thriving after the U.S. and others saved it from Communism.
5/3/202338 minutes, 48 seconds
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PFC Vern Staley, U.S. Army, WWII, Combat Medic

Vern Staley wanted to join the military at age 17 following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. His father refused to sign off, telling him to finish high school and accurately predicting "there'll be plenty of war left as soon as you get out of school." After graduating, Staley was drafted into the U.S. Army and assigned to the 70th Infantry Division. He went through basic training and was then sent to Colorado to be trained as a combat medic.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Staley describes arriving in France in December 1944, just in time to be assigned to Task Force Herren in response to German offensives as part of Operation Nordwind. He walks us through the intense fighting against Nazi SS troops and being pinned down on the battlefield. He also tells us what it was like to treat the wounded, serve during the coldest European winter in a century, and how his division celebrated the end of the war in Europe following nearly 90 days in combat.
4/26/202348 minutes, 35 seconds
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SN Ken 'Gunner' Guyer, U.S. Navy, Vietnam

Ken Guyer joined the U.S. Navy when he was 17 years old. It was 1967, and he was eager to join the fight in Vietnam. Once he turned 18, he was on his way there and was soon serving as a gunner on a five-man crew aboard a Navy picket boat patrolling Da Nang Harbor and the Da Nang River.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Guyer explains why he loved serving on the picket boats so much, interdicting Vietnamese vessels to see if they were transporting contraband, and engaging enemy forces along the shoreline.Guyer also shares about his role in the Son Tay raid and how the failure to liberate American prisoners of war haunted him for years until he actually met one of the prisoners and learned how the raid was actually a significant help to the POW's.Finally, he tells us what it was like walking through the San Francisco airport in uniform and carrying a weapon during the height of the anti-war protests, and how glad he is to see our service members treated with much more respect today.
4/19/202328 minutes, 15 seconds
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Major Dewayne Rudd, USAF, U-2 Reconnaissance Pilot, B-2 Test Pilot

Dewayne Rudd joined the U.S. Air Force with a dream of one day becoming an astronaut and flying to space. Instead he became a versatile pilot the military and NASA would turn to on some of their most important projects, including a U-2 reconnaissance pilot, a test pilot during the development of the B-2 Stealth Bomber, and the chief test pilot for the space shuttle crew escape system following the Challenger disaster.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Major Rudd walks us through his days as a refueling tanker co-pilot and a couple of moments he and his unit thought they were being called into action to face the USSR. He also shares how his U-2 missions were conducted and how he evaded detection from hostile powers. Rudd also takes us into the devastating aftermath of the Challenger disaster and his work in giving astronauts the best possible tools to survive any future shuttle crisis. And he explains what is was like to test fly the B-2 and produce an exceptional plane in such a high-profile project.Finally, Major Rudd tells about his time volunteering at a memory care unit full of veterans in Wilmore, Kentucky, and how he came to write "Fading Away at Wilmore," a book honoring the stories of many of those veterans and chronicling their final, difficult battles against dementia.
4/12/202349 minutes, 58 seconds
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PFC Lockered 'Bud' Gahs, U.S. Army, World War II

Lockered "Bud" Gahs was drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II. In late 1944, he deployed to France with the 42nd Infantry Division, which was dubbed "The Rainbow." Over the next several months, Gahs experienced intense combat all the way to Munich and the end of the war.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Gahs gives us great detail on one of his early combat experiences...as roughly 200 German troops surrounded about 20 soldiers in a French farm house. While one soldier was killed, the Americans repelled all those enemy troops despite the staggering odds against them.Gahs also takes into his memories of pushing back the final German offensive ot the war during Operation Northwind. He also shares his emotional memories of encountering some of the prisoners of the Dachau concentration camp just minutes after they were liberated.
4/5/202328 minutes, 37 seconds
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Henry Greenbaum, Holocaust Survivor

Henry Greenbaum was born in Poland in 1928. He was one of nine children. Even before the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939, Greenbaum's family sensed that trouble was coming. One of his sisters had married and moved to the U.S. two years earlier. In addition to the invasion, Henry's father died and the family scrambled to make ends meet. But before long, some members of his family were dead. Others had fled, and Henry and others were eventually headed for for the Nazi labor and death camps.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Greenbaum takes us step by step through his harrowing story under Naxi occupation in Poland and the horrors of the holocaust. He tells us about life in the horrific Auschwitz-Birkenau camp and the miraculous circumstances of how he survived as the Allies advanced at the end of the war.Finally, Mr, Greenbaum shares the lessons of the Holocaust that every one of us needs to know and remember so that it never happens again.
3/29/20231 hour, 14 minutes, 34 seconds
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Staff Sgt. Matt Cable, Montana Air National Guard, Invictus Games Champion

Matt Cable joined the Montana National Guard shortly after graduating from high school because he just wanted to move on with his life. Little did he know at the time that saving his own life would be by far the biggest challenge he would face in the years to come. But he did live. In fact, Cable is thriving. And in 2022, he won two gold medals, a silver, and four bronze in the Invictus Games.In this edition of :Veterans Chronicles," Sgt. Cable takes us into his battles with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), being in a coma and on the verge of death, finding out he had relapsed while on an overseas delpoyment, and enduring a bone marrow transplant to save his life.Cable shares how he battled through these challenges both physically and mentally,how his love for fitness kept him alive and led to him meeting his wife in the most unlikely of ways, and why he challenged himself not only to recover from brutal bouts with cancer but return to the highest levels of competition.
3/22/202332 minutes, 23 seconds
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TSgt Richard Hamilton, U.S. Army Air Corps, WWII, POW

Richard Hamilton was drafted into the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942. He was trained as a radio man on a B-17 bomber crew. After arriving in England, he took part in eight successful bombing missions, but often dealt with the harrowing anti-aircraft fore coming from the Germans.The ninth mission turned out much differently. The bomber was severely damaged and Hamilton and several other crew members were forced to parachute out of the plane over enemy territory. He was captured and spent more than a year as a prisoner of war in Nazi Germany. Hamilton describes the treatment he endured and the revolting conditions in which he was forced to live.About a year into captivity, life got even worse. As the allies advanced, Hamilton and many other prisoners were sent on a 77-day forced march. Hamilton tells us all about surviving that ordeal and the memorable way that it came to end.Now 100 years old, Mr. Hamilton has a powerful message for all of us on appreciating our freedoms - freedoms that he was forced to live without and has cherished since his days as a prisoiner ended.
3/15/202355 minutes, 8 seconds
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PO2 John Cahill, U.S. Navy, Vietnam

When John Cahill graduated from high school, college was not an option for him. He knew that meant he would soon be drafted. So he decided to enlist, and his U.S. Army veteran father convinced him to join the Navy. Cahill was soon disappointed that all of his preferred assignments were rejected. He would be working as a bolilerman aboard the destroyer USS Buck.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Cahill offers an unvarnished and entertaining look at his time aboard the Buck, from the painful initiation rituals to the duties of the boilermen. He also tells what it was like when the big guns were blazing off his own ship and nearby battleshipa dn the larger mission the Buck had in the waters off Vietnam.
3/8/202320 minutes, 41 seconds
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AD3 Al Hansen, U.S. Navy, World War II

Al Hansen joined the U.S. Navy when he was 16 years old, both to serve his country and to help his mother keep a roof over her head. Initially trained as a dive bomber, Hansen was later shifted to a B-24 crew, where he served as a waist gunner in the Pacific theater from 1944 through the end of World War II. It's an assignment change that Hansen firmly believes to be the reason he survived the war and has lived to be a great-great grandfather.In this edition of "Veterans Chonicles," Hansen describes the horrific discovery on the island of Palau that made him even more motivated to defeat Japan and how that kept him locked in to shoot anything floating in the South China Sea. He also remembers the thrill of learning the war was over while being very confused about the weapon that ended it.Finally, Hansen tells why he finally opened up about his military experiences after a visit to the USS Midway museum in San Diego and why he loves volunteering there. This interview was conducted aboard the USS Midway.
3/1/202330 minutes, 54 seconds
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TSgt August O'Niell, USAF, Afghanistan, Invictus Games Champion

Both of August O'Niell's parents served in the U.S. Air Force, and he followed suit thinking of a few years of service would pay for his college education. Instead, O'Niell overcame huge odds to become a member of a pararesue team, known as the PJ's. In Afghanistan, he and his team came under daily fire rescuing service members are others who were wounded or in precarious situations. However, that service also led to the greatest challenge of his life.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," O'Niell walks us through the events of July 15, 2011, when an enemy AK-47 round ricocheted into his helicopter and wounded him in both legs. He also describes his decision to have part of his left leg amputated after 20 surgeries failed to repair it, but still winning five gold medals at the Warrior Games leading up to that surgery. O'Niell also shares his determination to return to excellence at the Invictus Games and to return to full active duty on the pararescue team.
2/22/202343 minutes, 45 seconds
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George Elliott, U.S. Army National Guard, Korea

George Elliott joined the U.S. Army National Guard when he was just sixteen because he told recruiters he was seventeen. Before turning twenty, Elliott would be in Korea, serving as a driver for troops and supplies. His duties took him into the intense fighting near a critical airport, Heartbreak Ridge and other engagements.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Elliott shares what it was like being under fire while shuttling troops and equipment to the front lines and being near a strike on train that sent deadly shrapnel flying everywhere. He also describes the intense fighting and heavy toll of the fighting at Heartbreak Ridge and the explosion that shattered his eardrum.
2/15/202328 minutes, 28 seconds
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COL Ludwig Faistenhammer, U.S. Army, WWII, Korea, Vietnam

Ludwig Faistenhammer was born in Germany but his family moved to the U.S. before the Nazis rose to power. After the U.S. entered World War II, he joined the Army, never once deterred by having to fight the nation in which he was born. He would later be among the first in the Army to join Special Forces. He also served in Korea and Vietnam.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Faistenhammer takes us through his time as a tank commander at the Battle of the Bulge and Lyons. He also describes his dangerous reconnaissance mission in France that helped the U.S. capture a key German position and resulted in Faistenhammer receiving a Bronze Star.He also tells us about his injuries in Korea,his success as a Special Forces commander in Vietnam, and his fascinating five-year stint commanding troops in a divided Germany during the Cold War.
2/8/202335 minutes, 58 seconds
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TSgt Paul 'Bud' Haedike, U.S. Army Air Corps, World War II

Paul "Bud" Haedike was drafted into the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1943. Before long he was assigned as a togglier bombardier on a B-17 bomber crew. From the final months of 1944 into 1945, Sgt. Haedike took part in 23 bombing missions over Europe, and none of those missions came with a guarantee he would return to base safely. In fact, Haedike remembers cooks at his base in England telling crews to eat up since it might be their final meal.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Sgt. Haedike recounts his first mission, which resulted in a crash landing in Belgium and an emotional return decades later. He also remembers the plane constantly taking anti-aircraft flak througout the missions, the sub-zero temperatures aboard the bombers and his work getting the bombs ready to drop, and how he knew when to drop them.Now 97, Sgt. Haedike remains full of sharp memories and good humor about his service in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II.
2/1/202344 minutes, 41 seconds
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Jim Leavelle, U.S. Navy, WWII, Pearl Harbor, Kennedy Assassination

Jim Leavelle had a front row seat to two of the most shocking moments of the 20th Century, serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Whitney when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and serving as a homicide detective for the Dallas Police Department when President John F. Kennedy was killed on November 22, 1963. Leavelle is most famous for being handcuffed to Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald when Oswald was killed by Jack Ruby two days after President Kennedy was murdered.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Leavelle walks us through the harrowing events of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the heroism he witnessed that day. He also goes step by step through his involvement with Lee Harvey Oswald on the day Kennedy was assassinated, and what happened that day in the Dallas Police garage when Ruby shot Oswald right in front of him.
1/25/202340 minutes, 33 seconds
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SSG Jack Moran, U.S. Army, WWII, Battle of the Bulge, Crossing the Rhine

Jack Moran grew up in Wisconsin, joined the Army, and was deployed to France in the autumn of 1944. Over the next several months, Moran his his fellow soldiers in the 87th Infantry Division would see brutal combat throughout the Allied push into the heart of Germany.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Moran takes us back to the westrrn front in vivid detail. He begins with his shocking introduction to combat, the difficult fight for Hill 360 in France, racing to help out at the Battle of the Bulge and the vicious confrontations that ensued.From there, Moran describes breaching the Siegfried Line and the harrowing mission he was part of to cross the Rhine River. Finally, he shares his memories from helping to liberate the Buchenwald concentration camp.Jack Moran says "war is hell." He's fortunate to have survived. And because he did, we not only have his story of service but also the stories of many his friends who never came home.
1/18/202352 minutes, 13 seconds
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COL Bob Edwards, U.S. Army, Vietnam, Ia Drang

Bob Edwards went through the Army ROTC program at Lafayette College and was commissioned as an officer in 1960. Soon, he was on his way to Germany at a very sensitive time in the Cold War as Berlin was divided in 1961 and became a focal point of the Cold War once again. Shortly after that deployment, Edwards was assigned to a new unit testing whether air assets could move troops and equipment as well or better than wheeled vehicles. He was also named company commander in what would become the 1st Battaltion of the 7th Cavalry within the 1st Air Mobile Division.Edwards and the other men of the air mobile division arrived in Vietnam in the summer of 1965. Just a couple of months later, in November 1965, they were involved in the heaviest fighting the U.S. would see in the early years of the war - the battle for Landing Zone X-Ray in the Ia Drang Valley.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Edwards details the events that led up to the battle, how the mission unfolded, and what the intense fighting was like right up until he was wounded and forced to evacuate.Edwards also describes his recovery, his subsequent assignments, why the battalion's commanding officer, Hal Moore, was such a great leader and why Moore's wife, Julia was such a powerful force back at home.
1/11/202346 minutes, 32 seconds
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Brig Gen Steve Ritchie, USAF, Vietnam, America's Last Ace Pilot

Retired U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Steve Ritchie excelled at every level in the Air Force, from the gridiron at the Air Force Academy to flight training to the skies over Vietnam. Fifty years after his second tour of duty in Vietnam, Gen. Ritchie remains the most recent ace among American fighter pilots.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Gen. Ritchie tells us why football taught him the most valuable lesson at the Air Force Academy and what propelled him to the very top of his class during training. He also explains why he loved the F-4 and the advantages and disadvantages it presented against the Soviet MiGs. He also takes us inside his strategy and maneuvers that led to his five aerial kills. Yet none of those were the mission that give him the most pride. Ritchie also tells us the story of how the Air Force briefly put a war effort on pause to save Roger Locker after he was forced to eject behind enemy lines.
1/4/202330 minutes, 36 seconds
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COL Mike Dowe, U.S. Army, Korea, POW

From a young age, Mike Dowe knew that he wanted to attend the U.S. Military Academy and serve our nation in uniform. In 1950, he graduated from West Point and was immediately sent to Korea. After months of successfully pushing the North Koreans back to the north, American forces suddenly faced an endless surge of enemy Chinese soldiers pouring across the border.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Col. Dowe discusses his his time in combat, being taken prisoner, the horrific conditions in the prison camp, and the remarkable heroism of Father Emil Kapaun, an Army chaplain and fellow POW, who would posthumously receive the Medal of Honor.
12/28/202235 minutes, 25 seconds
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Maj. Gen. James Livingston, USMC, Vietnam, Medal of Honor

James Livingston entered the ROTC program when he entered college. A decade later, he was in Vietnam as a company commander, leading his fellow Marines into battle against the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong. His actions in the vicious 1968 battle of Dai Do would result in the Medal of Honor.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Gen. Livingston takes us through the combat that day, in which his Marines were overwhelmingly outnumbered and were forced to fight hand-to-hand at times. Livingston also tells us how he led his men under heavy fire and details his three injuries that day, including the final wound that forced him to leave the battlefield.Finally, Livingston tells us what it was like to receive the Medal of Honor and what the medal means to him today.
12/21/202231 minutes, 59 seconds
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Capt. John Harris, U.S. Army Air Corps, WWII

John Harris jumped at the chance to serve in the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II as soon as the demand was lifted that required two years of college. Soon Harris was in Florida, proving himself in the P-51 and being just one of nine in his flight class who didn't wash out.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles, Capt. Harris takes us with him to the China-Burma-India theater. He describes the mission that devastated the Japanese air forces in the area, what it was like to see pilots next to him get shot up or shot down, and what it was like living in India during the final months of the war.
12/14/202227 minutes, 34 seconds
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Lt. Jim Downing, U.S. Navy, WWII, Pearl Harbor

Jim Downing joined the U.S. Navy in 1931 because the pay was very attractive at the depths of the Great Depression. After training he would be assigned to the brand new USS West Virginia, serving on 16-inch guns and as postmaster for the ship. Ten years later, on December 7, 1941, Downing was at a meeting on shore at Pearl Harbor when word came that the Pacific Fleet was under attack. In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Downing explains how he raced back to his ship, helped protect it from exploding and also took it upon himself to write to the families of the fallen from that horrible day.Downing also tells us about the remainder of his Naval career and the amazing encounters he later had with the Japanese pilot who led the attack on Pearl Harbor.At the time of this interview in 2017, Lt. Downing was 103 years old. At the time that made him the second oldest living American veteran of Pearl Harbor. He passed away the following year at 104 years old.
12/7/202236 minutes, 11 seconds
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Col. Walter 'Joe' Marm, U.S. Army, Vietnam, Medal of Honor

Walter "Joe" Marm joined the Army to avoid being drafted. Before long he was assigned to a brand new division training for a new type of warfare. It was called the 1st Cavalry Air Mobile Division. And instead of moving by jeep or troop transport trucks, the men in this division would arrive by helicopter. Soon the new approach would be tested in Vietnam.In this edition, Col. Marm explains his role as a platoon commander in the division's fighting for Landing Zone X-Ray during the vicious battle of Ia Drang in November 1965. He describes the intense fight to rescue another platoon that had been separated from other U.S. forces, his platoon's assault on a North Vietnamese machine gun nest, his personal actions that would later result in him receiving the Medal of Honor, and the wounds that would require significant recuperation.
11/30/202240 minutes, 47 seconds
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LtCol Rob Riggle, USMC, Liberia, Kosovo, Afghanistan

You may know Rob Riggle best as a very successful actor and comedian, but he is also a 23-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps with three significant overseas deployments under his belt.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Riggle explains his unusual path of serving his nation while simultaneously pursuing a career in the arts and how his time in the Marine Corps turned out to be critical to realizing his dreams in the entertainment field. He also describes rescuing Americans and others during a civil war in Liberia and serving in Kosovo following the NATO air campaign to evict Serbia.Riggle also takes us into his reserve duty in New York City following the 9/11 attacks and his subsequent deployment to Central Command and Afghanistan in late 2001. And he shares stories of performing for American forces at USO shows and how his experience helps him and other actors prepare for roles related to the military.Finally, Riggle tells us why he loves hosting the American Veterans Center's "American Valor" television special each year.
11/22/202229 minutes, 24 seconds
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CDR Frank Weisser, U.S. Navy, Iraq, Afghanistan, Blue Angels, 'Top Gun'

Frank Weisser entered the U.S. Naval Academy focused on becoming a Navy SEAL. But his superior officers informed hum he would be of greater value as an aviator. Working his way up to flying F/A 18 Hornets after flight school, Weisser would go on to serve in the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters before joining the elite Blue Angels and, more recently, serving as one of the pilots for "Top Gun: Maverick." In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Weisser (call sign "Walleye") shares his experience providing critical close air support for U.S. ground forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, what it's like to fly those precision maneuvers with no room for error with the Blue Angels, and what it was like to do some of the real flying for "Top Gun."
11/16/202237 minutes, 47 seconds
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Capt. Richard Halferty, U.S. Navy, Korea

Richard Halferty was at college in Missouri when he learned that his brother had been killed while serving with the U.S. Army in Korea. As his parents' last surviving son, Halferty could be excused from military service but he refused to consider it.In this edition of Veterans Chronicles," Capt. Halferty discusses his service aboard the USS Yarnall, which pounded targets in Korea, his emotional return to Korea in 2010, and his tireless effort to bring Korean War vets the honor and recognition they are due.
11/8/202233 minutes, 34 seconds
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SCPO Michael Peyton, U.S. Navy SEAL, Afghanistan, Iraq

Michael Peyton grew up in a family with a legacy of military service. As a young man he joined the Navy for one simple reason: he wanted to be a SEAL. In more than two decades that followed, Peyton and his fellow SEALs deployed four times to Afghanistan and twice to Iraq.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Peyton describes the very rigorous SEAL training process and how he passed BUD/s training while learning to swim at the same time. He also takes us into his first combat experience, explains how SEAL teams operate so effectively, and the challenge of going from a SEAL team member to a team leader.Finally, Peyton talks about his new organization, Tribe, Task and Purpose, which is designed specifically to help special operations veterans end their dependency on drugs and alcohol. For more information, visit tribetaskpurpose.org.
11/2/202247 minutes, 25 seconds
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WO2 Pete Cannon, U.S. Army, Vietnam

Pete Cannon joined the U.S. Army shortly after graduating from high school in 1965. Soon he was training to fly a variety of helicopters and two years later he was flying missions in Vietnam.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Cannon explains why he was able to master flying helicopters when many fixed wing pilots struggled greatly. He also describes the many different assignments he flew in theater, including medical evacuations, resupplying missions, ferrying high-ranking officers, and serving as a decoy pilot in missions to observe the enemy. Cannon takes us through his role in response to the Tet Offensive and tremendous impact helicopters had against the North Vietnamese Army. He would be awarded the Bronze Star for his service during that response.
10/26/202243 minutes, 2 seconds
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Lt. Col. Tom Harper, U.S. Army National Guard, Afghanistan

Both of Tom Harper's grandfathers served in the military and one of them later made a career out of repairing military helicopters in Florida. After seeing that world up close, Harper knew he wanted to join the military - although his future would be in ground forces. He finished basic training right before the 9/11 attacks and was ready and willing to be part of the fight that followed.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Harper takes us inside his first moments of combat in Afghanistan and then walks us through the December 2009 action there, where he and his men were wounded in a mortar assault. Only he and one other soldier were able to keep fighting and trying to hold off the enemy while waiting for air support. He also describes the events that led to his second Purple Heart, as his convoy in Afghanistan was struck by an IED in a kill zone.Finally, Col. Harper, who is still on active duty, talks about his current duties trying to keep the military and members of Congress on the same page on the best policies for our military and national security.
10/19/202250 minutes, 56 seconds
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Y1C Gloria Harnett Kerzner, U.S. Navy WAVES, World War II

Gloria Harnett Kerzner was just weeks shy of her 18th birthday when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Like most other Americans, she wanted to help the war effort. The U.S. Navy created the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service, or WAVES, in 1942 replace the tens of thousands of Navy personnel who were deployed to Europe and the Pacific. Gloria was eager to enlist. But she had to wait until she was 20 years old to join.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Kerzner shares memories of how she learned about Pearl Harbor and also the Hindenburg disaster in her home state of New Jersey. She describes her WAVES training in New York and Iowa and the work she did during the war at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station to help the war effort on the home front.
10/12/202234 minutes, 27 seconds
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Bruce Henderson, 'Bridge to the Sun: Japanese Americans Who Fought in the Pacific in World War II'

Japanese-Americans were largely forbidden from serving in the Pacific theater in World War II over concerns about their loyalty in a war against their ancestral homeland. But a small number of soldiers did serve there as interrogators and translators and played a pivotal role in thwarting Japanese plans and saving American lives in several critical locations.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," author and historian Bruce Henderson discusses his new book "Bridge to the Sun: The Secret Role of Japanese Americans Who Fought in the Pacific in World War II." He explains how the Army scrambled to ramp up the language school after the attack on Pearl Harbor and how the soldiers faced the bewildering contradiction of being asked to fight for their country while their family members were held in internment camps.But Henderson also follows several of these men to the front lines in the Pacific. He details their heroism in Burma, the Solomon Islands, Okinawa, and other locations, including eavesdropping on enemy forces, tapping phone lines, and translating battle plans found on fallen enemy fighters. These soldiers proved their loyalty, provided invaluable assistance, and helped the Allies win the war.
10/5/202252 minutes, 45 seconds
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Capt. Elliot Ackerman, USMC, Afghanistan, Iraq, Battle of Fallujah

Elliot Ackerman knew at a young age that he wanted to be in the military. He wanted to serve his country and he wanted a job where it was imperative to succeed. After completing the ROTC program at college, Ackerman was commissioned as a a Marine Corps officer in 2003. The next six years would bring five tours of duty between Iraq and Afghanistan.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Ackerman takes us inside the Second Battle of Fallujah in 2004 and what it was like to be the tip of the spear as the Marines plowed through that insurgent stronghold. He also shares some of his most difficult moments in Afghanistan, including how to recover the body of a fallen Marine without getting many more men killed in the process.Finally, Ackerman describes his new book "The Fifth Act: America's End in Afghanistan." He describes his experience in the frantic networking of veterans, active duty forces, reporters and others who worked to get Afghan allies and their families out of the country in August 2021. He also discusses some of the most important lessons our nation ought to learn from our 20-year war there.
9/28/202259 minutes, 45 seconds
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Cpl. Cecil Phipps, U.S. Army, Korea, POW

When Cecil Phipps joined the U.S. Army, he signed up for overseas deployments so he could see the world. Before long, the U.S. would be at war in Korea and Phipps would be among the first troops there. He arrived in August 1950 and would stay there for more than three years - most of that time as a prisoner of war.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Phipps describes the rapid U.S. advance into North Korea, the shocking arrival of Chinese forces into the war, and his capture by Chinese forces in November 1950.Phipps also describes the horrific marching over more than three months in the bitter cold of a Korean winter, the squalid conditions at his prison camp, what it was like to see prisoners succumbing to the elements and harsh treatment of the Chinese, dropping down to just 75 pounds, and how he remembers breathing air as a free man after 33 months in captivity.
9/21/202248 minutes, 5 seconds
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Sgt. Ralph Gastelum, USMC, Korea, Inchon, Chosin Reservoir

Ralph Gastelum grew up in Tucson, Arizona, and never experienced much of a winter before joining the U.S. Marine Corps. His first real winter would be spent in Korea in some of the most bitterly cold temperatures that American forces have ever experienced - at the Chosin Reservoir in Korea.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Sgt. Gastelum, takes us along as he recalls the Inchon Landing. He also explains what urban combat was like in those early days and along the front lines in more rural areas. And he tells us how he survived at the Chosin Reservoir by playing dead as the Chinese attacked and how he later discovered which of his fellow Marines saved his life there.Finally, Gastelum talks about his return trip to Korea decades later and what impressed him most.
9/14/202238 minutes, 41 seconds
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MSgt. Darrell Utt, U.S. Army, Green Beret, Iraq

Darrell Utt joined the U.S. Army just days before Iraq invaded Kuwait in the summer of 1990. Over the next decade, he would become a Green Beret, an Army Ranger, and a sniper. He also served in the Balkans during the late 1990s.After 9/11, Utt was deeply disappointed that his unit was not sent to Afghanistan. Instead, it become one of the most highly-regarded detachments of special forces in the Iraq War.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Utt describes flying into northern Iraq under heavy fire in the early days of the war and working with the Kurdish Peshmerga to keep Iraqi troops away from the main invasion force. He also takes us through his harrowing 2006 action against enemy fighters in in the Baghdad suburb of Adimiyah that would earn him a Bronze Star with Valor for his courage and leadership under fire. And he walks us through one of his creative plans to lure and capture critical enemy personnel. Finally, MSgt. Utt explains the work he is now doing for the Medal of Honor Museum Foundation.
9/7/20221 hour, 15 seconds
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AO2 Reef Kelly, U.S. Navy, WWII

Reef Kelly was in the mountains of Arizona getting a Christmas tree when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Before he finished high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He wanted to be a Naval aviator, but that dream was denied during training. Instead he became a tailgunner on a bomber crew. But Reef Kelly would be part of one of the most unique and unknown missions of World War II in the Pacific.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Kelly explains how after the two atomic bombings, his crew was assigned with flying along the Japanese coast and into Tokyo Bay to see if Japan was really surrendering. Kelly tells us how the quiet mission suddenly turned to combat and chaos and walks us through the actions that led to him receiving the Navy Cross.
8/31/202224 minutes, 42 seconds
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Sgt. James Sharp, U.S. Army, Korea

Jim Sharp grew up in Kansas and joined the Army in the spring of 1950. Just a few months later the United States would be at war in Korea and so would Mr. Sharp. As a member of the 1st Cavalry Division, Sharp was quickly sent to the front and saw a great deal of intense action over the coming months.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Sgt. Sharp describes what combat was like in the Korean War, both while shooting and in brutal hand-to-hand combat. He also explains how he escaped capture when the Chinese overran his position in November 1950, being wounded but inexplicably spared a few months later, and returning to a grateful South Korea in recent years.
8/24/202242 minutes, 51 seconds
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Capt. Jeremy Stalnecker, USMC, Iraq

Jeremy Stalnecker joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1996 and received his commission three years later. Soon the U.S. would be at war and Stalnecker not only found himself in the midst of it but among the very first forces entering Iraq during the launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Capt. Stalnecker describes the beginning of the invasion, from taking the berm separating Kuwait from Iraq to weathering a brutal sandstorm to fighting determined enemy fighters on the way to Baghdad and in the city itself.Stalnecker takes is inside both desert and urban combat, house-to-house searches and much more. He also tells us about Mighty Oaks Foundation, his ministry to veterans and others facing major life challenges.
8/17/202251 minutes, 28 seconds
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CDR Nigal Miller, U.S. Navy, Vietnam

Nigal Miller grew up on the West Virginia side of the Ohio River and chose to serve his nation as a U.S. Naval aviator. He received his wings in 1961 and subsequently served three tours of duty in the Vietnam War aboard three different aircraft carriers.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," CDR Miller explains the exhilaration of landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier and why why he thinks the F-8 Crusader was the finest fighter plane of its generation, superior even to the Soviet MiG. Miller also describes providing close air support for American ground forces in Vietnam and serving on the admiral's staff aboard the USS Midway on his final deployment and much more.
8/10/202236 minutes, 3 seconds
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Capt. John Wuethrich, USMC, Army National Guard, Vietnam

John Wuethrich became fascinated by flying at a young age by listening to his father's stories of flying B-24's in the European theater of World War II. After joining the U.S. Marine Corps, Wuethrich went through Navy flight training but was eventually assigned to helicopters. He flew UH-1's at first but would pilot the CH-46 during his tour in Vietnam in 1969.In this edition of Veterans Chronicles, Captain Wuethrich explains the missions he flew to deliver troops and supplies and to evacuate the wounded. He shares the story of having to make a crash landing and describes what it was like to fly into a hot zone. And he tells us about his mission after the peace agreement to remove mines from Haiphong Harbor.Finally, Wuethrich explains why he eventually left the Marines and later joined the U.S. Army National Guard, first in Illinois and later in Texas.
8/3/202235 minutes, 54 seconds
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Matthew Shillingburg, U.S. Army, Berlin, Panama

Matthew Shillingburg's family has been serving the U.S. in uniform since the War of 1812. His grandfather was at Pearl Harbor during the attack, and his father trained Navy SEALs. So service runs deep in the family. But while he also served, Shillingburg charted his own course, choosing the Army over the Navy and spending time in military intelligence among other duties.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Shillingburg explains why he picked the Army over the Navy and his fascinating service in Berlin during the Cold War, including what he calls the most patriotic moment of his life as a U.S. citizen. He also explains his duties working with nuclear howitzers and commanding troops in Panama. Finally, Shillingburg shares his passion for helping and serving America's veterans today through the American Legion, Honor Flight, as a chaplain, and in many other capacities.
7/27/202236 minutes, 15 seconds
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PO2 Robert 'Doc' Werner, U.S. Navy Corpsman, Vietnam

Robert "Doc" Werner joined the U.S. Navy at age 16 when his friend's mother forged his own mother's signature. His goal was to see the world by sailing around on a ship. Instead, he served as a Navy corpsman attached to U.S. Marines In Vietnam and received three Purple Hearts due to injuries received in devotion to serving with those men.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Werner vividly describes the job of a a Navy corpsman, walks us through each of his injuries - including the time he and a wounded Marine were left overnight in the jungle after a rescue helicopter came under fire, and the disgraceful treatment he endured from anti-war activists after he returned home.
7/20/202237 minutes, 15 seconds
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Col. Louis Schott, USMC, WWII, Peleliu, Okinawa

Louis Schott was in Washington, D.C., to play in a college hockey game when he learned of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. He instantly knew his life was about to change. In less than two years, he was an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and headed to fight in the Pacific Theater.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Col. Scott takes through the horrific amphibious landing of Marines on Peleliu, the vicious fighting that took pace there, and the injury that took him out of the fight for months. He also details his role in the battle of Okinawa, the euphoria of learning the war was over, and what matters more to him than any medal he could have received for his service.
7/13/202223 minutes, 39 seconds
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Hershel "Woody" Williams, USMC, WWII, Medal of Honor

Last week, America lost the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from World War II when Hershel "Woody" Williams died at the age of 98. A few years ago, we had the honor of speaking with Woody and hearing the story of his courageous service.When he first tried to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps, Williams was rejected for being too short. By the end of the war, Williams was honored for playing a critical role in helping U.S. forces win the costly battle on Iwo Jima in February 1945.In this episode of "Veterans Chronicles," Williams shares his story of wanting to join the war effort while thinking he'd never be sent overseas. He explains the brutal nature of the fighting on Iwo Jima, how he became a flamethrower operator how receiving the Medal of Honor changed his life forever.
7/6/202244 minutes, 9 seconds
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SSG Travis Mills, Afghanistan

After discovering that college was not a good fit, Travis Mills joined the Army and became a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division. He then went on three tours of duty to Afghanistan. On his third deployment, in April 2012, Mills was severely injured by an improvised explosive device and required the amputation of all four limbs.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Mills walks us through the intense combat he saw in Afghanistan, his vivid memories of his injuries and recovery, the mental transition he went through from wondering why he survived to being excited about each new day, and his efforts to help other veterans recover and integrate back into civilian life.
6/29/202245 minutes, 5 seconds
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PFC Vincent Speranza, WWII, Battle of the Bulge

Vincent Speranza was born to immigrant Italian parents in New York City. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Speranza's father stressed to his boys that they were Americans and that America must not lose the war. He was quite a bit more conflicted over the prospects of his sons fighting against Italy. Once old enough to serve, Speranza was assigned to the U.S. Army infantry but eventually moved to the airborne.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Speranza details how he joined the 101st airborne after D-Day and the failure of Operation Market Garden in Holland, what it was like to be rushed to the Battle of the Bulge in brutally cold temperatures, and what he accomplished as a machine gunner during the battle. Finally, Speranza recounts his legendary effort to find beer during the battle for his wounded friend.
6/22/202235 minutes, 56 seconds
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Col. Victor Vizcarra, USAF, Vietnam

Victor Vizcarra was enthralled by military aviation from a very young age, as he and his father tracked his older brother's service as a P-47 Thunderbolt pilot in the Pacific Theater of World War II. Years later, it was Victor's turn as a pilot in the F-100, F-105, and F-4.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Vizcarra takes into his service in Vietnam, including the first-ever attack on enemy SAM (surface-to-air missile) sites in 1965. He also shares the story of having to bail out of his F-105 Wild Weasel in November 1966 and the dramatic rescue as the chopper crew trying to find him were running low on daylight and fuel.
6/15/20221 hour, 11 minutes, 19 seconds
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Tom Rice, U.S. Army, D-Day, Battle of the Bulge

Tom Rice grew up in the military community of Coronado, California, and joined the U.S. Army in November 1942. He then went through the rigorous training for airborne troops at Camp Toccoa and Ft. Benning. He was assigned to the Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne Division and would see action in three major campaigns in the European theater of World War II.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Rice takes along on his jump into Normandy on D-Day and his first combat against the Germans. Then he describes his experiences as part of Operation Market Garden, the ultimately ill-fated Allied effort to cross the Rhine in September 1944. And he details the very difficult conditions at the Battle of the Bulge. Finally, Rice explains why he's made additional parachute jumps for the 75th anniversary of D-Day and for his 100th birthday.
6/8/202237 minutes, 41 seconds
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Henry Langrehr, U.S. Army, WWII, D-Day Paratrooper, POW

As we prepare to mark 78 years since the D-Day invasion, we are blessed to have veterans who can share their stories of that fateful day. Iowa native Henry Langrehr joined the U.S. Army as s senior in high school and volunteered for the 82nd airborne because it paid better. In the early hours of June 6, 1944, Langrehr joined thousands of other paratroopers jumping into the pitch black skies over Normandy in to secure bridges in advance of the amphibious landings on the beaches that morning.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Langrehr tells us about his crash landing in Ste. Mere Eglise, and what he did after he landed. He also shares the riveting stories of hand-to-hand fighting in the hedgerows, being taken prisoner by the Germans, his daring escape from captivity, and his harrowing journey across enemy territory to rejoin American forces.
6/1/202239 minutes, 56 seconds
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Why Veterans Should Tell Their Stories: Monica Mohindra, Veterans History Project

As the nation prepares to pause for Memorial Day, we honor all who have given their lives in defense of the United States. And we remain committed to remembering their stories of service and those of all who have served. This week on "Veterans Chronicles," we take a very rare break from our conversations with our veterans to discuss why it is important for all veterans to consider writing or telling their story of service to our nation.Our guest is Monica Mohindra, director of the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress. In our conversation, Mohindra explains the mission of the Veterans History Project and why collecting the oral histories of our veterans is so important. She also offers tips on how best to capture an oral history, and issues a plea for histories from a specific group of veterans.
5/25/202236 minutes, 13 seconds
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Sgt. Terry Bucklew, U.S. Army, Vietnam

Terry Bucklew was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. Initially trained in communications, Bucklew accepted many different assignments on his lengthy deployment to Vietnam - from field wireman to door gunner to running night ambushes.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles", Bucklew offers his raw history of service in Vietnam, including how he woke up inside a body bag and his frustrations with the rules of engagement, which Bucklew says prevented a decisive U.S. victory.
5/18/202242 minutes, 55 seconds
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Capt. Paul Austin, U.S. Navy, Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam

Paul Austin never really thought about being an aviator as a kid, but one day he saw a Fly Navy recruiting sign and the rest is history. Austin would spend nearly 30 years in the U.S. Navy and find himself on the brink of nuclear war in Cuba and serving two tours in Vietnam.In this edition of Veterans Chronicles, Capt. Austin explains how he instantly loved flying and quickly became very good at it. He also takes us into the heart-pounding moments of being in his plane and just moments away from launching air strikes during the Cuban Missile Crisis. And he details his service in Vietnam both in bombing campaigns and providing critical close air for American ground forces.
5/11/202237 minutes, 32 seconds
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Capt. Jack Ensch, U.S. Navy, Vietnam, POW

Jack Ensch served three years in the U.S. Army but would spend decades as an aviator and officer in the U.S. Navy. As a "backseater" in an F-4, Ensch served four tours in Vietnam but he will forever be linked to two major events in 1972. In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Ensch walks us through the dramatic May 1972 mission in which he and his pilot successfully shot down two Soviet MiGs. He also details being shot down three months later, being taken prisoner, and suffering unimaginable torture at the hands of his enemies. He also explains how the other prisoners in the Hanoi Hilton sustained him during the darkest moments of captivity and how that awful experience impacted the rest of his career.
5/4/202250 minutes, 27 seconds
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Harry Isabel, Jr., U.S. Army, WWII

Harry Isabel, Jr. was 16 years old when when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, By mid-1944, he was trained and on a ship to fight in the Pacific theater of World War II. He did not know it at the time, but Isabel and his unit, the "Fighting 69th," were on their way to the Battle of Saipan.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Isabel walks us through the many challenges of the amphibious landing on Saipan and what he saw when he finally got to the beach. He also describes an early close encounter with a Japanese soldier and how he responded. And Isabel explains what he saw and did following a vicious mortar attack against his position - actions that would result in him receiving the Bronze Star.
4/27/202235 minutes, 54 seconds
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Lt. Col. David Yorck, USMC, Vietnam

David Yorck was born in Germany during World War II and came to the United States in 1950. After joining the U.S. Marine Corps, he was immediately sent to Vietnam for the first of multiple tours. He would serve there as a platoon commander, company commander, and in an intelligence role.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Col. Yorck walks us through the horrors of combat, his frustrations with the system, and how his role changed with greater responsibility. He also tells us about the Marine who helped him most in Vietnam and remains his best friend to this day and takes inside Operation Phoenix, a mission to identify and root out communists in South Vietnam.Finally, Col. Yorck discusses his extensive work with the Military Officers Association of America, an organization he has served faithfully for decades.
4/20/202236 minutes, 38 seconds
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MCPO Edward Byers, U.S. Navy SEAL, Iraq, Afghanistan, Medal of Honor

Edward Byers became fascinated with the military - and Navy SEALs in particular - through books and movies in his younger years. He joined the U.S. Navy and, just a few months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, began SEAL training. His service would then bring him face to face with our enemies on multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Byers takes us through the mentally and physically grueling experience of BUD/S training to become a SEAL and his deployments to Iraq. And Byers walks us through the harrowing and costly mission to rescue an American doctor that resulted in Byers receiving the military's highest honor.
4/13/202235 minutes, 15 seconds
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P.J. Dahl, U.S. Army Air Corps, WWII

P.J. Dahl was enthralled by flying from a young age, devouring any book he could find on the Red Baron and other early legends of the air. So when he had the opportunity to become a pilot in World War II, Dahl jumped at the chance. In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Dahl takes us into his P-38 cockpit in the Pacific Theater, walks us through his multiple kills of Japanese planes, and the harrowing mission that very nearly cost him his life near the Philippines.
4/6/202231 minutes, 15 seconds
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Ralph Goldsticker, Jr., U.S. Army Air Corps, WWII

Ralph Goldsticker, Jr. was 20 years old when he joined the U.S. Army following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. After trying to become a pilot, Goldsticker became a bombardier aboard a B-17 bomber and deployed to to the European theater.In this edition, Goldsticker takes us from training to his first mission and from his assignments on D-Day to the end of the war. He also shares a remarkable story that took him to Russia and even the Middle East in the midst of the war.
3/30/202226 minutes, 39 seconds
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Frank Pomroy, USMC, WWII, Part 2 - Peleliu

Frank Pomroy and many other U.S. Marines suffered greatly at the battle of Guadalcanal - both from the conditions and from the difficult fighting against the Japanese. But more intense fighting awaited Pomroy on the island of Peleliu in 1944.In this second part of our feature on Mr. Pomroy, he explains why he could have avoided the battle, the harrowing efforts to take Bloody Nose Ridge, staring down Japanese tanks, and more.
3/23/202236 minutes, 38 seconds
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Frank Pomroy, USMC, WWII, Part 1 - Guadalcanal

Frank Pomroy joined the U.S. Marine Corps and fought in two of the most critical battles in the Pacific theater of World War II. In this first of our two-part feature on Mr. Pomroy, Frank takes us inside the battle for Guadalcanal.Pomroy describes the horrendous living and food conditions he suffered through as well as the intense fighting against the Japanese, the difficulty of getting American forces off the island, and his poignant trip back more than four decades later.
3/16/202228 minutes, 7 seconds
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Robert Owens, USMC, Montford Point Marines

Robert Owens joined the U.S. Marine Corps at age 16 by telling recruiters he was 18. Soon he would be joining the other young black men as part of the Montford Point Marines, a unit that was created after an order from President Franklin D. Roosevelt but still kept U.S. Marines segregated.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Owens discusses why he joined the Marines at such a young age, why his first day of training made him wonder if he had made a big mistake, guarding Japanese POW's on Guam after World War II, and what he sees as the legacy of the Montford Point Marines.
3/9/202236 minutes, 7 seconds
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MGySgt Oliver Nickle, USMC, Korea, Vietnam

Oliver Nickle originally intended to join the U.S. Navy but ultimately enlisted in the Marine Corps at the age of 17 after his parents gave their approval. He served as a weapons company man in the 5th U.S. Marine Division but perhaps his most vivid memories are of the frigid cold and snow.After deployments to Naples and Okinawa, among others, Nickle served as operations chief of the 3rd Marine Regiment in Vietnam and also served with the joint staff in Hawaii, which he considers the most eye-opening deployment of his career.And Nickles shares his pride in his son also serving 30 years in the Marine Corps.
3/2/202235 minutes, 4 seconds
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John Billings, U.S. Army Air Forces, WWII

John Billings was hooked on flying when he was three years old, so when it came time to serve in World War II, the Army Air Forces was a natural fit. He came a B-24 bomber pilot but later served on clandestine missions for the Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the CIA. In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Billings describes his bombing missions, getting recruited for the OSS, how his first secret mission had a terrible conclusion, and his role in the mission made famous by the movie "Inglorious Basterds."
2/23/202226 minutes, 51 seconds
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Kayla Williams, U.S. Army, Iraq

A member of the 101st Airborne Division, Kayla Williams was among the very first American forces to enter Iraq in 2003 and roll from Kuwait to Baghdad within a matter of weeks. While serving there she also met her future husband, Brian McGough.In the fall of 2003, Brian's convoy was attacked. At first, doctors did not expect him to live and then they doubted his ability to care for himself. He proved them wrong. In the midst of Brian's recovery from serious head injuries and Kayla's own reintegration challenges, they struck up a romance and were married.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Williams describes her service in Iraq, the major challenges she and Brian faced due to his injuries, their frustrations with Veterans Affairs, and how other military families can find the physical and mental health care they need.
2/16/202235 minutes, 39 seconds
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CPO Mathias "Matt" Gutman, U.S. Navy, WWII, Peleliu, Okinawa

Mathias "Matt" Gutman came from a military family and joined the U.S. Navy shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He became a coxswain on LST 553, delivering men and equipment under fire on several amphibious landings.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Gutman takes us through his first landing at Peleliu all the way to Okinawa and beyond. He also describes what it's like to land under fire and then turn around and go back to sea, and he shares the feeling of jubilation when the Japanese surrendered.
2/9/202230 minutes
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Lewis Varvel, U.S. Navy, Doolittle Raid, Midway

Lewis Varvel joined the U.S. Navy because he didn't want to be in the Army, but his service during World War II would still be harrowing and consequential. Varvel enlisted prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor and was sent to Norfolk, Virginia, to be part of the original crew aboard the aircraft carrier USS Hornet.After arriving on the west coast, Varvel and the Hornet headed into the Pacific to play a critical role in the fight against imperial Japan. In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Varvel takes us onto the flight deck as the Doolittle Raiders took off to bomb Japan just four months after the attack at Pearl Harbor.Varvel also provides vivid detail of the Hornet's role at Midway and Guadalcanal, and he shares his memories of the day it was sunk by Japanese October 1942.
2/2/202230 minutes, 44 seconds
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Jack Holder, U.S. Navy, WWII, Pearl Harbor, Midway

Jack Holder joined the U.S. Navy fresh out of high school in 1940. He arrived in Pearl Harbor in December of that year. Twelve months later he was diving into a ditch to avoid the strafing of Japanese pilots. He remembers thinking, "God, please don't let me die in this ditch."In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Holder walks us through his memories of the horrific Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, his role at the critical Battle of Midway, patrolling the skies over Guadalcanal, and being transferred to fly B-24 bomber missions against Nazi targets in Europe.Don't miss this conversation with Jack Holder, who just recently celebrated his 100th birthday.
1/26/202233 minutes, 50 seconds
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Gen. Charles McGee, Tuskegee Airmen, World War II, Korea, Vietnam

On January 16, 2022, retired U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Charles McGee died at the age of 102. His story is one of profound courage, excellence in service, and inspiring personal character.McGee joined the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. At the time, however, McGee and the other black pilots were deemed unworthy to be in units with their white counterparts.In this edition of "Veterans Chonicles," McGee details the outstanding service record of Tuskegee pilots in World War II, the discrimination they faced upon returning home, the desegregation of the U.S. Armed Forces in 1947 and his service in Korea and Vietnam.McGee piloted more than 400 total combat missions and served more than 30 years in uniform. Perhaps even more impressive is his complete lack of bitterness in response to the ugly discrimination he faced.This interview between McGee and the AVC's Greg Corombos was conducted in February 2019, when then-Col. McGee was 99 years old. Shortly after turning 100 on Dec. 7, 2019, Col. McGee was promoted to Brigadier General by President Trump.
1/19/202252 minutes, 11 seconds
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Yoshio Nakamura, U.S. Army, WWII, 442nd Regimental Combat Team

Yoshio Nakamura grew up working on his family's farm in California. Despite the Great Depression, it was a good life and Nakamura had many friends as a teenager. But his life changed drastically after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. Less than three months later, President Franklin Roosevelt ordered Americans of Japanese descent on the west coast into internment camps out of fear of their loyalty to Japan. In this episode, Nakamura describes the indignity of that designation and the determination that and he and others like him had to prove their love for America.Nakamura joined the U.S. Army and was assigned to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which was comprised of Japanese-American service members. The 442nd endured some of the most brutal fighting in the European theatre. In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Nakamura describes the horrific fighting in the mountains of Italy and how the 442nd was used to break Nazi Germany's Gothic Line. Finally, Nakamura reveals the stunning explanation given to him and other members of the 442nd as to why they would not be sent to the Pacific theatre following the German surrender.
1/12/202236 minutes, 29 seconds
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Lt. Col. Clif Berry, USAF & U.S. Army, Berlin Airlift, Vietnam

Fred Clifton Berry, Jr. joined the U.S. Force in 1948 due to his interest in radio and airplanes. He soon found himself in Germany and in the middle of a major international drama - the Berlin Airlift. Berry tells us about the critical importance of quality air traffic control during that ordeal both in delivering goods and in protecting pilots from their Soviet adversaries.Berry later left the Air Force and subsequently joined the U.S. Army. Years later, he was deployed to Vietnam with the 196th Light Infantry Brigade. Berry tells about his responsibilities as an officer and about his actions on November 23, 1967, as he worked under fire to rescue wounded American servicemen - an action that would earn him a Bronze Star.
1/5/202235 minutes, 1 second
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Ned Connor, U.S. Navy, WWII

Ned Connor was planning to join the ground forces of the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II. But he soon found out he wasn't going to make that decision. After ending up in the Navy, Connor was assigned to the Seabees.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Connor shares his story of service in the Pacific Theater, mostly on New Guinea, as a winch operator loading and unloading cargo ships. He also shares the leadership and life lessons he took from his years in the service and applied to his career and his life.
12/29/202135 minutes, 52 seconds
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Andrew Faltum, U.S. Navy, Vietnam Refugee Rescue

Andrew Faltum started as a detective for the Chicago Police Department but by the early 1970's he decided it was time for a change. Faltum joined the Navy in hopes of becoming an aviation officer but a medical evaluation forced a change in plans. Instead he became an intelligence officer while on active duty and for another two decades in the reserves.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Faltum shares his experiences aboard the USS Midway in 1975 and the frantic effort to save some 3,000 Vietnamese as Saigon fell. Faltum also discusses his work writing a series of book on carriers and much more.
12/22/202138 minutes, 10 seconds
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Michael "Mickey" Ganitch, U.S. Navy, WWII, Pearl Harbor

Michael "Mickey Ganitch" Ganitch grew up in Ohio and joined the U.S. Navy in early 1941, as he puts it, to dodge being drafted into the Army. Less than a year later, he had a front row seat for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor while in the crow's nest aboard the USS Pennsylvania as it sat in dry dock off Battleship Row.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Ganitch describes the attack in detail, how it could have been even worse, the refurbishing of the USS Pennsylvania and the key role it played in many invasions in the North Pacific. He also shares the harrowing story of the Pennsylvania getting struck by a Japanese torpedo and how he managed to survive.Finally, Ganitch tells about his interesting role in atomic testing after World War II ended.
12/15/202133 minutes, 8 seconds
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Frank Emond, U.S. Navy, WWII, Pearl Harbor

Frank Emond joined the U.S. Navy in 1938 after learning it was looking for musicians. Three years later, Emond was standing on the deck of the USS Pennsylvania and watched in horror as the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor began.Eighty years after the day of infamy that triggered the U.S. entry into World War II, Emond shares what he saw during the attack, how he and the other sailors aboard the USS Pensylvania responded, his gruesome duties following the attack, and his service after the ship was repaired.
12/7/202131 minutes, 51 seconds
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SgtMaj David Devaney, USMC Sniper, Iraq

David Devaney enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1983. After surviving boot camp, he soon pursued the opportunity to become a U.S. Marine sniper and was part of the early invasion of Iraq in March 2003.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," SgtMaj Devaney shares his memories at Parris Island both in training and as a drill sergeant. He also talks about what it takes to become a sniper, dealing with Iraqi forces and sandstorms in the early days of the Iraq War, and the mindset necessary to be effective in combat.
12/1/202134 minutes, 31 seconds
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Charles Strange, Gold Star Father of U.S. Navy PO1 Michael Strange

Charles Strange didn't initially want his son, Michael, to join the military. But when Michael turned 18, he joined the U.S. Navy and soon became an expert in cryptography, serving alongside Navy SEALs in Iraq and Afghanistan. Michael Strange was part of the mission that targeted and killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011. But just three months later, Michael and dozens of other elite forces were killed when their Chinook helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Charles Strange discusses his son's service, his decade-long search for answers to how Michael and the others were killed, and his leadership in bringing Gold Star families together to help one another heal.
11/24/202136 minutes, 6 seconds
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Col. Douglas Dillard, U.S. Army, WWII, Korea, Vietnam

Douglas Dillard joined the U.S. Army at age 16, determined to help the U.S. win World War II. By the end of his military career decades later, Dillard had parachuted into combat, fought in one of the fiercest battles on the western front, and eventually became one of the Army's critical leaders in military intelligence.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Dillard describes jumping into southern France as part of Operation Dragoon in August 1944, fighting the Nazis and the frigid temperatures at the Battle of the Bulge, how he shifted to intelligence work, and what that work looked like in Korea and Vietnam.
11/17/202143 minutes, 56 seconds
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SSG Eugene Groves, Montford Point Marines, Korea

Eugene Groves joined the U.S. Marine Corps when he was 17, in part to get out of his racially charged town. Groves then trained at Montford Point at Camp Lejeune, where the USMC first began accepting black Marines just a few years earlier. In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Groves details his service in the Korean War, how he and the other Montford Point Marines responded to discrimination even after the official integration of the military, and the tremendous progress he's seen since that time.
11/10/202132 minutes, 43 seconds
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SSG David Bellavia, U.S. Army, Iraq, Medal of Honor

David Bellavia grew up hearing his grandfather's stories of fighting in Normandy during World War II. Sixty years later, Bellavia would be fighting urban warfare in the streets of Fallujah in Iraq and his actions in November 2004 would earn him the Medal of Honor.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Bellavia shares what house-to-house fighting was like in Iraq and the mindset needed to do it well. You'll also hear how Bellavia saved his squad by eliminating five enemy fighters as they came one after the other attempting to kill him. He also discusses the responsibility he feels as a recipient of the Medal of Honor.
11/3/202131 minutes, 16 seconds
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Lt. Col. Daniel Gade, U.S. Army, Iraq, 'Wounding Warriors'

Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Daniel Gade graduated from West Point and eventually served as a tank company commander as part of the Second Infantry Division in Iraq in 2004-2005. While serving there, Gade was wounded twice. The second set of injuries nearly killed him and did lead to the amputation of his right leg. Exactly one year after that horrific attack, Col. Gade began graduate school and became a triathlete. He also took an intense interest in the veterans benefits program, which he believe is a badly arranged system leading to tragic results for our nations heroes. He is the author of "Wounding Warriors: How Bad Policy Is Making Veterans Sicker and Poorer."
10/27/202156 minutes, 27 seconds
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Col. Frank Athanason, U.S. Army, WWII, Korea, Vietnam

Frank Athanason wanted to join the Navy in 1945, but when the two men in front of him passed out from receiving shots in the arm and he didn't, he was assigned to the Army instead. Over the next 32 years, Athanason would serve in three wars, be deployed to Korea and Vietnam and have critical roles in two other international crises.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Col. Athanason takes us into his as an artillery officer and describes the action that earned him a Silver Star and a Purple Heart in Korea. He also describes his two tours in Vietnam, being held prisoner for six weeks in communist East Germany in the 1950's and his role during the Cyprus crisis between Greece and Turkey in the 1970's.
10/20/202147 minutes, 20 seconds
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Carole Engle Avriett, 'Marine Raiders'

After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the U.S. Marine Corps set out to create the first two battalions of Marine Raiders. These well-trained, elite commando units quickly proved themselves better than the best Japanese troops on Guadalcanal and on the surrounding islands known as Tulagi and Makin Atoll. Two more battalions were soon created but the raiders were disbanded when the realities of war demanded it.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles", we'll speak with Carole Engle Avriett, author of "Marine Raiders: The True Story of the WWII Battlions." Avriett explains how the raiders came to be and how the battalions embodied the personalities of their commanders. She also follows individual raiders during the brutal battle of Bloody Ridge and the extended jungle mission known as the long patrol.
10/13/202142 minutes, 48 seconds
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Lt. Col. Scott Mann, U.S. Army, Green Beret, Part 2 'Pineapple Express'

Last week, we presented our first interview with retired U.S. Army Green Beret Lt. Col. Scott Mann to discuss his military service, including several years in Afghanistan. Several weeks ago, Col. Mann was also part of a determined effort to rescue Afghan friends and allies while evacuation flight were still available at the airport in Kabul. This private effort was dubbed "The Pineapple Express." In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," you'll hear how Mann and others used their many contacts to establish a network of people in order to shepherd friends and allies safely to the custody of U.S. Marines at the airport. You'll also learn about the immense danger involved in trying to navigate Kabul with vengeful Taliban at every street corner and mass chaos outside the airport. Mann will also tell what is happening now to assist our allies now that the U.S. military is out of Afghanistan.
10/6/202139 minutes, 22 seconds
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Lt. Col. Scott Mann, U.S. Army, Green Beret, Afghanistan, Part 1

Scott Mann knew he wanted to be a Green Beret when he was 14 years old. It would be another 10 years before he could realize that dream. A few years later, our nation suffered the 9/11 terrorist attacks and, like thousands of other American service members, Scott Mann would be headed to war.In this first half of our profile of Col. Mann, he takes us into the life of a Green Beret and how it is different from other special forces, how he balanced his desire for revenge against the terrorists with his duty to build trust and rapport with the Afghan people and prepare them to fight the Taliban. You'll also hear his eerily accurate predictions about what would happen in Afghanistan.In this 2019 interview, Mann also describes his work in print and on stage in helping veterans and their families make the difficult transition from military to civilian life and how storytelling is important to that process.Col. Mann was also a critical player in the recent "Pineapple Express" operation conducted by American veterans to rescue the Afghan allies who worked and fought alongside them for years. Mann will share that harrowing story in the second part of our profile coming soon. Don't miss it!
9/29/202139 minutes, 14 seconds
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Iva Toguri: The Real Story of 'Tokyo Rose'

For more than 30 years, the United States government considered Iva Toguri a traitor to our nation for her actions during World War II. Many Americans might still think of her that way, since they think of her as the radio host American troops labeled "Tokyo Rose". But the truth tells a completely different story.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," we'll share the story of Iva Toguri, an American woman who got trapped in Japan during the war and wound up as a host playing music during programming aimed at demoralizing American forces.We'll discuss what she did during the war, how she was targeted by our government afterwards, the federal prosecution she faced, and how her name was finally cleared and honored.
9/24/202120 minutes, 9 seconds
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Lt. Col. Edward Saylor, U.S. Air Force, Doolittle Raid

Shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered military planners to strike at the heart of Japan. This daring bombing mission was entrusted to Col. James Doolittle of the U.S. Army Air Corps.On April 18, 16 bombers took off from the deck of the USS Hornet, with each bomber carrying five crew members. The engineer on the 15th bomber was Edward Saylor.Mr. Saylor shared his story with us at the American Veterans Center conference in Washington several years ago. In this conversation, Col. Saylor discusses his preparations for the raid, the two great challenges as the Doolittle Raiders got closer to Japan, dropping bombs over the target, and his harrowing efforts to avoid Japanese forces after the mission.
9/22/202133 minutes, 8 seconds
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Major Gen. Patrick Henry Brady, U.S. Army, Vietnam, Medal of Honor

Patrick Henry reluctantly joined the ROTC program at Seattle University and hated just about every minute of it. Within the next decade he would be witness to a chilling,seminal moment in the Cold War and serve two tours in Vietnam and be awarded the Medal of Honor.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Gen. Brady shares his deployment to Berlin and how life there changed drastically when the communists erected the Berlin Wall. He also takes us through his training as a helicopter pilot and his deployment as a Dustoff pilot, evacuating wounded service members, for two tours in Vietnam.Brady explains how his mentor instilled a relentless commitment to reach our wounded troops regardless of enemy fire, what his Dustoff unit was able to accomplish during his time in Vietnam, and his actions in January 1968 that resulted in him being awarded the Medal of Honor.
9/15/202135 minutes, 23 seconds
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Brigadier Gen. Don Bolduc, U.S. Army, Afghanistan, Desert Storm

Retired U.S. Army Brigadier Gen. Don Bolduc served 36 years in uniform, most of it in special forces, and spent ten tours of duty in Afghanistan. While there he earned five bronze stars and two purple hearts. He also rose to one of the top command positions for special forces in the Afghan theater.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Gen. Bolduc, details what it was like to be among the first Americans on the ground in Afghanistan after 9/11, his time as a horse soldier there, the strategies that did and did not work against the Taliban in the ensuing years, his years with special forces in Africa, and his unvarnished evaluation of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
9/8/202151 minutes, 38 seconds
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Andrew Biggio, USMC, Iraq, Afghanistan, 'The Rifle'

Andrew Biggio grew up in Boston as part of a family steeped in military service. In fact, he is named for his great uncle, who was killed in action in Italy during World War II. Andrew joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 2006 and was deployed as a rifleman to Iraq in 2008 and later to Afghanistan.After leaving the Marine Corps in 2012, Biggio wanted to learn what really happened to his great uncle. That quest turned into a much bigger odyssey, as he interviewed scores of World War II veterans from all branches and who served in both Europe and the Pacific. And he added a twist. Biggio bought a 1945 M1 Garand that he placed in the hands of the veterans as he spoke with them and each of them signed the rifle. The final result was his powerful book, "The Rifle: Combat Stories from America's Last WWII Veterans, Told Through an M1 Garand."In this edition of Veterans Chronicles, Biggio shares the story of his own service, discusses the stories of many of the amazing veterans he interviewed, and what he learned along the way.
9/1/202143 minutes, 56 seconds
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Willie Woods, USMC, Montford Point Marines

Willie Woods joined the U.S. Marine Corps at a time when commanders believed black service members could not measure up to their white counterparts. In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt opened up the armed forces to all races, but units remained segregated.In the Marine Corps, the first African-American units were trained at Montford Point, North Carolina, near Camp Lejeune. In this edition, Willie Woods discusses his decision to join the Corps, the discrimination he faced at various times, his service as a prison guard on Guam after the war, and the legacy of the Montford Point Marines on the Armed Forces and our nation.
8/25/202141 minutes, 20 seconds
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Clint Romesha, U.S. Army, Afghanistan, Iraq, Medal of Honor

As we watch the troubling news out of Afghanistan, we continue to honor the courage that American service members demonstrated there for twenty years. One of those unforgettable veterans is Clint Romesha. Raised in California, Romesha followed his grandfather, father, and two brothers into the service. He joined the U.S. Army the day after his eighteenth birthday.Two years later, the 9/11 attacks propelled the U.S. into war. After deployments to Germany and Korea, Romesha served two tours of duty in Iraq. Shortly after returning from that second tour, he and his unit were sent to Afghanistan and stationed high in the mountains at Combat Outpost Keating. In October 2009, Romesha and his unit faced a massive enemy assault of 300 fighters. Under withering fire, Romesha rallied his men, devised a plan to counterattack, and led a heroic effort to recover the bodies of his fellow Americans. For his actions, Clint Romesha was awarded the Medal of Honor in 2013.
8/18/202145 minutes, 47 seconds
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August Bolino, U.S. Army Air Corps, WWII, D-Day

When August Bolino's draft number came up, he immediately signed up with the U.S. Army Air Corps. His good grasp of numbers got him assigned as a navigator on a B-17 bomber crew in the 8th Air Force operating out of England.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Bolino demonstrates his encyclopedic memory of his service in World War II. He describes his earliest missions, his actions that earned him the Distinguished Flying Cross, and his two separate missions on D-Day. He also explains how he looks back at D-Day today.
8/11/202150 minutes, 2 seconds
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Ed Manley, U.S. Army, D-Day, Battle of the Bulge

Ed Manley joined the U.S. Army and was trained as a paratrooper and a demolition man. He is now immortalized in history in the famous photo of Gen. Dwight Eisenhower addressing the airborne troops on the eve of D-Day.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Manley takes us through his jump into Normandy, the confusion after he landed, and his disobeying of orders in those first hours in France. He also discusses the battle for Carentan, his role in Operation Market Garden in Holland, and how he was wounded at the Battle of the Bulge.
8/4/202131 minutes, 8 seconds
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Tom Toski, U.S. Navy, Okinawa, Leyte Gulf

Tom Toski was drafted into the U.S. Navy in 1943 and was deployed on a destroyer escort to the Pacific theater upon completion of his training. By the end of the war, just two years later, Toski had earned five battle stars, including Leyte Gulf and Okinawa.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Toski shares his story of service, describes his memories of those critical battles, and explains why he is so proud of his service during the war.
7/28/202136 minutes, 50 seconds
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Scott Taylor, U.S. Navy SEAL, Iraq

Scott Taylor signed up for the U.S. Navy while he was still on high school and he knew from the start he wanted to be a SEAL. It was training that would serve him well when he was deployed to Iraq just a few years later.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Taylor describes the grueling BUD/S training that only he and a small fraction of his original class was able to complete. Also trained as a sniper, Taylor describes the service of his platoon in Iraq and how he was seriously injured.Finally, Taylor explains how his military service prepared him for his time in Congress.
7/21/202142 minutes, 23 seconds
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Scott McEwen, 'Hell Week And Beyond: The Making of a Navy SEAL'

Those who serve in our military go through rigorous training and elite forces must reach even more difficult standards. Perhaps the most famous and most demanding training belongs to the U.S. Navy SEALS. Candidates are tested physically and mentally in many different ways over many months but perhaps the most intense crucible is Hell Week.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles" author Scott McEwen joins us to discuss his new book, "Hell Week and Beyond: The Making of a Navy SEAL." McEwen takes us moment-by-moment through six excruciating days that expose the candidates who truly excel and never quit and those who don't quite measure up. From fighting through pain and sleep deprivation to hypothermia and sickness, McEwen explains why SEAL candidates go through Hell Week and how it creates a lasting brotherhood among those who endure.
7/14/202142 minutes, 40 seconds
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John McCarney, U.S. Air Force

John McCarney joined the U.S. Air Force shortly after deciding he'd had enough of college football. He trained to be a medical corpsman and was by late 1974 was on his way to Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines. Upon arriving he was stunned to learn he was assigned to the obstetrics ward of the hospital.It was just a few months later that President Gerald Ford authorized Operation Babylift, which was designed to rescue mixed-race babies and other children out of South Vietnam as the communist North Vietnamese neared Saigon.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," McCarney shares how he came to love his work but felt intense survivor's guilt when he was not on the the first Operation Babylift plane that tragically crashed shortly after takeoff. He also explains the moments that finally helped him ease that guilt and take pride in his service.
7/7/202143 minutes, 40 seconds
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LTG Patricia Horoho, U.S. Army, Surgeon General of the U.S. Army

In 2011, U.S. Army Lt. General Patricia Horoho became the first nurse and the first woman to serve as Surgeon General of the U.S. Army. Prior to the that honor, she provided excellent emergency care in the immediate aftermath of two major disasters and commanded some of the nation's most critical military medical facilities.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Gen. Horoho walks us through her response to the Green Ramp Disaster at Pope AFB in North Carolina and her actions to save lives at Pentagon 9/11 after terrorists slammed American Airlines Flight 77 into the west wall of the building.Horoho also discusses the controversy over conditions and care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center while she commanded there and the good that came out of the controversy. She also explains what she's most proud of from her time as surgeon general for the Army.
6/30/202128 minutes, 35 seconds
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Frank DeVita, USCG, WWII, Omaha Beach

Frank DeVita joined the U.S. Coast Guard in World War II thinking his job would be to protect the American coast. But his war service would be much different than expected when the Navy decided to use Coast Guard personnel the responsibility of manning many of the landing crafts used during invasions. DeVita was assigned to a Higgins boat headed for Omaha Beach in the early hours of D-Day, June 6, 1944. And it was his job to drop the ramp, knowing full well that many of the soldiers on his boat would be killed within seconds.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," DeVita describes what he experienced moment-by-moment in the horror of that first wave at Omaha Beach, how American ships helped the soldiers advance up the beach and the bluffs, and his role in recovering the bodies of America's fallen heroes that day.DeVita also describes his service in the Pacific during the time of the Battle of Okinawa and the grave danger American vessels faced from Japanese kamikaze pilots.
6/23/202138 minutes, 19 seconds
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George Dramis, U.S. Army, Patton's 'Ghost Army'

George Dramis joined the U.S. Army during World War II and was sent to Europe with many other soldiers to defeat Nazi Germany. But his unit was very different from all the others. Dramis was a member of the Army's 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, better known as General George S. Patton's "Ghost Army."In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Dramis explains how the 23rd was tasked with deceiving the Nazi forces to keep them guessing about American intentions and to lure them away from the areas the U.S. really planned to strike. Dramis tells us about the many different methods of deception used by the Ghost Army and how the 23rd played critical roles in rescuing the 101st Airborne at Bastogne and helping the Allies cross the Rhine River.
6/16/202118 minutes, 9 seconds
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Maj. General Mari K. Eder, U.S. Army, Deputy Chief U.S. Army Reserve

Maj. General Mari K. Eder shares her story of joining the U.S. Army in 1977 and embarking on a 36-year career, in which she rose to be Deputy Chief of U.S. Army Public Affairs during U.S. military action in Kosovo and Afghanistan. Gen. Eder also discusses her years serving as Deputy Chief of U.S. Army Reserve and the challenges she faced while holding that position during wartime.Gen. Eder is also an accomplished author. In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," she explains the premise of her book, "American Cyberscape," and how to protect our nation from cyber-related threats. She also details her forthcoming book, "The Girls Who Stepped Out of Line," focusing on 15 amazing women who demonstrated tremendous courage and determination in helping the Allies win World War II.
6/9/202144 minutes, 45 seconds
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Carl Felton, U.S. Navy, WWII, D-Day

Carl Felton joined the U.S.Navy after graduating from high school in 1943, even though he didn't know how to swim. Felton was then trained in communications and sent to England to be part of the pivotal effort to attack Hitler's Atlantic Wall and establish a western front against Nazi Germany.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Felton shares his memories of the vast armada of ships off the coast of Normandy, later escaping an attempted attack from a German soldier in France, and surviving a harrowing mission in the North Atlantic.
6/2/202139 minutes, 16 seconds
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Col. Douglas MacGregor, U.S. Army, Desert Storm

Douglas MacGregor was commissioned as a U.S. Army officer after graduating from West Point in 1976. He soon developed expertise in armored cavalry and tanks that proved extremely valuable in the short, decisive ground campaign during Operation Desert Storm.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Col. MacGregor tells the story of how he turned an underperforming armored cavalry squadron into one of the most effective fighting units of the Gulf War. He also discusses his book, "Margin of Victory," and the five battles of the 20th century that drastically changed modern warfare.
5/26/202141 minutes, 10 seconds
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James Wright, USMC, 'Enduring Vietnam'

James Wright joined the U.S. Marine Corps after graduating high school. His three years of service in the Marines fell during peacetime, but just a few years later American found itself fully immersed in the Vietnam War. Wright followed the war carefully at the time, but it was years later as an academic that he began studying the war very closely.For his book, "Enduring Vietnam: An American Generation and Its War," Wright interviewed many Vietnam veterans and family members of those who never came home. He also visited Vietnam and some of the key battlegrounds of the war.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Wright explains what Vietnam veterans want Americans to know and appreciate about their service, what surprised them most when they came home, and how they ought to be thought of today.
5/19/202145 minutes, 46 seconds
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Steven Fenves, U.S. Army, Holocaust Survivor

Steven Fenves and his family enjoyed a nice middle class life in Hungary for his first ten years. In 1941, Hungarian authorities began discriminating against Jewish families. Within three years, he and his family were headed for the notorious concentration and death camps.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Fenves provides incredible detail as he describes the persecution his family faced from 1941-1945, his time at the brutal Auschwitz camp, moving to a smaller facility near Buchenwald, and his eventual liberation by U.S. forces.Fenves also tells us about escaping the expansion of Communism and getting to the U.S. after the war, serving in the U.S. Army, and his determination to inform as many people as possible about the truth of the Holocaust.
5/12/202144 minutes, 28 seconds
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Col. Mike Dowe, U.S. Army, Korea, POW

From a young age, Mike Dowe knew that he wanted to attend the U.S. Military Academy and serve our nation in uniform. In 1950, he graduated from West Point and was immediately sent to Korea. After months of successfully pushing the North Koreans back to the north, American forces suddenly faced an endless surge of enemy Chinese soldiers pouring across the border.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Col. Dowe discusses his his time in combat, being taken prisoner, the horrific conditions in the prison camp, and the remarkable heroism of Father Emil Kapaun, an Army chaplain and fellow POW, who would posthumously receive the Medal of Honor.
5/5/202135 minutes, 31 seconds
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Tom Fitzpatrick, U.S. Army Air Corps, WWII

Tom Fitzpatrick grew up in Pennsylvania and had never been on an airplane before joining the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II. Before long, he was serving as a radio navigator on a B-17 bomber crew.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Fitzpatrick explains his role on bombing missions, the close calls his crew endured, targeting the critical Nazi oil facilities in Ploesti, and how his plane and many others were protected by the Red Tails of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen.
4/28/202129 minutes, 36 seconds
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Maj. General Victor Hugo Jr., U.S. Army, Vietnam

Retired U.S. Army Major General Victor Hugo, Jr. takes us through his distinguished Army career, from West Point through Vietnam to perfecting the Patriot Missiles that served us so well during the Gulf War.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Gen. Hugo describes his time in Vietnam shortly after the French left in the mid-1950s as well as his critical assignments throughout the war. You'll also hear about his duty in the Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetery, his thoughts about how the Vietnam War ended, and the treatment he received after coming home.Don't miss learning about Gen. Hugo's decades of service to our nation.
4/21/20211 hour, 10 minutes, 3 seconds
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Dakota Meyer, USMC, Afghanistan, Iraq, Medal of Honor

Dakota Meyer decided to have some fun with the U.S. Marine recruiter visiting his high school. Within minutes he had a change of heart and signed up to serve. Meyer would serve in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a horrific day in September 2009 would change his life forever.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Meyer shares the very difficult story of watching from a a mile away as his fellow Marines came under deadly enemy fire. Defying orders, Meyer spent the next several hours against nearly impossible odds to save and recover his fallen comrades. For his actions that day, Meyer received the Medal of Honor. But while sharing his story with us, Meyer explains why the medal actually made his life more difficult.
4/14/202133 minutes, 56 seconds
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Charles Temple, Jr, U.S. Navy, Pacific

Charles Temple Jr. was a skilled craftsman by the time he was a teenager and when he joined the U.S. Navy near the end of World War II his skills were put to immediate use. Temple served aboard a refueling ship that was deployed to the Pacific and arrived there in the spring of 1946.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Mr. Temple explains the process of refueling aircraft carriers, battleships, destroyers, and other vessels. He also describes his first-hand experience with the Communist revolution in China and witnessing atomic weapons tests.
4/7/202132 minutes, 9 seconds
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Bill Dawson, U.S. Navy, WWII, Original Navy Frogman

Bill Dawson joined the U.S. Navy shortly after World War II. His first choice was submarine duty but the Navy had other plans. Dawson and other sailors were chosen as part of the new Naval Combat Demolition Unit, known informally as "frogmen". Their job was to clear mines and other booby traps to allow U.S. forces to land on enemy shores - from Normandy to the island-hopping campaign in the Pacific.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Mr. Dawson describes the stressful training he received for this special unit, how he executed his missions in the Pacific, what it was like to have his ship targeted by Japanese kamikaze pilots, and what it means to him to be a trailblazer for the elite Navy SEAL program.
3/31/202136 minutes, 24 seconds
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R.V. Burgin, USMC, New Britain, Peleliu, Okinawa

R.V. Burgin joined the U.S. Marine Corps because "it's the best that Uncle Sam had." Serving in the Pacific, Burgin saw action as a mortar man and as a leader of his unit at New Britain, Peleliu, and Okinawa.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Burgin describes the fierce combat at all three battles, how he adjusted to what the Japanese were doing, and the admiration he has for the Marines he served with.
3/24/202124 minutes, 20 seconds
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Wayne "Whitey" Johnson, WWII, Flying Tigers

Whitey Johnson was a farm kid from Minnesota who had the chance to fly a crop duster when he was a teenager. The day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he stood in line to join the U.S. Army Air Corps.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Johnson describes his excitement at being assigned to the Flying Tigers, serving on the Shanghai Raids and his heart-pounding drama of being shot down and nearly captured while being hidden by the Chinese.
3/17/202146 minutes, 27 seconds
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Harry Miller, U.S. Army & USAF, WWII, Korea, Vietnam

Harry Miller was so intent on joining the Army in World War II that he found a way to enlist at the age of 15. He soon found himself and his tank battalion at the Battle of the Bulge. Miller tells us about the battle, the bitter cold, and the capture of a Nazi tank that led to a lengthy effort to make sure his unit got credit for it. Miller also discusses his little known assignment following the war that became one of the first standoffs of the Cold War, why he left the Army and joined the Air Force, and much more.
3/10/202135 minutes, 2 seconds
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Major Jeff Struecker, U.S. Army, Blackhawk Down, Panama, Afghanistan, Iraq

Retired U.S. Army Major Jeff Struecker served our nation in two very different capacities, both as an Army Ranger and as a chaplain. In this vivid and gripping oral history, Struecker shares his experiences in Operation Just Cause in Panama and in the Persian Gulf in the aftermath of Operation Desert Storm. He then walks us through his moment-by-moment memories of leading his task force to rescue the helicopter crews shot down in Mogadishu, Somalia. Immortalized in the book and movie, "Blackhawk Down," describes the impossible odds he and his men faced and how they re-engaged the enemy even though he was certain they would be killed.Struecker also explains how his harrowing service in Somalia led him to leave the Army and later return as a chaplain just months before 9/11. He shares fascinating insights from his 14 deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq and urges Americans to fully appreciate the incredible sacrifices that our service members and their families have given this country over the past 20 years.
3/3/20211 hour, 10 minutes, 21 seconds
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Remembering Frank Buckles, the Last World War I Veteran

Ten years ago, on February 27, 2011, America's last World War I veteran passed away. Frank Buckles was 110 years old. Four years earlier, we visited with Mr. Buckles to learn his story.In this special edition of "Veterans Chronicles" narrated by Greg Corombos, you'll learn about the determination of Mr. Buckles to join the Army despite not being old enough, the reaction in Europe when the Americans arrived and when the war ended, how he ended up in a Japanese prison camp for more than three years as a private citizen during World War II and much more.Don't miss this special feature on America's last World War I veteran.
2/26/20219 minutes, 13 seconds
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James McEachin, U.S. Army, Korea

James McEachin joined the U.S. Army before turning eighteen, fascinated with the idea of being part of answering Uncle Sam's call to join the United States military. During his years in uniform, McEachin experienced the integration of the U.S. Armed Forces and deployed to fight in Korea in 1952.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Mr. McEachin describes his first combat experience and what it felt like to take another life. He also recounts being ambushed and nearly left for dead, until the only other survivor from his unit rendered heroic service to save his life.McEachin also tells us how he came home and found work acting in Hollywood, appearing alongside the legendary John Wayne.
2/24/202136 minutes, 31 seconds
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Mae Krier, Rosie the Riveter, World War II

Mae Krier grew up in North Dakota during the pain of the Great Depression. Shortly after the war, she went to visit Seattle. While there, she learned of a very good job for Boeing, working as a riveter on the wings of B-17 bombers. Later, she also worked on B-29 bombers.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Krier shares what it was like to be an original "Rosie the Riveter," how the men in the factory reacted to women entering the workplace, and what it means to her to have worked on so many planes that helped the Allies win the war. Mae also takes us on her successful journey to establish a national day of commemoration for all the Rosies who entered the factories when America needed them.
2/17/202136 minutes, 8 seconds
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SSG James Pierce, U.S. Army National Guard, Iraq, Afghanistan

James Pierce joined the U.S. Army National Guard as he finished high school in the spring of 2001. Within months, America was at war and Pierce eventually served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Pierce describes his duties in both countries and details the devastating injuries he suffered when an Afghan police officer became a suicide bomber targeting American service members. Pierce details his injuries, his grueling recovery, and his new work with the National Park Service, including one monument near and dear to him.
2/10/202127 minutes, 12 seconds
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George Walsh, U.S. Navy, WWII

George Walsh learned to fly before he learned to drive. He then served as a Navy dive bomber pilot in the Pacific theater of World War II. He shares his memories of service from critical battles such as Iwo Jima and Leyte.Walsh is also a longtime historian about the dive bombers and a tireless advocate for dive bombers getting their due credit for their critical role in winning the Battle of Midway. Those efforts and others were eventually rewarded with a feature film on Midway that focused on the decisive actions of the dive bombers.
2/3/202140 minutes, 19 seconds
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Lt. Col. William Bonelli, USAF, WWII, Pearl Harbor

Bill Bonelli joined the U.S. Army Air Corps prior to Pearl Harbor, strongly suspecting that the U.S. would soon be at war against Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. Before long, while stationed in Hawaii, he witnessed and survived the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.Mr. Bonelli also describes his service as a B-17 pilot in Europe, the types of targets he was assigned, and the important change he made on his missions without consulting a superior officer.Don't miss this fascinating conversation with Lt. Col. William Bonelli.
1/27/202137 minutes, 56 seconds
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Col. Bruce Crandall, U.S. Army, Vietnam, Medal of Honor

In November 1965, U.S. Army helicopter pilot Bruce Crandall defied orders and flew an unarmed chopper into enemy fire 22 times to evacuate dozens of wounded American soldiers. His actions would later lead to him being awarded the Medal of Honor.On this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Col. Crandall discusses his Army career, his mindset in repeatedly facing enemy fire to rescue his injured brothers from the battlefield, and the hard lessons learned from that mission and the rest of his time in Vietnam.
1/20/202138 minutes, 6 seconds
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Brigadier Gen. George Bartlett, USMC, WWII, Korea, Vietnam

Over his 36 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, Brigadier General George Bartlett went from enlisted man to officer, fought in three wars, and did other work vital to U.S. interests during the Cold War.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Bartlett describes serving as a bombardier, gunner, and navigator in the Pacific theater of World War II. He also tells us about his service in Korea, two tours in Vietnam, his impressive feat of building an airstrip in Taiwan in just a matter of hours, and his work on the atomic program.
1/13/202147 minutes, 24 seconds
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SPC Andrew Coughlan, U.S. Army, Iraq

Andrew Coughlan was already interested in military service. The 9/11 attacks cemented his decision even further. A member of the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division, Coughlan was deployed to Iraq on September 11, 2003. Less than a year later, his life would change forever.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Coughlan details the deadly challenges of serving in Iraq from one of his very first missions. He also takes us to July 2004, as Coughlan and many of the soldiers in his unit came under devastating fire, some were killed, and many others injured. For Coughlan it began a new battle with post-traumatic stress.Join for this personal story of combat, loss, struggle, and hope as we visit with former U.S. Army SPC Andrew Coughlan.
1/6/202133 minutes, 11 seconds
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Kyle Carpenter, USMC, Afghanistan, Medal of Honor

For our final podcast of 2020, we bring back the story of a U.S. Marine who was willing to sacrifice his own life to save his brothers. It's a story you can't miss.U.S. Marine Corps veteran Kyle Carpenter deployed to Afghanistan in the summer of 2010. Just before Thanksgiving, he was nearly killed after falling on a Taliban grenade to save his fellow Marines.In our conversation, Kyle describes the terrible events of that day. He also walks us through the amazing "domino of miracles" that kept him alive in the moments following the attack and all the way back to the U.S.Kyle discusses his very lengthy physical recovery and also the mental and emotional challenges he faced along the way. Finally, he tells us what it was like to receive the Medal of Honor and what the recognition means to him.
12/30/202033 minutes, 9 seconds
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Mike Thornton, U.S. Navy SEAL, Vietnam, Medal of Honor

As we pause for this holiday season, we remain grateful for those who have served to protect our freedoms. And we once again bring you the story of an American servicemember who went far above and beyond the call of duty.Retired U.S. Navy SEAL Mike Thornton shares his story of service from the Vietnam War. Thornton tells Greg Corombos about the challenge of SEAL (BUD/S) training and his actions from October 31, 1972, that earned him the Medal of Honor.Hear how Thornton and three others fended off 75 enemy fighters, how he ran across 500 yards of open ground under fire to save a fellow SEAL, and how he swam himself and others to safety after being wounded multiple times. And you'll hear the wonderful reason Thornton was reprimanded for his conduct on the day he received the Medal of Honor.
12/23/202031 minutes, 45 seconds
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CSM Brian Flom, U.S. Army, Iraq

In 2007, Brian Flom nearly lost his life after being hit by shrapnel from an enemy rocket attack in Iraq. As he recovered over the next six weeks, Flom's primary goal was getting back to his unit and rejoining his brothers in arms.After returning home from Iraq, Flom's wife began to notice changes and urged him to get evaluated for post-traumatic stress. Medication only made things worse but Flom found running and biking did a lot of good.Those interests led to him spending a weekend with former President George W. Bush, along with 16 other veterans. Now a Command Sergeant Major, Flom shares his story of survival, recovery, and his mission to end the stigma of post-traumatic stress in the Army.
12/16/202033 minutes, 52 seconds
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Don Mates, USMC, WWII, Iwo Jima

U.S. Marine Corps veteran Don Mates shares his vivid memories of combat on Guam and Iwo Jima.In amazing detail, Mates tells us why he really joined the Marines, what battle was really like, the close friends he made, and the vicious fighting against the Japanese at Iwo Jima.Don't miss this powerful oral history from one of the most critical battles in the Pacific during World War II.
12/8/202040 minutes, 23 seconds
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Lt. Col. Bernard Nolan, USAF, WWII

Bernard Nolan joined the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II out of his deep fascination with flying. Within just a few months, Nolan was trained as a co-pilot and flying the first of his 33 bombing missions over Europe.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Nolan describes what it was like to carry out bombing missions while under heavy German anti-aircraft fire. He even tells us about one mission where the damage forced his plane down.Lt. Col. Nolan also contrasts flying the B-17 and the B-24, details his Air Force career after the war, and explains his work with NASA starting in the mid-1960's.
12/2/202033 minutes, 34 seconds
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Maj. Scott Huesing, USMC, Iraq & Afghanistan

U.S. Marine Corps Infantry Major Scott Huesing takes us through his experience leading his Marine ground forces during the fight for Ramadi during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Maj. Huesing discusses his early days in the Marines and as an enlisted man during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. He then describes the process of becoming an officer and the personal and tactical skills it took to lead forces in urban combat in Ramadi.Huesing also describes the work he does now assisting veterans and active duty service members following their combat experiences.
11/25/202041 minutes, 47 seconds
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Capt. Roger Hill, U.S. Army, Iraq, Afghanistan

U.S. Army veteran Roger Hill graduated from West Point and earned a Bronze Star in Iraq during some of the worst fighting of that war. Later he served in Afghanistan and ended up battling the enemy and his own chain of command.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Capt. Hill takes us into the harrowing action in both theaters of war and he details the actions he took when given orders to release captured enemy combatants and how his military superiors responded.
11/18/202043 minutes, 6 seconds
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TSgt. Sonia Buchanan, Wisconsin Air National Guard, Afghanistan

Wisconsin Air National Guard TSgt. Sonia Buchanan first joined the Army National Guard and became an early member of a trailblazing program that helped special forces learn critical tactical information from the people of Afghanistan.Joining the Army National Guard in 2008, TSgt. Buchanan soon found herself making history as part of the first Cultural Support Teams. Buchanan explains how she trained with special forces and worked alongside them to befriend women in Afghanistan and learn important information for ongoing security operations.Buchanan also describes going to drill sergeant training, her work helping veterans access timely medical care, and why she's very glad she chose to serve in uniform.
11/11/202035 minutes, 21 seconds
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Capt. Paz Gomez, U.S. Navy, 9/11, Port Hueneme

Retired U.S. Navy Captain Paz Gomez shares her story of trailblazing military service in the U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps. In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Captain Gomez shares the story of her career, from being one of the few women in the Navy Civil Engineer Corps, to her story of survival at the Pentagon on 9/11, to making history when she was named the commanding officer at Port Hueneme in California.Join us for our conversation with Captain Paz Gomez.
11/4/202049 minutes, 57 seconds
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CMSgt. Jo Keller, USAF, Khobar Towers, Iraq

Retired U.S. Air Force CMSgt. Jo Keller joins us to discuss her 26 years of service. Chief Keller describes serving as an aeromedical evacuation technician in Iraq, the Balkans, and Saudi Arabia, among other assignments. Chief Keller also walks us through the horrible day in 1996, when Al Qaeda attacked the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, where she was stationed at the time. She describes her own injuries and her tireless efforts to help other wounded service members.Keller also describes what is was like operating under fire in Iraq and her leadership role as chief enlisted manager of the 403rd Aeromedical Staging Squadron.
10/28/202035 minutes, 33 seconds
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Justin Sheffield, U.S. Navy SEAL, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia

U.S. Navy veteran Justin Sheffield walks us through his 14 years of service, almost all of it as a a U.S. Navy SEAL, including many years with the elite SEAL Team Six. Sheffield gives us an amazing glimpse into BUD/s training to become SEAL and what separated those who succeeded and those who tapped out. He also takes us into the SEAL combat mindset and the mission his teams were asked to do in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond.Sheffield also walks us through one of his declassified missions, a 2011 rescue mission for an American missionary held prisoner in Somalia that he led and helped to plan.Finally, Sheffield shares his very difficult re-entry into civilian life, how he came to the brink of suicide, and his work helping other veterans struggling after their time on active duty.Don't miss this honest and revealing conversation with former Navy SEAL Justin Sheffield.
10/22/202051 minutes, 7 seconds
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RDML Robert Shumaker, U.S. Navy, Vietnam, POW

In early 1965, U.S. Naval Aviator Robert Shumaker was deployed to Vietnam. He said goodbye to his wife and newborn son, never imagining he wouldn't see them for another eight years.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," retired RDML Shumaker shares the gripping details of being shot down and badly injuring his back as he parachuted to the ground. He also describes how he dubbed Hoa Lo Prison the "Hanoi Hilton" and how he and other prisoners developed the tap code that allowed them to communicate right under the noses of their captors.Shumaker also shares how he survived excruciating torture and more than three years in solitary confinement. And, of course, he tells us what it was like to taste freedom after eight years in captivity.But there's even more to his story. Shumaker also walks us through the harrowing mission in the Mediterranean that almost took his life years before Vietnam and how he was chosen to be an astronaut before losing that opportunity in the unlikeliest of circumstances.Don't miss the incredible story of RDML Robert Shumaker as visits with Greg Corombos.
10/14/202048 minutes, 22 seconds
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Lois Bouton, U.S. Coast Guard, WWII

After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Lois Bouton asked to join the U.S. Coast Guard but was told it did not accept women. The very next year, the policy changed and the Coast Guard Women's Reserve was born. Bouton joined in 1943, became a boot camp instructor and later served as a radioman along the Atlantic Coast.Almost 30 years later, in her role as a schoolteacher, Bouton began visiting recovering servicemembers at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center, where she brought cookies and encouraging letters from her students.Soon she was visiting every week, and after moving to Arkansas upon retirement, Bouton started writing to Coast Guard veterans and active duty personnel. She consistently writes hundreds of cards and up to a thousand letters each year - even at age 101. She is affectionately known as the Coast Guard Lady.Author Therese Hughes also joins the conversation. Hughes is an accomplished author and photographer. Her book based upon her "In A Heart Beat" photo exhibit will be released in March.Don't miss this wonderful conversation with one of America's female military trailblazers.
10/7/202029 minutes, 32 seconds
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Vincent Okamoto, U.S. Army, Vietnam

Vincent Okamoto was born in a Japanese internment camp during World War II and later became the most highly-decorated Japanese-American soldier to survive the Vietnam War.In this edition of Veterans Chronicles, Okamoto walks us through the harrowing combat against North Vietnamese forces on August 24, 1968, at Dau Tieng near the Cambodian border. He shares his thoughts and the decisions he made under withering fire to gather his men, fight back, and miraculously survive.Okamoto also describes day-to-day life for soldiers in Vietnam and his successful effort to build a Japanese-American Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
9/30/202032 minutes, 45 seconds
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Andrew Napier, Combat Medic, Afghanistan

Andrew Napier joined the Kentucky Army National Guard as a way to get a college education. Soon he was trained to be a combat medic and he volunteered to be deployed. He soon spent a life-changing tour as a medic for a route-clearing platoon.Within his first four days in theater, Napier faced soldiers with fatal wounds, an ambush of his unit, and assisting in treating some of the most gruesome injuries he would see in Afghanistan. He also describes the day he was injured in another ambush, how he struggled during and after his deployment, and his ongoing mission to encourage veterans.Finally, Napier describes how his service inspired the medical device he recently.
9/23/202037 minutes, 21 seconds
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Col. James Riffe, U.S. Army, WWII, Okinawa

Retired U.S. Army Col. James Riffe joins us to discuss his 30 years of service to the United States, with a focus on his many roles during the critical and costly battle of Okinawa in 1945.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Col. Riffe explains how he went from an enlisted man to an officer and he shares the painful memories of great loss on Okinawa. He also explains how his experience in the war impacted his approach as an officer for decades to come.Finally, Col. Riffe shares his memories of his service in Berlin in the 1960's and some very tense moments in that divided city.
9/16/202045 minutes, 28 seconds
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Will Chesney, U.S. Navy SEAL, Afghanistan & Iraq

U.S. Navy veteran Will Chesney shares his story of service from the rigors of BUD/S training to become a Navy SEAL to two tours in Iraq and countless more in Afghanistan.Chesney also describes his role as a dog handler within the SEALs and the very special bond he shared with a military working dog (MWD) named Cairo. Chesney explains the amazing contributions Cairo and other MWD's made in the war in detecting explosives and insurgents lying in wait. Finally, Chesney takes us on Operation Neptune Spear, which targeted and killed Osama bin Laden in 2011, and how he and Cairo were reunited in civilian life.
9/9/202037 minutes, 43 seconds
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Thiele Fred Harvey, USMC, WWII, Iwo Jima

Thiele Fred Harvey describes his service in the Pacific theater in World War II, including the brutal battle of Iwo Jima. Harvey shares the story of how his mother made major sacrifices to get him a weapon when the Marine Corps could not provide one. He also describes coming shore at Iwo Jima, engaging in combat with the Japanese, and the wounds that ended his World War II service.
9/2/202026 minutes, 52 seconds
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Luis Alvarez, U.S. Army, Iraq, Healing Heroes

U.S. Army veteran Luis Alvarez joins us to discuss his revolutionary work to help heal the bones and other tissue of our wounded service members beyond what the human body can often do on its own. Alvarez explains how he was inspired to make this his mission, how his innovative approach works, the promising research already done, and the work yet to be done. Alvarez also discusses his time at West Point and his service in Iraq. Don't miss this fascinating conversation.
8/26/202033 minutes, 52 seconds
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Cade Courtley, U.S. Navy SEAL

U.S. Navy veteran Cade Courtley describes his relentless push to become a SEAL, despite three serious injuries during training. He discusses his training to become a sniper and how he put his elite skills to use in Bosnia in the late 1990's.Although, he left active duty months before 9/11, Courtley explains how he still went to Afghanistan and Iraq as a private security contractor for a government agency and how the rules of engagement worked as a civilian rather than a SEAL.Finally, Courtley talks about his new venture, "Can You Survive This Podcast?" and how he seeks to equip all Americans to be vigilant and know what they would do in a crisis situation.
8/19/202038 minutes, 57 seconds
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SFC Michael Schlitz, U.S. Army, Iraq

Michael Schlitz joined the Army in 1996 and immediately "fell in love" with life in the military. He soon passed the grueling test to become a U.S. Army Ranger.Michael's life changed dramatically in February 2007, when a roadside bomb in Iraq nearly killed him and left the vast majority of his body severely burned,In this edition of Veterans Chronicles, SFC Schlitz describes his time in uniform, that horrific day in Iraq, and the physical and mental fortitude it took to recover. He also explains why he now devotes so much time and effort speaking up on behalf of his fellow veterans.
8/12/202037 minutes, 18 seconds
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Art Spaulding, U.S. Army, WWII, Battle of the Bulge

U.S. Army veterans Art Spaulding shares his story of serving in the Battle of the Bulge and beyond in the European theater of World War II.Mr. Spaulding served in the 91st Chemical Mortar Battalion and was attached to Gen. Patton's march to Germany when they all suddenly veered north to help repel the Nazis' last major offensive.Spaulding describes the brutally cold journey to the front and the inhuman conditions during the battle. He also tells us about the action that earned him a bronze star at the Bulge, how a mortar unit operates, and what the men thought of Gen. Patton.
8/5/202033 minutes, 42 seconds
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Elwood Hughes, USMC, WWII, Iwo Jima

Elwood "Woody" Hughes shares his story of service in the Pacific theater of World War II and his vivid memories from the Battle of Iwo Jima in early 1945.Woody explains what it was like waiting to come ashore, how he served as a runner delivering messages during the battle, his work with the Navajo Code Talkers there, and more.
7/29/202016 minutes, 14 seconds
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Don Irwin, U.S. Navy, WWII

Don Irwin joined the U.S. Navy months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and over the next four years, he was witness to some of the most momentous events in the Pacific theater of World War II.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Mr. Irwin describes arriving at Pearl Harbor one day after the attack, watching the launch of the Doolittle Raid, and his service at Midway, Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and more.
7/22/202024 minutes, 39 seconds
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Harry Martin, USMC, WWII, Iwo Jima

U.S. Marine Corps machine gunner Harry Martin shares his story of the bloody battle of Iwo Jima. Martin came ashore in the first wave. Despite being shot in the face and temporarily losing vision in one eye, he continued fighting every day of the battle, which lasted more than a month.Martin describes the challenge of shooting at the Japanese without being able to see any of them, what it was like going in the Japanese caves, and his thoughts about the flag raising atop Mt. Suribachi.Listen now to learn the story of U.S. Marine Corps veteran Harry Martin.
7/15/202020 minutes, 12 seconds
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George Ciampa, U.S. Army, WWII, D-Day, Battle of the Bulge

George Ciampa wanted to be a military pilot but instead he was assigned to the U.S. Army's 607th Graves Registration Company, which was responsible for retrieving fallen service members and finding temporary resting place for Americans, allies, and even enemies as the battles of World War II unfolded.Ciampa shares why he got sent to Europe sooner than he expected, takes into the work of identifying and caring for the fallen, and what it was like to serve in the midst of the invasion of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge.Don't miss this engaging visit with World War II veteran George Ciampa, who still shares his story with students about how he personally witnessed "the high price of freedom."
7/8/202042 minutes, 11 seconds
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SFC Ramon Padilla, U.S. Army, Iraq & Afghanistan

SFC Ramon Padilla served in both Iraq and Afghanistan while in the U.S. Army and his service in Afghanistan would change his life forever.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Padilla explains what combat was like for him in both theaters. He also recounts the attack that resulted in severe injury, the grueling surgeries and recovery that followed, his battle with post-traumatic stress, and how he emerged from all of that with an even greater desire to serve and raise a new generation of leaders.Don't miss this inspiring conversation with SFC Padilla.
7/1/202037 minutes, 9 seconds
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Lt. Col. James Harvey III, Tuskegee, WWII, Korea, Top Gun

James Harvey III tried to enlist in the U.S. Army Air Corps in January 1943 but was told they didn't any more people. He knew it was because of the color of his skin. A few months later, Harvey was drafted and embarked on a remarkable, trailblazing career.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Lt. Col. Harvey describes training at Tuskegee, winning the inaugural Top Gun competition in 1949, becoming the first African-American to pilot a jet, his stellar performance on 126 missions during the Korean War, and much more.Despite a service record of excellence, Harvey still faced discrimination in the service and again in the private sector following his retirement from the U.S. Air Force in 1965. And Harvey shares the positive mindset that always kept him going.Don't miss this lively interview with Lt. Col. James Harvey III, USAF (Ret.)
6/24/202032 minutes, 54 seconds
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Theodore Below, USMC, WWII, Iwo Jima

U.S. Marine Corps veteran Theodore "Ted" Below came ashore in the first wave on Iwo Jima, where a brutal fight against the entrenched Japanese would unfold for weeks to come.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Below describes getting pinned down on the beach and eventually getting off of it, his demolition work to destroy the elaborate cave system built by the Japanese on the island, and his reaction at the time to the flag raising on Mt. Suribachi.Don't miss this conversation with U.S. Marine Corps veteran Theodore Below, as he describes his service on Iwo Jima 75 years after the battle.
6/17/202019 minutes, 41 seconds
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Lt. Jason Redman, U.S. Navy SEAL, How to 'Overcome'

Jason Redman is back on "Veterans Chronicles." Jason has a very powerful story of service, sacrifice, and overcoming adversity. He was severely injured in the arm and face in Iraq and endured more than forty surgeries and twenty skin grafts. But his positive attitude and his refusal to let his condition be a source of pity inspired many other wounded warriors and millions of Americans across the country.In this interview, Redman recounts in detail the SEAL operation and enemy ambush that nearly took his life. He shares how his mindset on the battlefield, in the hospital, and beyond facilitated his remarkable recovery and can help anyone survive and thrive during life's most difficult moments. Jason is the author of the new book "Overcome: Crush Adversity with the Leadership Techniques of America's Toughest Warriors."
6/10/202042 minutes, 21 seconds
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Gen. H.R. McMaster, U.S. Army, Gulf War, Iraq War

U.S. Army Gen. H.R. McMaster (Ret.) reflects upon his 34 years in service to our country - from West Point to war zones to the White House.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Gen. McMaster walks us step by step through the Battle of 73 Easting, a decisive Gulf War tank battle that helped to end the ground campaign against Iraq within 100 hours.McMaster also explains how he came to write "Dereliction of Duty," a scathing critique of President Lyndon Johnson and his administration for their conduct during the Vietnam War and the lessons he learned from their example.He also details his role in helping to turn the tide of the Iraq War by building better relationships with the local population. And he describes his service as national security adviser to President Trump.Listen now!
6/3/202038 minutes, 28 seconds
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Col. Martha McSally, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Senator

Martha McSally blazed significant trails in the U.S. Air Force, becoming the first female fighter pilot in combat and the first woman to command a fighter squadron, which she considers the greatest honor of her life.But when McSally entered the U.S. Air Force Academy, female fighter pilots were not permitted. In this conversation with Greg Corombos, McSally describes the determination it took to pursue her dream until it was realized. Those principles and others are described in her new book "Dare to Fly: Simple Lessons in Never Giving Up."In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," McSally describes why she chose to fly A-10's, what it was like patrolling no-fly zones over Iraq, and the close combat her crew provided for ground forces in Afghanistan.McSally also takes us through her high profile fight to end the policy requiring American servicewomen to wear the hijab and abaya worn by Saudi women when they ventured off base. And she take us inside her effort to improve how the military responds to allegations of sexual assault.Finally, McSally tells us how her military career prepared her for public service as a congresswoman and now a U.S. senator from Arizona.
5/27/202041 minutes, 35 seconds
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Louis Graziano, U.S. Army, World War II

Louis Graziano was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1943 and promised his father that Italian dictator Benito Mussolini would be vanquished. His promises came true.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Graziano takes us with him as he describes coming ashore in the third wave at Omaha Beach on D-Day, nearly losing his feet due to frostbite at the Battle of the Bulge, his conversations with Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, and witnessing the the German surrender to the Allies in May 1945.Don't miss this compelling interview with World War II veteran Louis Graziano.
5/20/202031 minutes, 19 seconds
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Col. Vern Pike, U.S. Army, Berlin Wall, Vietnam

Vern Pike was commissioned as a U.S. Army officer upon graduation from Wake Forest University. Soon he had a front row seat to and a role to play in the growing tensions of the Cold War.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Col. Pike describes his duties in the American sector of West Berlin, Germany. Pike shares how he discovered the early stages of the Berlin Wall, take us inside the assignment that could have led to the start of World War III, and shares the story of a high-profile but top secret prisoner exchange on the fabled "bridge of spies."Pike also served two tours in Vietnam. In this discussion, he describes his assignments and his moment of fame when the legendary Bob Hope came to entertain the troops.Don't miss our fascinating conversation with retired U.S. Army Col. Vern Pike.
5/13/202028 minutes, 24 seconds
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Rondo Scharfe, U.S. Navy, WWII, Iwo Jima & Okinawa

When you hear the lengths Ron "Rondo" Scharfe went to in order to join the U.S. Navy long before he was 18, you'll quickly understand his commitment to service. At just 16-years old, Scharfe served as a Higgins Boat coxswain at Iwo Jima. He details the serious injury he suffered on his very first effort to bring Marines ashore in the early moments of that bloody battle in February 1945. Yet somehow he was back on the beach just two days later.Scharfe describes witnessing the flag raising on Mt. Suribachi and his service weeks later in the brutal Battle of Okinawa.Still young at heart, Scharfe shares his story of service with an engaging, plainspoken wit. Listen now.
5/6/202019 minutes, 48 seconds
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John Hancock, U.S. Navy, World War II

John Hancock grew up in Georgia shooting quail, so becoming a gunner aboard the USS Yorktown in World War II came pretty naturally to him. In 1942, Hancock served in the first carrier battle in world history and later that year fought at the pivotal Battle of Midway, although he was forced to abandon ship as the Japanese sunk the Yorktown.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Hancock describes what combat was like for him, shares his memories of Midway, and walks us through his service at Leyte. He also tells us about transitioning from naval gunner to fighter pilot and targeting Japanese kamikaze planes.
4/29/202034 minutes, 14 seconds
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Introducing Veterans Chronicles

Join us each week for Veterans Chronicles and hear first-hand from the men and women who answered their nation's call to serve - from World War II to the front lines today. We invite you to listen to this brief preview of Veterans Chronicles. In less than two minutes, you'll understand the incredible sacrifice of our veterans and our mission to preserve their stories of service for future generations.Subscribe to Veterans Chronicles at Apple, iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts.
4/27/20201 minute, 27 seconds
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Col. Joe Rodgers, USMC, World War II, Iwo Jima

Born in Alabama, Joe Rodgers lied about his age to join the U.S. Marine Corps in the weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Training for most of 1942, Rodgers first saw combat at Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands in 1943. Later, he fought at Saipan and Iwo Jima.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Col. Rodgers describes his first combat experience and takes us into the Battle of Iwo Jima in great detail. He describes being pinned down on the beach, being a runner in a deadly area, the brotherhood among Marines, and both the stubborn resistance and the greatest weakness of Japanese soldiers.Don't miss this engaging oral history from USMC veteran Joe Rodgers.
4/22/202035 minutes, 25 seconds
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Felix Rodriguez, U.S. Army, Vietnam, Capture of Che Guevara

Born in Cuba, Felix Rodriguez was a student in the U.S. when the Castro revolution unfolded in Cuba. Determined to do whatever he could to oust the Castro regime, Rodriguez joined the Bay of Pigs operation that launched and failed 59 years ago this week.In this extensive interview, Rodriguez details what went wrong in the Bay of Pigs campaign and takes us step by step through his role in capturing and interrogating murderous Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara in 1967. He also shares his harrowing service in Vietnam.Don't miss this front-row seat to history with U.S. Army veteran Felix Rodriguez.
4/15/202047 minutes, 48 seconds
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CDR Dean "Diz" Laird, U.S. Navy, World War II, Korea, Vietnam

Retired U.S. Navy CDR Dean "Diz" Laird served in three wars and is the only American aviator to record aerial kills on both the European and Pacific theaters of World War II.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," CDR Laird discusses his service in World War II and takes us moment by moment through his taking down of a German bomber and another plane.
4/8/202035 minutes, 26 seconds
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Bill Norberg, U.S. Navy, World War II, Battle of Midway

Bill Norberg joined the U.S. Navy prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and his service on the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise placed him at some of the most critical engagements in the Pacific theater.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles, Norberg explains what it was like to watch the Doolittle Raid take off from the sister ship USS Hornet. He also walks us through the pivotal Battle of Midway, which permanently turned the tide in the war against Japan.Norberg also describes operations from Guadalcanal to Okinawa, his role on the bridge of the ship, the threat posed by kamikaze pilots, and why he feels so honored to have served aboard the Enterprise.
4/1/202031 minutes, 57 seconds
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Marcella LeBeau, U.S. Army Nurse, World War II

Marcella LeBeau grew up in a Native American community in South Dakota. Helping her ailing mother as a child inspired her to pursue a career in nursing. After joining the U.S. Army, LeBeau served in the European theater in World War II.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Marcella LeBeau shares her story of service from the D-Day landings at Normandy to the Battle of the Bulge. She describes sheltering from German bombs, caring for the wounded, and the powerful reunion she had with one soldier decades later.But LeBeau also describes returning home from her honorable service only to see signs back home that read "No Indians or dogs allowed."Don't miss the incredible oral history of 100-year-old Marcella LeBeau.
3/25/202037 minutes, 33 seconds
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Amber Smith, U.S. Army Combat Helicopter Pilot, Iraq & Afghanistan

Amber Smith grew up in a family steeped in military service and experienced in flying. So after high school, Smith joined the U.S. Army and trained to become a Kiowa combat helicopter pilot.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Smith details what's it's like to fly a helicopter and the challenges of doing while taking fire in close support of American ground forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.Smith walks us through adjusting to military life, the difficulties of urban combat in Iraq, and dealing with a more determined enemy at high altitudes in Afghanistan.Also the author of "Danger Close," which chronicles her time in uniform and in theater, Smith gives us an excellent glimpse into the intense and vital service of our combat helicopter combat pilots.
3/18/202029 minutes, 14 seconds
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RDML Robert Shumaker, U.S. Navy, Vietnam, POW

In early 1965, U.S. Naval Aviator Robert Shumaker was deployed to Vietnam. He said goodbye to his wife and newborn son, never imagining he wouldn't see them for another eight years.In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," retired RDML Shumaker shares the gripping details of being shot down and badly injuring his back as he parachuted to the ground. He also describes how he dubbed Hoa Lo Prison the "Hanoi Hilton" and how he and other prisoners developed the tap code that allowed them to communicate right under the noses of their captors.Shumaker also shares how he survived excruciating torture and more than three years in solitary confinement. And, of course, he tells us what it was like to taste freedom after eight years in captivity.But there's even more to his story. Shumaker also walks us through the harrowing mission in the Mediterranean that almost took his life years before Vietnam and how he was chosen to be an astronaut before losing that opportunity in the unlikeliest of circumstances.Don't miss the incredible story of RDML Robert Shumaker as visits with Greg Corombos.
3/11/202048 minutes, 21 seconds
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Lt. Col. Harry Stewart, U.S. Air Force, Tuskegee Airman

Harry Stewart grew up with a love of flying and dreamed of becoming an airline pilot one day. But shortly after graduating high school, with the nation at war, Stewart found himself in in the U.S. Army Air Corps.The military needed skilled pilots but would not let black and white personnel train or serve together. Stewart was sent to Tuskegee, Alabama, where he and other black pilots and crew members prepared to serve as fighter pilot escorts for American bombers over Europe.In this interview with the American Veterans Center's Greg Corombos, Col. Stewart describes the training, what it was like to experience combat in the air, and the day he was credited with shooting down three German planes.Stewart also takes us into the historic performance of his team at the Top Gun competition after the war, the racism he faced in returning to civilian life, and the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen in transforming American society.
3/5/202022 minutes, 26 seconds
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Woody Williams, USMC, World War II, Medal of Honor

When he first tried to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps, Hershel "Woody" Williams was rejected for being too short. By the end of the war, Williams was honored for playing a critical role in helping U.S. forces win the costly battle on Iwo Jima in February 1945.In this episode of "Veterans Chronicles," Williams shares his story of wanting to join the war effort while thinking he'd never be sent overseas. He explains how he became a flamethrower operator and what he did on Iwo Jima that was later recognized with the Medal of Honor.As we mark 75 years since that critical battle, listen in as Woody Williams shares his story of service with Greg Corombos of the American Veterans Center.
2/26/202043 minutes, 40 seconds
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Lt. Col. George Hardy, U.S. Air Force, Tuskegee Airman, World War II, Korea, Vietnam

When he joined the military, George Hardy and the other Tuskegee Airmen were not considered worthy of training and living among white service members. Despite that discrimination, Hardy and his fellow Tuskegee alumni distinguished themselves in the skies over Europe in World War II.In this episode of "Veterans Chronicles," Hardy tells us what it was like to be part of that trailblazing unit. He also describes the integration of the Air Force and how he saw attitudes of those around him change over time. Hardy also explains how he views the reverence for the Tuskegee Airmen today and why he feels compelled to share the Tuskegee story as much as possible.
2/20/202026 minutes, 52 seconds
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LCDR Jack Carr, U.S. Navy SEAL, Afghanistan & Iraq

Growing up, Jack Carr had dreams of being a U.S. Navy SEAL and writing novels about the U.S. military. He's now successfully done both.In this episode of "Veterans Chronicles," Carr describes the difficulty of BUD/S training to become a SEAL and the mindset he used to get past any urges to quit. He describes his work boarding Iraqi ships off the coast of Iran, and his work as a sniper in the war zones.Carr also explains how he weaves his military experience into his novels, the lessons he still thinks the military needs to learn from our recent wars, and what it was like to go back to SEAL training at the end of his career - this time leading daily operations of the training.
2/13/202034 minutes, 9 seconds
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Gen. Charles McGee, U.S. Air Force, World War II, Korea, Vietnam

You saw him at the Super Bowl. You saw him at the State of the Union address. Now hear the amazing story of service to our nation from retired U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Charles McGee, one of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen.McGee joined the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. At the time, however, McGee and the other black pilots were deemed unworthy to be in units with their white counterparts.McGee details the outstanding service record of Tuskegee pilots in World War II, the discrimination they faced upon returning home, the desegregation of the U.S. Armed Forces in 1947 and his service in Korea and Vietnam.McGee piloted more than 400 total combat missions and served more than 30 years in uniform. Perhaps even more impressive is his complete lack of bitterness in response to the ugly discrimination he faced.This interview between McGee and the AVC's Greg Corombos was conducted in February 2019, when McGee was 99 years old. Shortly after turning 100 on Dec. 7, 2019, Col. McGee was promoted to Brigadier General by President Trump.
2/6/202050 minutes, 58 seconds
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Joseph Norcom, U.S. Army Air Corps, World War II

Joseph Norcom served as a waist gunner on 23 U.S. Army Air Corps bombing missions over Europe, primarily on B-17 bombers.In this interview with Greg Corombos, Norcom describes a typical mission as well as numerous harrowing missions during the final months of World War II in Europe. He also describes the camaraderie, the professionalism, and, yes, the hijinks of the crew members.
1/30/202023 minutes, 21 seconds
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Charles Burgess King, U.S. Army, Iraq

Raised amid the turmoil and danger of a civil war in Liberia, Charles Burgess King came to the U.S. as a child. Upon graduation from high school, he went to college as a benefit of joining the U.S. Army National Guard.Just days into his first semester, King's unit was called to active duty and eventually deployed in Iraq. Working in administration, King was part of efforts to drastically improve the hygiene for U.S. forces there and also came up with the idea of secure rest stops for troops on convoy in Iraq.After returning home, King graduated college courtesy of the GI Bill but found the cost of graduate school prohibitive. So he founded the Veterans Higher Education Corporation.In this podcast, King shares his story of growing up in civil war, serving the U.S. in Iraq, and how he's committed to making sure veterans can afford all the education they need.
1/23/202039 minutes, 43 seconds
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Tom Rice, U.S. Army Airborne, D-Day World War II

The first Americans to set foot in Europe on D-Day in June 1944 were the paratroopers, including the Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne Division.California native Tom Rice was the first man from the 101st to jump out of his plane into the pitch black night over the Normandy coast.In this edition of Veterans Chronicles, Rice tells host Greg Corombos about the difficulties of getting out of the plane, trying to find the rest of his unit scattered across the French countryside, and fighting his way out of Normandy.Rice also shares his experiences from the unsuccessful airborne attempt to cross the Rhine in September 1944 known as Operation Market Garden. He also details fighting and getting injured at the Battle of the Bulge and what he felt when the war in Europe came to an end.Finally, Rice tells why he decided to re-enact his jump into Normandy again in 2019 at 97-years-old for the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
1/16/202045 minutes, 37 seconds
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Bill Van Scoyoc, World Trade Center, 9/11

Rick Rescorla served as a British paratrooper but after coming to the United States he joined the U.S. Army, and was a veteran of Vietnam. His heroism at the battle of Ia Drang is immortalized in "We Were Soldiers Once...And young." Rescorla served 27 years in service to our nation, retiring in 1990. After the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Rescorla took on a security leadership role for Morgan Stanley, the largest tenant in the World Trade Center.Rescorla trained the tenants of the skyscrapers how to respond in an emergency and on September 11, 2001, his efforts paid off. An evacuation that took two hours back in 1993, took less than 12 minutes on 9/11. Thousands of lives were saved. Rescorla was not among them as he stayed inside until everyone else got out.In this podcast, Rescorla's Morgan Stanley colleague Bill Van Scoyoc discusses the legacy of Rick Rescorla and walks us moment by moment through the harrowing events of 9/11.
1/9/202033 minutes, 33 seconds
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Lt. Jason Redman, US Navy SEAL (Ret.), Afghanistan & Iraq

Lt. Jason Redman spent eight years as an enlisted U.S. Navy SEAL, and was commissioned as a SEAL Officer in 2004. He completed combat deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2007, outside of Fallujah, Iraq, Lt. Redman's Assault Team came under heavy fire and he was severely wounded. While recovering at Bethesda Medical Center, Redman authored a bright orange sign on his door, which became a statement and symbol for wounded warriors everywhere. He is the recipient of the Bronze Star with Valor, the Purple Heart, and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, among other awards.
1/2/202033 minutes, 21 seconds
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Daniel Durso, U.S. Army, WWII

Daniel Durso served in the U.S. Army during WWII in a Tank Battalion. He served in the European Theater and recounts his experiences fighting with his fellow soldiers and defeating the Nazis. Greg Corombos conducts the interview with Daniel.
12/26/201940 minutes, 7 seconds
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Capt. Kevin Rosenblum, U.S. Army, Iraq War

U.S. Amy veteran Kevin Rosenblum shares his story of joining the ROTC program in college, never thinking he would end up in combat. A short time later, the 9/11 attacks changed everything.Kevin describes his preparation for war and the most intense moments of combat while in theater. He also details his struggles with post-traumatic stress, what helped him deal with it, and how he got to know President George W. Bush as he recovered.
12/19/201932 minutes, 59 seconds
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Col. Joseph Peterburs, U.S. Air Force, WWII, Korea, Vietnam

Joseph Peterburs was in seminary to be a priest, but the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor changed those plans. After being rejected by the U.S. Navy, Peterburs joined the U.S. Army Air Corps. By late 1944, he was in England and flying P-51's to escort bombing missions over mainland Europe. He flew 49 missions in all, but the last one is the most memorable.In this interview with Greg Corombos, Peterburs talks about his targeting of a German ME-262 that he believed he shot down, how he was then shot down and taken prisoner only to escape and end up fighting alongside troops of one of our allies. He also shares the amazing story about that mission that unfolded decades later.Also a veteran of Korea and Vietnam, Peterburs offers an engaging history of his service in World War II, his harrowing air combat experiences in Korea, and more.
12/12/201939 minutes, 17 seconds
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Lena King, 6888 Central Postal Directory Battalion U.S. Army, World War II

As World War II in Europe unfolded, the U.S. Army encountered a massive backlog of mail for the troops. Officers knew that no mail for meant low morale, so the 6888 Central Postal Directory Battalion was born.This unit of African-American women in the Army was was sent to Birmingham, England, and tasked with organizing a three-year pile of mail in six months. They did it in three months. Then they tackled a similar mess in Rouen, France.Yet, when the women of the 6888 came home, there was no parade and not even a thank you from the U.S. government. But 75 years later, the recognition finally came.Listen in as 96-year-old Lena King, one of the few remaining veterans of the 6888, shares her story of service in World War II and the legacy of this historic unit in military history.
12/5/201929 minutes, 19 seconds
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Gene Kranz, U.S. Air Force, NASA Flight Director

Gene Kranz grew up idolizing World War II pilots like Jimmy Doolittle and the Doolittle Raiders. Kranz later joined the U.S. Air Force, which would prepare him for an historic career at NASA.In this interview with Greg Corombos, Kranz talks about his Air Force work and then shares in great detail what it was like to be on the front lines of history as the flight director for the Gemini and Apollo programs, including the Apollo 11 moon landing and the rescue of Apollo 13.Don't miss this extended conversation with NASA legend Gene Kranz.
11/26/201943 minutes, 26 seconds
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Ray Lambert, U.S. Army Medic, First Wave Omaha Beach

"So I prayed that God would give me the strength to save this man. I wasn't really concerned about asking for my life, but I wanted to save this guy."On June 6, 1944, U.S. Army medic Ray Lambert came ashore in the first wave on Omaha Beach with the 1st Infantry Division, known as "The Big Red One."Lambert describes the carnage on the beach as the Germans hammered the American forces. Lambert was shot multiple times but kept administering aid to the fallen troops.Omaha Beach was his third amphibious landing of the war, following missions in North Africa and Sicily. Listen in as 99-year-old Ray Lambert shares his powerful story of service to our nation.
11/21/201946 minutes, 44 seconds
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Adm. James Stavridis, U.S. Navy, Supreme Allied Commander of NATO

Retired U.S. Navy Admiral James Stavridis shares his story of military service, from his plebe year at Annapolis to Supreme Allied Commander of NATO. In this conversation, Stavridis tells Greg Corombos why he went to the U.S. Naval Academy intending to be an infantry officer but instead pursued surface warfare. He also walks us through the military buildup of the 1980's, his important command assignments in the 1990's and beyond, and his various and vital roles during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, including his critical position at NATO.Stavridis is also the author of "The Leader's Bookshelf," and shares the most important lessons he learned about leadership during his 37 years in service to our nation.
11/14/201942 minutes, 21 seconds
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Kyle Carpenter, U.S. Marine Corps, Afghanistan, Medal of Honor

U.S. Marine Corps veteran Kyle Carpenter deployed to Afghanistan in the summer of 2010. Just before Thanksgiving, he was nearly killed after falling on a Taliban grenade to save his fellow Marines.In our conversation, Kyle describes the terrible events of that day. He also walks us through the amazing "domino of miracles" that kept him alive in the moments following the attack and all the way back to the U.S.Kyle discusses his very lengthy physical recovery and also the mental and emotional challenges he faced along the way. Finally, he tells us what it was like to receive the Medal of Honor and what the recognition means to him.
11/7/201933 minutes, 9 seconds
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Ron Rosser, U.S. Army, Korea, Medal of Honor

U.S. Army veteran Ron Rosser joins us to share the story of his actions in the Korean War that earned him the Medal of Honor.Rosser joined the Army in the final days of World War II and was discharged before the Korean War broke out. But after his younger brother was killed in Korea, Rosser re-enlisted and served as a forward observer during many intense battles.Listen here as Rosser talks about his service, the seemingly impossible orders to take a hill held by the Chinese, and what he did that day to be recognized with the nation's highest award for military valor.
10/31/201929 minutes, 57 seconds
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Dillon Behr, U.S. Army Green Beret, Afghanistan & Iraq

U.S. Army Green Beret Dillon Behr shares his military journey, including the dramatic story if being severely wounded while pursuing an enemy target on the side of a mountain in Afghanistan in 2008. He also describes the excruciating evacuation once the fighting had stopped.Behr tells us why he joined the Army, why he pursued special forces, and what combat was like in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Finally, Behr shares how he decided to give back to other wounded soldiers following his successful rehabilitation.
10/21/201938 minutes, 18 seconds
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Clint Hill, U.S. Army, U.S. Secret Service, Kennedy Assassination

Clint Hill served this nation in the U.S. Army during the 1950's. Then, for nearly twenty years, he served as a U.S. Secret Service agent in five presidential administrations, starting with Dwight Eisenhower and concluding with Gerald Ford.During the Kennedy administration, Hill was assigned to protect First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and was the agent who jumped onto Kennedy's car in the moments following the shooting of JFK in Dallas in 1963.In this conversation, Mr. Hill shares his historic story of military service and the Secret Service with Greg Corombos, walking us moment by moment through the horrors of the Kennedy assassination and the days that followed.
10/10/201932 minutes, 19 seconds
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Paul Roach, U.S. Army, Korean War POW

Paul Roach served in the U.S. Army during World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. While serving in Korea, Roach was held as a prisoner of war.In this 2017 conversation with Greg Corombos, Paul Roach discusses the brutal conditions in the prison camp, the chaplain who inspired the men during their darkest moments, and his many years of service to our nation.
10/3/201931 minutes, 48 seconds
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Mary Jennings Hegar, U.S. Air Force, Afghanistan

U.S. Air Force veteran Mary Jennings Hegar shares her story of serving as a Medevac helicopter pilot in Afghanistan and the harrowing story of her crew needing to be rescued after coming under fire.In this interview with Greg Corombos, Hegar also tells the story of how she was refused an assignment because she was a woman and how she then became a leader in the effort to lift the ban on females serving in ground combat.
9/26/201931 minutes, 49 seconds
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Mike Thornton, U.S. Navy SEAL, Medal of Honor, Vietnam

Retired U.S. Navy SEAL Mike Thornton shares his story of service from the Vietnam War. Thornton tells Greg Corombos about the challenge of SEAL (BUD/S) training and his actions from October 31, 1972, that earned him the Medal of Honor.Hear how Thornton and three others fended off 75 enemy fighters, how he ran across 500 yards of open ground under fire to save a fellow SEAL, and how he swam himself and others to safety after being wounded multiple times. And you'll hear the wonderful reason Thornton was reprimanded for his conduct on the day he received the Medal of Honor.
9/19/201931 minutes, 44 seconds
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Col. Eugene Deatrick, U.S. Air Force, Vietnam

Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Eugene Deatrick, Jr. shares his impressive story of service. Col. Deatrick attended West Point during World War II, served as a test pilot measuring the impact of nuclear blasts, and later commanded the test pilot school at Edwards Air Force Base.In his conversation with Greg Corombos, Col. Deatrick also details the powerful story of helping to rescue an American POW in Vietnam and providing support to relieve an American unit from great peril.
9/13/201936 minutes, 46 seconds
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Kevin Hermening, U.S. Marine Corps, Iran Hostage Crisis

November 4, 2019, will mark 40 years since the beginning of the Iranian hostage crisis. Islamic revolutionaries seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran and held dozens of Americans hostage for the next 444 days. The youngest hostage was 20-year-old U.S Marine embassy guard Kevin Hermening.Kevin shares his powerful story of capture, survival, and freedom with Greg Corombos.
9/6/201933 minutes, 40 seconds
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Daniel Durso, U.S. Army WWII Veteran

Daniel Durso served in the U.S. Army during WWII in a Tank Battalion. He served in the European Theater and recounts his experiences fighting with his fellow soldiers and defeating the Nazis. Greg Corombos conducts the interview with Daniel.
8/7/201940 minutes, 7 seconds
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Amelia Cunningham, U.S. Air Force Veteran

Amelia Cunningham was one of the few black women to enlist in the U.S. Air Force in 1954. Still sharp and spunky at 85 years young, Ms. Cunningham reflects on her service, and a recent Honor Flight trip she made to Washington, DC.
7/30/201933 minutes, 7 seconds
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David Lucier, Vietnam Veteran

David Lucier served in the Vietnam War as a Green Beret. Upon returning home, he experienced Post-Traumatic Stress, and had difficulty transitioning out of his military life. He eventually sought the care he needed and is an advocate for veterans coping with mental health challenges.
7/16/201936 minutes, 23 seconds
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Wade Spann, Iraq Veteran

Wade Spann is a Marine Corps veteran who served three tours in Iraq. He was in boot camp on September 11, 2001, and was among the first US Marines in Iraq. Following his service, he has become active in helping his fellow veterans find the support and resources they need while transitioning back into civilian life.
7/9/20191 hour, 8 minutes, 56 seconds
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Marc Yablonka: Vietnam Bao Chi

Marc Yablonka is a military journalist and author. He has written for Stars and Stripes, Soldier of Fortune, Army Times, and previously worked for ABC and Reuters. He also served as a Public Affairs Officer with the U.S. Army's 40th Infantry Division Support Brigade. This conversation focuses on his book 'Vietnam Bao Chi: Warriors of Word and Film,' which brings together interviews with 35 combat correspondents who reported on the war in Vietnam.
7/2/201938 minutes, 43 seconds
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Lt. Colonel Robert Friend, Tuskegee Airman

A veteran of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen, Lt. Colonel Robert Friend flew 142 combat missions with the famed unit and served as wingman to the unit's leader, the first African American general in the Air Force, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. Lt. Col. Friend passed away on June 21, 2019 at age 99. We are honored to have had the opportunity to record his story, and we will remember his incredible legacy.
6/25/201931 minutes, 34 seconds
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Lauran Glover, Fmr. US Army Drill Team CDR

Captain Lauran Glover made history in 2014 as the first female commander of the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) Drill Team. Captain Glover reflects on her service, including a tour at Guantanamo Bay and as Platoon Leader for the Old Guard's 289th Military Police (M.P.) Company. Since her time as Drill Team Commander, Capt. Glover has begun a doctoral program in clinical psychology.
6/18/201936 minutes, 36 seconds
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PFC Deloris Ruddock, The Six Triple Eight

PFC Deloris Ruddock enlisted in the Women's Army Corps in October 1943 in Washington, DC. She would be assigned to the history-making 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, the first and only all-female African American unit deployed overseas during WWII. They were sent to Birmingham, England and Rouen, France to sort through the two year logjam of mail to send to American troops overseas.
6/11/201935 minutes, 16 seconds
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Lt. Col. James Harvey III

Lt. Colonel James Harvey III served as a pilot with the 332nd Fighter Group, better known as the famed Tuskegee Airmen. In 1949 he flew on the team that won the military's first "Top Gun" contest in 1949. He was the first African American jet fighter pilot to fly in the Korean War, and is the recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross.
6/4/201935 minutes, 34 seconds
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Lt. Jason Redman, US Navy SEAL (Ret.)

Lt. Jason Redman spent eight years as an enlisted U.S. Navy SEAL, and was commissioned as a SEAL Officer in 2004. He completed combat deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2007, outside of Fallujah, Iraq, Lt. Redman's Assault Team came under heavy fire and he was severely wounded. While recovering at Bethesda Medical Center, Redman authored a bright orange sign on his door, which became a statement and symbol for wounded warriors everywhere. He is the recipient of the Bronze Star with Valor, the Purple Heart, and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, among other awards.
5/28/201933 minutes, 28 seconds
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Tom Cotton: Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Old Guard

U.S. Senator of Arkansas Tom Cotton discusses his distinguished service in the U.S. Army. Cotton served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, is a recipient of the Bronze Star, and served with the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment, known as the Old Guard. The unit conducts funerals for soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery, and is the topic of Cotton’s new book Sacred Duty: A Soldier’s Tour at Arlington National Cemetery.
5/21/201945 minutes, 13 seconds
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Arnold Taylor, Military Policeman, WWII

Arnold Taylor served in the U.S. Army's 99th Infantry Division as a Military Policeman during World War II. Taylor served in Europe with the unit as it advanced into Germany, and witnessed the terrible impact of war on the German people. The horrors of war shaped Arnold Taylor into a man of peace, and when he returned home he devoted his life to helping others.Arnold Taylor was a good friend of the AVC's, participating in the National Memorial Day Parade for the past fifteen years. This interview was recorded with him in 2014. Last month, he passed away. Please take a moment to watch his story, and to share with family and friends. We will always remember you, sir.
5/14/201935 minutes, 16 seconds
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Colonel Anthony Wood: The Fall of Saigon

During his second tour in Vietnam, Colonel Anthony Wood was tasked with planning and executing the evacuation of Saigon, the capital city of South Vietnam. When the city fell to the NVA on April 30, 1975, Col. Wood worked with about 100 American civilian volunteers who assumed great risk in helping Vietnamese citizens flee from the collapsing city.
4/30/201934 minutes, 15 seconds
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America Strikes Back: The Doolittle Raid

On April 18, 1942, the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders left a legacy by boosting American morale after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The story of the Doolittle Raiders is one of extraordinary valor and serves an example of the courage and selflessness presented by veterans of the Greatest Generation. As we mourn the passing of Lt. Colonel Richard E. Cole - the last surviving Doolittle Raider - and honor the 77th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid this week, we're sharing a special documentary program telling the story of Jimmy Doolittle's legendary raid on Japan. Featuring Doolittle and his raiders telling their stories, in their own words.
4/16/20191 hour, 19 minutes, 22 seconds
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Miki Nguyen: A Family's Escape from Saigon

Miki Nguyen is the son of Ba Nguyen, a South Vietnamese Air Force helicopter pilot who demonstrated incredible heroism on April 29, 1975. As Saigon fell to North Vietnamese forces, Ba Nguyen commandeered a massive Chinook CH-47, loaded up with his family and friends, and embarked on a daring mission to escape to refuge. Miki was just six years old, but the dramatic event has stayed with him many years later.
4/2/201942 minutes, 6 seconds
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Jim "Pee Wee" Martin, 101st Airborne Division on D-Day

PFC James “Pee Wee” Martin, veteran of G Company, 101st Airborne Division, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, saw some of the greatest action of the European theater throughout World War II. PFC Martin participated in the June 6, 1944 invasion of Normandy, parachuting into the town of St. Come du Mont, and taking part in the fight to liberate France. Martin and his comrades held the Belgian town of Bastogne as part of the larger Battle of the Bulge – a vital objective in preventing the German troops from recapturing Antwerp. Martin reflects on his experience 75 years after he served in the war.
3/19/201936 minutes, 36 seconds
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Col. Charles McGee, Tuskegee Airman

Colonel Charles McGee's distinguished flying career has seen three wars and witnessed critical moments in American history. A veteran of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen, Col. McGee flew missions with the famed Red Tails during World War II. He is the recipient of three Distinguished Flying Crosses, and would go on to set an Air Force record of 409 combat missions flown during WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.
3/5/201957 minutes, 19 seconds
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George Mendonsa & Greta Friedman: VJ Day in Times Square

Many know the photo, few know the story. The famed photo "VJ Day in Times Square" and its key figures - US Navy sailor George Mendonsa, and dental assistant Greta Friedman - share their stories recalling that infamous day, August 14, 1945. They recount their experiences during the Second World War, and upon learning they were featured in one of the most iconic photos of the twentieth century. These interviews were recorded in 2014. Greta Friedman passed away on September 8, 2016, and George Mendonsa passed away on February 17, 2019. May they both rest peacefully.
2/19/201935 minutes, 16 seconds
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Bill Lord, Vietnam Veteran

Bill Lord was a young draftee at the height of the Vietnam War. He served in Vietnam as an infantry sergeant carrying a radio in the U.S. Army's Charlie Company, 4th/47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. Later in his career he served as television news executive and general manager of WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C. His book "50 Years After Vietnam" is available here: https://www.amazon.com/50-Years-After-Vietnam-Fighting-ebook/dp/B07H8R6G14. Learn more about the American Veterans Center: http://www.americanveteranscenter.org/
1/7/201936 minutes, 27 seconds
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Harold Brown, Combat Pilot of the Tuskegee Airmen

A veteran of the Tuskegee Airmen, Lt. Colonel Harold Brown is a combat pilot of 30 missions, shot down over enemy territory on March 14, 1945.
12/21/201830 minutes, 20 seconds
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Lt. Jim Downing, USS West Virginia at Pearl Harbor

Lieutenant Jim Downing was aboard USS West Virginia when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Here he shares his incredible story of survival - including a mission he took on to ensure his fallen comrades would not be forgotten.
12/7/201843 minutes, 24 seconds
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Captain William Reynolds

U.S. Army Captain William Reynolds' life was forever changed on November 7, 2004, while on a dismounted patrol in Southwest Baghdad. After an IED was remote detonated, the explosion left his arm and left leg seriously wounded. Years later, he would serve as Captain to the U.S. contingent at the 2016 Invictus Games. Guest host Senior Chief Beck talks with Captain Reynolds about his remarkable journey.
12/3/201843 minutes, 57 seconds
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Dave Yoho

Dave Yoho served in the U.S. Maritime served during World War II when he was just 15 years old. Too young to serve, he lied about his age, eager to join the fight. He would serve on a T2 Tanker ship in the South Pacific, profoundly impacted by his experience.
8/3/201842 minutes, 26 seconds
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Gareth Hugh "Cy" Tanner

Gareth Hugh "Cy" Tanner was as stationed in Bassingbourne, England from July 1944 to January 1945. He turned 19 just days after arriving in England. Tanner flew 35 bombing missions on B-17s as a waist gunner, primarily over Germany, with the 8th Air Force, 91st Bomb Group, 324th Squadron. He kept a small diary with a flight log of each mission. In this episode, Tanner reflects on how his service impacted his life, and how the Second World War transformed his generation and the world.
7/5/201836 minutes, 53 seconds
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Colonel Frank Cohn

Colonel Frank Cohn was born in Breslau, Germany in 1925. Cohn's father owned a store which was boycotted by the Nazis since the family was Jewish. He and his family managed to escape to the United States on October 30, 1938 -- just over one week before Kristallnacht. In 1943, Cohn was drafted into the US Army, where he served in an Intelligence unit.
6/22/201836 minutes, 11 seconds
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Katelyn Van Dam

A graduate of the United States Naval Academy and a veteran of the US Marine Corps, Major Katelyn Van Dam served in Operation Enduring Freedom as an attack helicopter pilot. Major Van Dam conducted combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, and later conducted anti-pirate operations in the horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden. She served more than ten years on active duty. 
5/15/201836 minutes, 51 seconds
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Tom Satterly

A 25-year highly decorated U.S. Army veteran, Tom Satterly was portrayed in the 2001 film Black Hawk Down along with his teammates. He served in the elite Delta Force, witnessing intense combat at the Battle of Mogadishu and later in the Iraq war. After coping with PTS and other personal struggles following his time in combat, Tom and his wife Jen have started the All Secure Foundation, which provides resources for treatment to retired Special Operation veterans and their families. 
4/6/201844 minutes, 21 seconds
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Mark Heathco

Mark Heathco is a retired military veteran who spent ten years inside the demilitarized zone (DMZ) of South Korea. During that time he pulled 385 missions, including a dangerous one in August of 1985. He discusses his harrowing experiences in his memoir, Call Sign Purple Three: Patrolling the US Sector of the Korean DMZ. 
3/5/201836 minutes, 22 seconds
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Captain Jerry Yellin

Captain Jerry Yellin has the unique distinction of flying the first and last combat missions over Japan during the Second World War. He spent the majority of the war with the 78th Fighter Squadron, flying the P-40, P-47, and P-51. Captain Yellin passed away on December 21, 2017. This video is in memoriam to help ensure his legacy lives on. 
1/30/201836 minutes, 49 seconds
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Ryan Pitts

A veteran of Afghanistan, Staff Sergeant Ryan Pitts talks about his service and sacrifice during his tours, and specifically during the Battle of Wanat. His acts of valor during the battle would earn him the Medal of Honor. Here he reflects on his experience, those he served beside, and the impact of his service on his life. 
1/4/201836 minutes, 44 seconds
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Andrew Carroll

In honor of the centennial of America's entrance into World War I - April 6, 2017 - noted author and historian Andrew Carroll discusses his latest book, My Fellow Soldiers: General John Pershing and the Americans Who Helped Win the Great War. The book portarys an intimate portrait of the General, who led the American Expeditionary Forces during the First World War. Using many letters and diares, Carroll pays a touching tribute to General Pershing and the many Americans who fought during the Great War.  
4/6/201735 minutes, 57 seconds
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Lt. Colonel Alfred Shehab

World War II veteran Lt. Col. Alfred Shehab saw action during the Battle of the Bulge ? Hitler?s month-long final offensive on the Western front. LTC Shehab was assigned to the 38th Cavalry Squadron, a reconnaissance unit tasked with patrolling the forests of the Ardennes region when the battle broke out on December 16, 1944.
3/6/201736 minutes, 23 seconds
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Dr. Sudip Bose

Dr. Sudip Bose served in the U.S. Army for 12 years. A veteran of Iraq, Dr. Bose was tasked with caring for Saddam Hussein after his capture. He was awarded the Bronze Star for serving one of the longest tours in combat by a physician since the Second World War.
1/27/201742 minutes, 49 seconds
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John Weston, 758th Tank Battalion

World War II veteran John Weston joined the U.S. Army in 1941 as part of the 758th Tank Battalion. The 758th was the first all African-American armored unit in U.S. history. Weston reflects on his service and its influence upon his life.In November 2015, AVC had the honor of conducting this interview with Weston at the annual Veterans Day Conference. Two months later, on December 29, 2015, John S. Weston passed away. This film was made in his honor, as well as all veterans of the history-making 758th Tank Battalion.
12/19/201637 minutes, 23 seconds
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Emanuel "Manny" Mandel

Emanuel "Manny" Mandel was born in Riga, Latvia in 1936, shortly before Europe was engulfed in war. His family then moved to Budapest, which was an important Jewish center in Europe, where his father was a cantor. As the years progressed, Europe was becoming more dangerous for Jewish families. In 1944, Manny and his family were among a group of Jews who Adolf Eichmann traded for Allied material. Manny and his family were deported to Bergen-Belsen concentration Camp. Here Manny shares his story of survival throughout the Holocaust, and his journey of understanding the tragedy of the event, as he was a young boy at the time.
6/17/201642 minutes, 50 seconds
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Jim Leavelle

On December 7, 1941, Jim Leavelle was aboard the USS Whitney when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Twenty-two years later, he would witness history once again as a homicide detective for the Dallas Police Department when President Kennedy was assassinated. Leavelle interrogated Lee Harvey Oswald, Kennedy?s alleged assassin, and is known as ?the man in the tan suit? in the famed photo of Oswald?s assassination at the hands of Jack Ruby. It's not common to personally witness two major events throughout American history, as Leavelle has, and his story is surely unique.
4/13/201636 minutes
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Ned and Needa Thomas

Ned Thomas, World War II veteran of the Army Air Force discusses his experience as a "Hump Pilot" flying over the Himalayas to supply materials to the Nationalist Chinese forces fighting the Japanese. He is joined by his daughter Nedda Thomas, author of "Hump Pilot: Defying Death Flying the Himalayas During World War II."
9/8/201536 minutes, 39 seconds
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Captain Jason Pak

Captain Jason Pak graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2011, proceeding to both Airborne and Ranger schools. In October 2012 he was deployed to Panjwai, Afghanistan as a Company Fire Support Officer, where he was eventually promoted to First Lieutenant. On December 12, 2012, he was seriously wounded by an IED while leading a patrol on foot, losing both of his legs and two fingers. His great courage on and off the battlefield has proved to be an inspiration to many.
4/23/201536 minutes, 50 seconds
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Captain William Peacock

World War II veteran William Peacock recounts his experience as a charter member of LST 357. Peacock managed much of the navigational charts aboard the ship, and took part in many Naval missions back and forth from Bizerte, North Africa to Salerno in Southern Italy.
3/27/201549 minutes, 17 seconds
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Lt. Col. Bill Johnson, Ohio Congressman

Lt. Col. Bill Johnson entered the U.S. Air Force in 1973 after graduating from high school. LTC Johnson would eventually become a software engineer for the Air Force, working with much of the communicating and computing technology of the nation's military. He talks about his time in the service and the impact it had on his career, which would lead him to start his own businesses. He his now Congressman of Ohio, representing the sixth district.
3/25/201537 minutes, 24 seconds
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Ernest Hueter

Ernest Hueter, veteran of World War II, saw some of the greatest action in the South Pacific, was once assigned to General MacArthur's staff, and was present when Gen. MacArthur made his return to the Philippine Islands. He talks about he inspiration for joining the service, and how his combat experience shaped his life.
3/12/201543 minutes, 5 seconds
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Sir Martin Gilbert

This episode of Veterans Chronicles features an old show "Reminiscences" hosted by Stephen Halpert, during which he has a conversation with Sir Martin Gilbert. Martin Gilbert was an esteemed British historian and the official biographer of Winston Churchill. Gilbert was the author of over eighty books, covering topics including world history, Jewish history, and the Holocaust. On February 3, 2015, Sir Martin Gilbert passed away at age 78. This episode re-aired in memoriam.
2/16/201542 minutes, 47 seconds
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Dr. J. Phillip London

Dr. J. Phillip "Jack" London is known for his contribution to the success of CACI International, one of the world's leading organizations working to fuse information technology with defense and security. Prior to his career with CACI, Dr. London served in the U.S. Navy, witnessing crucial moments of the Cold War and retiring as a Captain. He discusses how values such as character and integrity have been key tools in allowing him to flourish as a leader and continually serve his country. He expands on these ideas in his latest book "Character: The Ultimate Success Factor."
1/30/201536 minutes, 29 seconds
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Nicholas Irving

Former U.S. Army Ranger Nicholas Irving spent six years with the Army's Special Operations 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. Irving served from demolitions assaulter to Master Sniper, and was the first African-American in his battalion to serve as Sniper. His new book "The Reaper: Autobiography of One of the Deadliest Special Ops Snipers" is a thrilling memoir detailing the experiences of his military career.
1/22/201536 minutes, 36 seconds
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Patrick O'Donnell: First SEALs

Military historian and best-selling author Patrick K. O'Donnell discusses his latest book "First SEALs: The Untold Story of the Forging of America's Most Elite Unit." The book tells the story of four extraordinary men who in 1942 united to form the Navy's Sea, Air, and Land (SEAL) teams that would led to the establishment of one of the military's most esteemed units. O'Donnell discusses the sources he used for the book, which for a long time were unavailable, as well as the in-depth research required to tell the story.
1/16/201536 minutes, 48 seconds
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Colonel Richard Camp

Richard Camp, retired Marine Corps Colonel, veteran of Vietnam, and esteemed military author and historian discusses his experiences in Vietnam which heavily influenced his life. A recipient of the Purple Heart, Colonel Camp was a Marine Corps officer for 26 years and served as a company commander in Vietnam. He has done much work in historical preservation through several positions such as the Deputy Director for the U.S. Marine Corps History Division. He is the author of ten books, including his most recent publication Assault from the Sky: U.S. Marine Corps Helicopter Observations in Vietnam.
11/13/201436 minutes, 48 seconds
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Steve Maguire

Former Army ranger Steve Maguire was a decorated and successful infantry officer, commanding a 9th Infantry Division battalion reconnaissance platoon in the Mekong Delta during the Vietnam War. Maguire's life would change forever in November 1969, when an exploding Viet Cong mine severely wounded him, leaving him blinded for life.
10/23/201437 minutes, 19 seconds
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General Bernard Trainor

After graduating from high school in 1946, Lieutenant General Bernard Trainor enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. He attended the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, and then was commissioned a Marine second lieutenant after his graduation in 1951. In December of that year, he was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines Division, 1st Marines in Korea as infantry platoon commander. Following his time in Korea, General Trainor served as executive and commanding officer aboard the USS Columbus (CA-74). Trainor would also play a crucial role in Vietnam, where he was assigned as advisor to a Vietnamese special operations group. General Trainor would eventually receive the Distinguished Service Medal, two Legions of Merit, and a Bronze Star.
4/23/201429 minutes, 30 seconds
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Colonel Glenn Frazier

Colonel Glenn Frazier ran away to join the U.S. Army at age 16 and was stationed in the Philippines during the Second World War. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the war came to him. In April 1942, Colonel Frazier and the Philippine and American troops were forced to surrender to the Japanese, beginning Frazier's experience as Prisoner of War in several Japanese POW camps. Frazier marched north in the Bataan death march and spent three years of his life as a prisoner of war. His story is one that reminds Americans of the challenges and sacrifices faced by U.S. servicemen, and demonstrates the pride he has for his country.
3/26/201436 minutes, 49 seconds
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Staff Sergeant Clinton Romesha

Staff Sergeant Clinton Romesha grew up in a family strongly committed to military service, which would inspire him to follow his family's legacy and leading him to become one of his generation's great heroes. In September 1999 Romesha enlisted in the U.S. Army, and after being deployed to Germany, Kosovo, and South Korea, he volunteered to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Here he served as section leader of Bravo troop until his unit was deployed to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom. Romesha and his comrades were assigned to Combat Outpost Keating, where he would see heavy action in the Battle of Kamdesh. It was there that his demonstration of valor would later result in his being awarded the Medal of Honor.
3/5/201442 minutes, 19 seconds
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General Ed Rowney

As a decorated veteran of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, General Ed Rowney's military career continued to flourish following his time on the field. Rowney commanded troops in all three wars, and was appointed the US Representative to Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) and maintained this position under the presidencies of Nixon, Ford, and Carter. While studying in Poland he had the opportunity to attend the 1936 Berlin Olympics, which inspired him to enter the military -- he sensed that global war would soon emerge. After graduating from Johns Hopkins University in 1933, Rowney entered West Point Military Academy, beginning his elaborate military career. His first experience at war began with his leadership of the 92nd Infantry Division during the Second World War.
2/5/201442 minutes, 48 seconds
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Colonel John Marr

U.S. Army veteran John Marr was a paratrooper of the 507 Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division during World War II. Colonel Marr parachuted into lower Normandy the morning of D-Day, and upon landing he saw action almost immediately. He took part in the Battle of the La Fiere Causeway, and would eventually lead Company B of the 507 during the Battle of the Bulge as part of Operation Varsity.
12/16/201336 minutes, 50 seconds
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Colonel Ed Shames: Part 2

Colonel Ed Shames continues his story as one of the first Paratroopers in the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army. Part 2 of the episode follows the Allied invasion of France on the night of D-Day, beginning with Shames' landing in the town of Carantan, a German command center.
11/20/201343 minutes, 3 seconds
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Colonel Ed Shames: Part 1

Veteran of the famed 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne division, Colonel Ed Shames saw some of the greatest action in the European theater of World War II. In this two-part episode he recounts his experiences training and fighting as a Paratrooper in the US army, including his role in the historic Allied invasion of France on the night of D-Day.
11/20/201343 minutes, 21 seconds
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Colonel James B. Morehead

Decorated Ace Fighter Pilot James B. Morehead saw action in both the Atlantic and Pacific regions of World War II. Nicknamed Wildman for his daring attacks, he downed eight enemy planes, earning two Distinguished Service Crosses - second only to the Medal of Honor. He attributes much of his aerial success to his passion for hunting, which gave him the knowledge and skills to complete his missions.
10/28/201336 minutes, 50 seconds
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Newcomb "Newc" Eldrege

Army veteran of the 85th Regiment, 10th Mountain Division, Newcomb "Newc" Eldrege saw action as a ski trooper during World War II. His role in the Battle for Mount Belvedere would earn him the Purple Heart Award, in addition to two Bronze Stars. His experience as a skier as well as his training at Camp Hale in Colorado helped prepare him for contact with the enemy during the final assault of Italy.
10/16/201336 minutes, 42 seconds
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Shelby Westbrook

Shelby Westbrook, veteran of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen, flew 60 missions over 12 countries in Europe during World War II. He was stationed in Italy to fly with the 99th Squadron of the 332nd Fighter Group. His service as a combat pilot eventually earned him the Distinguished Flying Cross along with several other awards, as well as his promotion to First Lieutenant. He spent a total of four years active in the Army Air Corps and six years on reserve.
9/30/201336 minutes, 20 seconds
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John K. Singlaub and Harvey C. Barnum

This episode of Veterans Chronicles profiles two of the U.S. military's most distinguished veterans. Major General John K. Singlaub was a highly decorated U.S. Army veteran of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Singlaub joined the OSS and worked with French resistance fighters as a parachutist behind German lines during World War II, which was influential in his role as a founding member of the CIA. Colonel Harvey "Barney" Barnum, U.S. Marine Corps veteran of Vietnam was the 4th Marine to receive the Medal of Honor for valor in Vietnam. He served another tour of Vietnam which would earn him several other awards, including a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. He served for 27 years and has kept military ties ever since through his involvement with several organizations.
9/18/201346 minutes, 5 seconds
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Richard Falvey

Army Veteran Richard Falvey was a member of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment during the Second World War. As part of the Headquarters Company of the 2nd Battalion, he received his wings after rigorous training in 1942. He saw some of the greatest action of the war, taking part in the airborne assault the night before the Allied invasion of Normandy on D-Day. After suffering a minor injury in Bastogne, he returned home after the war ended in Europe in 1945.
9/4/201336 minutes, 31 seconds
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Francis "Jeep" Sanza

Francis Sanza, better known as "Jeep", had a first-row seat for many of the momentous moments of American military history as General George S. Patton's personal jeep driver during his campaign across Europe during World War II. His connection to General Patton was so lasting that, to this day, he still signs his checks "Jeep."
7/23/201328 minutes, 34 seconds
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Lt. Colonel Jerry Coleman

Jerry Coleman is best known as the All-Star second baseman for, possibly, the best teams in baseball history - the New York Yankees of the 1940s and 50s - where he played alongside Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, and other baseball legends.Yet, the achievement he is most proud of is as a Marine Corps aviator, and as the only Major League Baseball player to see combat in both World War II and the Korean War.
6/5/201336 minutes, 20 seconds
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Colonel Jack Jacobs

Jack Jacobs is among the most highly decorated veterans of the Vietnam War, being awarded two Silver Stars, three Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts, and our nation's highest military award - the Medal of Honor. He is currently a military analyst for NBC/MSNBC.
4/16/201336 minutes, 50 seconds
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Elaine Danforth Harmon

In this episode, host Gene Pell speaks to Elaine Danforth Harmon, one of the original WASP pilots of World War II. This groundbreaking group of women are considered the first female pilots in U.S. military history, and were recently awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for their service during the Second World War.
4/2/201336 minutes, 50 seconds
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Ralph Griffiths and Evangeline Coeyman

In this two-part show, Veterans Chronicles profiles two veterans of our Greatest Generation who served during World War II.Ralph Griffiths joined the Marine Corps in 1944 at the age of 17, participating in the epic Battle of Iwo Jima. He served with each of the men made famous in the legendary two flag-raisings atop Mt. Suribachi - the second of which was immortalized in Joe Rosenthal's photo, the most famous photo of the war. He was wounded by the same shell that killed flag-raisers Michael Strank and Harlan Block.Evangeline Coeyman served in the 59th Field Hospital of the 90th Infantry Division as it followed General Patton's army across Europe. She participated in the Battle of the Bulge, and helped to liberate the Nazi concentration camps of Cosen and Mauthausen.
3/19/201352 minutes, 19 seconds
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James Hafer

James Hafer is one of the few men to have participated in the entire eight-days of battle in the defense of Outpost Harry, one of the toughest fights of the Korean War, taking place just before the cease fire. There, he and his comrades withstood constant enemy attacks, with more than 120,000 artillery shells landing on their area throughout the battle.
3/5/201352 minutes, 25 seconds
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Dr. Roscoe C. Brown, Jr.

Dr. Roscoe C. Brown, Jr. was squadron commander of the 100th Fighter Squadron of the 332nd Fighter Group in World War II - best known as the Tuskegee Airmen. During combat, he would shoot down an advanced German Me-262 jet and a FW-190 fighter. He would go on to become a professor at New York University and President of Bronx Community College.
2/14/201333 minutes, 58 seconds
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Brigadier General John "Doc" Bahnsen

A two-tour veteran of Vietnam, "Doc" Bahnsen earned a reputation as one of the hardest-fighting and bravest officers of the war, commanding soldiers on the ground and in the air. Among his many decorations were the Distinguished Service Cross, five Silver Stars, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, and two Purple Hearts. He would serve in the Army for 30 years, where he would become celebrated for the development of gunship techniques and tactics. He is the author of "American Warrior: A Combat Memoir of Vietnam."
1/30/201343 minutes, 18 seconds
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LCDR Joseph P. Vaghi

Joseph Vaghi served as Beachmaster on the Easy Red Sector of Omaha Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944. As Beachmaster, he was a "traffic cop" of sorts, directing men and materiel from their landing crafts onto the beach then inland. His fascinating account is straight out of "Saving Private Ryan," and LCDR Vaghi would later be featured in Ken Burns' documentary "The War."
1/11/201341 minutes, 8 seconds
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Sgt. 1st Class Ronald E. Rosser

In this episode of Veterans Chronicles, host Gene Pell speaks with Sgt. 1st Class Ronald E. Rosser, Medal of Honor recipient of the Korean War. Joining the Army in 1946 for a three-year enlistment at the age of 17, Rosser re-entered the service after his brother was killed in Korea, requesting to be sent to the front lines. He received the Medal of Honor for actions taken in an assault on an enemy fortified position as a forward observer with his company's lead platoon on January 12, 1952.
8/23/201236 minutes, 53 seconds
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Pat Sajak & Keni Thomas

This special edition of Veterans Chronicles features two veterans whose military service helped to launch them into careers in entertainment. Pat Sajak has become a household name as host of "Wheel of Fortune," though he earlier served in the Army in Vietnam as a DJ with AFRN. Keni Thomas was an Army Ranger in the Battle of Mogadishu, and has since gone one to a successful career as a country music recording artist.
7/28/201137 minutes, 15 seconds
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Profiles in Valor - Sgt. Fernando Franco

Sgt. Fernando Franco was one of 60 "warrior citizens" of the Army Reserve to take his re-enlistment oath at a special ceremony at the National Archives as part of the Reserve's 103rd anniversary. Franco had earlier served in Iraq, and was in charge of detainee operations at Camp Bucca.
7/18/20116 minutes, 21 seconds
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2nd Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne):

This special episode features four veterans of the elite, but forgotten, 2nd Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne) - the only all-black Ranger unit in U.S. Army history - which saw action in the Korean War. Guest hosted by Paul Berry, the men speak of training, deployment, and combat, as well as the bonds of brotherhood built among elite soldiers whose story has never been fully told.
7/13/201137 minutes, 14 seconds
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Profiles in Valor - Major Barry Perriatt

Maj. Barry Periatt, an Army Reserve Soldier and a Purple Heart recipient, was one of the Soldier Heroes who was honored at the 2011 Army All-American Bowl Game in San Antonio, Texas. The annual event brings together the nation's top-ranked high school football athletes as well as decorated Soldiers who have served in support of Operation New Dawn, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
7/13/20116 minutes, 19 seconds
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Colonel Jimmie Kanaya

This week's guest is retired U.S. Army Colonel Jimmie Kanaya, a recipient of the Silver Star for actions while serving with the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team during World War II. A combat medic during the war, Kanaya's story was featured in the acclaimed HISTORY documentary, "WWII in HD."
5/18/201158 minutes, 8 seconds
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Captain James Warner

James Warner was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps and awarded his Naval Flight Officer wings in January, 1966. A year later, the young officer was ordered to Vietnam, where he flew more than 100 missions in his F-4 Phantom.On October 13th, 1967, Lt. Warner??s plane was shot down over enemy territory, beginning nearly six years of imprisonment at the hands of the North Vietnamese, spending much of his time in the notorious Hanoi Hilton complex. In this episode, Captain Warner sits down with guest hosts Taylor Kiland and Regen Wilson to recount his incredible experiences.
3/22/201145 minutes, 32 seconds
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Profiles In Valor - SGT Laramie Long

SGT Laramie Long, a pastor at his local church, is a two-tour veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan with the 287th Combat HET Company. He began his military career as he reported to basic training on September 8, 2001 - just three days before the attacks that would change America. His religious background helped him serve as a mentor to his fellow Soldiers during their time on the front lines.
3/17/20118 minutes, 34 seconds
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Lt. Col. Orson Swindle

Orson Swindle flew more than 200 missions in Vought F-8E Crusader over the skies of Vietnam. During what was to be his very last mission, he was shot down and taken prisoner. Swindle spent seven years being shuffled around North Vietnamese prison camps, where he for a time shared a cell with future Senator John McCain. Guest hosted by Taylor Kiland and Regen Wilson.
3/2/201137 minutes, 31 seconds
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Profiles in Valor - Lt. Col. Anthony Henderson

This week's Profiles in Valor segment features Marine Corps Lt. Col. Anthony Henderson, recipient of the Bronze Star with Valor for actions in the dangerous Helmand Province of Afghanistan on April 28, 2008.
2/22/201110 minutes, 6 seconds
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Col. Clarence "Bud" Anderson

One of the most acclaimed pilots of World War II, Bud Anderson scored 16.25 victories in his P-51 Mustang, Old Crow, over the skies of Europe. The triple-ace pilot was part of the 357th Fighter Group, joining such well-known pilots as John England, Kit Carson, and Chuck Yeager.
2/16/201142 minutes, 58 seconds
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Profiles in Valor - COL Gregory Gadson

A graduate of West Point and veteran of the Gulf War, Bosnia, and Afghanistan, COL Gregory Gadson's life was changed forever while serving in Iraq in 2007 when his vehicle was hit by an IED while traveling back from a memorial service honoring fallen comrades. Despite losing both legs above the knee, Gadson has proven an inspiration to his fellow wounded warriors, and was recently chosen to lead the Army's Wounded Warrior program.
2/4/201113 minutes, 11 seconds
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Colonel Roger H.C. Donlon

Medal of Honor recipient Colonel Roger H.C. Donlon joins guest-host Dr. Lewis Sorley in this week's edition of Veterans Chronicles. Donlon is the first man to receive the Medal of Honor for valor in the Vietnam War. He is also the first member of the Speical Forces to receive the medal, with his actions taking place near Nam Dong, South Vietnam, on July 6, 1964.
1/31/201127 minutes, 22 seconds
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Profiles in Valor - SGT Jason Collins

SGT Jason Collins, United States Army, deployed to the front lines in Afghanistan in 2009 as part of Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. There, he played an important role in the training of Afghan police, working to build the country's infrastructure and build a more stable country.
1/21/20115 minutes, 9 seconds
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Lt. General Dave R. Palmer

Former Superintendent of West Point Lt. General Dave Palmer joins Gene Pell in this week's episode of Veterans Chronicles. Palmer served as an officer in Vietnam, later writing one of the first histories of the war, "Summons of the Trumpet." He is an expert on early American warfare, authoring several books on George Washington and the American Revolution, most recently the acclaimed "George Washington & Benedict Arnold: A Tale of Two Patriots."
1/5/201136 minutes, 22 seconds
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Profiles in Valor - SSG Andre Murnane

This episode of Profiles in Valor features U.S. Army Special Forces Staff Sergeant Andre Murnane, a communications sergeant wounded while serving in Afghanistan, currently recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
1/4/20115 minutes, 41 seconds
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Buzz Aldrin

This week's guest is one of the most recognizable veterans of the last century - Buzz Aldrin. A retired Air Force colonel and veteran of the Korean War, Aldrin is best known for being the second man to walk on the moon during the legendary Apollo 11 mission in 1969. In this episode, guest host Dr. Lewis Sorley walks through one of the most unique careers of any officer in U.S. military history.
12/16/201039 minutes, 40 seconds
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Profiles in Valor - 1LT Maria Mengrone

In this episode of Profiles in Valor, guest host Hannah Jackman speaks with 1LT Maria Mengrone, a Texas National Guard officer charged with overseeing enemy detainees while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
12/16/20109 minutes, 47 seconds
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Profiles in Valor - MAJ Mark Thompson

This episode of Profiles in Valor features U.S. Army Major Mark Thompson, recipient of the Bronze Star for his service as commander of a high-value detention facility in Iraq.
12/3/20105 minutes, 13 seconds
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Herman J. Obermayer

Herman J. Obermayer's memoir of World War II, "Soldiering For Freedom," is one of the most unique accounts of an American GI from the war. Based on a treasure trove of Obermayer's own wartime letters home, the book chronicles his experiences in the Army Specialized Training Program, as an airborne combat engineer, then as part of the Allied effort to maintain the gasoline pipelines laid across France. He finished his military career in the judge advocate general's office, in time to see Hermann Goring and the top Nazis at the Nuremburg trials.
11/16/201036 minutes, 57 seconds
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Profiles in Valor - COL Michael Mann

This episode of Profiles in Valor features U.S. Army Reserves Colonel Michael Mann, recipient of the Bronze Star for his service as Deputy Commander, Expeditionary Sustainment Command while serving in Afghanistan throughout 2009. As the first ESC to deploy to the this area of operation in Afghanistan, Mann and his fellow soldiers were responsible for the Command and Control of more than 3,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen, and Civilians. And they planned and executed full spectrum logistics support throughout the area of operations.
11/16/20105 minutes, 29 seconds
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Adrian Cronauer

The inspiration for the hit movie "Good Morning, Vietnam," Adrian Croanuer served in the Air Force in Vietnam, hosting a radio program on the American Forces Vietnam Network. Recently he has worked as a special assistant to the Director of the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office. In this episode, American Veterans Center president James Roberts talks to Adrian about his experiences in Vietnam and the film that made him famous.
10/15/201037 minutes, 1 second
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Amongst the Shadows: The OSS in World War II

The Office of Strategic Services, the United States' intelligence agency during World War II, was the forerunner of today's CIA. From behind enemy lines in Europe to the Pacific campaign, to the forgotten theater of China-Burma-India, shadow operatives worked to promote the Allied effort by planting false propaganda, sabotaging enemy interests, and direct military action. In this special documentary program, veterans of the OSS share their first-hand stories of waging shadow warfare against the Axis powers of World War II.
9/17/201046 minutes, 29 seconds
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Lorenzo DuFau

Lorenzo DuFau earned his place in American history as one of 150 black men to serve aboard the USS Mason when it sailed in the Atlantic during World War II. The Mason was the first naval ship to be manned by a predominately African-American crew. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, DuFau was determined to serve his country, and volunteered for the Navy to prove that Americans of all colors could serve honorably and heroically.
8/16/201034 minutes, 3 seconds
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Profiles in Valor - Sgt. Andy Lee

This episode of Profiles in Valor features Marine Corps Sergeant Andy Lee, recipient of the Bronze Star with Valor for heroism while serving in Afghanistan. In August 2009, Lee's squad came under attack while conducting operations in the dangerous Helmund Province. Sgt. Lee directed the counterattack while coordinating the evacuation of a wounded fellow Marine. He is the second in his family to receive the Bronze Star with Valor, the first being his grandfather during the Battle of Guadalcanal in World War II.
8/10/20105 minutes, 35 seconds
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Colonel Frank Caldwell

Frank Caldwell joined the Marine Corps in 1942, and was assigned to the 1st Marine Parachute Battalion. He saw action on Guadalcanal, Vella La Vella, and Bougainville before the parachute battalions were deactivated and he was assigned to the 5th Marine Division. As commander of F Co., 2nd Bn, 26th Marines, he landed on Iwo Jima February 19, 1945. There, his men captured more ground than any other Marine company in the battle. Yet at the end of the battle, none of his officers remained, while F Co. suffered the highest KIA rate of any Marine company in U.S. history. Caldwell was awarded the Navy Cross for his valor on Iwo Jima.
7/30/201036 minutes, 22 seconds
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Colonel Susan Luz

A recipient of the Bronze Star for her service in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Colonel Susan Luz is the highest-ranking soldier in the 399th Combat Support Hospital, an Army Reserve unit based in Massachusetts. She made her first deployment at the age of 56, and was tasked with tending to the young men and women serving on the front lines of the "Surge" of 2007. Col. Luz is the daughter of a decorated World War II veteran, and her father-in-law is the late George Luz, one of the famed "Band of Brothers." She is the author of the book, "Nightingale of Mosul," chronicling her story of service.
7/23/201016 minutes, 55 seconds
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Profiles in Valor - Colonel Rodney Faulk

In this Profiles in Valor, U.S. Army Reserves Colonel Rodney Faulk, recipient of the Bronze Star, recounts his deployments as a Military Police Battalion commander during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
7/21/20105 minutes, 51 seconds
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Jack Yusen

In this special two-part episode of Veterans Chronicles, U.S. Navy veteran of World War II Jack Yusen tells the epic story of the USS Samuel B. Roberts. After a chance accident forced the Roberts to move from the Atlantic to the Pacific Theater, Yusen and the crew found themselves up against overwhelming odds in the Battle off Samar Island. In the face of near-certain death, the men of the Samuel B. Roberts stood their ground in one of the great acts of valor and sacrifice in U.S. Naval history.
7/7/20101 hour, 32 seconds
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Profiles in Valor - Maj. David Bursac

In this Profiles in Valor, U.S. Army Major David Bursac, recipient of the Bronze Star, recalls his experience as an advisor to the Iraqi Army soldiers and police while serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
7/2/20107 minutes, 11 seconds
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Profiles in Valor - Dr. Dave Hnida

In this Profiles in Valor, Dr. Dave Hnida, author of "Paradise General: Riding the Surge at a Combat Hospital in Iraq", shares his story of tending to American service members wounded during a critical period in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
7/2/20107 minutes
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Bob Feller & David Thatcher

In this two-part episode, Veterans Chronicles profiles two acclaimed veterans of World War II - Bob Feller and David Thatcher. Feller was one of Major League Baseball's biggest stars in 1941, leading the league in wins. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he immediately enlisted in the Navy, and served in the Atlantic and Pacific Theaters aboard the USS Alabama, before returning home to resume a Hall of Fame career. David Thatcher took part in one of the most legendary events of the war - Jimmy Doolittle's raid on Tokyo, April 18, 1942. Thatcher would be portrayed in the famed movie, "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo."
6/24/201037 minutes, 49 seconds
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Captain John Frank Gamboa

In this episode, guest hosts Taylor Kiland and Regen Wilson speak with retired U.S. Navy Captain John Frank Gamboa, the first Mexican American to command a ship in the rank of commander and in the rank of captain. Gamboa would also become the first to command a squadron of ships.
6/11/201044 minutes, 1 second
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Profiles in Valor - 1LT Timothy Keegan

This week's Profiles in Valor spotlights U.S. Army Reserve 1LT Timothy Keegan. A native of Florida, Keegan was inspired to join the Reserves at the age of 44 after seeing the professionalism and camaraderie among the Soldiers while he served as a U.S. Army Reserve Ambassador for his home state. Keegan earned the Defense Meritorious Service Medal for his service in Afghanistan throughout 2009.
6/11/20109 minutes, 22 seconds
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Rufus Phillips - Part 2

In this episode, American Veterans Center president Jim Roberts conducts a follow up interview with Rufus Phillips, author of the recently published "Why Vietnam Matters," and one of the earliest American advisers to serve in Vietnam. In this episode, Phillips discusses the Buddhist Revolution, the assasination of President Diem, and his personal experiences in Vietnam.
4/13/201042 minutes, 48 seconds
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Profiles in Valor - Army Special Forces "Major Matthew"

Profiles in Valor, the newest radio program from the American Veterans Center at Radio America, features a short interview with a decorated service member of today's generation. In this episode, guest host Dan Brosnan interviews "Major Matthew", an Army Special Forces officer and recipient of the Bronze Star for his actions in Afghanistan.
3/18/20107 minutes, 42 seconds
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Profiles in Valor - MGySgt Peter Proietto

Profiles in Valor, the newest radio program from the American Veterans Center, features a short interview with a decorated service member of today's generation. In this episode, host Tim Holbert interviews Master Gunnery Sergeant Peter Proietto, recipient of the Bronze Star with Valor for heroism in Operation Enduring Freedom.
2/1/20107 minutes, 30 seconds
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B.G. Burkett

B.G. Burkett served in Vietnam in 1968 and 1969, earning the Bronze Star Medal. For the past decade, the now military researcher has investigated hundreds of cases where people have falsely claimed to have been awarded various military honors, including the nation's highest military award, the Medal of Honor. B.G. talks to Gene about his landmark book, "Stolen Valor."
1/28/201036 minutes, 43 seconds
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America Strikes Back: The Doolittle Raid - Part 2

Part 2 of a special documentary program telling the story of Jimmy Doolittle's legendary raid on Japan in April, 1942. Featuring Doolittle and his raiders telling their stories, in their own words.
12/18/200939 minutes, 24 seconds
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America Strikes Back: The Doolittle Raid - Part 1

In the four months following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States military suffered setback after setback. In an effort to strike at the heart of the Japanese Empire, American military leaders devised a top-secret plan in which aviation pioneer Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle would lead a raid of 16 bombers to attack targets on the Japanese home islands. The legendary assault would go down in history as one of the early turning points in World War II. This special documentary program features original interviews with several of Doolittle's surviving Raiders and the raid's official historian, Col. C.V. Glines, as well as archival audio from General Jimmy Doolittle himself. (Part 1 of 2).
12/18/200939 minutes, 40 seconds
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Bob Caron

This week, guest host Dr. Lewis Sorley speaks with Robert Caron, the pilot of the last helicopter to evacuate Saigon prior to its fall on April 30, 1975. The evacuation was captured in a famous photograph by Herbert van Es of UPI, and came to symbolize the tragic end of the Vietnam War.
12/18/200935 minutes, 23 seconds
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Michael Durant & The Story of SFC Jared Monti

This week's episode features two of the most acclaimed stories of modern war. The first guest, Michael Durant, was the American pilot who was taken prisoner when his helicopter was shot down during the Battle of Mogadishu in 1993. His story was portrayed in the book and film, "Black Hawk Down," and he is the author of the recently published "The Night Stalkers." The second guest, Paul Monti, joins the program to share the story of his son, Army SFC Jared Monti, who became the second American service member to be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for valor in Afghanistan.
12/18/200943 minutes
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John Robert Slaughter

In this edition, hear the chronicle of Bob Slaughter, who wrote the memoir "Omaha Beach and Beyond..." which recounts the day when his company landed in Normandy on D-Day, and their later travels through Europe.
12/10/200936 minutes, 35 seconds
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Go For Broke: The Story of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team

This special edition documentary features the story of the all-Japanese American 442nd Regimental Combat Team in World War II. Told by the men whose motto was "Go For Broke," this program follows them as they faced discrimination - and in some cases internment - to the battlefields of Europe, where they would become the most highly decorated regiment in the history of the United States military.
12/8/200948 minutes, 49 seconds
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Profiles in Valor - Staff Sergeant Patrick Jordan

Profiles in Valor, the newest radio program from the American Veterans Center, features a short interview with a decorated service member of today's generation. In this episode, host Tim Holbert interviews Staff Sergeant Patrick Jordan, recipient of the Silver Star for heroism in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
12/4/20095 minutes, 52 seconds
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Rufus Phillips - Part 1

In this episode, host Lewis Sorley speaks to Rufus Phillips, author of the recently published "Why Vietnam Matters." Phillips was among the earliest American advisers in Vietnam, becoming a member of the Saigon Military Mission in 1954. At the request of President Kennedy, in 1962 he organized and led a special counterinsurgency effort in the U.S. Agency for International Development??s Saigon Mission, called Rural Affairs. Phillips was involved with all echelons of the Vietnamese government, including President Diem.
12/4/200936 minutes, 43 seconds
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SSgt. Jeremiah Workman

Marine Corps Sergeant Jeremiah Workman is a recipient of the Navy Cross for his valorous actions during the second battle of Fallujah in November of 2004. In this edition, Sgt. Workman recalls this epic battle, and pays tribute to the Marines he served with during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
11/24/200936 minutes, 40 seconds
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Band of Brothers - Bill Guarnere & Babe Heffron

In this edition, Gene has a conversation with William "Wild Bill" Guarnere and Edward "Babe" Heffron, two of the famed "Band of Brothers." The two, with journalist Robyn Post, wrote the book "Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends..." Believe it or not, even though they lived blocks apart in their native South Philadelphia, the two didn't meet until years later in Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division in Europe.
11/19/200936 minutes, 41 seconds
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Profiles in Valor - Major James Mulvehill

Profiles in Valor, the newest radio program from the American Veterans Center, features a short interview with a decorated service member of today's generation. In this episode, host Tim Holbert interviews Major James Mulvehill, recipient of the Bronze Star for his outstanding service in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
11/6/20096 minutes, 59 seconds
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Profiles in Valor - Maj. Robert Nesbit, Jr.

Profiles in Valor, the newest radio program from the American Veterans Center, features a short interview with a decorated service member of today's generation. In this episode, host Tim Holbert interviews Major Robert Nesbit Jr., recipient of the Bronze Star for service in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
11/2/20096 minutes, 21 seconds
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Robert Calvert, Jr.

In this week's episode, guest-host Dr. Lewis Sorley speaks to Robert Calvert, a young man who left college to serve in the Army during World War II. At Bastogne the Battle of the Bulge, Calvert found himself rising from private to the leader of a squad as men around him succumbed to enemy attacks and the bitter cold.
11/2/200936 minutes, 31 seconds
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Profiles in Valor - Spc. Jeremiah Church

Profiles in Valor, the newest radio program from the American Veterans Center, features a short interview with a decorated service member of today's generation. In this episode, host Tim Holbert interviews Spc. Jeremiah Church, recipient of the Silver Star for valor during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
10/23/200919 minutes, 51 seconds
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Jake McNiece

In this episode, Gene Pell meets with Jake McNiece, leader of the famous - some might say infamous - "Filthy Thirteen", the WWII Pathfinders who made up the Army's real "Dirty Dozen."