Alaska Public Media Archives - StoryCorps
Donate to help people feel more connected through storytelling. Donate by 6/30

After Vietnam, He Struggled to Be Accepted. Then He Met a Fellow Soldier Who Became His Brother

Cupi’g Alaska Native Eben Olrun joined the U.S. Marine Corps as a young man to fight in the Vietnam War. He returned home in 1972 to find his peers had turned against veterans, and that were few resources for soldiers fresh from combat.

Burdened with long-term injuries from his tour and wanting to forget his time overseas, Eben struggled with alcoholism. His path to healing began when he met the man he would come to call his brother— fellow Vietnam veteran Bill Martin. 

He came to StoryCorps with his son, Owen, to remember him.

This broadcast is supported in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Originally aired November 11, 2023 on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Top Photo: Vietnam veterans Eben Olrun (right) and Bill Martin (left) at the Arctic Valley Ski Area in Anchorage, Alaska. Courtesy of Eben Olrun.
Middle Photo: Eben Olrun with son Owen Olrun at their StoryCorps recording in Anchorage, Alaska on July 28, 2023.