Widsom Archives - StoryCorps

By Age 85, She’d Given 23 Gallons Of Blood: ‘Because I Can’

Lillian Bloodworth, 92, has donated 23 gallons of blood over nearly five decades, starting in the 1960s. “Bloodworth” really is her last name, though donors would often ask her if it was a gimmick for the blood bank. 

She came to StoryCorps in Florida with her husband, John Bloodworth, to remember a life spent giving back.

Photo: Lillian Bloodworth and her husband, John Bloodworth, at their home in Gulf Breeze, FL, on Thanksgiving Day, 2016. Photo courtesy of the Bloodworth family.

Originally aired March 27th, 2020 on NPR’s Morning Edition. 

In The Final Days Of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Nation’s First Active-Duty Military Contingent Marches In Pride

In the final days of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Navy Operations Specialist Sean Sala decided to do what had never been done before: march with an active duty military contingent in a Pride parade. It was July of 2011, just two months before the end of the policy that barred LGBTQ people from serving openly in the armed forces.

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Sean teamed up with San Diego Pride organizer Fernando Zweifach Lopez.  At StoryCorps, they remembered how they pulled it off — and what it was like to see over 200 service members show up at the starting line. 

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Top photo: Sean Sala and Fernando Zweifach Lopez at their StoryCorps interview in San Diego, CA on January 5th, 2013. By Luis Gallo for StoryCorps.
Middle photo: Sean Sala and Fernando Zweifach Lopez (center) marching together at San Diego Pride on July 16, 2011. Courtesy of Fernando Zweifach Lopez.
Bottom Photo: Sean Sala (right) marches alongside fellow Navy service members during San Diego Pride on July 21, 2012. That year, the Pentagon issued blanket approval for service members to march in uniform in the San Diego Pride parade. Courtesy of Sean Sala.

Originally aired June 29, 2019, on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday.

Philip and Andy

In 2014, we heard a conversation between Paul Braun, a sergeant in the Minnesota National Guard, and the interpreter he served with in Iraq, who goes by the name Philip — a moniker bestowed on him by American soldiers because he favored Philip Morris cigarettes.

In Iraq, former interpreters’ lives are in constant danger because of their association with American soldiers. So Braun helped sponsor Philip’s immigration to the U.S., and at the time of their interview, they were living together in Minneapolis.

But Philip had to leave his wife and four children behind in Iraq. He spent three years attempting to obtain visas for them so they could join him in Minnesota, even putting his life at risk by traveling back to Iraq in 2014.

Finally, in October 2016, the visas came through, and now Philip’s family — including his nephew, Andy, who was also an interpreter — are adjusting to life in the U.S. Two months after his family’s arrival, Philip came back to StoryCorps to give Andy some advice on adjusting to his new home.

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You can learn more about Philip’s story in the 2015 documentary The Interpreter.

Originally broadcast February 3, 2017, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Bottom photo: Philip with his wife, Ghania, the day she arrived in Minneapolis. Photo by Sameer Saadi.