This year, StoryCorps will team up with Veteran Service Organizations across the country as part of our 2020 Military Voices Initiative tour, made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). From March 2 to June 19, we will honor veterans and members of the military community across the country by recording and preserving their stories.

Millions of men and women have served in the armed services, while millions more family members have stood behind them at home. The military community knows well the challenges of multiple deployments, combat-injuries, and long-awaited homecomings. Yet few civilians truly understand the complex realities faced by our troops and their loved ones.

The Military Voices Initiative acknowledges this notion and contributes to StoryCorps’ diverse collection by recording and preserving the stories of veterans of all wars, service members, and military families. The tour offers an opportunity for them to share their experiences in their own words, which may be preserved for posterity in the StoryCorps Archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Since its launch in 2012, the Military Voices Initiative has preserved 2,700 of these stories, some of which are available to listen to here.

“CPB is committed to supporting the StoryCorps and these stories and experiences of the men and women who are serving and have served our country with courage and dedication,” said Pat Harrison, CPB president and CEO. “These stories of leadership and sacrifice will be accessible to future generations, reminding us of what it takes to protect and preserve democracy and our daily freedoms.”

The Military Voices Initiative tour will travel through the U.S., making stops in four cities, including Las Cruces, New Mexico; Green Bay, Wisconsin; La Crosse, Wisconsin; and Durham, North Carolina. Reservations are free and available to the public, are announced for each city, and can be booked here. The initiative also provides an opportunity for civilians to engage with the veterans and service members in their communities through listening events that will take place in each city, beginning with an event in Las Cruces, New Mexico on March 5.

Location Partner Dates
Las Cruces, NM KRWG March 2 – 13, 2020
Green Bay, WI WPR May 4 – 8, 2020
La Crosse, WI WPR May 11 – 15, 2020
Durham, NC WUNC June 8 – 19, 2020

StoryCorps fosters an environment of comfort and intimacy for its interviews, with a trained facilitator guiding participants throughout the process. After each 40-minute recording session, participants receive a complimentary copy of their interview, and a second copy is archived at the Library of Congress with the participant’s permission.

“At our best, we are a nation defined by acts of courage, compassion, and heroism. It is vital that we honor the lives and service of our military veterans and their families. In recording and preserving these stories, we hope that future generations can listen and learn about the lives of people who have given so much to our country,” said Dave Isay, Founder and President of StoryCorps.

In each city on the tour, StoryCorps will partner with the local public radio station, which will air a selection of the interviews recorded and host a listening event. We may also share edited versions of select interviews collected throughout the tour as audio stories, animated shorts, or via our best-selling books.

Learn more about StoryCorps’ Military Voices Initiative.