Military Voices Initiative: Great Questions – StoryCorps
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Military Voices Initiative: Great Questions

Military Voices Initiative: Great Questions

Early Days in the Service

  • When were you drafted or when did you enlist?
  • What do you remember about the day you enlisted?
  • How did you tell your family and friends that you were joining the military? Are there any conversations that stand out from that time?
  • If you enlisted, what were some of the reasons that you joined the military? How did you choose your branch of service?
  • How did you imagine military life before you joined? How did your perceptions change after serving?
  • What was basic training like?
  • Can you describe a funny moment from boot camp?
  • What are some of the things you remember about adapting to military life?

Deployment

  • Where did you serve during the war?
  • If you deployed overseas, how did you tell your loved ones you were being deployed?
  • How did you stay in touch with family and friends back home?
  • What are some things you remember most about your deployment?
  • If you saw multiple deployments, how did they differ from each other? How did you change?
  • Can you describe how you felt coming home from combat?
  • Was there anything you especially missed about civilian life?

Transitioning to Civilian Life

  • Is there someone you served with that you remember fondly? Can you tell me about him/her?
  • What are some fun things you and your friends did together while you were deployed?
  • Did any of your military friends play pranks on each other? Can you describe a funny one?
  • Did you ever get caught breaking any rules? Did you ever get away with something you weren’t supposed to do?
  • Did you ever learn something about a fellow service member that surprised you?
  • When did you leave the military? What was that process like?
  • What were your first few months out of the service like?
  • Was there anything or anyone that helped you during the transition from military to civilian life?
  • Do you have advice for others transitioning out of the military?
  • How do you think your time in the military affected you?
  • What did you learn about yourself?
  • What are some of your hopes for the future?
  • What phrase or word will never be the same now that you served?
  • When you were first discharged, what are some things about civilians that were difficult for you to deal with?
  • Is there anything you wish civilians understood about military service?
  • What are some habits you developed in the service that you like? What are some that you dislike?
  • What are some things you miss about being in the service? What are some you are glad to have left behind?

MARRIAGE, PARTNERSHIPS, AND FAMILIES

  • How did you meet your husband/wife/partner?
  • What was your first impression of him/her/them?
  • How did you know that he/she/they was right for you?
  • What were some the best time in your relationship?
  • What were some of the difficult times? How did you deal with them?
  • What has been difficult to communicate to family and friends about your
    military service?
  • Do you have advice for other military couples?
  • If you have children, what do you want them to know about your military
    service?

Remembering the Fallen

  • What was your relationship to _______?
  • Tell me about _______.
  • What did _______ look like?
  • What is one of your favorite memories of _______?
  • How did you find out about _______’s death?
  • What has helped you most in your grief?
  • Do you have any traditions to honor _______?
  • Do you have any funny stories about the two of you together?