The Military Voices Initiative provides a platform for veterans, service members, and military families to share their stories. In doing so we honor their voices, amplify their experiences, and let them know that we—as a nation—are listening.
We’ve put together a collection of stories from veterans, service members, and their loved ones to help us reflect on their lives, contributions, and sacrifices. Listen to their voices below.
After being drafted in 1969, Tom Geerdes served as an Army medic in the 11th Armored Cavalry in Vietnam and Cambodia. Like many veterans, he returned home a changed man. At StoryCorps, Tom shared his long journey toward healing with his daughter, Hannah Campbell.
The Last Viewing
Back in 1967, close to 500,000 US troops were serving in Vietnam, including Kay Lee and John Nordeen. Kay was 22, a combat medic from San Francisco. John was 20, and a soldier from Seattle. They were assigned to the same Army platoon and became fast friends.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall is under the supervision of the National Park Service, and when Duery Felton learned that park rangers were collecting and storing this huge collection of items, he became a volunteer in order to see them for himself. He came to StoryCorps to discuss what drew him to the wall.
Army Major Ivan Arreguin, a military chaplain, tells his wife, Aileen, what it was like to provide medical support in New York City in April 2020, during the height of COVID-19.
Brian McConnell, who’s been an airline worker for close to four decades, told his wife, Nora, about how he found his calling providing support to fallen service members with the Delta Honor Guard.
In Memory of Diego Rincon
George Rincon and Yolanda Reyes, remember their son, Army Private First Class Diego Rincon, who received U.S. citizenship after he was killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq in 2003.
In 2005, Marine Lance Corporal Travis Williams and his squad went on a rescue mission in Barwanah, Iraq. He was the only member of his team to make it back home.
Specialist Justin Cliburn was deployed to Iraq in 2005. While serving in Baghdad, he formed a friendship with Ali and Ahmed, two boys who lived near his compound.
Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Ross Chapman was the first American soldier killed in combat during the War in Afghanistan. His brother, Keith Chapman, and his mother Lynn honor Nathan’s memory.
Flip and Christine Cuddy remember their mother, Susan Ahn Cuddy, the first Asian American woman in the Navy and the first woman gunnery officer teaching air combat tactics.
Pearl Harbor, Tattooed on Your Soul
On December 7, 1941, over 2,000 people died when Japanese fighter planes attacked Pearl Harbor. On that day, Frank Curre, then a teenager, was serving aboard the U.S.S. Tennessee.
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