People often come to StoryCorps to revisit the moments that shaped their lives. For Michael Yandell, that moment came one morning in 2004.

Michael was 19 at the time and serving in the U.S. Army as a bomb disposal technician. He was on a routine mission in Iraq to clear explosive devices when he was exposed to the deadly nerve agent sarin — the same gas that was used in an attack in Syria in April 2017. He came to StoryCorps with his wife, Amy, to remember that day.

Michael received a Purple Heart for his injuries from the exposure and is now doctoral candidate studying theology at Emory University.



Originally aired April 28, 2017, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Top photo: Michael and Amy outside their home in Tucker, GA. By Todd Burandt for StoryCorps.
Bottom photo: A close-up of the Explosive Ordinance Division patch on Michael’s Army uniform. By Todd Burandt for StoryCorps.