In recognition of Veterans Day, we are honoring those in the military community by amplifying their voices. Listen to stories from our Military Voices Initiative, our national project to record and preserve the stories of veterans, service members, and military families.

Share your story. StoryCorps Connect makes it possible to interview a loved one remotely and then upload it to the StoryCorps archive at the Library of Congress. Learn more at StoryCorpsConnect.org.

The Rent We Pay

During the onset of the Soviet-Afghan war, Ajmal Achekzai and his family fled to the United States to seek asylum. More than 20 years later, Ajmal returns to the place he once called home as a United States Marine. In 2021, as the political state of Afghanistan took a turn for the worse, Ajmal came to StoryCorps to reflect on the dualities he faced as an Afghan-born U.S. Marine.
Read the full transcript here.

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“We wondered all those years if we did a good job.”
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“We Didn’t Have Time To Be Afraid”: Two Army Nurses Reflect On Serving At The Front Lines

Army veterans Diane Evans and Edie Meeks arrived in Plaiku, Vietnam on the same day in February of 1969. Both were from Minnesota, and they built an almost instant friendship. They came to StoryCorps to share their story of service.
Read the full transcript here.

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“Everybody else grows up and they learn from their experiences. I don't get that.”
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Without Memory: A Love Story From Two Veterans

One day, while on duty, Matthew Perry was hit by three IEDs in the course of a single day. But the lasting impacts of his traumatic brain injuries wouldn’t be felt until years later.
Read the full transcript here.

Germans in the Woods

As a World War II veteran, Joseph Robertson recalls his time as an infantryman and what he refers to as the saddest memory of his life.
Read the full transcript here.

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“He was proud he was able to help save one of his fellow pilots.”
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Siblings Remember Their Father, A Combat Pilot Who Served In Three Wars

Growing up in the 1930s, Lt. Col. Miguel Encinias wasn’t sure if his dream of becoming a military pilot was in reach. In those days, combat pilots of Hispanic heritage were almost unheard of.
Read the full transcript here.

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‘You guys had a uniform on and a gun. But, who fixed that gun for you?’
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We Can Do It: How One Woman Found Independence During WWII

Connie Doria Rocha talks about her experience as a civilian mechanic during WWII, and how that taste of independence changed her life.
Read the full transcript here.

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“Because she was Asian, they wouldn’t accept her. Mom said she didn’t care; she enlisted anyway.”
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Remembering One Tough Veteran: Lieutenant Susan Ahn Cuddy

Flip and Christine Cuddy sit down to remember their mother, Lieutenant Susan Ahn Cuddy, a trailblazer and the first Asian American woman in the Navy.
Read the full transcript here.

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“I didn't realize some of the things that I would be called to do would be as difficult as they were.”
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The First Muslim Chaplain in the U.S. Armed Forces on Supporting Soldiers

Lieutenant Colonel Abdul-Rasheed Muhammad joined the U.S Army in 1982 because he was attracted to the discipline and values of the military culture there. He talks about his experience offering mental and emotional support to service members and families of fallen soldiers.
Read the full transcript here.

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“He was living with his inner struggles, and put those aside for everybody else.”
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Remembering A Marine Who Put Serving Veterans First

After serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, Marine Corporal Josh Dunne worked as an advocate for veterans seeking higher education. In 2016, while experiencing a mental health crisis, Josh died in an officer-involved shooting. His wife, Melanie Dunne, came to StoryCorps with her sister, Marissa Miranda, to remember what Josh meant to their family and his fellow veterans.
Read the full transcript here.

Love Lost, And Found

After meeting in a transgender veteran’s support group, Sue McConnell and Kristyn Weed became as close as sisters. The two women share a story of courage — on and off the battlefield.
Read the full transcript here.

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“We are what we are because of our insistence on being with one another.”
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Love In The Time Of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

After marrying in 2018, couple Mike Rudulph and Neil Rafferty share the story of their relationship, and what it meant to love during the era of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Read the full transcript here.

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“You have to go back. And you’re going back to train for the Olympics.”
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Olympic Gold Medalist Melvin Pender on the 1968 Mexico Games

Veteran Melvin Pender expresses the pride he felt when seeing John Carlos’ Black Power salute at the 1968 Olympics during his temporary leave from the military to compete in the Olympic relay.
Read the full transcript here.

Tom’s War

For Tom Geerdes, his road to recovery following the Vietnam War took time. He shares the experience of this journey with his daughter Hannah.
Read the full transcript here.

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"Here in the States, I don't even know how to talk to people."
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The Transition Home

After returning home from Afghanistan, Drew Pham has had a hard time adjusting to normal life again. With his wife Molly Pearl at his side, he is able to get through.
Read the full transcript here.

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"We would turn the sound on so that it sounded like tanks moving on the roads."
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104-Year-Old WWII Veteran Remembers Top-Secret ‘Ghost Army’

When Gilbert Seltzer joined the army during World War Two, he was given a top secret mission; to draw fire away from troops through coordinating misinformation, phony convoys, and even inflatable tanks to trick the enemy.
Read the full transcript here.

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