Producer Stephanie Foo talks to veteran Michael Pitre, who had to change the way he talked about his experiences in the military after he realized the effect it was having on people.
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We're a nation at war, but it hardly feels like it. That contrast is especially jarring for people like Hannah Allam, who just returned home to Oklahoma after two years in Baghdad running the Knight-Ridder Newspapers bureau there.
Host Ira Glass talks with two Vietnam veterans about what it was like to leave the army and come back to civilian life. Both of them, to their surprise, missed the excitement of combat.
During the first Gulf War, John Brasfield was an army scout. He went on dangerous missions, in which he was exposed often to enemy fire with little protection.
Reporter Chris Brookes had always thought the story was a joke: During World War II, a black sailor from the U.S. washed up nearly dead onshore in Newfoundland, and the white nurses—never having seen a black man—thought he was covered in oil and tried to scrub him clean. But when Brookes finally tracked the sailor down, decades later, it turned the whole thing was true.
The story of Jug Burkett, a businessman in Dallas and a Vietnam vet, who years ago routinely started checking the bona fides of anyone in the news who claimed to have served in the Vietnam war. He says he's found hundreds of fakers, and he says that one of the tricky things about the fakers is that they often seem more like The Real Thing than real vets do.
In Vietnam, Jeffrey Harris, with one year of grad school, judged which soldiers stayed and which went home.
Host Ira Glass with Walt Strommer, on Dreams of Disabled People.
The story of the worst stateside disaster during World War II, at Port Chicago, an ammunition dump for the navy just north of San Francisco. Black workers were assigned to load ammo onto ships under such unsafe conditions that on July 17, 1944, two ships blew up, killing 320 men.