Military Voices Initiative

6:29am

Sat March 29, 2014
StoryCorps

Never Truly Over: Discussing Deployment A Challenge Of Its Own

Originally published on Sat March 29, 2014 9:27 am

Army Capt. Drew Pham says his wife, Molly Pearl, helps him push through the difficulties of transitioning back to civilian life after deployment in Afghanistan.
StoryCorps

Army Capt. Drew Pham, 26, returned from a tour in Afghanistan in October 2011. Since Drew's been back, it's been hard for him to make sense of what he saw there and adjust to his life at home. It's been difficult for his wife, Molly Pearl, to respond to some of the things he would tell her, too.

Pham called once to tell her he had shot a man. He says she didn't know what to say, so she replied, "Well, we'll deal with it when you get home."

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6:21am

Sat November 9, 2013
StoryCorps

Severely Burned Marine Finds Strength In Nascent Marriage

Originally published on Sat November 9, 2013 9:24 am

Jessica and Anthony Villarreal in December 2011, more than three years after the explosion that severely burned Anthony in Afghanistan.
Courtesy of Jessica Villarreal

In June 2008, Marine Cpl. Anthony Villarreal was driving back from a mission in Afghanistan when his truck was hit by a roadside bomb. He was 22 at the time and recently married to Jessica, who was just 21.

Villarreal suffered third-degree burns over most of his face and body and was very severely disfigured. His right arm and the fingers on his left hand eventually had to be amputated.

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4:02am

Sat October 12, 2013
StoryCorps

With Veteran's Life In Peril, His Parents Take Up The Fight

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 10:28 am

The Schei family in 2010 (from left): Anneka, Gordon, Erik, Deven and Christine.
Courtesy of the Schei family

In October 2005, 21-year-old Army Sgt. Erik Schei was shot in the head during his second tour in Iraq. The bullet shattered the top half of his skull.

Christine and Gordon Schei got the phone call about their son's injury at around 4 a.m. Christine Schei says her husband was "white as a sheet" and shaking after answering.

A sniper had struck their son; a bullet "entered above his right ear and exited above his left," Gordon Schei says.

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5:47am

Sat September 14, 2013
StoryCorps

Hotline Responders Answer Veterans' Desperate Calls

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 11:43 am

Rich Barham, left, and Nelson Peck are both veterans working for the Veterans Crisis Line.
StoryCorps

Responders at the Veterans Crisis Line work to help veterans through their darkest hours. The Department of Veterans Affairs runs the hotline, the only national line dedicated to helping veterans in crisis.

A report in February was the most comprehensive to date from the VA on veterans and suicide. As of that publication, the Crisis Line had made approximately 26,000 rescues of actively suicidal veterans.

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5:49am

Sat August 10, 2013
StoryCorps

How Two Veterans Helped Each Other With A Second Chance

Originally published on Sun August 11, 2013 5:43 am

Marine Cpl. Paul Wayman, left, and former Navy SEAL Nathanael Roberti met through a program in California that helps veterans readjust to civilian life.
StoryCorps

Marine Cpl. Paul Wayman and former Navy SEAL Nathanael Roberti met in 2012, after finding themselves in front of a special court for veterans.

The court takes into account the specific struggles that service members face, so the judge gave each of them a choice: go to prison, or enroll in a program that helps veterans readjust to civilian life.

They chose to go through the program, Veterans Village of San Diego, located in a California live-in facility.

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