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.
One night in 2009, Ondelee Perteet and a friend went to a party in his hometown of Chicago.
"A lot of people, they started throwing gang signs. And, you know, I got into an argument with somebody in the party, and that's when I got shot in the face," Ondelee said during a recent visit to StoryCorps with his mother, Detreena.
He was 14.
"I got to the hospital, and the doctor came back, and he said, 'We're sorry, but he's never going to move his arms and legs again,' " said Detreena, 47. "It just tore me apart."
One day after the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., last December, Liza Long wrote a blog post urging the country to focus on treatment for the nation's mentally ill youth. In it, she shared the story of her own son, "Michael" (not his real name). "I live with a son who is mentally ill," she wrote for The Blue Review.
Twenty-two years ago this summer, Bryan Lindsay was riding his bike when he was hit by a van and almost killed. He was 7 years old.
Rowan Allen was the paramedic on the scene that day. "When the call came in, it was just before my shift ended that day," Rowan recalls on a visit to StoryCorps in New York. "The first instinct was, 'Oh man, right before we get off.' And then the dispatcher comes back on the air and he says, 'Child struck.' That just changes everything. And luckily, we were just a couple blocks away.