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Honoring Veterans and Their Stories

Honoring Veterans and Their Stories

On this Veterans Day, we're honored to present a collection of powerful narratives that encapsulate the courage, resilience, and sacrifice of those who served. Through Warriors In Their Own Words, The Medal of Honor Podcast, and The Storyworth Podcast we get the remarkable firsthand experiences of veterans from various conflicts. From the poignant recollections of Sergeant Bill Taylor's close calls in Vietnam to the love letters passed by an American soldier named Rudy Denka to his wife, Carol, during World War II. These gripping episodes encapsulate the trials and triumphs of these individuals, painting a vivid picture of their service, struggles, and unwavering commitment. Join us in listening to these stirring accounts that embody the true essence of service and dedication to a proud nation.

Warriors In Their Own Words

First-person war stories - remarkable stories told by those who fought for a proud nation! Their words. Their voices. Episodes recount captivating stories from World War II, Vietnam War, and other dramatic conflicts. Below are some standout episodes!

SPC Rocky Bleier: From Vietnam to the Super Bowl

Ken Harbaugh shares the story of Army Specialist Rocky Bleier, who served in Vietnam and went on to win four Super Bowls with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Bleier shares his experiences growing up in a small Midwestern town, serving in Vietnam, and overcoming injuries to achieve success in the NFL.

Sgt. J. Edward ‘Swede’ Peasall: The Surrender of Wake Island

This episode features the story of Sergeant John ‘Swede’ Pearsall, a Marine who served on Wake Island during World War II. Pearsall discusses the island's defenses and the events leading up to the Japanese attack on December 8, 1941. Pearsall's battalion was split up, with 200 Marines stationed on each of the four islands surrounding Hawaii. He describes the initial bombings and the ineffectiveness of their anti-aircraft weapons. Pearsall also recalls the moment he realized the Japanese were shellin the island and praises the quick decision-making of Major Devereux.

COL Gail S. Halvorsen: The Candy Bomber

This podcast episode features Colonel Gail S. Halverson, also known as the Candy Bomber, who dropped handmade parachutes filled with gum and sweets for the children of Berlin during the Soviet blockade. Halverson shares his experiences and the motivations behind his actions during this challenging time.

CMSGT Doug Morrell “The Legend” in WWII

In this episode of Warriors In Their Own Words, Chief Master Sergeant Doug Murrell, also known as "the Legend," shares his experiences as a combat cameraman during World War II. Murrell recounts being hired as a boy to watch a man wearing a back brace, as well as his training as a combat cameraman. He discusses his work filming fighter passes and evaluating operations during combat. Murrell also mentions being a glider pilot and co-pilot on C-47s during the war.

Sgt. Bill Taylor: Close Calls in Vietnam

Host Ken Harbaugh interviews Sergeant Bill Taylor, a former Marine who served in Vietnam. Taylor shares his experiences as part of the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, Charlie Company, a special unit designed to defeat the NVA and the Viet Cong. Taylor describes the harsh conditions they faced, the intense heat, and the scarcity of water. Taylor also recounts his first encounters with enemy fire and the tactics used by the Viet Cong to stall their advance.

CPT Shad Meshad: Psychiatric Teams in Vietnam

This two-part episode features CPT Shad Meshad on understanding the dark side of war. Meshad worked as a mental health worker in a prison during the Vietnam War and encountered hardened criminals, giving him an unique glimpse into the lives of combat soldiers who had committed serious crimes, during a war.

What Putin Wants with Colonel Jack Tomarchio

This episode features Colonel Jack Tomarchio whom is praised for his extraordinary stories from his time in uniform. Colonel DiMarchio reflects on the Ukraine-Russia conflict. He challenges the perception that Putin is a madman or wants to recreate the Soviet Union, instead offering an in-depth analysis of Russia's worldview and motivations based on his research.

Medal of Honor

Host Ken Harbaugh takes us on a journey through the incredible stories of America's greatest heroes - the distinguished service members who have been named for their acts of valor. From the Civil War to the present day, these stories are a testament to the courage, bravery, and sacrifice of these extraordinary individuals. In each episode, Harbaugh brings to life the inspiring tales of these heroes, giving us a glimpse into their lives and the remarkable events that shaped them. Here are just a few of our favorites to get you started.

Color Sergeant Andrew Jackson Smith: From Slave to Soldier

In this episode, host Ken Harbaugh shares the inspiring story of Color Sergeant Andrew Jackson Smith. Born into slavery, Smith escaped and joined the Union Army during the Civil War. He fought in notable battles such as Shiloh and Honey Hill, where he displayed exceptional bravery by carrying the regiment's colors despite heavy enemy fire. Despite being initially denied the Medal of Honor, Smith was posthumously awarded the prestigious medal in 2001. This podcast is a production of Evergreen Podcasts and is brought in partnership with the National Medal of Honor Museum.

CPL James Allen: The Lie of a Lifetime

This episode of Medal of Honor highlights the life and valorous actions of Corporal James Allen. Born in Ireland, Allen immigrated to the United States with his family and enlisted in the Union Army during the American Civil War. While fighting with the Army of the Potomac, Allen participated in significant battles like Bull Run and Gettysburg. However, it was during the Battle of Crampton's Gap that Allen's bravery shone through. Separated from his division, he and another soldier charged at a large squad of Confederate soldiers, ultimately capturing 14 of them. Allen's use of deception and his willingness to face overwhelming odds were instrumental in this accomplishment. Despite casualties and the loss of his fellow soldier, Allen's heroic actions earned him the Medal of Honor.

Hiroshi Miyamura

Hiroshi Miyamura, a Japanese American, served in World War II and the Korean War, where he displayed incredible acts of bravery. During the Korean War, Hiroshi singlehandedly killed multiple enemy soldiers, administered first aid, and bravely fought until his capture. Despite enduring torture and starvation as a prisoner of war, Hiroshi's valor remained unknown to his family and the U.S. government until he was released. He was eventually awarded the Medal of Honor by President Eisenhower and went on to lead a successful life, raising a family and being honored by his hometown of Gallup, New Mexico.

The Storyworth Podcast

Storyworth has been helping people write their life stories, both big and small, since 2013. On this podcast, our real-life writers voluntarily share their stories publicly with you. Whether you want to feel connected to loved ones, preserve memories, or learn about people that matter, our weekly stories can help you stay connected to loved ones over any distance, keep a memoir of the past to pass on to future generations, and discover things you never knew about your family while growing closer together. With millions of stories shared over the last 8 years, Storyworth reflects the meaning of your stories, connecting us, teaching us about our history, and reminding us of our shared humanity.

Carol, Do you have any love letters?

This episode features a collection of letters written by an American soldier named Rudy Denka to his wife, Carol, during World War II. The letters provide insight into the challenges and emotions experienced by soldiers and their families during wartime.

Jean, what was life like on the ranch?

Jean Troy recounts her family's experience of the post-World War II housing crisis in Los Angeles in this podcast episode. After being evicted from their home, they moved to a ranch in Fontana. The story explores the challenges they faced as a black family with three children and limited income.

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