Veterans' Voices

Veterans' Voices is a collaboration between WYSO and Wright State University's Veteran and Military Center (VMC). The project was originally part of Veterans Coming Home, a national public media initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and now receives funding from Ohio Humanities.

The series features stories of Miami Valley veterans who served in a variety of conflicts and branches of service and focuses on the veterans’ stories of re-entry into civilian life. The stories are reported by student veterans attending Wright State University trained in WYSO's Community Voices model. This unique veteran-to-veteran storytelling project is designed to let Miami Valley veterans describe their own experiences, in their own voices.

Veterans' Voices is supported in part by a grant from the Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trusts, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee.

VFWs Look To Attract Younger Veterans

Dec 16, 2015
Will Davis / WYSO

Veterans of Foreign Wars, or more commonly known as VFWs, began in 1899, when veterans of the Spanish-American War and the Philippine Insurrection founded local groups to foster camaraderie among United States veterans of overseas conflicts. Today, there are over 6,700 VFWs worldwide. But like many fraternal organizations, the future of the VFW depends largely on its ability to attract younger members. Army veteran, and Wright State student, Adrian Hill has today’s Veterans’ Voices story.

Jake Dippman

There are over twenty-eight thousand military Reservists in Ohio, yet the Reserves are a service option that often causes confusion to civilians. Our Veterans’ Voices series continues today with Marine Corp Reservist, and Wright State University student, Cody Stevens of Xenia, who talked to two of fellow Marines about this problem.

Looking For Answers About Suicide And Veterans

Dec 2, 2015
Will Davis / WYSO

The suicide rate among veterans has nearly doubled since 2005, and this has prompted the military to conduct a series of decade-long studies to find out why. But more information is needed since early findings have produced contradictory results. Answers will not come easy. Today our Veterans Voice series continues with Air Force veteran, and Wright State University student Matt Bauer of Vandalia, and Air Force veteran George Denillo, who remember their friend, and fellow officer, Sean.


Adrian Hill / WYSO

Vietnam veteran William Goforth knows firsthand the challenge of returning to civilian life after a difficult deployment. He found comfort in horses, and now finds purpose in sharing his discovery with Post-9/11 veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Army veteran, and Wright State student, Adrian Hill of Englewood has today’s Veterans’ Voices story.

From The Air Force To Ice Cream: One Year Later

Nov 18, 2015
Jordan Freshour

Our Veterans’ Voices series continues today with a follow-up to a story from our first season. Bobby Walker was involuntarily separated from the Air Force, and so he decided to pursue a dream and start a business. If you’ve been to an outdoor festival or fair in the Miami Valley this year, you may have seen the fruits of Bobby’s labor. Army veteran, and Wright State University student, Anne Moore of Miamisburg has the story.

Jerry Kenney

A medical foster care program for veterans is growing here in the Miami Valley. This year there were 120 VA’s participating. That means 900 Veterans found homes around the country.

One VA foster care site in Springfield, Ohio is the home of Alan Hansbarger. He was born in Canton, Ohio in 1923. A year later he moved to the western edge of the state, where he grew up with his mom and his older brother.

Post 9-11 Veterans Reflect On Their Call To Service

Nov 11, 2015
Jeremy Dobbins / WYSO

Today we begin season two of Veterans Voices' here on WYSO: stories about local military veterans produced by student veterans at Wright State University. Many of the veterans we’ll hear from in the next two months joined the military in the days after September 11, 2001. Now, many of them are returning to civilian life. For some it’s an easy transition. For others, it’s far more complicated. Marine Corp veteran and Wright State student, Jeremy Dobbins was raised in Springfield. He tells us the story of a fellow Marine’s call to service.

courtesy of John Harshman

For some who serve in the military, their work is top secret, and the contribution they make to national security may never be publicly known. Today our Veterans Voice series continues with the story of Army veteran John Harshman who, unbeknown to him, helped crack the code of the German Enigma machines. Those machines were used to encrypt secret messages during World War II. Marine Corp veteran and Wright State student Jeremy Dobbins has the story.

Finding Direction Through Deployment

Apr 1, 2015
Harold Wright in 1974
courtesy of Antiochiana / Antioch College

Sometimes men and woman find their direction in life as a result of their military service. This is true for Harold Wright. Today, Harold is an award-winning poet and translator of the Japanese language. But this isn’t the direction Harold expected his life to take when he joined the Navy long ago. A last-minute job assignment changed everything.


"Patches" is one of the C-123 cargo planes used to spray Agent Orange. It's now on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

The group Vietnam Veterans of America is criticizing the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs over its slow response to concerns from Air Force reservists who may have been exposed to Agent Orange in the 1970s.

The organization has joined the chorus demanding answers for about 2,000 people who crewed C-123s, the clunky cargo planes that were used to spray Agent Orange, after those planes came back from the war.