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: Pursuing A Passion For Flying In The Air Force

Dec 4, 2019
Amy Schenck, Fred Abrams, and Evan Schenck

Becoming a pilot in the United States Air Force is a long, challenging, and very competitive pursuit. Those who earn their wings are among the elite in the armed services. Air Force veteran Fred Abrams of Springboro tells his daughter and grandson about his lifelong passion for flight.


Amy Schenck (AS): So, Dad, how would you summarize your military service in a couple of sentences?

Veterans' Voices: Bringing An Ohio Connection To Vietnam

Nov 27, 2019
Charlie Campbell and Steve Harmon

The United States military would not be what it is today without its affinity among members. Today on Veterans’ Voices, Navy veteran Steve Harmon from Dayton reconnects with his old friend Charlie Campbell, and tells him how their Ohio roots unexpectedly authorized his first mission in Vietnam.


Charlie Campbell (CC): You and I, we were at Denison in the 60s.

Steve Harmon (SH): Yeah.

CC: But how the heck did you get in the Navy? And why the Navy?

(from left) Nicole Riesen, Juan Ramirez, and Sacha Ramirez

Children of military families represent a unique community in the United States. Often, these children are resilient, yet struggle because of the sacrifice they share when a parent serves in the armed forces. U.S. Navy veteran Juan Ramirez discussed this with his daughters, Nicole Riesen and Sacha Ramirez.


Judy Atlagh (l) and Lonnie Franks (r)

Air Force veteran Lonnie Franks from Dayton who returned from his military service in Vietnam with a changed attitude. Franks talked with his daughter, Judy Atlagh, about his decision to go to war in Vietnam, and then, later in life, to promote peace in Dayton.


Judy Atlagh (JA): Dad, I know you joined the military way back when Vietnam was still a thing. I'd be interested in knowing a little bit of background leading up to that choice to join the military.

 The new Dayton VA Fisher House is located just a short distance from the medical center.
Fisher House

Last week, the Dayton VA Medical Center celebrated the opening of Fisher House, a new facility offering free lodging for family members, veteran caregivers and active-duty servicemembers while they’re visiting the VA.

Fisher House Manager Betsy Striebel says the facility aims to serve as a comfortable “home away from home” for patients under the VA’s care.

Veterans and motorcyclists Steve Ratcliffe and David Berry.
Photo courtesy of David Berry.

Recent scientific studies show there are significant mental and physical health benefits to motorcycling. But many military veterans already know the riding motorcycles is good therapy. Today, our Veterans’ Voices series concludes with Army veteran and Wright State student David Berry of Springfield and Marine Corp veteran Steve Ratcliffe of Dayton, who share a love for the open road.


Building A Family In A Dual-Military Marriage

Oct 31, 2018
Married Army veterans Loghan and Joe Young.
courtesy of the Youngs

When most people think of a military marriage, they imagine only one spouse in the service. But dual-military marriages, where both spouses are service members, are becoming more common in every branch of the military. Today, our Veterans’ Voices series continues with Army veterans and Wright State students Loghan and Joe Young of Huber Heights. The Youngs built their marriage on the unique experiences they shared in the armed forces.

Chief Master Sergeant Vince Ladner and his husband, Joshua Ladner.
courtesy of Vince Ladner

In the Air Force, there’s no higher enlisted level than what’s called E-9, and those who achieve E-9 are honored with their loved ones at a lavish ceremony. But for many LGBTQ service members and their partners, the military has not been inclusive. 

Today on Veterans’ Voices, Chief Master Sergeant Vince Ladner of Dayton tells us about his induction during the time of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. 


Air Force veterans Mia Walthers and David Morse.
courtesy of David Morse

At its best, the military is a model of good race relations, since successful missions require trust and respect among service members. Our Veterans’ Voices series continues with Air Force veteran and Wright State University student David Morse of Riverside and Air Force veteran Mia Walthers of Huber Heights, who both saw less prejudice in the military than they did as civilians.


Battle buddies (left to right) Chad Keever, Matt Bauer, Barry Roberts, Glover, and Jeff McCannon on deployment to Kuwait.
courtesy of Matt Bauer

Our Veterans’ Voices series continues with Air Force veterans Matt Bauer of Vandalia and Jeff McCannon of Columbus. Matt and Jeff are battle buddies. They’ve been deployed three times and it’s their shared experiences and memories – both good and bad - while on those multiple tours of service that bonds them today.