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.



Margi Fritz and Claire Roderick

Military suicides continue to climb. It’s a deadly trend that Pentagon officials say is frustrating and they are struggling to counter. Margi Fritz of Columbus, the mother of two Army veterans, talked to her friend, Claire Roderick, about military suicide awareness.


Veterans' Voices: When To Fight And When Not To Fight

Jan 1, 2020
Tom and Jean McMurtry

Success in combat requires an ability to know when to fight and when not to. Army veteran Tom McMurtry from Clayton, told his wife, Jean, about a life-saving lesson he learned while in the service.


Jean McMurtry: Can you tell me about your best day when you were in the war?

Veterans' Voices: When Service To Country Results In Service To Family

Dec 25, 2019
Bill Wells and Cara Arnold

In the military, service to country is almost entirely altruistic. But as Air Force veteran Bill Wells of Beavercreek tells his daughter, Cara Arnold, his work at The Wright-Patterson Medical Center unexpectedly affected the lives of his own family.


Cara Arnold (CA): So, military has been ingrained in our household for as long as I can remember. I remember waking up to you singing, “You've got to get up, you've got to get up, you've got to get up in the morning!”

Veterans' Voices: Finding Solutions To Unacknowledged Problems

Dec 18, 2019
 Sam Eckenrode and Malcolm Kelley

Military veterans are often modest about their accomplishments and the lasting contributions of their service. Sam Eckenrode and Air Force veteran Malcolm Kelley are both from Yellow Springs and have known each other a long time, but Eckenrode find that she's still learning new things about Kelley’s career.


Veterans' Voices: Writing And Burning Your Story

Dec 11, 2019
Chris and Wendy Bussler

In recent years, research has shown that post traumatic stress disorder can be helped with expressive writing. Marine Corps veteran Chris Bussler of Harveysburg tells his wife, Wendy, about a creative strategy he found to cope with the stress of his multiple deployments. 

A warning that some listeners may find this story disturbing.


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.