Veterans Chronicles tells the stories of America's greatest heroes in their own words.
CMSgt. Jo Keller, USAF, Khobar Towers, Iraq
Retired U.S. Air Force CMSgt. Jo Keller joins us to discuss her 26 years of service. Chief Keller describes serving as an aeromedical evacuation technician in Iraq, the Balkans, and Saudi Arabia, among other assignments.
Chief Keller also walks us through the horrible day in 1996, when Al Qaeda attacked the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, where she was stationed at the time. She describes her own injuries and her tireless efforts to help other wounded service members.
Keller also describes what is was like operating under fire in Iraq and her leadership role as chief enlisted manager of the 403rd Aeromedical Staging Squadron.
Justin Sheffield, U.S. Navy SEAL, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia
U.S. Navy veteran Justin Sheffield walks us through his 14 years of service, almost all of it as a a U.S. Navy SEAL, including many years with the elite SEAL Team Six.
Sheffield gives us an amazing glimpse into BUD/s training to become SEAL and what separated those who succeeded and those who tapped out. He also takes us into the SEAL combat mindset and the mission his teams were asked to do in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond.
Sheffield also walks us through one of his declassified missions, a 2011 rescue mission for an American missionary held prisoner in Somalia that he led and helped to plan.
Finally, Sheffield shares his very difficult re-entry into civilian life, how he came to the brink of suicide, and his work helping other veterans struggling after their time on active duty.
Don't miss this honest and revealing conversation with former Navy SEAL Justin Sheffield.
RDML Robert Shumaker, U.S. Navy, Vietnam, POW
In early 1965, U.S. Naval Aviator Robert Shumaker was deployed to Vietnam. He said goodbye to his wife and newborn son, never imagining he wouldn't see them for another eight years.
In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," retired RDML Shumaker shares the gripping details of being shot down and badly injuring his back as he parachuted to the ground. He also describes how he dubbed Hoa Lo Prison the "Hanoi Hilton" and how he and other prisoners developed the tap code that allowed them to communicate right under the noses of their captors.
Shumaker also shares how he survived excruciating torture and more than three years in solitary confinement. And, of course, he tells us what it was like to taste freedom after eight years in captivity.
But there's even more to his story. Shumaker also walks us through the harrowing mission in the Mediterranean that almost took his life years before Vietnam and how he was chosen to be an astronaut before losing that opportunity in the unlikeliest of circumstances.
Don't miss the incredible story of RDML Robert Shumaker as visits with Greg Corombos.
Lois Bouton, U.S. Coast Guard, WWII
After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Lois Bouton asked to join the U.S. Coast Guard but was told it did not accept women. The very next year, the policy changed and the Coast Guard Women's Reserve was born. Bouton joined in 1943, became a boot camp instructor and later served as a radioman along the Atlantic Coast.
Almost 30 years later, in her role as a schoolteacher, Bouton began visiting recovering servicemembers at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center, where she brought cookies and encouraging letters from her students.
Soon she was visiting every week, and after moving to Arkansas upon retirement, Bouton started writing to Coast Guard veterans and active duty personnel. She consistently writes hundreds of cards and up to a thousand letters each year - even at age 101. She is affectionately known as the Coast Guard Lady.
Author Therese Hughes also joins the conversation. Hughes is an accomplished author and photographer. Her book based upon her "In A Heart Beat" photo exhibit will be released in March.
Don't miss this wonderful conversation with one of America's female military trailblazers.
Vincent Okamoto, U.S. Army, Vietnam
Vincent Okamoto was born in a Japanese internment camp during World War II and later became the most highly-decorated Japanese-American soldier to survive the Vietnam War.
In this edition of Veterans Chronicles, Okamoto walks us through the harrowing combat against North Vietnamese forces on August 24, 1968, at Dau Tieng near the Cambodian border. He shares his thoughts and the decisions he made under withering fire to gather his men, fight back, and miraculously survive.
Okamoto also describes day-to-day life for soldiers in Vietnam and his successful effort to build a Japanese-American Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Andrew Napier, Combat Medic, Afghanistan
Andrew Napier joined the Kentucky Army National Guard as a way to get a college education. Soon he was trained to be a combat medic and he volunteered to be deployed. He soon spent a life-changing tour as a medic for a route-clearing platoon.
Within his first four days in theater, Napier faced soldiers with fatal wounds, an ambush of his unit, and assisting in treating some of the most gruesome injuries he would see in Afghanistan. He also describes the day he was injured in another ambush, how he struggled during and after his deployment, and his ongoing mission to encourage veterans.
Finally, Napier describes how his service inspired the medical device he recently.