Veterans Chronicles tells the stories of America's greatest heroes in their own words.
Scott Taylor, U.S. Navy SEAL, Iraq
Scott Taylor signed up for the U.S. Navy while he was still on high school and he knew from the start he wanted to be a SEAL. It was training that would serve him well when he was deployed to Iraq just a few years later.
In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Taylor describes the grueling BUD/S training that only he and a small fraction of his original class was able to complete. Also trained as a sniper, Taylor describes the service of his platoon in Iraq and how he was seriously injured.
Finally, Taylor explains how his military service prepared him for his time in Congress.
Scott McEwen, 'Hell Week And Beyond: The Making of a Navy SEAL'
Those who serve in our military go through rigorous training and elite forces must reach even more difficult standards. Perhaps the most famous and most demanding training belongs to the U.S. Navy SEALS. Candidates are tested physically and mentally in many different ways over many months but perhaps the most intense crucible is Hell Week.
In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles" author Scott McEwen joins us to discuss his new book, "Hell Week and Beyond: The Making of a Navy SEAL." McEwen takes us moment-by-moment through six excruciating days that expose the candidates who truly excel and never quit and those who don't quite measure up. From fighting through pain and sleep deprivation to hypothermia and sickness, McEwen explains why SEAL candidates go through Hell Week and how it creates a lasting brotherhood among those who endure.
John McCarney, U.S. Air Force
John McCarney joined the U.S. Air Force shortly after deciding he'd had enough of college football. He trained to be a medical corpsman and was by late 1974 was on his way to Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines. Upon arriving he was stunned to learn he was assigned to the obstetrics ward of the hospital.
It was just a few months later that President Gerald Ford authorized Operation Babylift, which was designed to rescue mixed-race babies and other children out of South Vietnam as the communist North Vietnamese neared Saigon.
In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," McCarney shares how he came to love his work but felt intense survivor's guilt when he was not on the the first Operation Babylift plane that tragically crashed shortly after takeoff. He also explains the moments that finally helped him ease that guilt and take pride in his service.
LTG Patricia Horoho, U.S. Army, Surgeon General of the U.S. Army
In 2011, U.S. Army Lt. General Patricia Horoho became the first nurse and the first woman to serve as Surgeon General of the U.S. Army. Prior to the that honor, she provided excellent emergency care in the immediate aftermath of two major disasters and commanded some of the nation's most critical military medical facilities.
In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Gen. Horoho walks us through her response to the Green Ramp Disaster at Pope AFB in North Carolina and her actions to save lives at Pentagon 9/11 after terrorists slammed American Airlines Flight 77 into the west wall of the building.
Horoho also discusses the controversy over conditions and care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center while she commanded there and the good that came out of the controversy. She also explains what she's most proud of from her time as surgeon general for the Army.
Frank DeVita, USCG, WWII, Omaha Beach
Frank DeVita joined the U.S. Coast Guard in World War II thinking his job would be to protect the American coast. But his war service would be much different than expected when the Navy decided to use Coast Guard personnel the responsibility of manning many of the landing crafts used during invasions. DeVita was assigned to a Higgins boat headed for Omaha Beach in the early hours of D-Day, June 6, 1944. And it was his job to drop the ramp, knowing full well that many of the soldiers on his boat would be killed within seconds.
In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," DeVita describes what he experienced moment-by-moment in the horror of that first wave at Omaha Beach, how American ships helped the soldiers advance up the beach and the bluffs, and his role in recovering the bodies of America's fallen heroes that day.
DeVita also describes his service in the Pacific during the time of the Battle of Okinawa and the grave danger American vessels faced from Japanese kamikaze pilots.
George Dramis, U.S. Army, Patton's 'Ghost Army'
George Dramis joined the U.S. Army during World War II and was sent to Europe with many other soldiers to defeat Nazi Germany. But his unit was very different from all the others. Dramis was a member of the Army's 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, better known as General George S. Patton's "Ghost Army."
In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Dramis explains how the 23rd was tasked with deceiving the Nazi forces to keep them guessing about American intentions and to lure them away from the areas the U.S. really planned to strike. Dramis tells us about the many different methods of deception used by the Ghost Army and how the 23rd played critical roles in rescuing the 101st Airborne at Bastogne and helping the Allies cross the Rhine River.