If someone asked you to tell your life story, what would you say?
Since 2013, writers from the “My Life, My Story” project have asked more than 5,000 Veterans at VA hospitals around the United States to tell their life stories. With the Veteran’s permission, those stories go into the Veteran’s medical record so that VA health care providers can read them and get to know their patients better.
On this podcast, we’ll share some of our favorite stories from over the years.
Florian: the story everyone wants to hear
The story that Florian tells in this episode is literally the stuff movies are (and have been) made of. Whether or not you know the history of the USS Indianapolis, this is a story worth hearing.
Jimmy: Leaving a mark
A taxidermist who trekked alone through China and made it into a book called "Weird Wisconsin" -- those are some of the highlights of this wonderful veteran's story.
Jeb: The Guy Who Got Out
A lot of people have screwed up, royally, at least once in their lives. They've crashed cars, yelled at the wrong guy in a bar, fallen asleep on guard duty, cheated on their spouse . . . or worse. Sometimes, people dwell a lot on the screw-ups. But in Jeb's case, we hear more about what it means to deal with regret while moving on.
Kevin: Getting tattoos
Many of the veterans we interview are very sick. Sometimes they're even in hospice care. Those patients are often very aware that the end is near. When that's the case, it can really shape what a veteran has to say about his or her life as a whole.
Alexis: What family's supposed to do
From sibling rivalries to birthday traditions, Alexis's story highlights the highs and lows of family life. Her story was written by a medical student, part of a growing educational trend of having future doctors and nurses interview patients and write up their life histories.
Boone: In the blink of an eye
Life stories can move at a lot of different speeds. Sometimes, we'll get a "slow burner" - the gradual accumulation of years and relationships and jobs all add up to One Big Tale. Other times, life changes in a flash. Boone's life is one of those "flash" stories.
An honor to listen to these true stories
I took time today to listen to all the recordings. Thank you for doing this and thank you to all the men and women for their service and sharing and giving so much for us.
Nazi prison camps, North Korean forced marches, friends lost in Vietnam, losing a piece of yourself returning home, speeches by MLK....... Every veteran has a story and these stories are really incredible.