Veterans Chronicles tells the stories of America's greatest heroes in their own words.
Col. Frank Athanason, U.S. Army, WWII, Korea, Vietnam
Frank Athanason wanted to join the Navy in 1945, but when the two men in front of him passed out from receiving shots in the arm and he didn't, he was assigned to the Army instead. Over the next 32 years, Athanason would serve in three wars, be deployed to Korea and Vietnam and have critical roles in two other international crises.
In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Col. Athanason takes us into his as an artillery officer and describes the action that earned him a Silver Star and a Purple Heart in Korea. He also describes his two tours in Vietnam, being held prisoner for six weeks in communist East Germany in the 1950's and his role during the Cyprus crisis between Greece and Turkey in the 1970's.
Carole Engle Avriett, 'Marine Raiders'
After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the U.S. Marine Corps set out to create the first two battalions of Marine Raiders. These well-trained, elite commando units quickly proved themselves better than the best Japanese troops on Guadalcanal and on the surrounding islands known as Tulagi and Makin Atoll. Two more battalions were soon created but the raiders were disbanded when the realities of war demanded it.
In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles", we'll speak with Carole Engle Avriett, author of "Marine Raiders: The True Story of the WWII Battlions." Avriett explains how the raiders came to be and how the battalions embodied the personalities of their commanders. She also follows individual raiders during the brutal battle of Bloody Ridge and the extended jungle mission known as the long patrol.
Lt. Col. Scott Mann, U.S. Army, Green Beret, Part 2 'Pineapple Express'
Last week, we presented our first interview with retired U.S. Army Green Beret Lt. Col. Scott Mann to discuss his military service, including several years in Afghanistan. Several weeks ago, Col. Mann was also part of a determined effort to rescue Afghan friends and allies while evacuation flight were still available at the airport in Kabul. This private effort was dubbed "The Pineapple Express."
In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," you'll hear how Mann and others used their many contacts to establish a network of people in order to shepherd friends and allies safely to the custody of U.S. Marines at the airport. You'll also learn about the immense danger involved in trying to navigate Kabul with vengeful Taliban at every street corner and mass chaos outside the airport. Mann will also tell what is happening now to assist our allies now that the U.S. military is out of Afghanistan.
Lt. Col. Scott Mann, U.S. Army, Green Beret, Afghanistan, Part 1
Scott Mann knew he wanted to be a Green Beret when he was 14 years old. It would be another 10 years before he could realize that dream. A few years later, our nation suffered the 9/11 terrorist attacks and, like thousands of other American service members, Scott Mann would be headed to war.
In this first half of our profile of Col. Mann, he takes us into the life of a Green Beret and how it is different from other special forces, how he balanced his desire for revenge against the terrorists with his duty to build trust and rapport with the Afghan people and prepare them to fight the Taliban. You'll also hear his eerily accurate predictions about what would happen in Afghanistan.
In this 2019 interview, Mann also describes his work in print and on stage in helping veterans and their families make the difficult transition from military to civilian life and how storytelling is important to that process.
Col. Mann was also a critical player in the recent "Pineapple Express" operation conducted by American veterans to rescue the Afghan allies who worked and fought alongside them for years. Mann will share that harrowing story in the second part of our profile coming soon. Don't miss it!
Iva Toguri: The Real Story of 'Tokyo Rose'
For more than 30 years, the United States government considered Iva Toguri a traitor to our nation for her actions during World War II. Many Americans might still think of her that way, since they think of her as the radio host American troops labeled "Tokyo Rose". But the truth tells a completely different story.
In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," we'll share the story of Iva Toguri, an American woman who got trapped in Japan during the war and wound up as a host playing music during programming aimed at demoralizing American forces.
We'll discuss what she did during the war, how she was targeted by our government afterwards, the federal prosecution she faced, and how her name was finally cleared and honored.
Lt. Col. Edward Saylor, U.S. Air Force, Doolittle Raid
Shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered military planners to strike at the heart of Japan. This daring bombing mission was entrusted to Col. James Doolittle of the U.S. Army Air Corps.
On April 18, 16 bombers took off from the deck of the USS Hornet, with each bomber carrying five crew members. The engineer on the 15th bomber was Edward Saylor.
Mr. Saylor shared his story with us at the American Veterans Center conference in Washington several years ago. In this conversation, Col. Saylor discusses his preparations for the raid, the two great challenges as the Doolittle Raiders got closer to Japan, dropping bombs over the target, and his harrowing efforts to avoid Japanese forces after the mission.
My issue is that they sound like they the bumped up the speed of their voices. Felt like I was watching a micro machines commercial
I really like this podcast especially when they interview the World War II paratroopers