385 episodes

Veterans Chronicles tells the stories of America's greatest heroes in their own words.

Veterans Chronicles Radio America

    • History
    • 4.5 • 151 Ratings

Veterans Chronicles tells the stories of America's greatest heroes in their own words.

    LCDR Mike Saraille. USMC, U.S. Navy SEAL, Iraq, Afghanistan

    LCDR Mike Saraille. USMC, U.S. Navy SEAL, Iraq, Afghanistan

    When college wasn't working out, Mike Sarraille decided to become a U.S. Marine when he became friends with a recon Marine and was impressed by his humble confidence. Saraille also become a recon Marine as well as a sniper. But a couple years later, after being encouraged to become an officer, he entered BUD/s training and became a U.S. Navy SEAL.

    In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," LCDR Saraille shares his memories of serving with SEAL Team 3 in Iraq, including the brutl fight for Ramadi in 2005 and 2006. He tells the devastating, awe-inspiring story of fellow SEAL MIchael Mansour, who selflessly saved the rest of his men by falling on an enemy grenade while on a rooftop in Ramadi.

    He also explains the rigorous standards for advancing to DevGroup, his harrowing missions in Afghanistan, the horror of losing SEAL members on Extortion 17, and his time as a trainer back at BUD/s. Finally, Saraille discusses some of the key principles in his new book "The Everyday Warrior: A No Hack, Practical Approach to Life."

    • 1 hr 1 min
    T/5 Donald Banks, U.S. Army, WWII, 82nd Airborne

    T/5 Donald Banks, U.S. Army, WWII, 82nd Airborne

    Donald Banks enlisted through the Draft Board to join the U.S. Army and then jumped at the chance to serve in the 82nd Airborne Division. After very difficult paratrooper training, Banks soon found himself jumping into Normandy on D-Day and later fighting in the Netherlands as part of Operation Market Garden and at the Battle of the Bulge.

    In this edition, Banks shares some of his memories of serving in Normandy but confesses he cannot discuss much of what he did there because "it's too gruesome." But he also takes with him into intensity of combat in Nijmegen and how he was wounded there. Banks also describes being rushed to the front lines in response to the surprise German offensive known at the Battle of the Bulge, and what it was like to battle the enemy and the bitter cold there.

    • 19 min
    Col. George Ferkes, USAF, Vietnam, Operation Eagle Claw

    Col. George Ferkes, USAF, Vietnam, Operation Eagle Claw

    George Ferkes could not pass up the opportunity to fly in the U.S. Air Force. After finishing flight school in 1970, he soon found himself in the skies over Vietnam. Ferkes flew in support of Operation Lam Son 719/Dewey Canyon II and the Siege of Fire Support Base Fuller. Less than a decade later, Ferkes was co-piloting an MC-130 gunship as part of Operation Eagle Claw in the mission designed to rescue hostages in Iran.

    In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Ferkes takes us inside the intensity of combat in Vietnam and the actions for which he received a Silver Star during the fight at FSB Fuller. He also walks us through the planning for Operation Eagle Claw, how the mission unfolded, and how it ultimately had to be aborted and ended in in the loss of eight American heroes.

    Finally, Ferkes shares his memories of Joint Special Operations Command and U.S. Special Operations Command taking shape in the wake of Operation Eagle Claw and his role in planning the U.S. intervention in Grenada and our response to the terrorist hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship in the Mediterranean Sea.

    • 52 min
    S1C Willie Clemons, Jr., U.S. Navy, WWII, Korea

    S1C Willie Clemons, Jr., U.S. Navy, WWII, Korea

    In February 1945, Willie Clemons, Jr. joined the U.S. Navy while still 17 years old. Within just a couple of months, he was off to the Pacific Theater. Within a few more months, the Japanese surrendered and the war was over. After leaving the military, Clemons returned to the Navy in 1953 and served in the Korean theater.

    In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Clemons discusses why he joined the Navy at a young age and what it was like to serve while the military was segregated. He tells us about his service in the Philippines and the reaction of the men when they learned Japan had surrendered.

    Then Mr. Clemons tells us about his second stint in the Navy and what he and his ship were doing in the waters off of Korea. He also shares how life was different in the Navy after desegregation and what it's like for him to see South Korea thriving after the U.S. and others saved it from Communism.

    • 38 min
    PFC Vern Staley, U.S. Army, WWII, Combat Medic

    PFC Vern Staley, U.S. Army, WWII, Combat Medic

    Vern Staley wanted to join the military at age 17 following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. His father refused to sign off, telling him to finish high school and accurately predicting "there'll be plenty of war left as soon as you get out of school." After graduating, Staley was drafted into the U.S. Army and assigned to the 70th Infantry Division. He went through basic training and was then sent to Colorado to be trained as a combat medic.

    In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Staley describes arriving in France in December 1944, just in time to be assigned to Task Force Herren in response to German offensives as part of Operation Nordwind. He walks us through the intense fighting against Nazi SS troops and being pinned down on the battlefield. He also tells us what it was like to treat the wounded, serve during the coldest European winter in a century, and how his division celebrated the end of the war in Europe following nearly 90 days in combat.

    • 48 min
    S1C Ken 'Gunner' Guyer, U.S. Navy, Vietnam

    S1C Ken 'Gunner' Guyer, U.S. Navy, Vietnam

    Ken Guyer joined the U.S. Navy when he was 17 years old. It was 1967, and he was eager to join the fight in Vietnam. Once he turned 18, he was on his way there and was soon serving as a gunner on a five-man crew aboard a Navy picket boat patrolling Da Nang Harbor and the Da Nang River.

    In this edition of "Veterans Chronicles," Guyer explains why he loved serving on the picket boats so much, interdicting Vietnamese vessels to see if they were transporting contraband, and engaging enemy forces along the shoreline.

    Guyer also shares about his role in the Son Tay raid and how the failure to liberate American prisoners of war haunted him for years until he actually met one of the prisoners and learned how the raid was actually a significant help to the POW's.

    Finally, he tells us what it was like walking through the San Francisco airport in uniform and carrying a weapon during the height of the anti-war protests, and how glad he is to see our service members treated with much more respect today.

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
151 Ratings

151 Ratings

Georgia Boy US sailorman ,

Documenting History

I feel pretty lucky to have been in armed forces that had studs like these men that preceded me. It’s amazing what they did with such little technology and sometimes inadequate weaponry.

Brittany guy ,


Excellent podcast!!

A-sal211 ,

Good content

Overall it’s good but sometimes it feels like half the podcast is the host giving intros and outros

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