12 episodes

Some firefights and bomb blasts never make the news or the history books, but they’re still incidents that changed the lives of those involved. In each episode, host and former soldier Thom Tran talks to fellow veterans of our recent wars. We hear from a badly burned vet who became a TV star; a medic who says God answered his prayers on the battlefield; and one of the few women soldiers to take an enemy life in action. Thom also shares his memories of fighting in Iraq, where a sniper's bullet came within an inch of killing him. Sometimes raw, often funny, but always arresting.

Battle Scars Panoply

    • Society & Culture

Some firefights and bomb blasts never make the news or the history books, but they’re still incidents that changed the lives of those involved. In each episode, host and former soldier Thom Tran talks to fellow veterans of our recent wars. We hear from a badly burned vet who became a TV star; a medic who says God answered his prayers on the battlefield; and one of the few women soldiers to take an enemy life in action. Thom also shares his memories of fighting in Iraq, where a sniper's bullet came within an inch of killing him. Sometimes raw, often funny, but always arresting.

    Surrounded, Outnumbered, Shot in the Throat... But I Fought On.

    Surrounded, Outnumbered, Shot in the Throat... But I Fought On.

    Simon Moloney took up a lonely sniper position in an Afghan building, not realising it was the headquarters of the local Taliban. Suddenly he and his comrade came under heavy fire from all sides. A bullet slammed into Simon's throat - a wound which should have killed him in minutes. Bleeding and certain he was close to death, Simon started to fight back against huge odds. It was one of Simon's best days ever.    
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    • 29 min
    From War in Afghanistan to a Fight in the NFL

    From War in Afghanistan to a Fight in the NFL

    Former Green Beret and NFL player Nate Boyer never picks the easy path or runs away from conflict. In Afghanistan, he learned to trust and respect the local soldiers whose lives and views at first seemed so alien to his American eyes. Back home, when quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat out the national anthem in a civil rights protest, Nate didn't shy away from the controversy. While disagreeing with the star's actions, Nate wanted to understand  - so he started a dialogue with Colin which resulted in #TakeAKnee.   
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    • 28 min
    I Fought with Hate... Until it Caught Up On Me

    I Fought with Hate... Until it Caught Up On Me

    As a soldier in US Army Special Forces, Tu Lam fought all over the world. He saw action in the wars you see on the TV news, but also in smaller conflicts you've probably never heard about. As a former refugee himself, he wanted to help innocent people in those strife-torn places. However, Tu saw so many awful things and experienced such personal losses that hate grew in his heart until it became his main motivation for fighting. That imbalance caused him to examine his career in the Green Berets and set about finding a new path.  
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    • 35 min
    Don't Die with Skeletons in Your Closet

    Don't Die with Skeletons in Your Closet

    In Iraq, Arnold Strong went hunting for a terrorist bomb and found it right under his feet. The realisation of how close he'd come to death again and again on his tour made him think about the skeletons in his closet. On leave, he decided to tell his wife a secret he'd buried deep inside. The revelation totally blew up his family life. 
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    • 40 min
    I Tried to Help Land Our Black Hawk, Then Passed Out

    I Tried to Help Land Our Black Hawk, Then Passed Out

    Tammy Duckworth was having the best day of her deployment in Iraq - at the controls of a US Army Black Hawk helicopter - when insurgents launched an attack on the aircraft. Small arms fire peppered her side of the chopper... then a rocket-propelled grenade tore through the fuselage and detonated in her lap. Now a US Senator, she says she wouldn't go back to change anything about the journey that put her in harm's way. 
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    • 30 min
    The First Woman to Kill in Battle

    The First Woman to Kill in Battle

    Chantelle Taylor was a combat medic in Afghanistan. She took pride in being highly trained in both those trades; saving lives, but also taking them when necessary. During a Taliban ambush on her unit, Chantelle played her role fighting off the attackers. During the firefight she "engaged" one of the enemy - killing him. Those carefully-aimed shots made her the first female soldier in British military history to take a life in combat - a status she neither hides nor celebrates.  
    Chantelle is the author of a memoir (Battleworn) and co-hosts the Global Recon podcast.    
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    • 31 min

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