HV104- Vet Vox

US Army troops pose in front of Iraqi palaceHearing Voices from NPR®
104 Vet Vox: Voices of Veterans
Host: Barrett Golding of Hearing Voices
Airs week of: 2010-11-10

“Vet Vox” (52:00 mp3):

For Veterans Day, Vietnam, Korean, and World War Two vets, recorded by StoryCorps, along with a Marine Sergeant’s recent “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” discharge. And we plug into the iPods of active-duty troops in Iraq (photo gallery), asking them what they’re listening to, and what their lives are like:

“Specialist “Laser” Lawrence” (2:08) Jake Warga

Soldier Soundtrack, Iraq- Song: “Indestructible” by Disturbed from Indestructible. “You got to show people that soldiers aren’t just war fighters, they’re peace keepers too…”

“Bob and Carol Harllee” (1:34) StoryCorps

Bob Harlee served as an Army Chaplain for 18 years. In 1965, Harllee was sent to Vietnam, and he had to leave his wife and three children behind. One of those children, Carol, now 47, recently asked her father about his life in those days. As part of the 101st Airborne out of Fort Campbell, Ky., Harllee had to reconcile his role as a spiritual guide within a unit whose job it was to destroy the enemy. Still, Harllee says, his task was clear: “to encourage everybody to keep their faith strong, even though they’re in the midst of the most terrible thing that mankind can bring upon itself.” Bob Harllee died in Charlottesville, Va., several months after his interview session. He was 73.

“Staff Sergeant Treen” (3:12) Jake Warga

Soldier Soundtrack, Iraq- Song: “Send in the Clowns” by Barbara Streisand from The Broadway Album. “They’re not really geared towards a democratic or republic sort of society… the biggest issue will be trying to keep Iran or Syria from moving into the power vacuum when we leave…”

“Army-Navy Classic” (0:26) Firesign Theatre

From. their series of of Jack Poet Volkswagon ads

“Prayers for Peace” (3:32) Claude Johner

From the 1972 album, Good Morning, Vietnam (Smithsonian Folkways FW05445). Recordings made in Southeast Asia 1968-1972: Radio A.F.V.N.: “Good morning Vietnam…”. The gong of the An Quang Pagoda (call to prayer – the gongs are made out of melted American artilleryshells). Lyndon B. Johnson 1968 speech, “Peace in the World.” The monk Thich Tri Quang Peace in the World. Black Gì in a bar, “What will they all do when they go back to the United States? I do not know what I will do. I hope I’ll be able to do something. I dont want to become a criminal. I want to do my two years and then get out of it. I am not a liar. Beside, I love everybody. That’s all.” The street (motor cycles and sirens). A prostitute, “I love you.”

“Michael Crowe” (01:05) StoryCorps

Michael Crowe tells his son about his sergeant during the Vietnam War. “I’m sure for the rest of his life he’s had nightmares, and he’s had a tortured, tortured soul.”

“Specialist Browning” (1:25) Jake Warga

Soldier Soundtrack, Iraq- Song: “” by Limp Bizkit from Significant Other. “Their culture’s so different than ours, they always stare at all the females when we’re out there — and they don’t want to touch us…”

“D-Day Radio” (6:05) Barrett Golding

Broadcasts from the planes, boats, beaches and newsrooms: excerpts from the CBS network feed on June 6, 1944, when the Allied Forces began taking back Europe (with additional D-Day online photo/audio from FDR, Ed Murrow, and George Hicks famous actuality from the beach-head invasion fleet).

“Major James Lockridge” (3:04) Jake Warga

Soldier Soundtrack, Iraq- Song: “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen from A Night At The Opera. “The United States Army can go anywhere at anytime or anyplace…I learned that during the first war. I wouldn’t want to be anybody that had to face the United States…”

“Staff Sergeant Ike Richardson” (1:54) Jake Warga

Soldier Soundtrack, Iraq- Song: “I Love The Name Jesus” by Douglas Miller from (Sung by Sgt Richardson). “I think that we’re in spiritual warfare all the time…most religions are the same, they teach about peace…”

“Specialist Kreigshouser (War House)” (1:18) Jake Warga

Soldier Soundtrack, Iraq- Song: “Raindrops” by Stunt (DJ Alex K remix) from Raindrops. “I think the country will survive; they’re a thriving, caring, generous people…”

“Leon and Angela May” (1:50) StoryCorps

World War II veteran Leon May tells his daughter, Angela, about leaving for basic training at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. In 1943, May was drafted into the Marines, which was integrated a year earlier. After World War II, May worked for General Motors for almost 50 years. He is now a visual artist, working in oils, pencils, sculpture and clay. This interview is part of StoryCorps Griot, an initiative to record interviews between everyday African Americans across the United States. In West African tradition, the griot is a storyteller who preserves cultural identity and passes it on from generation to generation. The StoryCorps Griot booth is traveling from coast-to-coast collecting these interviews, which will be archived in the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

“The War Machine in Operation” (2:24 excerpt) Claude Johner

From the 1972 album, Good Morning, Vietnam (Smithsonian Folkways FW05445). Recordings made in Southeast Asia 1968-1972: Jets, machine-gun fire from helicopters, air-to-ground pilot communication, artillery coordinates, artillery of 175 (night in the mountains of Khe Sahn). The GIs escape from the war in the dreams of drugs. “I was in Singapore, I bought this water pipe there… Marijuana ! they ought to make it legal.”

“Puyallup Assembly Center” (3:28) Jon Watanabe

Ed Kiyohara was interred at the Puyallup Assembly Center in Washington state during World War II, one of thousands of Americans of Japanese-Americans forced from their homes in coastal states to live in internment camps while American forces battled Japan for control of the Pacific Ocean. He later joined the all-Japanese 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which became the most decorated unit in U.S. history.

“Sergeant Crystal Halbert” (1:48) Jake Warga

Soldier Soundtack, Iraq- Song: “Home” by Blake Shelton from Pure BS. “Home is sitting at my mom’s, waiting for her to finish cooking dinner. All the family’s starting to come over; my kids are running around…”

“Wayman Simpson” (1:42) StoryCorps

Wayman Simpson was captured in 1950, soon after the Korean War began. As a prisoner of war, Simpson came under the command of a Korean officer nicknamed The Tiger, who led the prisoners on a brutal, nine-day trek that claimed nearly 100 American lives. The march ended at a POW camp near the Siberian border. Simpson was released from the camp in 1953. The ordeal came to be known as the Tiger Death March.

“PFC Michael Dalere” (1:32) Jake Warga

Soldier Soundtrack, Iraq- Song: “Undead” by Hollywood Undead from Swan Song. “I’ll always remember my buddy that got killed, how young he was. I don’t think you get over having a friend get killed for trying to better another country…”

“Kendall Bailey” (2:02) StoryCorps

Kendall Bailey talks to his friend Don Davis about his dismissal from the U.S. Marines under the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy. Bailey became a U.S. Marine in 2001. After five years, Kendall had attained the rank of sergeant and was considering becoming career military. Then one of his fellow officers discovered he was gay.

“Specialist Bowers” (2:31) Jake Warga

Soldier Soundtrack, Iraq- Song: “Kiss My Country Ass” by Rhett Atkins from (Single). “The army standard is supposed to be that females are soldiers too, but a lot of times we still get treated as females, we get treated differently…”

“The Abstract Universe Of War” (0:58 excerpt) Claude Johner

From the 1972 album, Good Morning, Vietnam (Smithsonian Folkways FW05445). Recording made on the aircraft carrier “Enterprise” (in the Gulf of Tonkin), including hydraulic machine chambers, catapults, and arresting gear.

“Petty Officer Roe” (1:58) Jake Warga

Sailor’s Soundtrack- Song: “Sleepy Head” by Passion Pit from Manners. 3rd Class Petty Officer Heather Roe, 20, from Cleveland, is serving on the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier, which was early on scene of Haiti’s earthquake to provide humanitarian aid.

“Let A Soldier Drink” (2:52) Jerry Lee Lewis

The killer does Sharkespeare, from the 1968 musical Catch My Soul, based on Othello. More info (with mp3s) at WFMU “Whole Lotta Shakespeare Goin’ On” and Dreamtime.

“You know, if anybody ever asks me why I do this radio show, I could just play them Jerry Lee Lewis singing Shakespeare. That’s what this show is all about.”
—Bob Dylan

Make sure to check Jake Warga audio/photo exhibition: Iraq: Soldier’s Soundtrack.

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Comments (5)

Dear Jake,
Your interiews and photos here give me insight into what my son is experiencing, wherever he may be.
Thank you for featuring our troops and veteran stories for Veterans Day. I have not heard from my son lately but hope to by Thanksgiving. Today I wrote a letter to the troops who can get mail and I dropped it off at a local radio station so someone will get a greeting from someone who cares. I asked all my friends to do the same. I’m sure many of our soldiers appreciate the time and energy that you take to give them a voice for their story.

Comment added by Suzanne on 11.14.10

Hey Jake,
I think tapping into what our Veterans are listing to is awesome, it somewhat gave me a new respect for the people who serve to defend our country. I respect that Petty Officer Roe listens to something chill like Passion Pit. Keep up the good work and thanks for helping serve our country everyone!!!

Comment added by Vince on 11.14.10

Oh I’ve always wanted to [peer] into the playlists of our soldiers. Some cliches, some surprises! I particularly liked Sergeant Treen’s choice of Bring in the Clowns.

And thank god Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is on it’s way out the door. Best hopes to Kendell and his bf.

Thanks Jake and everyone who contributed.

Comment added by Eek on 11.16.10

Hey Jake!

I can’t believe I’m in your show about music! I find this very entertaining especially since you thought my voice was “unique”! It’s good to know others appreciate music as much as I do! Have a good year!

MC3 Roe
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)

Comment added by Heather Roe on 02.02.11

Heather, as much as I love that Passion Pit song, I love your describing your life and that tune, as mixed by Jake, even more. What a blend. Thanks for being part of this project.

Comment added by BG on 02.03.11

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