Military Voices Initiative http://www.kunc.org en After Serving In Iraq And Afghanistan, A New Mission: Healing http://www.kunc.org/post/after-serving-iraq-and-afghanistan-new-mission-healing <em>StoryCorps' Military Voices Initiative records stories from members of the U.S. military who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.</em><p>On Staff Sgt. Jon Meadows' first deployment to Iraq, one of his friends, Staff Sgt. William Beardsley, said he wanted to go on a mission in Jon's place.<p>Jon agreed — and Beardsley died on that mission.<p>"That was the hardest moment of my life," Jon tells his wife, Melissa, on a visit to StoryCorps in Washington, D.C. "I was ashamed, because I was glad it wasn't me. Then I had the guilt ... If I went on the mission, it wouldn't have been him. Sat, 24 May 2014 11:49:00 +0000 NPR Staff 56938 at http://www.kunc.org After Serving In Iraq And Afghanistan, A New Mission: Healing 'Someone Had To Do It': Airman Gives Fallen Soldiers A Final Salute http://www.kunc.org/post/someone-had-do-it-airman-gives-fallen-soldiers-final-salute <em>StoryCorps' Military Voices Initiative records stories from members of the U.S. military who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.</em><p>During her back-to-back deployments to Iraq for the U.S. Air Force, then-Senior Airman MaCherie Dunbar volunteered to do "patriot detail" — a ceremony for soldiers, airmen, Marines or sailors killed in action.<p>"You line up in two columns, up to the back of a C-130. And you give them final salute as they're loaded onto the plane. Fri, 23 May 2014 06:59:00 +0000 NPR Staff 56868 at http://www.kunc.org 'Someone Had To Do It': Airman Gives Fallen Soldiers A Final Salute Never Truly Over: Discussing Deployment A Challenge Of Its Own http://www.kunc.org/post/never-truly-over-discussing-deployment-challenge-its-own Army Capt. Drew Pham, 26, returned from a tour in Afghanistan in October 2011. Since Drew's been back, it's been hard for him to make sense of what he saw there and adjust to his life at home. It's been difficult for his wife, Molly Pearl, to respond to some of the things he would tell her, too.<p>Pham called once to tell her he had shot a man. He says she didn't know what to say, so she replied, "Well, we'll deal with it when you get home."<p>"I did a lot of bad things. We killed this 60- or 70-year-old schoolteacher. Sat, 29 Mar 2014 12:29:04 +0000 NPR Staff 55019 at http://www.kunc.org Never Truly Over: Discussing Deployment A Challenge Of Its Own Severely Burned Marine Finds Strength In Nascent Marriage http://www.kunc.org/post/severely-burned-marine-finds-strength-nascent-marriage In June 2008, Marine Cpl. Anthony Villarreal was driving back from a mission in Afghanistan when his truck was hit by a roadside bomb. He was 22 at the time and recently married to Jessica, who was just 21.<p>Villarreal suffered third-degree burns over most of his face and body and was very severely disfigured. His right arm and the fingers on his left hand eventually had to be amputated.<p>"I remember trying to breathe. I just felt, like, real hot — like I was on fire. They were dragging me on the sand and there was rocks there ... and it hurt, but I couldn't scream," he says. Sat, 09 Nov 2013 13:21:04 +0000 51735 at http://www.kunc.org Severely Burned Marine Finds Strength In Nascent Marriage With Veteran's Life In Peril, His Parents Take Up The Fight http://www.kunc.org/post/veterans-life-peril-his-parents-take-fight In October 2005, 21-year-old Army Sgt. Erik Schei was shot in the head during his second tour in Iraq. The bullet shattered the top half of his skull.<p>Christine and Gordon Schei got the phone call about their son's injury at around 4 a.m. Christine Schei says her husband was "white as a sheet" and shaking after answering.<p>A sniper had struck their son; a bullet "entered above his right ear and exited above his left," Gordon Schei says.<p>"They told us he'd be a vegetable his whole life — wouldn't be able to eat, wouldn't be able to speak," he says. Sat, 12 Oct 2013 10:02:00 +0000 50687 at http://www.kunc.org With Veteran's Life In Peril, His Parents Take Up The Fight