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Playlist: State of the Re:Union Veterans Day

Compiled By: PRX Editors

 Credit:
Curated Playlist

Here is a list of pieces produced by State of the Re:Union perfect for Veterans Day.

Full Episodes About Veterans

Coming Home: Stories of Veterans Returning from War

From Al Letson | Part of the State of the Re:Union: Season Three series | 53:53

More than two million veterans have come home so far from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. For returning veterans, reintegrating into society can be a challenge. How do you find your place, when you’ve changed and the people you love don’t recognize you? When that old life is gone and you have to start a new one from scratch. In this hour State of the Re:Union explores reintegration and asks the question: how do you come back home from war?

Sotru_profile-pic_01_small

State of the Re:Union
Coming Home: Stories of Veterans Returning from War

Host: Al Letson
Producers: Laura Starecheski and Sara Wood

More than two million veterans have come home so far from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.  For returning veterans, reintegrating into society can be a challenge.   How do you find your place, when you’ve changed and the people you love don’t recognize you? When that old life is gone and you have to start a new one from scratch.  In this hour State of the Re:Union explores reintegration and asks the question: how do you come back home from war?

Billboard (:59)
Incue: From PRX and WJCT
Outcue: But first, this news.

News Hole: 1:00-6:00

SEGMENT A (12:29)
Incue: From WJCT in Jacksonville, Florida
Outcue: PRX-dot-ORG

A-1.  Riley and Monica’s Book
Riley Sharbonno has been home from Iraq for years now.  But he has always had a hard time finding the words to explain his war experience to people close to him.  When a college friend and artist Monica Haller starting asking him—really asking—what Iraq had been like, the words finally came to him.  The product of their conversations was a book that would change the conversation in Riley’s family, and lead Monica to work with veterans across the country.  

SEGMENT B (18:59)
Incue: I'm Al Letson
Outcue: That's ahead on State of the Re:Union

B-1.  What Happened to Jeremiah
In State of the Re:Union’s Wyoming episode, listeners met Iraq War veteran and aspiring country music star Jeremiah Eaton.  Back then, Jeremiah’s future looked promising.  But in this follow-up interview with host Al Letson, we learn that buried psychological wounds have left Jeremiah in a dark place.    

B-2. Sweat Lodge
From Salt Lake City, Utah, State of the Re:Union editor and co-creator Taki Telonidis brings us the story of a group of veterans from different wars who find healing in a very old tradition.

SEGMENT C (18:59)
Incue: You're listening to State of the Re:Union
Outcue: to bring them back together. (music tail)

C-1. Team Semper Fi
We follow the action as a team of injured Marines competes in a triathlon, discovering that just as in war, they must rely on each other to survive.

C-2. When War Comes Home
When Pamela Stokes Eggleston met her husband Charles, she lived strictly in the civilian world. Until 9/11, when everything changed.  Charles was deployed in the first year of the Iraq War in 2003 as a sniper, Special Forces.  Today, he’s a wounded warrior, the only survivor in his unit after an IED blast in Mosul in 2005.  And Pamela is a military spouse and a caregiver.  Host Al Letson talks to her about how their lives have changed—and what it means to be a military family in America today. 

C-3.  Wrap-up / Montage
Al reflects on the ways that American society sees its veterans, and closes the episode with a montage of the voices of veterans and the people close to them.  

PROGRAM OUT @ 59:00

Coming Home is available on PRX without charge to all public radio stations, and may be aired an unlimited number of times prior to January 31, 2017. The program may be streamed live on station websites but not archived. Excerpting is permitted for promotional purposes only. 

State of the Re:Union is presented by WJCT and distributed by PRX.  Major funding for the State of the Re:Union comes from CPB, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Delores Barr Weaver Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida.

Thanks for your consideration of State of the Re:Union with Al Letson. 

 

Veterans Day Special

From Al Letson | Part of the State of the Re:Union: Season One series | 53:53

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are sending our veterans home with wounds and obstacles not always clearly visible to the rest of the country. These two current wars also illuminate how veterans of previous eras are still trying to come home years after returning from war. In this episode, State of the Re:Union explores how veterans are serving each other after they come back home from serving the country.

Sotru_vets_square_240_small State of the Re:Union
Veterans Day Special

Host: Al Letson
Producer: Sara Wood

DESCRIPTION: The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are sending our veterans home with wounds and obstacles not always clearly visible to the rest of the country. These two current wars also illuminate how veterans of previous eras are still trying to come home years after returning from war. In this episode, State of the Re:Union explores how veterans are serving each other after they come back home from serving the country.

BILLBOARD (:59)
Incue: From PRX and WJCT
Outcue: But first, this news.
 
NEWS HOLE: 1:00- 6:00
 
Segment A (12:29)
Incue: From WJCT in Jacksonville, Florida
Outcue: That's ahead on State of the Re:Union. (music tail)

A. VETERAN'S BOOK PROJECT: Riley Sharbonno returned from a year in Iraq with thousands of digital images that he took, but with no memory of the events the photographs captured. So when artist Monica Haller approached him, the two embarked on a project that ended up as a book of Riley's photographs and writing. This book sparked the Veteran's Book Project, a bookmaking workshop for people who have experienced the wars through many different perspectives. While each book tells a different story, together the books are creating a library of honest conversations about what happens during war.

SEGMENT B (18:59)
Incue: You're listening to State of the Re:Union
Outcue: P-R-X.O-R-G

A. O's GUITAR: Richard O'Connor left for Vietnam with his father's old Montgomery Ward guitar. In between fighting and attacks, he played songs for his fellow marines in order to keep a sense of sanity and calm amidst chaos and devastation. Now, 42 years after returning home, Richard is using his music to welcome back recently returning veterans. But he's also finding his own way home.

SEGMENT C (18:59)
Incue: You're listening to State of the Re:Union.
Outcue: to bring them back together. (music tail)

A. TEAM SEMPER FI: On a foggy Sunday morning in Santa Cruz, California, a team of injured marines take the same camaraderie and strength from the battlefield, and bring it to the competitive sports track.

B. FARMER VETERANS: The country is having a hard enough time dealing with the unemployment rate, so imagine returning home from war, and then having to find a job. But a growing movement of veterans are finding their stride by creating a new mission once they return home: Feeding the country. SOTRU visits two farms that are on this mission.

C. REFLECTION: Al reflects on a country dividing its attention between two wars and their own lives.

D. VOX: A montage of voices of those who have experienced the challenges of coming home, from veterans to family members, of all services, of all eras.

PROGRAM OUT @ 59:00

The Veterans Day Special is available on PRX without charge to all public radio stations, and may be aired an unlimited number of times prior to January 31, 2017. The program may be streamed live on station websites but not archived. Excerpting is permitted for promotional purposes only.

State of the Re:Union is presented by WJCT and distributed by PRX.  Major funding for the State of the Re:Union comes from CPB, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Delores Barr Weaver Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida.

Thanks for your consideration of State of the Re:Union with Al Letson. 

 


Episodes with Significant Segments About Veterans

Jacksonville, FL: Grinding the Gears

From Al Letson | Part of the State of the Re:Union: Season Three series | 53:53

C-1. Veterans Farm: Swords Into Ploughshares

When Adam Burke had his big idea—his calling, he says—everyone he told laughed at him. But Adam lives to prove people wrong. He came home from Iraq with a Purple Heart and the deck stacked against him. He knew the statistics: 1 in 4 young veterans is unemployed. Another 1 in 4 has some kind of disability. It’s hard to find work when your combat experience is seen is a liability, instead of an asset. Adam’s calling was to create a place where that wasn’t true.

Sotru_profile-pic_01_small State of the Re:Union
Jacksonville, FL: Grinding the Gears

Host: Al Letson
Producer: Laura Starecheski

Jacksonville, Florida, is a lot of things: a military town. A church town. A beach town.  And it can be all those things because Jacksonville is the largest city in the whole country: 841 miles of sprawl, highways and strip malls dotted with tiny, unique neighborhoods. How does a place this huge and diverse lurch forward to keep pace with the rest of the country?  The quick answer: often, it doesn’t.  But once in a while, in small surprising ways, this place can be an incubator for innovation. In host Al Letson’s hometown episode, SOTRU asks: is Jacksonville is moving backward, stuck in neutral, or shifting towards progress?

Billboard (:59)
Incue: From PRX and WJCT
Outcue: But first, this news.

News Hole: 1:00-6:00

SEGMENT A (12:29)
Incue: From WJCT in Jacksonville, Florida
Outcue: That's ahead on State of the Re:Union.

A-1. Right and Wrong… and Religion
Is it right to be able to fire someone just because they’re gay?  Even in this conservative church town, most people would say no.  But this summer, when a bill came before the city council that would write that into law, Jacksonville erupted into a long and bitter debate.  Would the bill force Christians who object to homosexuality to hide their beliefs?  And when would things change for LGBT people here, who have long lists of all the times they’ve been harassed, fired, and kicked out of restaurants—with no legal recourse afterward?   In the lead-up to the big vote, we hear from LGBT activists pushing for Jacksonville to change, conservative Christians determined to sway the city council their way… and one pastor who did some soul-searching, and decided to go against the crowd. 

SEGMENT B (18:59)
Incue: "I'm Al Letson"
Outcue: "P-R-X.ORG"

B-1.  The St. Johns Swimmer
When Jim Alabiso had the idea to try and swim across the St. Johns River, people told him he was stupid.  “Your skin will rot off, the river’s so polluted,” they said.  Plus, Jim had just broken his hip, and the river is four miles wide.  But Jim tried anyway… and his quest to conquer the St. Johns turned into a journey of healing, for himself, and for Jacksonville’s long-neglected river. 

B-2.  Mayport:  Stuck in Limbo
The tiny fishing village of Mayport is one of the oldest fishing villages in the entire US—450 years old, at least.  Some Mayport families go back eleven generations, and they’re still fishing for a living.  But five years ago, the Jacksonville Port Authority set in motion a plan to build a cruise ship terminal on Mayport’s beloved waterfront.  Almost all the docks were demolished.  And a fence went up, dividing Mayport from its past—and its livelihood.  We meet unlikely activists, old Mayporters and a mystical ferryman named Captain Happy on our journey to find out: how can this village in limbo find its way into the future? 

B-3.  Where Artists Rule
Jacksonville is not known for its arts community, but when artists here find each other, they stick together.  It’s just that for the longest time, there was no place for them to gather, share ideas and collaborate.  That all changed when an art-loving developer named Mac Easton hatched a plan to turn a run-down warehouse into a hub for creative cross-pollination.  But to make it work, he had to give up control… and turn the space over to the artists themselves. 

SEGMENT C (18:59)
Incue: I'm Al Letson and you're listening
Outcue: to bring them back together. (music tail)

C-1. Swords Into Ploughshares
When Adam Burke had his big idea—his calling, he says—everyone he told laughed at him.  But Adam lives to prove people wrong.  He came home from Iraq with a Purple Heart and the deck stacked against him.  He knew the statistics: 1 in 4 young veterans is unemployed.  Another 1 in 4 has some kind of disability.  It’s hard to find work when your combat experience is seen is a liability, instead of an asset.  Adam’s calling was to create a place where that wasn’t true.  Where combat vets could show up every day ready to work hard, and overcome the stereotypes of the angry, battle-scarred soldier.  Two years later, Adam has built Veterans Farm from the ground up, training soldiers how to become farmers.  And this small group of combat veterans are finding out, together, what it means to heal, and come home.

 C-2. Luther and Debbie
 It’s Friday night in Jacksonville, and Luther and Debbie are rounding up their buddies for a night on the town.  Tonight they’re playing pool with about 60 of their closest friends, but this isn’t just any night of pool.  Luther, who’s paraplegic and uses a wheelchair, and Debbie, his wife, are part of an adaptive sports program that makes bowling, archery, rugby, surfing—pretty much any sport you can think of—accessible for people with disabilities.  This program is unique to Jacksonville.  First off, it’s free.  And second, there are events every night of the week.  But for Luther and Debbie, these sports nights aren’t just about having fun.  They’re a lifeline... because when Luther got hurt, they couldn’t imagine how they’d ever get their lives back.  In this story we meet Luther and Debbie’s crowd and hear how they battled their way back after Luther’s accident.

C-3.  Wrap-up / Montage
Al closes the episode by asking Jacksonville residents:  is their city in reverse, stuck in neutral, or moving forward?  Then Al reflects on the question himself to close out his hometown episode.

PROGRAM OUT @ 59:00

Jacksonville, FL: Grinding the Gears is available on PRX without charge to all public radio stations, and may be aired an unlimited number of times prior to January 31, 2017. The program may be streamed live on station websites but not archived. Excerpting is permitted for promotional purposes only.

State of the Re:Union is presented by WJCT and distributed by PRX.  Major funding for the State of the Re:Union comes from CPB, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Delores Barr Weaver Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida.

Thanks for your consideration of State of the Re:Union with Al Letson. 

 

Baltimore, MD: Outsiders In

From Al Letson | Part of the State of the Re:Union: Season Three series | 53:53

B-1. The 6th Branch and Operation Oliver

The Oliver neighborhood in Baltimore has become infamous for drugs, crime and poverty. It was where a big chunk of The Wire was filmed, and that show’s representation of dealers on the corner, abandoned houses and lives spinning out of control is pretty much accurate. And that’s exactly what drew Earl Johnson. He and his wife had been in the military for years, and when the came off active duty, they were looking for some place to move to where they’d make a difference.

Sotru_profile-pic_01_small State of the Re:Union
Baltimore - Outsiders In

Host: Al Letson
Producer: Tina Antolini

DESCRIPTION: Baltimore is a city of many neighborhoods, of intense divides—racial, class, and otherwise-- not easily overcome. It’s a city bogged down by a reputation for crime, poverty and disfunction (thanks, in part, to the acclaimed TV show The Wire)—a reputation not entirely undeserved. But all of that often overshadows the passion and dedication many Baltimoreans have for their city, and for taking on what’s wrong with it in ways small and large. In this episode, we tell stories of people who are working from outside the system to take on Baltimore’s problems and shepherd its promises into fruition, people who are not letting their outsider status stop them for working their way in. From a young black Baltimorean whose life was transformed by joining a teenage debate league and is working on reforming the city’s education system from the outside… to a group of veterans adopting an inner city neighborhood to turn it around… to a battle over the iconic Baltimorean word “hon”… and more.

Billboard (:59)
Incude: From PRX and WJCT
Outcue: But first, this news.

News Hole: 1:00-6:00

SEGMENT A (12:29)
Incue: From WJCT in Jacksonville, Florida
Outcue: That's just ahead on State of the Re:Union. (music tail)

A. Welcome to the Neighborhood(s).
In this brief show open, we introduce the idea that Baltimore is far more complex than the version most Americans know through HBO’s “The Wire.” We hear about the many and diverse neighborhoods of Baltimore, some as long as only a few blocks.

B. Debating the System
Dayvon Love is 24 years old, and, if he has his way, Baltimore city would be in a radically different place before he hits 30. He’s written policy papers, given presentations, and offered to debate any public official, anywhere, any time, on any topic. He ran for city council in Baltimore’s 8th District in 2011, and only narrowly lost. This is all from a man that, when he was a sophomore in high school, was failing several grades, didn’t like to read, and hated school. He came from a rough home that offered him no encouragement, and was basically uninterested in anything academic. That all changed when he found his way onto his high school’s debate team. The Baltimore Urban Debate League was started 12 years ago as an experiment to try to do something that would engage kids who were struggling in school. Debate may sound like dorky territory, but the kids BUDL gets involved are anything but. Their philosophy is this: look for the kids that are loud mouth in class and always interrupting. Find the kids who are shrinking in the back and never saying anything—those are targets. Ease them into the idea of debate with free pizza and easy topics they already have an opinion about—like school uniforms, yay or nay. And then work your way into serious issues. And it caught on… Kids who’d never been successful in the classroom were being transformed. Debate empowered them, put them at the head of the classroom instead of a teacher. Plus, it was a sport—with trophies! The Debate Tournaments became social events—debate in Baltimore became cool.
And BUDL has supported many students like Dayvon Love. After becoming a top debater in high school, Dayvon got himself a scholarship to Towson University, debated in college, and became one of 2 students from Baltimore city schools who were on the first African-American team to win the national debate championship.
Since graduating college, Dayvon and a handful of other graduates of Baltimore city schools (a number of them former debaters) have started a group called Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle. They call their group a “traveling think tank” and have been hosting public forums across the city on policy issues, but education in particular. "I went to a middle school that was half black and half white. There, through the assignments, the testing, and how I was being treated and what I was being told, I remember deeply that I started to think of myself as stupid," Dayvon says. "Part of me knew that either I really was stupid or something was fundamentally wrong with the structure around me." Debate, he says, proved to him which of those was right.


SEGMENT B (18:59)
Incue: You're listening to State of the Re:Union
Outcue: PRX-dot-ORG

A. The 6th Branch and Operation Oliver
The Oliver neighborhood in Baltimore has become infamous for drugs, crime and poverty. It was where a big chunk of The Wire was filmed, and that show’s representation of dealers on the corner, abandoned houses and lives spinning out of control is pretty much accurate. And that’s exactly what drew Earl Johnson. He and his wife had been in the military for years, and when the came off active duty, they were looking for some place to move to where they’d make a difference. Earl says he didn’t want allow myself to waste away. Earl and his wife heard about a guy named David Borinsky who was renovating houses in the Oliver neighborhood, hoping to recruit people to buy them who would be invested in the community. “We thought military people would do wonders for the crime rates of this neighborhood,” David says. “It’d be great if we had an army ranger or a navy seal on every block. Like a counter insurgency.”
And Earl turned out to be one of many Baltimore area veterans who still wanted to serve upon returning home. They started a group called The 6th Branch (playing on the fact that there are 5 branches of the military—and the guys back at home could be the 6th), and test out this idea of a veteran-sponsored community. Operation Oliver was born. The 6th Branch would organize service days where veterans would flood the neighborhood, picking up trash, cleaning up parks. Earl organizes patrols of the neighborhood to keep criminals and drug dealers at bay. The whole thing only got rolling at the end of the summer, so its still in its early days. But the ultimate goal is twofold: revitalizing the Oliver neighborhood… and giving returned veterans a sense of purpose. As Jeremy Johnson, a member of the 6th Branch, says “it’s like that line from the musical Rent: the opposite of War isn’t Peace, it’s Creation. And that’s what we’re trying to do here…”

B. Dear Baltimore Letter: Pastor Heber Brown III.
A letter to Baltimore from the Pastor at New Hope Baptist Church.

C. Knitting Behind Bars
Lynn Zwerling took up knitting to keep herself occupied in her retirement, after selling cars for decades. She quickly realized: "what it takes to do knitting are skills vital to human existence — setting goals, completing a project, giving to somebody else." - and that gave her an idea. Teach knitting to convicts in jail. The wardens of every other jail in the area turned her down before starting the weekly program at Jessup's Per-Release Unit - a jail for men in Howard County (25 mins from downtown Baltimore). The program has been running for two years now and it's one of the most popular clubs at the jail. The warden has seen lower rates of violence among the participants. They proudly wear their creations in the yard. It seems to change them.  “You have to see it,” Lynn told the Baltimore Sun. “These big, tough, tattooed guys, knitting, with a look on their face of tranquility and peace. It’s magic.” They're even doing good for the community, knitting winter hats for kids in need at a local school and comfort dolls for children removed from their homes due to domestic violence. And one man who was released says he's kept knitting. Now he's making a scarf for his grandma.


SEGMENT C (18:59)
Incue: You're listening to State of the Re:Union
Outcue: to bring them back together. (music tail)

A. The Battle of the Hons
In Baltimore, “hon” is not just a term of endearment. It connotes a certain kind of woman—the middle-age,  head-of-household, beehive-hairdo-wearing, excessively-make-uped, working class mama so successfully caricatured by Divine in John Waters movies. A “hon” is a Baltimore icon of sorts. Twenty years ago, Denise Whiting opened Hon Café in the Hampden neighborhood, a white working class part of town. She also started HonFest, an annual street festival featuring a contest for towering beehived hons. But it wasn’t just her— “hon” was such a Baltimorean thing that someone plastered it up under the “Welcome to Baltimore” sign on the highway a couple of decades ago, and has persisted in replacing it each time officials tear the three letters down.
So, it came as quite a shock when it was revealed last year that the word “hon” had actually been under trademark for years. The whole thing blew up when it came out through that that Denise Whiting, owner of Hon Café, owned the term—she’d trademarked it as part of her marketing. Baltimoreans were outraged. There were protests outside the restaurant. Opinion pieces galore. “Hon is as much Baltimore as breathing and eating crabs,” says Bruce Goldfarb, who runs a website called Welcome to Baltimore, Hon.  But Denise Whiting wouldn’t step back, saying she was just protecting her brand. When she was losing so many customers that it seemed her business was doomed, though, an outsider stepped in to moderate—and a most surprising one at that. Gordon Ramsay, the Scottish foul-mouthed celebrity chef and his TV show Kitchen Nightmares came to Baltimore. Usually, they only do remodels of restaurant interiors or rehashes of menus, but in this case, it was all about PR. Ramsay assembled a focus group of the most vocal participants in the Hon debate. They all gave their point of view. And, eventually, Whiting issued a public apology and filed paperwork to abandon her trademarks at the end of 2011. “The Hon Wars are over,” Bruce says, “and the Hons won.”


B. Think You Know Who Black Men Are? Think Again.
For Fanon Hill, the problem comes down to moments like this one: “I go into the bank, and I have a hat on, a Johns Hopkins University ballcap. Immediately, I have 2 security guards ask me to remove my hat. I do so, and then watch as others coming into the bank were allowed to leave their hats on. The difference between them and me? I’m a black man. They’re not.”
This may be a small moment, one that happens every day in the lives of black men and boys around the U.S. But Fanon is part of a group that has been directly taking on the assumptions behind that small incident, trying not only to make them overt, but question them, deconstruct them. It’s a project that has turned Baltimore barbershops into event spaces, turned classrooms into art galleries, and turned a t-shirt into a political conversation-starter. They call it the Black Male Identity Project, and it was a year-long initiative that is aimed at overturning the huge negative stereotypes of black men and boys by using art to show the public positive images of them. The idea was to create new sorts of stories and images about who black men are, and ultimately build a database that would be an overwhelming case study in how false the stereotypes are..  

C. Baltimore Montage:
We ask Baltimore residents to describe parts of the city that people who only know “The Wire” would have no idea about.

PROGRAM OUT @ 59:00

Baltimore, MD: Outsiders In is available on PRX without charge to all public radio stations, and may be aired an unlimited number of times prior to January 31, 2017. The program may be streamed live on station websites but not archived. Excerpting is permitted for promotional purposes only.

State of the Re:Union is presented by WJCT and distributed by PRX.  Major funding for the State of the Re:Union comes from CPB, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Delores Barr Weaver Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida.

Thanks for your consideration of State of the Re:Union with Al Letson.