Host Ira Glass talks with two Vietnam veterans about what it was like to leave the army and come back to civilian life. Both of them, to their surprise, missed the excitement of combat.
Hyder's story continues. He and his convoy of American soldiers run into trouble on their way back home.
Host Ira Glass tells the enemy camp story the way we like it to be told.
Tice Ridley is a first lieutenant in the Army. He's been sending regular emails from Kuwait City, where he's stationed, about what it's like to wait for the war to begin, and what it's like to actually fight it.
Host Ira Glass talks with a Lance Corporal from the Marines' Eighth Communication Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, about what his superiors told him about Iraq at his pre-deployment briefing to go overseas.
Anthony Swofford reads an excerpt from his memoir, Jarhead: A Marine's Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles, about his experience fighting in the first Gulf War in 1991, as a Marine sniper.
Alex Blumberg talks with sailor Prevon Scott, who stocks vending machines on the Stennis.
The story of a clandestine radio station the CIA set up back in the good old, bad old days of the 1950s, to overthrow Guatemala. The coup succeeded because of the immense power of radio.
A story of wartime, of altruism and self-interest, of believing one's own publicity, and of a 50-year campaign for hearts and minds that was better known as the Bob Hope USO tour. Reporter Margy Rochlin saw one of the tours with her own eyes, in Tahiti in the 1980s, and has audio tapes to prove it.
Larry Keeley explains why the Pentagon wants to see things from another perspective...and how hard that is to do.
U.S. special operations forces will lead the first part of the coming war we're all bracing for. We hear how a simple half-hour mission turned into a bloody all-day battle in one of the last times special operations forces went out: in 1993, in Somalia.
For a few days after the attacks on September 11th, it seemed like we were just on the verge of bombing and retaliation. But two weeks went by, and no military action had begun.
One way to understand what war will be like is to understand what past wars were like. Andrew Carroll recently started something called the Legacy Project, which collects letters Americans wrote home during wartime, from the Civil War up through the conflicts in the Persian Gulf and Bosnia.
An excerpt from a story that writer Lee Sandlin wrote for the Chicago Reader about what it is that makes wartime different and about the particular psychology of being at war. It was a massive historical article, exhaustively researched.
Host Ira Glass joins a group of tourists to walk through the captured German submarine that's on permanent display at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. He notes that the Museum chooses to underplay the murderous Nazi origins of the boat.
Ira talks with journalist Jason Bleibtreu about Luther and Johnny Htoo, twelve-year-old twins, and the leaders of a rebel army of Burmese separatists called God's Army. Everyone around them, both their own forces and their enemies, believed they possessed superpowers, that they could not be harmed by bullets, that they had the power to command ghost armies.
A campaign diary from writer Michael Lewis from four years ago, about a politician you've heard a lot about: John McCain...and the story of a moment when the opposite of normal politics became normal politics.
Forty-five people read Luc Sante's story The Unknown Soldier, in which we hear about people's final moments, final thoughts.
NPR's Adam Davidson tells a true story from his own childhood. He was sent to a camp run by the Israeli army at its own training facility.
Margy Rochlin sees a new side of her father when, in his seventies, he becomes a monologist like Spalding Gray. Her dad, Fred Rochlin, is a huge hit.
A medieval village, a 1900-pound brass kettle, marauding visigoths, and a plan to drench invaders with boiling oil that goes awry. From Ron Carlson's book The Hotel Eden, read by Chicago actor Jeff Dorchen.