11.11.15: Veterans Day

Nov 11, 2015

Since World War II, as many as 100,000 service members have been “less than honorably discharged” for being gay. Now, four years after the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” gay vets look to change the record. Today, what goes into rewriting history. And prior to the Civil War, images of battle were the stuff of legends and mystery – then came the photographs of Alexander Gardner. Plus, other stories about our nation’s veterans. 

Listen to the full show. 

The Battle for Honorable Discharge

Dave Philipps is military correspondent for the New York Times where he wrote about veterans who were "less than honorably discharged" for being gay, and are now requesting an upgrade of their status

Show of Force

You don’t need to have been on the front lines to be a veteran in the United States – and in fact, some of the most important military jobs in our nation’s history have involved avoiding battle at all costs. This story was produced by Katie Mingle and Roman Mars of 99% Invisible.    

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org

Honoring Cold War Veterans

In the eyes of the US government, our nearly fifty-year standoff with the Soviet Union wasn’t an actual war, conflict, or even a skirmish.  And as producer Eric Molinksy reports, many retired Cold War servicemen don’t feel like they get the same credit that other types of veterans do.

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org

That story was produced by in 2008 – and despite a number of proposed bills from the house and senate over the past 7 years, each looking to create a National Cold War Medal, veterans are still waiting.

Dark Fields of the Republic

From the streets of Tehran to executions in the desert, citizens and photo-journalists now give us a look at conflict-zones the world over. But during America’s Civil War, it took the work of a few intrepid photographers equipped with bulky cameras, tripods and sheets of film to bring the images home—among them, a Scotsman named Alexander Gardner.

His work is the subject of a retrospective at the National Portrait Gallery "Dark Fields of the Republic: Alexander Gardner Photographs, 1859-1872" which was curated by the Portrait Gallery’s Senior Historian David Ward.   

Rediscovering Your Father's Vietnam

Writer Graham Shelby talks about how Vietnam changed his father, and what he learned about himself, when he went there himself – this piece originally aired on WFPK as part of the show Kentucky Homefront

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org