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Soldiers Stories Podcast
81 minutes | Feb 20, 2020
1SG David Jeffers - Episode 12
Tonight's episode is from a retired soldier, 1sg David Jeffers, Dave and I served together for 2 years back in the mid 1980’s when we were young and for lack of a better term full of a lot of bull. In those two years we hung out a lot together and enjoyed life, dave learned he had a passion for teaching and he was an excellent teacher and he still is today, while I enjoyed teaching I could not wait to get back into an operational unit. Which for me there was only one unit I wanted to be in and that was the 82nd Airborne Division You will hear about 5 stores from David as a 1SG he talked about smoking his soldiers, so along the way I had him give his definition of smoking. Then I asked Dave when he had been smoked because in the Army it is a right of passage. Dave gives a couple examples and one of them includes me and the other one includes one with his platoon SGT and It was the funniest story I have heard since i started recording this podcast. You find that story at starting around 55 minutes and 22 seconds, I call it David getting smoked by me and SFC Thomas Mosley. SGT Mosley went on to become a warrant officer and he was an excellent leader. He passed away back in 2016 which I provided the link to in his obituary in the show notes. Lets get on to the story, Retired 1SG Jeffers and Dave my friend lets here your story. 6m:51s - First tour in Germany 9m:34s - ATC Tower work when hostages from Iran landed in Germany - 1981. 10m:45s - Basic & Advanced Air Traffic Control School 16m:55s - Why did you get out after your first tour of duty 22m:53s - Return to active duty & the Army as a career 27M:45s - Myths about the Army 35m:07S - Congressional Inquiry 39m:50s - Specialist Black & Weekend Wall Locker Inspection 44m:24s - Leadership Techniques 46m:26s - Definition of Smoking a soldier 53m:11s - Christopher Nocon Story 55m:26s - David getting smoked by me and SFC Thomas Mosley 60m:20s - Story to remember - Barracks Justice 71m:53s - Paint a picture of your time in the Army 1h:20m:45s - closing You can also listen to my podcast from your favorite source. Apple podcast, stitcher, spotify, overcast or even google podcast. Please hit the subscribe button wherever you listen and it will ensure you will receive my podcast when I air them.
42 minutes | Feb 7, 2020
Korean Conflict Era Sailor - Episode 11
Richard A. Guenther - A potential draftee who joined the Navy verses being drafted in the Army in 1953. It worked out well for Richard and he had a great tour of duty in the Navy, minus the almost 2 ½ months of Mess Hall duty he had to serve. Richard served a total of eight years of service primarily out of Naval Air Station Pensacola. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_Air_Station_Pensacola He served on the USS Saipan (CVL-48) Light Aircraft Carrier http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/48.htm that was turned into a training vessel to train young Naval Aviation Pilots. One of the pilots that went through the training while Richard was stationed on the Carrier was Senator John McCain. After his tour of duty on the ship Richard was assigned to a photo lab in Memphis Tennessee where he served out his remaining tour of active duty and then he went on to serve another four years as a Radar Sonar Operator at Pensacola in the Naval Reserves becoming a weekend warrior. Richard is now 86 years old and lives in Lewisburg Tennessee Timeline of Podcast Introduction of Richard 1m:26S- Richard starts his story 10m:38s - Were you drafted Richard? 13m:07 s - Richards Transfer to Memphis Tennessee 22m:56s - Funniest thing Richard remembers about his tour of duty 33m:34s - The one thing Richard learned from the military 40m:46s - Closing remarks
80 minutes | Jan 31, 2020
SGT Vietnam Paratrooper - Episode 10
SGT Fred Castaneda is a proud veteran Paratrooper who served in Vietnam with the 23rd Infantry Division commonly referred to as the Americal Division. https://americal.org/cmsaml/ The Americal Division is a contraction of "American, New Caledonian Division". This was unusual, as most U.S. divisions are known by a number. After World War II the Americal Division was officially re-designated as the 23rd Infantry Division. However, it was rarely referred to as such, even on official orders. The link below is a short biography of SGT Castaneda recorded by the University of Texas at Austin by the Voces Oral History Project back on January 18, 2010. https://voces.lib.utexas.edu/collections/stories/fred-castaneda Fred was drafted and like a lot of draftees he tried to control a little of his own destiny by volunteering to be a Paratrooper. He paints the picture very well in explaining how even though he scored very high on his entrance exam he was given very few options because he was not a United States Citizen. He made the best out of a not so good situation. I am learning after just my 10th interview, Fred was not different from many veterans, he moved on quickly after he was discharged and put his time in the military behind him, he jumped with both feet into being a very successful civilian, son, husband and father. After two decades Fred landed in the heart of the Army which is North Carolina, the home of the 82nd Airborne, XVIII Airborne Corps, FORSCOM, and the US Army Special Operations Command. He had some time on his hands and decided to visit a recruiting office and there his passion returned as a Soldier & Paratrooper. Fred is dealing with complications from Agent Orange & PTSD. Hi days are now spent like a lot of veterans who served in Vietnam at the Veterans Administration Hospital. His stories about the media resonated with me all too well and his stories about being a PIG Gunner (this is the affectionate name given to the M60 Machine Gun) was very well told. You will hear that SGT Fred Castaneda has an excellent radio / podcast voice and if you would like to hear more from Fred he hosts his own podcast at the http://podcastreporter.com/. He has helped me as a fledgling podcaster get off the ground. Timeline: Start - Fred is drafted while in College 3m:15s - Volunteered for Airborne along with his buddy 4m.20s - Talk about Fred’s Bio from University of Texas 8m.1s - Why Fred joined the Airborne 12m.15s - Coming Home from Vietnam 18m.43s - Recondo School Instructor 22m.17s - Yom Kippur War,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yom_Kippur_War 24m.38s - Failed Recruiting Program 26m.44s - Arrived in Vietnam 29m.50s - Injured on an airborne operation at Nijmegen drop zone 33m.15s - Parachute Redeployment Duty 36m.19s - Resurgence in pride & honor of being a Paratrooper 39m. 6s - Adjusting to Civilian Life 42m.45s - Myths around the Army 45m.323s - Engaging the Enemy in Vietnam & Friendly Fire 50m.58s - Dealing with the Media (or as Fred calls it the LAME STREAM MEDIA) 52M.17S - Respect for the Helicopter Pilots & Medics 53m.28s - Best & worst experience in Army 58m.19s - Humorist stories it pass along 1h.03m.27s - Follow up on serious moments 1h.0m.25s - Donut Dolly - Red Cross 1h.15.42 - What does your career look like today 1h.18m3s - Parting thought - A line from the movie Batan 1h.19m - Closing Comments
72 minutes | Jan 23, 2020
Cold War Soldier & WWII Father - Episode 9
Today’s story is about a Cold War soldier who served in the Army in Germany at one of the key periods in the cold War. In 1961 Joe Wasz 19 was drafted into the service, he like a lot of soldiers drafted and similar my brother Dennis Winn, who I interviewed on my podcast took the draft into his own hands and ask for the draft board to move up his enlistment so he could move forward in his life. Joe was almost immediately activated which started a two adventure in the Army with many up & downs. Additionally during this interview Joe and I review his father's WWII experience in the Pacifc fighting as an Infantryman & Scott. Sylvester Wasz, received numerous medals for his heroics to include the combat infantry Badge, Bronze star with 3 oak leaf clusters & a purple heart (wounded in action on (Okinawa) on 4/18/1945 (same day as Ernie Pyle, same Island (8 miles long). Same Island. Served in the same unit (exact) with Medal of Honor winner Desmond Doss --- Movie made in 2016 called “Hacksaw Ridge” 77th Infantry Division, 307th Infantry, 307 Medical (When his father was wounded he told Joe one of the Medics pulled him to safety under fire, never knew who that might be. He was wounded about 2 days prior to what had happened on Hacksaw Ridge. A point Joe talked about during the interview was that he feels his father fought his entire life with PTSD, but back in the era his father lived there was no real diagnosis and he suffered with it for the rest of his life. Schedule of discussion in Podcast. 3:23 - Joe talking about why he joined the Army 07:48 - Back to Basic Training Story 17:24 - Arrival to Germany 20:10 - Arrival to Unit 23:00 - Talk about 155 & Lineage 27:56 - FDC 30:04 - One of Joe’s fond memories. 32:05 - Two Traumatic Events 40:13 - NATO 41:30 - What one lesson did you learn to pass along to your family? 48:59 - What medals or awards did you receive? 50:30 - What Memory sticks to you the most? 51:30 - Final Days in the Army 56:59 - What does your career look like today? 59:21 - Joe talking about his father & his time in WWII 1:06:54 - Joe talking about Desmond Doss 1:13:05 - Closing Remarks
39 minutes | Jan 15, 2020
WWII Combat Paratrooper - Darrell G. Harris - Episode 8
WWII Combat Paratrooper - It is my honor to share this story with you about Darrell G. Harris. He was one of the first paratroopers in the American history of the Airborne and also one of the first awardees of the CIB badge (Combat Infantry Badge). Below is a snippet from the comments provided to me by Fred Castaneda from the Podcast Reporter. Fred is an 82nd Airborne Vietnam Combat Veteran who along with his comrades was deployed to Vietnam.to fight. Fred is also a veteran podcast report with over 14 years of podcasting. Fred thank you for sharing your story about Darrell G. Harris. Darrell G Harris, who was a WWII Airborne paratrooper and combat infantryman demo man with 3 combat jumps (Sicily, Salerno and Holland), as well as a beach landing at Anzio. This episode talks about his experiences in WWII with the 82nd Abn Div.
51 minutes | Jan 6, 2020
Katrina Army Officer & Victim - The Story - Episode 7
Retired LTC David McPherson was an Army Reserve Officer and served over 20 years of service. The stories will hear revolves primarily around a three year period from August 2005 until 2008. You will also hear about how his decision to join the service, his family and his on and off duties as a US Army Reserve Officer. The U.S. Army Reserve is for those that want to make a difference performing critical Army jobs while serving part time, close to home, while gaining an edge in their civilian careers. use their civilian and military training to safeguard the nation's data and develop secure communications technologies. David played a critical role in both of the major operations around Hurricane Katrina (Operation Evacuee & Debris), at the same time he was a VP of technology for a local university, a husband, father and son in which he supported all of them during his duties around the Hurricane. Hurricane_Katrina At the 38 minutes and 26 seconds you are going to hear how David’s unit supported operations in Afghanistan through a retrofit process and how it affected his soldiers that had experienced it. One unit coming through had lost 105 men in battle in the previous month and David talks about how it affected them how Chaplan stood up for the warriors even to the point of swearing, which I had to bleep...ha ha. Being an enlisted soldier I got a kick out of David’s run-in with the 3rd Army (CSM) Sergeant Major in the dining facility. You will hear this story at 42 minutes and 54 Seconds into the episode.
69 minutes | Dec 27, 2019
SGT Road Soldier - Episode 6
This episode is Sergeant Road Soldier. My guest is Grace Nix, Grace was an 88 Mike which is a Motor transport operator. They are primarily responsible for supervising or operating wheel vehicles to transport personnel and cargo. They are the backbone of the Army’s support and sustainment structure, providing advanced mobility on and off the battlefield. Like my other episodes you will learn about the mission of the 88 mike and Grace. On one of Grace’s tours she served in Egypt which is very unique duty assignment. You might ask how did she get that assignment, well here is a hint, it is nice to have friends in high places and you will also where she has and exciting time in Egypt, One other thing, there are probably very few people soldiers who enlisted in the SMA’s office at the Pentagon, yes Grace was one of them. This will be my last episode for 2019, I started this podcast after volunteering for the past 3 years at the USO and hearing all the great stories from the military personal passing through our center. I am deeply humbled by the soldiers and sailors who have told their story and for you for listening. I promise to not fade out and continue to tell as many stories that they are willing to share. To listen to my podcast simple go to soldiersstoriespodcast.com and on home you will find the latest episode along with my podcast menu that contains all my episodes.
63 minutes | Dec 19, 2019
Tin Can Spook - Episode 5
Doug Fussell entered the Navy right out of High School, this is the same time most young men and woman are headed to college. He was looking for the discipline, team work and fortitude the Navy would teach him. His goals were to attend college but he knew a stint in the Navy would be the best choice for his career and development. He served in the Navy from 1990 - 1994 Doug was a Cryptologist if you look it up at Navy careers Cryptologic-technician You will find the below description: Enlisted Sailors in the Navy Cryptology community analyze encrypted electronic communications, jam enemy radar signals, decipher information in foreign languages and maintain state-of-the-art equipment and networks used to generate top secret intel. After Cryptology School Doug served on DD964 a Spruance-class destroyer. The USS Paul F. Foster named for Vice Admiral Paul F. Foster USN. There are several facebook associations that support the service men and woman that served on the destroyer to include this link. USS Paul F. Foster Association DD-964
68 minutes | Dec 13, 2019
Buckeye Soldier - Episode 4
Listen Here Mike, filled out some questions I send out as (homework, ha ha). I asked the questions to get the ideas and thoughts flowing. Below are the answers to his questions which I thought were very good and funny. Mike's funny story - My most vivid memory of family was at Christmas before I left for the Army my grandpa was ticked I joined. His view was from the 60's 70's kids going off to die in Vietnam, and didn't like that I was handing over control of my life to the government. I thought it was quite funny and it never bothered me, but man my dad was ticked :) Questions: What got you interested in joining the service or why did you join the service? - Backstory - I went to college to be a teacher. I was undisciplined, immature and felt entitled. I was on the 7 years to get a bachelors degree plan ( more focused on the social aspects of college than getting a degree ). I was self aware enough to know to needed help growing up, and with the finances of college. - My original plan - Join the Air National Guard. My thought ( knowing not much about the military ) was I could join the national guard ( go to basic, get some discipline, and get some extra money to help with school ) - What actually happened - Air Force recruiters wanted nothing to do with a college drop out ( thought I was a dummy ), the Army recruiters were more than willing. As good recruiters do, he convinced me that the only way to get a decent amount of money for school was to go full time for 4 years to get the full college fund. - Army prep - I remember being worried about being able to handle the mental grind of basic training. I signed up in Oct ( ish ) but didn't leave for basic until January. So everyday I watched the first part of Full Metal Jacket. I figured if I could get used to that level of yelling, nothing the modern Army could do would affect me. It actually worked too well. The Drill Sgts yelling at me never bothered me, in fact I used to get in trouble for grinning while they yelled, as I thought it was pretty funny. WHAT ARE YOU SMILING AT HAMMAN, DO YOU LIKE ME? ,etc, etc. etc... What is the best and worst things you like about the military? Best - Friendships / comradery ( This has helped me understand the importance in my career to build a strong bond with my team ) meeting different people ( race, culture, different places ). Kelley Jenning story. Met people with so many different viewpoints ( City, Country, Texas, Cali, New Yorkers, Southern, etc) Discipline, sacrifice, responsibility Worst I like doing things "smarter not harder" and I hate doing things "because that's how we've always done things". This never sat well with my NCO's. I learned to listen to orders and accept them. This trait has helped me tremendously in my civilian life, but was not a great fit for the military. Don has called me the devil's advocate for a reason Did you deploy anywhere and how did it go on the deployment? Overall best experience of my time in the Army I deployed to Haiti / Operation Uphold Democracy We had ad long weekend so the most of the company was out of town. I happened to be in the barracks so I was pulled to deploy ( only 6-8 of our company was part of this deployment ) Originally we were supposed to go to the Keys, setup communications link ( packed lots of civilian clothes ), last min change, going in country ( un-band my wall locker and repack FAST ) Sit and Wait, Ready to go right away. Felt like days sleeping in our HUMVEE's waiting to go Gotta watch 82 go, come back and land, Field Promotions for 82 for flying 1/2 way. Then they got to go home and we took off Hit in the head on the when the plane landed slept on the ground the 1st night, no mosquito net Every night it would rain about 5-6 pm, so we'd wait in our PT's. Then run under gutters and "shower" caravan trips out on the town Swimming at Aristide's beach house What do you remember about basic & advance training that you would like to share? - Hard work, Long Days, if Haiti was the best experience. Basic and AIT would be my favorite time in the Army. Basic Training PT - scored well on my first PT test. ( Decent athlete in HS, but never a great runner, always more of a sprinter, never a Long Distance guy. Our lead DS was PT nut so he must have had a bet that his company would win High PT in the battalion. He made me run each morning with the "A" group even though my time was a "B" group. At night when everyone else got to shower and write letters, he would bring me to the front of the barracks and smoke me, trying out new techniques he recently learned. He caught me eating donuts one morning at breakfast, so he grabbed a bunch more and made me eat all of them. Then killed me on the run the next morning as he ran me until i threw up. AIT After basic, I remember how great it felt to have just a touch of freedom. Being able to walk over to the PX and grab a soda, candybar, etc.. Go watch a movie, etc.. That little bit of freedom felt so good !!! Started learning our job. I don't remember many ( any ) specifics about that job anymore. But I remember how high the bar was for passing. In school ( HS, College ) passing was a C. I remember we had to get like 95% right to pass a test... I've used this method with my kids as I have become a parent. I set the bar high so they learn to stretch themselves and have to really work at it. Whisky Workout - I was only 19 in AIT but most of my friends were older.. We bought a bottle of whisky ( not allowed ) and were sitting in the barracks passing it around. One of our roommates went to DS and told him, He found us, called us down to the front of the barracks and started smoking us. But he would one at a time call us up and make us drink Whiskey and Sprite mixed while getting smoked. Working out and drinking are not a great mix and I had to be carried up to bed... Never had a taste for E&J and Sprite since... What is a memory that still sticks with you? One of my favorite memories was playing video games with the guys in the barracks. I could never beat Vinny Clark at NBA Live, but I paid him back on the college football game. Aaron Anderson and I used to have some serious battles with Bill Walsh College football, we'd spend hours and hours on rematches. We had generators to run our comms vans in the field so we would bring a small tv and gaming system and play even in the field. ( Rough life i know ) Monday Morning Madness... 1st Sgt Dickens instead of long company runs, he would smoke us every Monday morning. It's funny because if he recorded those workouts he would have been a millionaire selling them to Beach Body. What is the funniest moment you remember? My buddy from HS was at Bragg the same time I was. His barracks were right across from our motor pool. So many days I'd go over there at lunch or break rather than all the way back to my room. His 1st Sgt walked in his room one day when I was there and told me If I like spending so much time in his company he was going to get me transferred to his unit What is the most serious moment you remember? On one of our caravans trips in Haiti we decided to go check out Cap-Haïtien ( we were stationed in Port-au-Prince ). While driving around town, we pulled up alongside of someone in a military uniform with an AK47 ( assuming it was someone from the Military Regime ). I heard 6 M16's go locked and loaded and things got very tense and very quiet... But he turned left and we kept straight and just like that, it was over. I was very lucky to never deal with any real serious moments like our guys have had to deal with in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. What does your career look like today? Currently working as a Test Manager for Honeywell. Smart Energy. We develop smart meters to be deployed in our network on as an OEM product on other companies networks. My team focuses on the automated testing of the FW on these devices. My time in the Army has been critical to any career success I've had I learn to Train, Train, Train I learned to build that team comradery From my faith I've learned to be a servant leader, Just as Jesus showed us, putting others needs ahead of our own. It's our job as leaders to put our employees needs ahead of our own. They should be able to feel you truly care for them ( and you have to truly care for them ) if you do this, there is nothing your team can't accomplish. Closing question, what one thing did you learn from the military that you would like to pass along to your family? There are two decisions I have made that have shaped who I am today. Joining the military at 19. Helped me on the path to realize what it meant to be a man ( and to stop acting like a boy ) In my 30's accepting Jesus Christ as my savior. The Army could only take me so far, it started me down a path but the only way to truly become a man was to become a Man of God ( a kingdom man ) Growing up I head a hole in my heart, i tried to fill it with good and bad things ( fun, family, career, partying, etc ) but no matter what I tried it was always there. I accepted Jeus as my savior and that void was filled, and now the journey continues to to become a Man of God... Small steps each day..
78 minutes | Dec 6, 2019
Airborne Trooper - Episode 3
Patrick Horst Served in the Army in the Mid 1990's. This was a time of relatively low combat activity. The troopers and soldiers during this time period had a very critical mission and that was to keep prepared and ready for the next major conflict. The training difficult, very realistic and most trooper and soldiers were deployed for a large part of any year they served. Pat is a Senior Manager at Verizon, he holds an MBA from NC State and resides with his family in Raleigh North Carolina. His stories include his teenage years, growing up with a father who was an alcoholic, joining the Army and his many adventures and stories. Pat lived in the barracks during a time of transition from crowed open dorms to private rooms. He talks about the BOSS Program. The BOSS program improves the morale and welfare of single Soldiers, increase retention and sustain combat readiness. During closing remarks Pat lays it out (in my opinion) on what the Army and the rest of the military teaches a soldier. Enjoy this episode.
67 minutes | Nov 22, 2019
Episode 2 - Jacob Shields
Episode Notes. Jake Shields served in the Army for several years as a Military Policeman and deployed to Iraq during his tour of duty in the Army. Jacob Shields had to overcome a lot to serve his country. In his first attempt to join the Army he was sent home and discharged due to a serious injury, but like most UPers he has a very strong will power, character to fight back and move forward to not let his dream escape. He wanted no regrets in his life. As a patriot he had a very strong resolve to serve his country while he was still a young man and to play his role in defending our nation. Check out the author The author we talked about Art Combs, I checked on Amazon he has two books he published both can be found on Amazon in all flavors, hard back, audible and kindle. Arthur F Coombs - Leadership Books They are “Don’t Just Manage Lead”, Human Connection how the L do we do that. I am an avid reader of Human Nature and also leadership books, so they are on my short list to read before the end of the year. Local Library: You should also go check out your local library as they may have all 3 versions. It is always my first stop when looking for a book to read.
72 minutes | Nov 11, 2019
Tennessee Soldier- Episode 1
Listen Here Episode 1 - Dennis Winn, my brother, tells his stories about his military career that actually are two different stories over to two very unique times in America. The first was the end of the Vietnam War and the 2nd Story is the Gulf War. Dennis enlisted voluntarily during the time of the draft lottery. I picked Dennis for my first podcast not only because he is my big brother and I think the wold of him but also because I knew he had so many different stories our family has yet to hear. I am pretty sure I will interview Dennis again down the road because I know he has other several other stories to tell. Not because I am his brother and he told me over the years; it's because our first interview did not record and I heard some of them in that interview. One of the many fails as a new podcaster!
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