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Veterans' Voices a radio series exploring the knowledge, experience and leadership of Minnesota service members | Supported by the Minnesota Humanities Center
Roger Sayles

Lao Soldiers: The Fight Continues

Lao Soldiers: The Fight Continues



Minnesota is home to a large number of Lao and Hmong warriors. In their homeland, they were recruited and trained by the CIA as part of its secret war and resettled in Minnesota after the war. Despite being credited with aiding the US, they are still pushing for recognition and veterans benefits

Shot Down (Extendeded)

Shot Down (Extendeded)

When Minnesota’s Greatest Generation marched off to war, they had no idea the trials and trauma that awaited them in combat missions. In this episode, we hear from three Minnesota veterans who were stationed in England and flew bombing missions targeting the Nazis when they were shot down and put into harsh Prisoner of War camps. We also hear from a veteran who was serving in Europe at the end of the war as labor and concentration camps there were liberated.
This episode features Minnesota veterans Lester Schrenck, Walter Grotz, Claude Williams and his sister Lois and Bernie Lieder.


Remembering Pearl Harbor (Extended)

Remembering Pearl Harbor (Extended)

The day of the Pearl Harbor attack, what FDR memorably called ‘the day that will live in infamy,’ struck a nerve with a generation of patriotic Americans and motivated them to serve. In this episode, we hear from two Minnesota GI’s who signed up at recruiting stations in the aftermath of the surprise attack. There’s also the eyewitness account of a third Minnesota veteran who was there, aboard ship at the time the swarm of Japanese planes took aim at the US fleet stationed at Pearl Harbor.
This episode features Minnesota veterans Bill Olson, Herbert Gager and George Vandersluis.


The GI Bill (Extended)

The GI Bill (Extended)

Veterans returning from World War 2 were the first servicemen and women to be able to access the benefits of the GI Bill, officially known as the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944. Far more GI’s than expected took advantage of the opportunity to have Uncle Sam pay for their education. The University of Minnesota was a leader in welcoming the veterans to campus. The college degrees they earned lifted thousands of those who served into the middle and professional class and gave them the knowledge and skills that fueled the post-War economy.
This episode features Minnesota veterans Jeanne Bearmon and Sherman Garon.


Feeding the Troops

Feeding the Troops

When Roy Charon left his hometown of Cloquet to serve in the Air Force, he imagined that he would serve in Korea. Instead, he was shipped to an island in the western Pacific. While he was initially disappointed with his post, it turned out to be both memorable and productive.


By The Numbers

By The Numbers

For many veterans who served in Korea, the war is remembered by the days, weeks and months that they counted down as they waited to come home. Today, some of those veterans are sharing their wartime experiences with young people so their role in history will be understood and remembered.


The Shadow of World War II

The Shadow of World War II

Those who entered military service during the Korean War had been children during World War 2, and wartime shaped their youth. Many of them grew up with family members who fought and died in Europe or the Pacific Theater. But the Korean War proved to be a very different experience for their generation of veterans.


“Didn’t Have Time to be Scared”

“Didn’t Have Time to be Scared”

Roger Gardin enlisted in the Navy and served aboard the USS Laffey, a legendary destroyer that survived several notable battles in World War 2 and was returned to service in the Korean War. Gardin’s most memorable day aboard ship was the daylong battle that he spent inside a gun mount


The Silent Generation

The Silent Generation

The men and women who fought in the Korean War were born when many farms still relied on horses. They have been eyewitnesses to massive societal changes. Born between the Greatest Generation and the baby boomers, they are part of an entire generation that is often often overlooked.


The Dieselman

The Dieselman

The US Navy played a key role in the Korean War. Korea is situated on a peninsula, so control of the seas was essential. In today’s Veterans Voices, Minnesotan Robert Sorteberg spent his wartime service aboard a ship that supported fighting troops.


The Fight to Stop Communism

The Fight to Stop Communism

When American troops were sent to South Korea in 1950, it was with the goal of stopping the spread of communism there. Two former GI’s who served there explain the US mission that they were charged to carry out, and how the conflict still resonates in the geopolitics of today.


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