Reporter/producer Samara Freemark joined the Public Insight Network after four years at Radio Diaries in New York City, where she spent her time helping ordinary people tell their extraordinary stories for NPR. In the process, she developed an unshakeable belief in the beauty and power of personal narrative.
Before Radio Diaries Samara worked as an environmental reporter, a posting that took her to sinking islands, Superfund sites, and literal snakepits – Burmese pythons, to be exact. She also churned out copy and tape in the newsroom of WUOM Ann Arbor. Before settling on a career in radio she tried out policy research, community organizing, and urban planning before deciding she preferred soundwaves to spreadsheets.
Giselle Sterling and her father, Nelson, both served in the Marines -- she in Afghanistan, he in Vietnam. They're only now beginning to talk to each other about the experience of war, and what it's done to their long-term pictures of themselves.
During his second deployment to Iraq with the U.S. Army, 'Tom' found himself losing his sense of compassion amid the chaos of war. As hard as he tried, he had trouble holding on to his moral compass. And then: Reality hit, in the form of a local Iraqi resident's dog.
Traumatic brain injury often causes trouble with concentration, reading comprehension and memory -- the very things that would likely prevent academic success. For veterans attempting to navigate the rhythms of college life, they can spell disaster.
Student veterans tell us how much they love the benefits offered to them in the Post-9/11 GI Bill. But those benefits still can't guarantee success -- especially on campuses unprepared to serve students returning from war.
We want your help telling the story of the student veteran experience. Tell us what it's been like to transition from the military to the classroom. What's been easy? What's been difficult? How is the GI Bill working for you?
"If the current GI Bill wasn't an option, I would be one of the many veterans who are currently unemployed or struggling with a low-income job. The GI Bill is helping me build a future in work and in life."
Nearly 5 years after the Post-9/11 GI Bill went into effect, there's no authoritative data on its progress. But this year, the Department of Veterans Affairs and student-veteran groups are pairing up to change that.