Oral histories documenting the varied backgrounds, journeys, and perspectives of Salem State University veterans from enlistment to boot camp to deployment and back to civilian life.
"I felt the duty to repay my dues to a country that accepted me as one of their own"
"I was there to take care of people. That’s ultimately why I really wanted to be there."
"I've had four or five guys that I served with who committed suicide."
"They will be my friends for life. They’ll be my family for life."
"You have to take it from the military. It’s not just going to give it to you."
"I was made for the Marine Corps but it was not made for me."
"I almost got killed a few times, almost. Close calls. Close calls."
"The first thing my division officer asked me was when I was going to get pregnant."
"What I miss most about Afghanistan is the bonding you have with the other guys."
"Seven years of recovery and now I've got three years of Dean's list"
"Ultra-left or ultra-right is a very dangerous thing for this nation. The middle ground is the best way to go."
"We love every Marine that we were there with, so we get emotionally attached to each other."
"You have no idea what they’ve seen, what they’ve heard, or what they’ve had to do."
"It was a long difficult road, and I would do it again if somebody asked me to."
"I used to be a real patient dude, but that's gone away."
"You kind of make it harder for yourself if you don’t work within the system"
"As soon as the Americans leave, the Taliban’s going right back in. "
"I just get it done, and I try to plan my time accordingly."
"We have sweeps, bomb sniffing dogs, that kind of stuff."
They were telling us conflict was not going to have any clear cut victory anymore.
"I have a certain respect for the insurgents."
"You’re young like that you think you’re immortal. You really do."
"I used to be a punk and then I went to basic training."