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.
"The rate I was going I wasn’t going to end up anywhere five star, you know?"
"If you, are going into the reserves, use it for just getting a foot in the civilian world."
"Join the military and get out of poverty because that was the lifestyle that Lynn brought to my family."
"We are not getting into our career field for the safety of it."
"You don't necessarily hear too much about the military assisting people."
"As smart as I thought I was, my kids knew from day one there was something wrong."
"We were just kind of ants just waiting to be stepped on."
"I figured the military would buy me some time to sort of figure out what I was doing."
"After awhile you just kinda don't care. What are the odds if they haven’t hit us yet?"
"The biggest risk the US has now is trying to solve too many of the world’s problems militarily."
"I’m a student, I’m a veteran, I’m not active duty. This is me now."
"I didn't know how to deal with the things that we had seen, that we had experienced."
"I'm still going to be me but I'm going to do it the right way."
"You have to pay attention to what you're doing. You have to know where you are."
"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."
"I felt the duty to repay my dues to a country that accepted me as one of their own"
"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 was there to take care of people. That’s ultimately why I really wanted to be there."
"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."
"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’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."