A Veteran’s Story From Alabama

 The most important and moving phone call to Washington Journal this week happened on Thursday: Veterans Day. Audrey, a veteran from Alabama, called in to tell her story, and it wasn’t long before listeners could hear the emotion in her voice, and sympathize with her experiences.

Audrey served in the U.S. Army from 1984 to 1995 and fought in Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

“I don’t know what you want to ask me?” Audrey said.

Host Great Brawner replied, “Audrey, I’m interested in, what did you do exactly? What were your responsibilities when you served?”

Among her many experiences, the hardest thing she said that she ever had to do was write a letter to a soldier’s family when she worked for two days in a hospital ward (“Charlie ward”) for disabled vets. She said she could not tell the soldier that he was going to lose his arm. With sorrow and regret in her voice and tears one could picture, Audrey revealed “he was 19 years old.”

Toward the end of her phone call, Audrey said “All of us aren’t bad. We’re not dangerous.” She talked about her son who has dealt with suicidal thoughts in the past, but now is back on his feet with a new job. “I’m so proud of him.”

“The nightmares never go away; the sexual assault, never goes away.” Audrey seemed to suggest that there’d be no reason for her to bring up what happened to her when she served in the U.S. Army as “they kinda sweep you under the rug. But, I’m OK. I’m living; I’m surviving, Greta!” Audrey cried.

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