When Brandon Anderson was young and homeless, selling drugs to stay alive, the Army gave him refuge and trained him for a real job. But as a queer serviceman in the era of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, it also forced him to live a double life. His military career ended when his fiancé back home was shot by police. Anderson acknowledged his relationship and requested leave to be by his side. The army’s response would change his life, and his feelings about the military, forever.
Anderson’s story is the fourth episode in a new podcast series, American Veteran: Unforgettable Stories.
In war and in peace, what veterans have done in America’s name is woven into the fabric of the American story. The new PBS series, American Veteran, illuminates their experiences with a stunning range of veterans’ voices, presented in a primetime television series; a collection of digital shorts on YouTube, American Veteran: Keep It Close; and a new 9-part podcast, American Veteran: Unforgettable Stories.
Each episode of the podcast revolves around the direct testimony of a single veteran – from a Coast Guard gunner’s mate who manned a landing craft at Omaha Beach on D-Day, to an Army nurse in Vietnam who struggled to do her part, to a satellite technician who served as a gay man during the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell era. This collection of riveting first-person stories provides a compelling portrait of the veteran experience over multiple generations.
The series is hosted by Phil Klay, a Marine Corps veteran featured in the American Veteran television series and author of the National Book Award-winning collection of short stories, “Redeployment.”
American Veteran: Unforgettable Stories is a production of Insignia Films and PRX for GBH.
For more powerful memories from veterans, visit PBS.org/AmericanVeteran, where you can also watch the American Veteran television series and digital short films. Learn more by using #AmericanVeteranPBS.
Funding for American Veteran: Unforgettable Stories is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, with additional funding from The Wexner Family Charitable Fund, Battelle Memorial Institute, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Analog Devices.
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