How a Navy Cross Hero Fought PTSD After Fallujah

Veteran’s Day reminds us that combat is not an isolated event in a service member’s life. It is often a psychological wound that is slow to heal.

Serving in Iraq in 2004, Marine Sgt. Jeremiah Workman earned the Navy Cross for gallantry under fire, after a ferocious firefight in Fallujah in which he killed 20 enemy combatants.

But Workmen returned home with post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Protecting his mental health proved to be as big a challenge as protecting his men in Fallujah was

In 2009, the year he was medically discharged from the Marines, Workman wrote a memoir called Shadow Of The Sword. That’s when I met him.

So here now, from 2009, Jeremiah Workman.

Jeremiah Workman announced last spring that he will run for Governor of his native Ohio in 2026.

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Cliff Stoll

Many people think we’re on the verge of another Cold war, a cyber war, in which skilled hackers will break into systems abroad and wreak havoc with them.

But back in the 1980s, such a concept was still such a novelty that intelligence agencies and police didn’t pay much attention to it.

That is, until 1986, when an astronomer at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory made a startling discovery.

Cliff Stoll was a systems administrator at the lab, and noticed an unusual pattern of usage in the lab’s computer network.

In a groundbreaking game of cyber cat and mouse, stole eventually traced the activity back to a KGB recruit in Germany named Markus Hess.

Stoll told the amazing story in his 1989 bestseller The Cuckoo’s Egg. I spoke with him about that book, and again a year later when they paperback version came out.

So here now, from 1990, Cliff Stoll:.

Cliff Stoll will be 72 in June.

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Rachel Robinson

Photo: Kingkongphoto &

A few days ago Ketanji Brown Jackson made history as she was confirmed as the first black female supreme Court Justice.

But 75 years ago today another African American made history, in a way that may have been nearly as significant.

On April 15th. 1947 Jackie Robinson took the field as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers, the first black man to play in the Major leagues.

And Jackie Robinson was no token. He was voted Rrookie of the Year that year and was the National League’s Most Valuable Player two years later.

By his side during his historic baseball career was his wife, his college sweetheart, Rachel

In the decades after Jackie Robinson’s death in 1972, Rachel Robinson has been a prominent andd influential active and leader in her own right.

In 1996 Rachel Robinson published a book about her late husband and their life together and that’s when I have the chance to meet her, the eve of the 50th anniversary of Robinson’s Major League debut.

So here now from 1996. Rachel Robinson

Rachel Robinson will be 100 years old in July. She lives in Connecticut.

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Lisa Beamer

On that terrible day 20 years ago, September 11th, 2001, countless Heroes emerged.

Some wore police, fire, or military uniforms.

Some will be forever anonymous.

But many were just ordinary Americans. Like Todd Beamer, a passenger aboard United Airlines flight 93.

Their plane was already in the air that morning when the other planes went into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

And as the passengers learned what was happening, terrorists took over there playing. And soon, a group of passengers formed a bold and audacious plan to take over the plane and support the terrorist plot to slam that playing into the US Capitol or the White House.

Beamer and others made a last phone call to their loved ones. Then Beamer Was Heard telling his fellow passengers, Let’s Roll.

Their plans succeeded, with predictably tragic results – the plane crashed at 500 miles an hour into a spot near Shanksville Pennsylvania. Everyone aboard, including Todd Beamer, was killed.

The next year, with the first anniversary of the attacks approaching, Todd Beamer’s Widow Lisa published a book about her husband, and his role in that heroic day.

So here now, from August 2002, Lisa Beamer:

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Chuck Yeager

He was a farm boy from Hamlin, West Virginia. Chuck Yeager join the Army at the outset of World War II, Have it wasn’t long before he became a fighter pilot.

Two years after the war ended, in 1947, Chuck Yeager became the first test pilot to break the sound barrier.

He rose through the ranks to become a general, before retiring.

By the time I met him in the fall of 1988, Yeager was still finding new adventures. He and his longtime friend Bud Anderson co-wrote a book about their adventures hiking in the High Sierras.

So here now, from 1988, Chuck Yeager and Bud Anderson:

Chuck Yeager died last December. He was 97,

Jerry Parr

Photo: KDT Mom

40 years ago this week, a young would-be assassin put a bullet in President Ronald Reagan.

The man whose quick thinking likely saved the president’s life was Jerry Parr, a member of Mr. Reagan’s Secret Service detail that day outside the Washington Hilton Hotel.

Before anyone was aware that one of John Hinckley jr. shots had actually hit the president, Jerry Parr recognized something was seriously wrong, and he ordered the president’s driver to head straight to the hospital.

The president arrived at the hospital just in time. He collapsed inside the door, and was rushed into surgery.

Jerry Parr, 2nd from left, on March 30,1981

I met Jerry Parr in 2013. He and his wife Carolyn had written a book about that day, and about their lives before and after the assassination attempt.

And as you’re about to hear, Carolyn Parr made what I guess Hollywood would call a cameo appearance at the Reagan shooting scen

So here now, from 2013, Jerry Parr.

Jerry Parr died just two years after our interview. He was 85.

Gerald Blaine & Clint Hill

If you’re of a certain age, you remember where you were when something big and historical happened. For my parents, it was Pearl Harbor. For my children, it was the Challenger explosion.

Gerald Blaine

For me, it was the John F Kennedy assassination, on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas.

We all know what happened. John and Jackie Kennedy arrived in Dallas for a early campaign visit. They drove to Dealey Plaza, rounded the corner, and Lee Harvey Oswald fired shots from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository building.

The rest is history.

Clint Hill. Photo: Larry D. Moore

But in the intervening decades, members of the president’s Secret Service detail rarely spoke about that day, even among themselves. That changed in 2010, when Gerald Blaine, a senior member of the detail, wrote a book about their common experience.

Among the agents whose story is told in the book is Clint Hill, the agent seen in a million photos and videos of that day, sprinting forward to the First Couple’s limousine after the shots were fired. You’ve seen him in photos, spread-eagled across the Kennedys.

I met Gerald Lane and Clint Hill in 2010, when they came to Washington to talk about their book.

So here now, from 2010, Gerald Lane and Clint Hill.

Gerald Blaine is 88 now. He lives in Colorado.

Clint Hill is also 88. He lives in California.

Nando Parrado

Tomorrow, October 13th. is the anniversary of one of history’s most famous plane crashes.

It was on October 13th, 1972 that a Uruguayan Air Force flight, chartered by a rugby team, crashed high up in the Andes mountains. Authorities tried for days to find the wreckage, but ultimately they gave up, unaware that there were survivors.

For 72 days, they did what they had to do to survive — including, unthinkably, feeding themselves by eating companions who had died in the crash.

In the end, only sixteen people came down from the mountain, including 22-year-old rugby player Nando Parrado.

Their story was told in the book and movie “Alive!” Ethan Hawke played Nando Parrado.

I met Nando Parrado 34 years after that crash, when he wrote a book called “Miracle in the Andes.”

So here now, from 2006, Nando Parrado:

Nando Parrado will be 71 in December. He is a businessman, TV personality in Uruguay, and mmotivational speaker.

Richard Picciotto

Do you remember where you were 19 years ago today?

Richard Picciotto will always remember that as the day he thought he would die. Indeed, he almost did.

PIcciotto was a New York City Fire Department battalion chief that day, and he was inside the North Tower of the World Trade Center when the South Tower collapsed. Half an hour later, he was still inside the North Tower when it, too, collapsed.

Somehow, he made it out alive, and I met him the following spring when he wrote a book about that day.

So here now from 2002, Richard Picciotto:

Richard Picciotto is a 28-year veteran of the FDNY.


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Bob Greene


Tomorrow, August 6th, is the 75th anniversary of the first-ever use of a nuclear weapon in war, when the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.

At the controls of the B-29 called the Enola Gay was a young pilot named Paul Tibbetts.

After the war, Tibbetts returned to a very humble and private life in Ohio.

Bob Greene

As the 1990s were drawing to a close, Chicago Tribune columnist and author Bob Greene was finally, after years of trying, to get Paul Tibbetts to talk about his history-making flight.

The result was Greene’s book “Duty.”

So here now, from 2001, Bob Greene.

Paul Tibbetts died in 2007 at age 92.

Bob Greene is 73 now. He left thre Chicago Tribune in 2002. His last book was publsihed in 2009.