Everyone agrees that our troops deserve a return to productive and creative lives after service. Yet, in spite of billions spent on psychological care and reintegration programs, we face an epidemic of combat-related conditions like PTSD. What's the solution? In Warrior's Return, Dr. Edward Tick reveals what's missing in our approach to helping our veterans acclimate from the battlefield to civilian live.

    Christopher Hill was on the front lines in the Balkans at the breakup of Yugoslavia. In Outpost: Life on the Frontlines of American Diplomacy: A Memoir, he takes us from one-on-one meetings with the dictator Milosevic, to Bosnia and Kosovo, to the Dayton conference, where a truce was brokered.

He draws upon lessons learned as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon early on in his career and details his prodigious experience as a US ambassador. He was the first American Ambassador to Macedonia; Ambassador to Poland, where he also served in the depth of the cold war; Ambassador to South Korea and chief disarmament negotiator in North Korea; and Hillary Clinton’s hand-picked Ambassador to Iraq.

    Investigative journalist Eric Schlosser joins us to discuss the dilemma that has existed since the dawn of the nuclear age: how do you deploy weapons of mass destruction?

Drawing on recently declassified documents and in-depth interviews with the individuals who designed and routinely handled nuclear weapons, Schlosser reveals that America’s nuclear weapons have been plagued by accidents, mistakes, and near-misses since their inception and that even the best control systems are no match for human error.


  In the spring of 2001, three women enlisted in the Indiana National Guard. Each had her own idea of what a stint in the Guard might mean — free education, a sense of purpose, extra money. But just months after they signed up, the 9/11 attacks occurred and what they thought would be a couple days of drills each month turned into long overseas deployments.

In her new book, Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women at Home and at War, Helen Thorpe follows the lives of Desma Brooks, Michelle Fischer and Debbie Helton for 12 years.

    Russia continues to confound American leaders.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Connecticut representative Joe Courtney tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that readiness on the part of U.S. forces is important.

5/12/14 Panel

May 12, 2014


  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, University at Albany Journalism Professor and Investigative Reporter, Rosemary Armao and political consultant Libby Post.

Topics include:

Topics include:
Ukraine Vote
Rubio Ready
Nigerian Abduction
Hagel reviews military transgender policy
Michael Sam


  Four days before Christmas 1943, a badly damaged American bomber struggled to fly over wartime Germany. At its controls was a 21-year-old pilot. Half his crew lay wounded or dead. It was their first mission. Suddenly, a sleek, dark shape pulled up on the bomber’s tail—a German fighter. Worse, the German pilot was an ace, a man able to destroy the American bomber in the squeeze of a trigger. What happened next would defy imagination and later be called the most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II.

This is the true story of the two pilots whose lives collided in the skies that day—the American—2nd Lieutenant Charlie Brown, a former farm boy from West Virginia who came to captain a B-17—and the German—2nd Lieutenant Franz Stigler, a former airline pilot from Bavaria who sought to avoid fighting in World War II.

The story is told in historian Adam Makos’ new book - A Higher Call - that follows both Charlie and Franz’s harrowing missions.

4/21/14 Panel

Apr 21, 2014


  Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, newsman Ray Graf, and political consultant, Libby Post.

Topics include:
Afghan Runoff
Ukraine Fatal Clash
Boston Marathon
Sherpa Strike
Army Hairstyle Ban


  It’s time now for our weekly check-in with the humanities in our segment Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities. Today’s we’ll find out about humanities programming for veterans with the New York Council for the Humanities.

There is a new adult reading and discussion series for vets and their caregivers called Serving: Standing Down. Here to tell us all about it is Donald Whitfield - Vice President at the Great Books Foundation in Chicago where he directs the adult education division, Great Books Discussions. He is a veteran of the United States Army and a graduate of St. John's College in Annapolis.

    In the late summer of 1918, after four long years of senseless, stagnant fighting, the Western Front erupted. The bitter four-month struggle that ensued—known as the Hundred Days Campaign—saw some of the bloodiest and most ferocious combat of the Great War, as the Allies grimly worked to break the stalemate in the west and end the conflict that had decimated Europe.