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This is War


A raw look at the combat and homecoming experience from American veterans who have been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. “This Is War” chronicles the trials of combat vets both abroad and at home.


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A raw look at the combat and homecoming experience from American veterans who have been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. “This Is War” chronicles the trials of combat vets both abroad and at home.




Introducing - Sword and Scale Nightmares

Introducing Sword and Scale Nightmares! True Crime for Bedtime. Your nightmare begins now...The first three episodes will drop on 3.2.23 at 3:23pm EDT. In the meantime, please take a moment to subscribe on your preferred podcast listening platform... SUBSCRIBE NOW: Podcasts: Podcasts: Music: Casts: Addict:


45 | Dunning

Justin Dunning wanted to tell the story of guys he cared about who were lost, as many of the people I’ve interviewed for this show have, because he wants it known.Google “Killed in Iraq” or “Afghanistan” and you’ll find thousands of links to thousands of obituaries and each one of them affected the people who served with them. Sometimes in this series we have named the fallen, other times we haven’t our of respect for the wishes of the people closest to them, but what is critical to remember is that their friends and comrades remember their names and keep their stories alive.Episode SponsorsBespoke PostNorton360 with LifeLock


45 | Sabins

Control often feels like safety. You have a weapon, some buddies and a mission and feel like the only difference between living and dying is execution, but there’s always also luck, or chance. For Jeffrey Sabins, learning to deal with the lack of control, over both his life and the lives of others was a lesson in humility and patience because even when you’re no longer worried for your own life, you want to live up to your promise to be a protector.Jeffrey Sabins' blog: From Tumor 2 AutismJeffrey Sabins' Amazon Author PageThis episode was sponsors:KeepsNorton with LifeLock


44 | Ardito

For someone who joined the Army specifically to get into combat dealing with an unseen enemy is more than merely frustrating, it can introduce the insidious notion of pointlessness into your life. When there’s no enemy to fight back against, the best you can do is hold on, be prepared to take care of your buddies and pray you get a chance for some payback.Episode SponsorsBespoke PostNorton360 with LifeLock


43 | Didier

There isn’t one factor that makes combat so transformative. Instead it is a combination of reactions. To external peril and internal aggression, to personal empathy in the face of the horrible, to your expectations in light of your experiences. For Nate Didier, a lot of the transformation came from seeing the world as it was and losing something of a sense of what it could be.Episode Sponsors:ZipRecruiterKeepsNorton 360 with LifeLock


42 | McConnell

We often think of endurance in terms of the physical, how much we can do before we’re out of our depth, but things like psychological and emotional endurance contribute so much to our experiences. David McConnell’s 20-year military career was a test of his physical endurance, but it wasn’t until he retired that he learned about the other kinds.


41 | Vande Hei

Joining the Marines seemed as unlikely as it seemed natural for Casper Vande Hei. He was a small guy who always had something to prove. The thing is, no matter how much fight you have in you, or how much you think you have to prove, if you don’t find a way to keep your anger in check, eventually you’re going to burn out. Episode sponsors:Zip RecruiterHello FreshMyBookie



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40 | Christiana

Sometimes, we want something so desperately that it colors everything we do. Sometimes we even get it. When you get down to it, getting what we want and keeping it probably drives most of us, makes us endure circumstances we otherwise might not and accept consequences we never could have imagined. In the end, though, we have to reconcile everything we do with its cost and come to terms with that price, whatever it happens to be.


39 | Luetjen

Traversing the distance between what we think we want and what it will take to make us happy is a journey we often don’t know we’re on until it’s near its end. Even then, we often find it impossible to accept what truly makes us happy, because we didn’t understand what we truly wanted in the first place. Episode sponsors:Zip RecruiterBespoke Post enter the promo code WAR for 20% off your first boxMybookie enter the promo code WAR to double your deposit up to $1,000.


38 | Horn

As a student, Dwight Horn felt called to enter the ministry but as a Navy Chaplain, he volunteered to follow the Marines to whom he was ministering into battle because he felt it was his duty. Just as Marines don’t want to let one another down during the most dangerous physical times, the chaplain couldn’t let his Marines down during the crisis of conscience that comes after fighting house to house in a war zone.


37 | Ohrstrom

We all have a little quit in us, it’s the practical voice of doubt, the one that comes up with perfectly acceptable reasons about why it just makes more sense to give up. Sometimes that voice can’t be argued with or ignored, but there’s a quieter voice, one that whispers things like “try one more time” and “there’s got to be another way.” Hearing that voice isn’t as easy and following its advice can be just as trying but if we’re lucky it can be just as persistent, and when it is, it can be very, very effective.


36 | Hunt

Choices open and close doors to our futures, they both can help define who we are and hold us accountable to the person we want to be. Most important, though, they can’t be unmade. Once Andrew Hunt chose to join the National Guard all of his decisions were based on honoring his oath, but what he would come to discover is that living up to your choices means accepting the person who made them.


35 | Pettijohn

When you’re responsible to make sure the mission gets accomplished, there’s no greater tool than cool-headedness. For Brandon Pettijohn leading Marines in Afghanistan provided the opportunity to coordinate big picture responses to very specific crises. Once he discovered that dispassionate coordination was the key to being effective on the battlefield, applying it when he got back home allowed him to keep serving well past his last day as an active duty Marine.


34 | Riess

There’s no question that combat changes a person, but the kind of change can be both subtle and far-reaching. You learn to internalize fear, angst and doubt but not necessarily to redirect them, and that’s exactly what can make a person a good soldier.


33 | Ames

The transition into combat is a difficult one by any standard. No matter how sufficiently trained you are there is no substitute for reality to give you a sense of how you’re going to respond under fire, and how well you can coordinate with the rest of your team. For Daniel Ames, that kind of responsibility put him right where he wanted to be, even when it led to dangerous places.


32 | Campbell

The endurance that the military teaches can be carried over into civilian life, but it’s tricky. In the military you have to endure because it’s life and death. Outside the stakes don’t seem as high on the face of it, but they are. After all, the life and death struggle combat veterans endure is tied pretty directly to a quality of life they’ve come to expect at home.


31 | B. Davies

Combat isn’t about glory, it’s about serving the mission and doing what needs to be done to achieve an objective, but there’s still something particular about the bond combat veterans form forged in circumstances that most people can’t really comprehend.


30 | Jimenez

Ernie Jimenez joined the military because he saw it as the career opportunity of a lifetime. He joined the Marines because he wanted to fight. As an infantry assaultman during the Second Battle of Fallujah, he got a good hard look at what it is like to have no choice but to face down your fear.


29 | Higens

Counterintelligence officer Davin Higens talks about his pre- and post-9/11 experience running assets, the difficulties of chasing down bombmakers in the early days of the war, and the complications for interrogators in the wake of Abu Ghraib.