March 11, 2011

Will They Know Me Back Home?

Stories of people who've grown so accustomed to wartime that the lives they've left behind no longer make sense. Including a US battalion going home on leave after 15 months of deployment, and an Iraqi translator's story of life after the gig is up.

Major Brent Cummings of the 2-16. Photo credit: David Finkel.


Show host Nancy Updike also hosts a radio movie night. Her pick? The 1946 classic The Best Years of Our Lives, because even though it¹s over 60 years old, it says something about war that's hard to deny, even today.
Act One

Act One

Ever wondered what you might do with 18 days of rest after serving 15 months in combat? Reporter David Finkel followed one group of soldiers in Iraq for 15 months, and reported all of it in his book The Good Soldiers. Here is our radio version of one of the chapters in his book, where we hear actors read aloud what soldiers and families of soldiers told David about their break. (21:42 min)

Act Two

Act Two

Last summer when Nancy Updike was reporting in Iraq, Sarah, an Iraqi woman in her 40s, was her interpreter. But it wasn't the first time Sarah had had that gig. Back in the height of the Iraq war, Sarah had found the career of a lifetime, or so she thought—translating for the US military. (26:22 min)

Sarah is still trying to get a visa to the US. The lawyers working on her case first read about her in this story that ran in the Los Angeles Times, written by Bureau Chief Ned Parker.


“I Wanna Be Free” by Evelyn Harlene & Casey Clark's Band