South Carolina Military & Veterans

Down the ramp of a Coast Guard Landing barge Yankee soldiers storm toward the beach-sweeping fire of Nazi defenders in the D-Day Invasion of the French Coast. Troops ahead may be seen lying flat under the deadly machine gun resistance of the Germans.
National Archives

75 years ago - June 6, 1944 - 156,000 Allied troops on nearly 7000 ships and landing craft and supported by 11,590 planes dropping both bombs and paratroopers, landed on the beaches of Normandy, France.  The top-secret invasion of Europe was code-named Operation Overlord, but is more broadly known the world over as D-Day.  That day began the battle to free the continent from the grip of Nazi Germany.  

SCETV

This week's program is an encore of an episode aired in 2012, featuring T. Moffatt Burriss. Burriss was a former Columbia area contractor, Republican state lawmaker and American World War II battlefield hero. He died January 4, 2019 at age 99.  

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"P" is for Port Royal Naval Station. The Union fleet’s conquest of the Sea Islands in 1861 was the beginning of more than a century of U.S. naval involvement with Port Royal Sound. With nearly thirty feet of water above the bar at all tides, Port Royal Sound is the deepest natural harbor on the Atlantic seaboard south of New York. In 1876 many of the capital ships of the U.S. Navy’s Atlantic Fleet spent the winter at Port Royal to avoid ice in northern ports. During the Spanish American War, the Port Royal Station was one of the principal support stations for U.S.

U.S. Marine Band

Dec 27, 2018
A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

Some years ago I had the privilege of appearing as viola soloist with the United States Marine Band, “the Presidents Own,” and I can tell you it was a great experience. Like the members of the other premier service bands, the bands of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard, the Marine Band players are graduates of some of the nation’s top conservatories, and they’re terrific musicians. And they include great string players, too, not just winds, brass, and percussion. 


Dr. Barbara Bellows
LSU Press

(Originally broadcast 04/13/18) - Tracing the intersecting lives of a Confederate plantation owner and a free black Union soldier, Barbara L. Bellows’ Two Charlestonians at War (Louisiana State University Press, 2018) offers a poignant allegory of the fraught, interdependent relationship between wartime enemies in the Civil War South: Captain Thomas Pinckney, a Confederate prisoner of war; and Sergeant Joseph Humphries Barquet, a Charleston-born free person of color and prison guard.

American Flag from the Revolutionary War
iStock

(Originally broadcast  06/08/18) - Martyr of the American Revolution: The Execution of Isaac Hayne, South Carolinian (2017, USC Press) examines the events that set an American militia colonel on a disastrous collision course with two British officers, his execution in Charleston, and the repercussions that extended from the battle lines of South Carolina to the Continental Congress and across the Atlantic to the halls of the British parliament. Author C.L.

It’s not every day that the musicians of Fort Jackson’s 282nd Army Band have the opportunity to perform alongside an organist.

“This is very unique. This usually doesn’t happen,” Bandmaster George T. Bauer says of the ensemble’s upcoming Veterans Day Concert. With fifteen brass players, three percussionists, and an organist performing selections by composers ranging from J.S. Bach to Maurice Duruflé, the concert is far from what many might think typical for one given by a military band.

Historians Observe Centennial of World War I's End

Nov 9, 2018
Suresnes American Cemetery, Suresnes, France
U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Ben Sowers/Released

Nov. 11 is Veteran's Day, which was once known as Armistice Day. It's also the 100th anniversary of the original Armistice Day, Nov. 11, 1918, on which ended World War I, then known as "the Great War," or - with hope, but sadly, not truly - "The War to End All Wars."

"D" is for Donaldson Air Base. Early in World War II, the US Army Air Corps leased more than two thousand acres of land from the city and county of Greenville to construct what was then known as the Greenville Army Air Base, with barracks, hangers, and related buildings to train B-25 crews. The base was deactivated at the end of the war, but in 1946 was reconstituted as the headquarters of the nation’s Troop Carrier Command [later called the Military Air Transport Command]. Its planes played roles in the 1948 Berlin Airlift and during the crisis in the Belgian Congo a decade later.

Retired Rear Admiral Ann Phillips U.S. Navy talks about the impact of climate change on the military
Victoria Hansen

Three years of back to back hurricanes and record floods have left many across the Lowcountry flood weary.  Now the height of hurricane season is here.  Scientists say climate change is to blame for increased flooding, creating more intense storms and rising sea levels.  But it’s not just coastal homeowners who are worried.  Some military leaders warn climate change is a threat to national security.

Photographing Veterans after Capturing Combat

Aug 21, 2018
Elizabeth Barker Johnson holds her 1943 Army portrait
Veterans Portrait Project images by Stacy L. Pearsall

Stacy Pearsall's office is tucked away in an upstairs bedroom of her Charleston area home.  Her service dog Charlie checks in occasionally, tail wagging, making sure she's alright.  Above her desk, hangs a collection of spoons; small, some silver, simple and ornate.  Stacy says she handpicked them for a loved one during her travels overseas, someone who has since passed away.  They reflect her love of service and a discerning eye.

Detail from a poster showing a Red Cross nurse with an American flag and the Red Cross symbol. (Artist: Howard Chandler Christie)
Library of Congress

(Originally broadcast 02/02/18) - When the United States entered the First World War in 1918 they women of South Carolina figuratively rolled up their sleeves, and went to work to support their state and their country. At this time, the average woman in the state was black, lived in a rural setting, worked in agriculture or as a domestic worker. White women, while more likely to be in the middle class, were still largely living in rural areas or small towns, and working in agriculture or in textile mills.

Korean War Veterans Monument at Memorial Park in Columbia, SC
Thelisha Eaddy/SC Public Radio

Over 100 soldiers from South Carolina are still missing and unaccounted for, from the Korean War. July 27 marks the 65th anniversary of the armistice that ended the war. The war started in June of 1950 and over the span of three years, more than 36,000 American soldiers were killed. Friday, remains believed to be of 55 US troops killed during the War, were returned to the United States by North Korea.

Clyde Gore, Jr. is director of the new legal clinic. He said the work done at the clinic can make a big change in the life of a veteran.
Clayton Sears/SC Public Radio

The Department of Veterans Affairs has identified legal services as one of the most significant unmet needs of homeless and poor veterans. The University of South Carolina's School of Law recently opened a free, veterans legal clinic to address this demand.

 

 

The clinic is located on the third floor of the law school, open from 9am to 5pm weekdays and follows the university's holiday schedule. Walk-ins are welcome, but director Clyde Gore, Jr. recommends making an appointment.

Narrative: "I Could See Through My Hands"

Jul 9, 2018
Dean Byrd and Willard Byrd, Columbia 2016
StoryCorps

This edition of Narrative features an interview from StoryCorps, an oral history project that collects the voice of our time. At the StoryCorps mobile booth in Columbia in 2016, Dean Byrd talked with his father Willard Byrd, a veteran of the Korean War. Willard had a unique role with the army. He was stationed in the Marshall Islands, where he worked as a machinist. He was also witness to something few people have seen. Here, Dean Byrd asks his dad to tell the story of seeing the first test of a Hydrogen Bomb, known as Ivy Mike, on November 1, 1952.

John Slaughter, Superintendent of US Park Service's Southern Campaign of the American Revolution Parks group.
SCETV/Original SC

(Originally broadcast 10/13/17) - The Southern Campaign was critical in determining the outcome of the American Revolutionary War, yet the South’s importance has been downplayed in most historical accounts to date.

Narrative: The Big Red Barn Offers Help for Veterans Dealing with PTSD

Jun 20, 2018
As co-facilitators at The Big Red Barn in Aiken, Dan Stover and Sheldon Bullock help provide services for veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Thelisha Eaddy

This edition of Narrative features an interview with veterans Dan Stover and Sheldon Bullock. Stover served in the Marine Corps during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Bullock served in the Army during the First Gulf War in Iraq. As co-facilitators at The Big Red Barn in Blythewood, they help provide services for veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In a conversation recorded by South Carolina Public Radio, they discuss how PTSD has affected them personally, especially as they had to confront misconceptions about the disorder.

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Liberia, South Carolina - An African American Appalachian Community.
Thelisha Eaddy/SC Public Radio

June is PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month.  The mental health problem can develop after a person has been exposed to one or more traumatic events. For members of the military, PTSD can develop because of combat and missions where soldiers were exposed to horrible and life-threatening experiences. According to the health clinic at the WJB Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia, 22,000 veterans are seen for mental services in general, many of them are referred for PTSD therapy.

American Flag from the Revolutionary War
iStock

Martyr of the American Revolution: The Execution of Isaac Hayne, South Carolinian (2017, USC Press) examines the events that set an American militia colonel on a disastrous collision course with two British officers, his execution in Charleston, and the repercussions that extended from the battle lines of South Carolina to the Continental Congress and across the Atlantic to the halls of the British parliament. Author C.L. "Chip" Bragg joins Walter Edgar to talk about circumstances that led to an act that sparked perhaps the most notable controversy of the war.

The Hansen Twins Record their Story with Robert Harding in Chicago
Scott Hanson

It's been three years since Carter and Jack Hanson were featured on CBS news for their rare friendship with a World War II veteran who served aboard the USS Yorktown.  That's when the  network set up a surprise meeting on the  ship just outside of Charleston.   They had gotten to know Robert Harding through email.  It was quite a moment as the three came face to face, and their bond has grown stronger ever since.   Now 13 years-old, the twins recently attended the Yorktown's 75th anniversary with their family, celebrating Harding who could not  be there.

After Weather Delay, SC Troops En Route to Texas Border

May 22, 2018
Soldiers from the South Carolina Army National Guard headed to Texas May 21, 2018, in support of Operation Guardian Support, President Trump's mission to secure the southern border.
Tech. Sgt. Jorge Intriago/ SC National Guard

Nine soldiers from the South Carolina National Guard are expected to arrive in Texas to support Operation Guardian Support, the President's mission to secure the southern border. The mission includes three flight crew aboard a UH-72 Lakota helicopter and six maintenance soldiers who traveled by ground.

Image of Gen. Andrew Pickens, 1739 - 1817. A photo of an oil painting hung in Fort Hill in Clemson, South Carolina.
blahedo [CC BY-SA 2.5] via Wikimedia Commons

(Originally broadcast 10/03/17) - In his book, The Life and Times of General Andrew Pickens: Revolutionary War Hero, American Founder (2017, UNC Press), Dr. Rod Andrew, Jr., of Clemson University, explores the life of the hard-fighting South Carolina militia commander of the American Revolution, was the hero of many victories against British and Loyalist forces. In this book, Andrew offers an authoritative and comprehensive biography of Pickens the man, the general, the planter, and the diplomat.

Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bolden at the University of South Carolina's Thomas Cooper Library. Gen. Bolden has donated his personal archives of papers, personal items and professional artifacts for curation by the University's Caroliniana Library.
Olivia Aldridge/SC Public Radio

Students from three local Columbia high schools got a rare opportunity Monday—to see real life astronaut and former NASA Administrator Major General Charles F. Bolden Jr. speak about space, science, and the future. For Bolden, who hosted the talk at the University of South Carolina’s Thomas Cooper Library in honor of the gift of his personal archives to the university, it was also an opportunity—to share his journey with students of his own alma mater, C.A Johnson High School.

Starting a Mobile Business class travels to different bases throughout the state.
Thelisha Eaddy/ SC Public Radio

One of the ways the Small Business Administration (SBA) provides assistance to small businesses is through education. SBA provides free individual face-to-face, and internet counseling for small businesses, and low-cost training to nascent entrepreneurs and established small businesses. In South Carolina, a fairly new education program for military spouses teaches how to start a mobile business. South Carolina Public Radio talks with the creator of the class to learn how a successful small business can help military spouses, their families and the economy.

A month ago, Gov. Henry McMaster offered to send SC National Guard troops to Texas to help fight illegal immigration along the Mexican border. Friday, the Governor officially announced one Army National Guard helicopter and approximately nine Soldiers and crew will leave for the area the week of May 13. Here’s what we know.

The Crew

A replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall is on display at Historic Camden
Thelisha Eaddy/SC Public Radio

A scaled replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is on display at Historic Camden. Its called the Wall That Heals and features all the names of the 58,318 who served and died in Vietnam. South Carolina Public Radio spoke with students, teachers, veterans and community members during a recent visit to the exhibit.

Orders in hand, Navy Capt. Marc A. Mitscher, skipper of the USS Hornet (CV-8) chats with Lt. Col. James Doolittle, leader of the Army Air Forces attack group. This group of fliers carried the battle of the Pacific to the heart of the Japanese empire.
U.S. Navy

76 years ago (April 18 1942) 80 brave men did what had never been attempted: they flew army bombers off a U.S. aircraft carrier on their way to bomb Tokyo.  The attack, which has become known to history as the Doolittle Raid, was America’s first strike back at Japan after the infamous sneak attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into World War II.  In this report, Mount Pleasant author James Scott talks about the significance of the raid to the war, and its great psychological effect both on the American and Japanese publics. 

James and Tammy Blackwell take a picture of a box containing the names of all South Carolinians who died during the Vietnam War.
Thelisha Eaddy/SC Public Radio

The last American troops withdrew from South Vietnam in 1975. On March 29, the 50th anniversary of this historic event coincided with the first National Vietnam War Veterans Day. Vietnam War Veterans Day is a new holiday, established when President Trump signed the Vietnam War Recognition Act of 2017. Veterans and supporters across the country gathered to remember their sacrifices and also to finally hear the words "thank you for your service."

War Through the Looking Glass

Mar 31, 2018
Bryan Grigsby

There's a certain luxury to examining war from behind the lens. Crop out what you care not see.  Focus on the atrocities, without reference to the savages. Filmmaker Ken Burns appears to know this in his Vietnam documentary. It is unapologetically full exposure.

Burns calls it unsettled business. He says it is proof that in war, as in life, more than one truth can exist at the same time. Yet, here we are, trying to make sense of that duality some 50 years later.

Charleston Book Club Gives Veterans a Voice

Mar 29, 2018
Members of Charleston book club for veterans meet at downtown Charleston County Library
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

It’s a Saturday morning and a small group meets at the downtown Charleston County Library, their thick books cracked open to the same page of “The Illiad”, an epic poem recounting the final weeks of the Trojan War.  It’s intense reading for 10 a.m.  But the ancient story resonates with the young soldiers at the long table.  It’s part of their book club for veterans.

“He was going to leave town without going to hunt her down and say goodbye,” said the group’s facilitator Kate Hudson.  “Why would he do that?”  There’s silence.   Then, former Marine Lee Gonzalez weighs in.

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