On this Veteran’s Day we profile a U.S. Navy veteran and broadcast journalist who manages post-traumatic stress disorder, dyslexia, and alcoholism.
Shane is a longtime friend from my broadcast journalism days - back in the late 80s and early 1990s.
Until we hopped on an internet call earlier this year, I never knew Shane had been aboard a U.S. Navy ship that was the first ever to survive a direct landmine hit.
Hearing and reading what my friend went through aboard the USS Samuel B Roberts (FFG58) reminds me that most Americans today know someone who - in service to our nation - lives with the scars of combat. And we never even know it.
This conversation was the first I ever recorded for the podcast and Shane was kind enough to serve as a beta test.
While his story - as you’re about to hear - is inspiring, my technical skills - as you’re also about to hear - grades out at about a C -.
My audio editing skills have improved enough that decided to work around the bad audio on the interviewer’s side of the equation so that Shane’s story can finally be heard.
Shane and I each worked for an assignment editor who demanded a lot of us and when we felt like all was lost, Rick Taber would tell us, “Do what you can.”
That’s what I’ve tried to do with the technical limitations of interview.
We offer up this special edition episode in honor of Shane and all those who have served, and their families.
My Uncle Howard, a retired and highly decorated Green Beret, came home from Vietnam.
Chief Warrant Seargent Howard C. Funkhouser once wrote this:
Some days I even wish
I had come home in a body bag.
Instead of progressively being a burden,
So please don’t tell me
That I’m Lucky, not all scars show.
Tell me instead that I am a survivor.
And you are glad I survived.
Let me know that I am an asset to the world.
Hear my repetitions of grief,
My anger, my disappointments, and adjustments. Grant me patience as I really try to learn how to live anew.
Then perhaps some day
I shall learn how to be whole again,
Accept my sorrow, and feel joy again.
Perhaps then it will have been good
To have known me.
To all those who have served, “Thank you” seems hollow. So, on this Veterans Day 2017, may you feel as if we civilians have accepted your brokenness and your sorrow.
Every day, may we express our gratitude that you are here, that you survive, and that you are - indeed - an asset to this world.
History of Veterans Day
Saving Sammy B: A frigate’s heroic legacy
FFG 58 Muster List from 14 April 1988
USS Samuel B. Roberts Timeline
The Day Frigate Samuel B. Roberts Was Mined
USS Samuel B. Roberts on Wikipedia