The 18th Airborne Corps Podcast
Episode 107: End of An Era l The Final Episode

Episode 107: End of An Era l The Final Episode

January 25, 2022

Winston Churchill was talking about the 18th Airborne Corps podcast when he famously said: "Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

 

This is it, friends. The final episode. But not really the end of the podcast as you can always go back and listen to the old episodes at any time. 

 

It's been a wild ride. Thanks for listening. Keep talking to each other.

Episode 106: To A Better Life l An Afghan Interpreter’s Story

Episode 106: To A Better Life l An Afghan Interpreter’s Story

January 18, 2022

Throughout our 20-year war in Afghanistan, so many me and women from that country risked themselves and their Families to support American service members and units. In the telling of that war, those Afghans must not be forgotten. Their sacrifices and the risks they took on our behalf are so real, the consequences for them so stark; the debt we owe to them is so steep.

One of those Afghans is a 25-year-old woman named Zamzama Safi. "ZZ", as she is affectionately known, had a trauma-filled childhood. Her father was an officer for the Afghan Army, making her a target of the Taliban as a child. As a teenager she was captured and held captive by the Taliban, only to later reunite with her Family. She later served as an interpreter for American forces herself.

At the end of the American presence in Afghanistan, ZZ was able to leave the country, making her way to Saint Louis, Missouri, with the help of a group of American military officers alongside whom she served.

This is ZZ's story. It's a story of courage and triumph. It's a story of trauma and tragedy. It's a story we all should hear as we seek to make sense of our experience in Afghanistan.

Episode 105: The Army Is A People Business with General Paul Funk II

Episode 105: The Army Is A People Business with General Paul Funk II

January 11, 2022

Hey, friends! How's your 2022 going? Hope the New Year has been good for you so far. We're sure it's going to be a great year. And, if not, you at least have this podcast to look forward to!

General Paul Funk, commander of the Fort Eustis, Virginia-based US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), joins the 18th Airborne Corps podcast for episode 105. Paul talks about recruiting, training, and retaining a force that represents the country at a time of dynamic national and international change. 

American society is evolving, global threats are progressing, technological change is accelerating. The American Army, too, must change. TRADOC is leading the way here, implementing new methods of communicating with potential Soldiers across the Nation, evaluating American citizens for Army service, and then educating, leading, and preparing Soldiers for continued service and for a new, more complex kind of combat.

This is a good, thoughtful discussion with Paul Funk, one that offers wisdom and insight for every Army leader. There are few topics more important to the institution of the US Army than the future of the force.

Episode 104: The Things Tim O’Brien Carried

Episode 104: The Things Tim O’Brien Carried

January 6, 2022

Tim O'Brien, author of classic works of Vietnam War fiction such as "The Things They Carried," "If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Ship Me Home," and "Going After Cacciato," is an American literary giant. His writing helped define the Vietnam War for a generation of American readers, among them 18th Airborne Corps podcast host Joe Buccino, in the early 1990s. 

Tim joins Joe for a long, riveting, personal conversation about his body of work, about his legacy, about growing up with an institutionalized alcoholic father, about starting a family very late in life. Tim and Joe also talk about the major motion picture based on "The Things They Carried" currently in development starring Tom Hardy and Pete Davidson (Joe vows never to watch it). 

If Tim O'Brien's writing has made you feel the Vietnam War, this conversation will surprise and move you. If you've never heard of Tim O'Brien, well....this episode will open your eyes to a national treasure. Either way, you really owe it to yourself to listen to Episode 104 of the 18th Airborne Corps podcast.

Episode 103:The Healing Wall l The Controversy And Triumph of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Episode 103:The Healing Wall l The Controversy And Triumph of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

January 4, 2022

The Vietnam War Memorial is a national landmark in Washington, DC that attracts millions of Americans every year. The reflective black granite wall engraved with more than 58,000 names is such a big part of our communal processing of that war. It's hard to imagine now, but during its inception the wall was a source of explosive controversy among Vietnam veterans.

This episode is the story of that wall. It's the story of Jan Scruggs, the wounded Vietnam veteran who fought for a national memorial to honor those Americans killed in that war. It's the story of Maya Lin, the Yale architecture student who designed the wall as a symbol that would not let the country off the hook for what it did to our Vietnam veterans. It's the story of the men who returned from Vietnam and organized a national movement to fund the memorial on the National Mall.

The story of the Vietnam War Memorial is a part of the story of the American experience in Vietnam. Like everything associated with that war, it was divisive within the United States, the subject of protests and outrage. It's now a source of comfort, of closure, of healing for so many Vietnam veterans and so many Families bereaved by that war. As Vietnam veteran, poet, and veterans' advocate John Musgrave said: "When I saw that wall, I knew it would save lives."

The wall, which displays no rank, no date of birth, no unit affiliation, and no hometown, bonds each of our Fallen in perpetuity.

This may be among the most important, insightful episodes we've ever produced, so we hope you'll listen and pass it on.

Episode 102: 2021 in Review

Episode 102: 2021 in Review

December 28, 2021

Oh, it's been a wild year, hasn't it friends? We climbed out of COVID. Went back into COVID. Closed out our longest war. Responded to crises within the US and abroad. Alwyn Cashe finally got the Medal of Honor. Now we're typing in these show notes. A bunch of other stuff happened.

So much, in fact, has happened over the past 12 months - including the launch of this podcast - that most people can barely keep it all straight. That's ok. Our host, Joe Buccino, and two friends, recap the entire year in less than 17 minutes. 

It's episode 102 of the 18th Airborne Corps podcast and it's a good one. The year in review. Many more ahead for all of us. So, farewell to 2021. Cheers to a new, promising year. Thanks for supporting our show and thanks for listening. We here at the 18th Airborne Corps podcast will raise a glass of something for you on New Year's Eve.

Episode 101: Merry 18th Airborne Corps Podcast Christmas Eve!!!

Episode 101: Merry 18th Airborne Corps Podcast Christmas Eve!!!

December 23, 2021

Hey folks! Here's our Christmas Spectacular! In episode 101, recorded at the 18th Airborne Corps podcast Holiday party, the podcast staff offers you, the loyal listener, some Christmas thoughts! All you need to know to prepare your Family for Christmas 2021 in less than 7-and-a-half minutes.

Have a great one, friends! If you need anything, reach out to us at 18CorpsHistorian@gmail.com!

Episode 100: A Summary of the Battle of the Bulge

Episode 100: A Summary of the Battle of the Bulge

December 22, 2021

100 Episodes! What a milestone for all of us. We've actually produced 100 episodes in less than a year. 

This episode is a milestone in another regard: Episode 100 concludes our 7-episode miniseries commemorating the 77th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge. That's right. We wrap it up here. 

Our Battle of the Bulge stuff began on Episode 94, if you're interested in going back through and listening to these. Just as the Allies did in the Ardennes in December of 1944, we cover an awful lot of ground in this series. In this concluding episode, host Joe Buccino summarizes one of the most important events in American military history and ties a neat little bow around the Battle of the Bulge. 

Thanks for listening and Happy Holidays!!!

Episode 98: Cobra King - The Most Famous Tank In American History

Episode 98: Cobra King - The Most Famous Tank In American History

December 21, 2021

Episode 98 of the podcast continues the story of the Battle of the Bulge.

This miniseries, which began with Episode 94, recounts the biggest figures and biggest moments from one of the most momentous events in American military history. One such moment occurred the day after Christmas, 1944. Patton's 3rd Army - led by the 37th Tank Battalion - blasted into Bastogne, relieving the 101st Airborne Division and turning the tide of the fight.

That day and that moment gave birth to an American Legend: King Cobra, the first tank into Bastogne. King Cobra gave the Allies momentum that they never gave up.

This is the story of King Cobra and its moment of glory. It's also the story of leaders and the decisions that put that tank in Bastogne. 

The drama in the Ardennes forest continues...

Episode 99 - A Technological Breakthrough In the Ardennes

Episode 99 - A Technological Breakthrough In the Ardennes

December 21, 2021

Our 7-episode series on the Battle of the Bulge continues here (this is the 6th episode in the series). At a few seconds over 12-and-half-minutes, it's a short, breezy listen.

In this episode, host Joe Buccino discusses the VT fuze, a new piece of technology that gave the Allies a marked advantage in the Ardennes. How the fuze was developed, how it was employed, and what it meant at a critical moment in this fight - all of this is explained in Episode 99.

We began the Battle of the Bulge episode with the release of Episode 94 on December 16th and we've released a new episode on this momentous WWII battle every day since. Tomorrow we close this thing out!

Happy Holidays, friends and thanks so much for listening to the show!!!

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