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Incoming is a KPBS Explore series that tells true stories from the lives of America's military — told in their own words, straight from their own mouths. Produced by So Say We All, a literary and performing arts nonprofit, Incoming features voices of people from all walks of life associated with the armed forces. This series showcases the raw, honest voices of men and women who have served in every capacity and branch of the military. If you're interested in sharing your story, email

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Unstuck In Time – Benjamin Busch And Sierra Crane

Navigating the present, alongside past and future.

Today’s show, “Unstuck in Time,” is titled after the opening line in Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Slaughterhouse Five, one of our favorite descriptions about Post Traumatic Stress. Vonnegut uses it in reference to his main character, where he writes, “Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time.” Upon first reading the book, it’s natural to ... Read more →

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The Abyss Also Gazes – Andrew Szala, Rolf Yngve, Gill Sotu, Elizabeth Washburn And Dan Lopez Of Combat Arts

Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you. – Fredrick Nietzsche.

Friedrich Nietzsche’s quote reminds me that there are certain individuals who have unique insights about the process of staring into the abyss, as well as climbing back out of it again. ... Read more →

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Aftershocks – Casondra Brewster, Sam Abel, Lt. Cmd. Liam Corley

On today’s show we’re talking about, “Aftershocks,” both literal and figurative, related to events that came back to shake us after their initial detonation. We have three great contributors, whose stories deal with how the quickest moments can have the longest effects.

Contributors: Casondra Brewster, Sam Abel, Lt. Cmd. Liam Corley.

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What’s Lost at Sea – Tenley Lozano And Kurt Kalbfleisch

“I was much further out than you thought, And not waving but drowning.” –Stevie Smith.

Today’s episode is titled “Lost At Sea,” for two reasons: firstly because we’ll be hearing from service members who spent a lot of their time bobbing on the water, Kurt Kalbfliesh of the Navy and Tenley Lozano of the Coast Guard, but also because their ... Read more →

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Invasions – Francisco Martinezcuello And Sammi S.

“Tell me a Story!” He said. “I’ll tell you a story.”

Invasion can be both psychological and literal. We’re very lucky to be able pair up two contributors who dealt with invasion and actually served together at the same time in Iraq, but from very different places. Our contributors are Francisco Martinezcuello, a mustang officer, and Sammi S., an Iraqi ... Read more →

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Time Is A River – Brooke King, Kelli Hewlett, And Zack Dryer

The past doesn’t go anywhere. Time is a river, and you are standing in it. – Utah Phillips

Today’s show is split into three parts and three different veteran writers, each focusing respectively on periods before the country went to war after 9/11, during deployment downrange in Iraq, and the aftermath after leaving the service. That’s why we’re titling today’s ... Read more →

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Souvenirs – Brandon Lingle, Alex Flynn, And Brent Wingfield

What happens overseas comes home with you, and can find a way to reappear back into your life when you least expect it.

Today’s episode is titled, “Souvenirs,” which in the context of the stories you’re about to hear is a little tongue-in-cheek, a little bit of that dark humor people under stress employ from time to time to get ... Read more →

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Our Reasons – Adam Stone And Jesse Goolsby

Less than one percent of the entire country serves in the military at any given time nowadays, which is perfectly fine from a national security perspective, according to experts on the matter, but that situation becomes problematic on other fronts once we consider how it might affect our democracy, civilian engagement with foreign policy, or the very social contract that ... Read more →