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Weekend America Series

America at War

Weekend America brings you stories of people in the midst of and touched by the wars abroad.


  • The Brutal Poetry of the Iraq War

    Brian Turner

    There's a whole group of Americans who won't be home for the holidays this year. Over 140,000 US troops are in Iraq right now. And holidays at war can be strange times. Poet Brian Turner served as an infantry team leader in Iraq in 2003. To get through the holidays, he put home out of his mind. But on his last night in Iraq, with home in sight, Brian wrote a poem called "Cole's Guitar."

  • Military, Married and Serving Together

    Sgt. Beau Freeman's wife also serves in Iraq

    In May of 2006 the U.S. Army began allowing married couples to live together in Iraq to boost morale, preserve marriages and bolster re-enlistment rates. Bill Radke talks to Bikiesa and Joe Cole, two sergeants stationed at Camp Falcon in Iraq, about their cramped quarters, private time and the terrors of mortar attacks.

  • On 5th Anniversary of Iraq War, Memories of the Occupation

    Autograph Accomplished

    Next week marks the fifth anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Reporter Krissy Clark talks to some people to learn how how things have changed here at home since the war began.

  • Women's New Roles in War

    Marine In Training

    The conflict in Iraq is different from any other for many women in the military. Women are dying in greater numbers, but also facing more difficulties in military life, including sexual harassment. Weekend America host Desiree Cooper gets an update.

  • Revisiting the Deadly Force Tour

    Family Groove

    Last January, "Weekend America" ran a profile of the R&B cover band Groove Alliance. Their lead singer, Mike Pacheco, is an Army major. When Mike went to Baghdad for 15 months, his fellow band members joined him there to play some benefit shows. Now that Mike back with his family, he's frustrated that Americans seem to care more about "Iraq" the policy debate than about the Iraqi people.

  • Cole's Guitar, by Brian Turner

    Brian Turner

    On December 3, 2003, Brian Turner crossed the Kuwaiti border into Iraq. He was an infantry team leader with the Third Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Second Infantry Division. Turner is a poet, and he shares his thoughts of home on his final night in Iraq.

  • Beyond the Yellow Ribbon: Coming Home from War

    For soldiers, coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan is a relief but also has its own problems. Fitting back into family and civilian life is not always as simple as it seems. In Minnesota, the National Guard started a mandatory program called "Beyond the Yellow Ribbon," to help soldiers and their families adjust to life back home. An orientation is set for family members before guards come back. After guards return, there are meetings after 30, 60 and 90 days. It's a chance for guards to catch up with one another and cope with simple parts of life that may not be so simple anymore.

  • Military Tattoos

    American soldiers have been getting tattoos since the nineteenth century, but as the war in Iraq continues, the types of tattoos evolve. Reporter Michael May visited some tattoo parlors in Killeen, Texas, home of Fort Hood Army Base, to find out more about the permanent mementos that soldiers carry.

  • Making Violins in the Midst of War

    Second Shift

    In the year-and-a-half that her husband was in Iraq, Korinthia Klein kept busy by building string instruments. Sarah Lemanczyk spent a Saturday in the busy life of this mother and artisan to bring us her story.

  • Going from Iraq to Michigan

    Two thousand Iraqi immigrants will be moving to Michigan soon, and no doubt, it will be a big change. Weekend America talks Belmin Pinjic, the director of refugee services for the Lutheran Social Services of Michigan, an organization that helps refugees settle into their new home. We'll also talk with Rafat Ita, an Iraqi that resettled in the United States in 1994 after the Persian Gulf War.

  • Reflections on a Violent Art Project

    Chicago Artist Wafaa Bilal spent 31 days last month locked in a room being shot at by strangers. The strangers were virtual, operating a paintball gun, and Bilal had no idea who they were or why they were shooting. He called his exhibit "Domestic Tension." Bilal is an Iraqi who fled Saddam's regime in 1991. His father and younger brother were killed in the current Iraq war. We talked to him during his stay in the exhibit, and we catch up with him now that he's free. We ask Bilal what he's learned since being a marked target, and what life is like now.

  • Wanted, A Few Good Chaplains

    Chaplain Kenneth Beale, along with serving as a lieutenant colonel in the Army, is in charge of making sure the Army has enough chaplains. The Army Reserves is suffering a shortage of chaplains right now. It's less of a problem in the regular military, but not when it comes to Catholic priests. Nearly a quarter of all Army soldiers identify themselves as Catholic but only eight percent of Chaplains are Catholic priests. Host John Moe asks Beale how he's trying to change that.

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