The State of Things
4:13 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

From 'Ahmed's Diary' To 'Musings Of An Iraqi Patriot'

A sketch from Ahmed Fadaam, featuring Dick Gordon in the upper left and bottom
Credit Ahmed Fadaam

Iraqi artist Ahmed Fadaam spent years reporting about the Iraq War for WUNC's The Story with Dick Gordon.

His segment, "Ahmed's Diary," gave listeners the story of the war from the streets of Baghdad while his artwork reflected the instability of a country under fire.

But death threats from within Iraq forced Fadaam to flee the country. His story is now the subject of a documentary, Musings of an Iraqi Patriot.

Read more
The State of Things
12:22 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

The State Of Iraq

Soldiers stationed in Safwan, Iraq
Credit Creative Commons

Islamic militants are slowly gaining more control of Iraq. 

The group known as the Islamic State is asserting its will in the northern part of the country. It has made Mosul its de facto capital, and has driven thousands of Christians out of the city.

But the battle is not just sectarian, it is political.

The U.S. has been unsuccessful in its push for the Shiite majority to be more inclusive toward Sunnis and Kurds, and some say a one-state solution cannot work.

Read more
The State of Things
11:24 am
Tue July 1, 2014

State Department Documents Show Threats From Blackwater During Investigation

Blackwater helicopters in Iraq
Credit Heath Powell / Flickr Creative Commons


During the early years of the Iraq War, the North Carolina security firm Blackwater received billions of dollars from government contracts with the State Department and the CIA. 

But the business began to suffer in 2007 when Blackwater contractors opened fire in a public square in Baghdad, killing 17 Iraqi civilians. The incident severely damaged American relations with Iraq. Today, four Blackwater guards are on trial. 

Read more
The State of Things
12:08 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Meet Randall Williams

Randall Williams
Credit Randall Williams


North Carolina native Randall Williams says he knew he was going to be a doctor when he was four years old.

Unlike many who think they know their career path, Williams never changed his mind. He started working in the emergency room of his hometown hospital in Burlington as a teenager. He served as everything from a candy striper to an orderly before going to medical school.

He is now a Raleigh physician who has taken 11 trips to Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Palestine for medical missions. He ran for mayor of Raleigh in the latest election.

Read more
The State of Things
12:14 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Return From War

Intrepid Life Coffee and Spirits owner and Marine veteran Matt Victoriano
Credit Carol Jackson

Military veterans face many challenges in combat zones and on battlefields. But what about the struggles they face when they return to civilian life?  

Read more
Business & Economy
5:10 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

VIDEO: Two Marines: Brothers In War And Coffee

Matt Victoriano. Before opening a watering hole in Durham, Matt was a Marine sniper in Iraq.
Matt Victoriano

This is the story of two men. Both Marines. Both served in the Middle East. Both struggled when they returned. One Durham coffee shop brought them together and helped them re-connect to civilian life.

Ryan Wetter did two tours in Afghanistan. He conducted reconnaissance, often under cover of darkness. He is the 19th Marine  in his family to serve since the Korean war. He always knew he'd be a Marine. "Its like telling kids not to be a superhero. You see a superhero running around, that's what you want to be."

Read more
The State of Things
12:01 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

A War Correspondent Reflects On Seven Tours Of Duty



The American military is drawing down forces in Afghanistan.

As troops depart and resources return home, on-the-ground media coverage of the conflict winds down as well. Reporter Jay Price has covered the country on three different tours. He also covered the war in Iraq for the News & Observer and its parent company, McClatchy Newspapers.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Jay Price about his experiences as a war correspondent and his unique perspective on America’s conflicts.

Read more
The State of Things
12:03 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

For Returning Vets, Challenges On The Homefront

The Durham VA Medical Center
Credit Durham VA Medical Center

The latest research suggests that for veterans, social support is just as important as medical care.

Host Frank Stasio talks with UNC Chapel Hill Associate Professor of Psychiatry Eric Elbogen, about his study showing that vets lacking social and financial stability are more likely to engage in violent behavior than those with posttraumatic stress disorder. Joining the conversation are Pete Tillman, public affairs officer for the Durham VA Medical Center, and Jason Hansman of Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America.

The State of Things
11:50 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Why Hundreds Of Thousands Of Vets Are Waiting For Their Disability Claims

The weight of paper files at the VA's Winston-Salem office threatened to collapse the floor.
Credit Office of the Inspector General/Department of Veterans Affairs

Hundreds of thousands of veterans have been waiting months - sometimes years - for their disability claims to be processed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Recently, piled up claims threatened to buckle the floor at the Winston-Salem office. 

Read more
State of Things
10:51 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Hearts and Mines

Russell Snyder was a patriotic American who joined the Army after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

What he saw in Iraq changed his view of the war and America's role in it. His new book, "Hearts and Mines: A Memoir of Psychological Warfare in Iraq" (Casemate/2012), chronicles his experiences during combat. Snyder joins host Frank Stasio to talk about the book and what shifted his perspective on the conflict.

Read more