Scott Cooper of Saltillo joined the army when he was twenty-four years old. In this episode, he remembers flying to Kuwait for additional training before being deployed in Iraq. While serving in Afghanistan, American soldiers were routinely targeted by snipers and improvised explosive devices. Cooper recalls how they would alter their route each day to avoid the IEDs.
Many soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan experienced some form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Scott Cooper compares his symptoms of PTSD with those of his friends. Veterans of the Global War on Terror are still dealing with emotional, physical, and financial challenges. Cooper explains why it is so important to support those who served and those who still serve today.
PHOTO: Dept. of Defense Staff SGT. Leo Medina
Butch Brown was working at a Hattiesburg jewelry store in 1968 as the war in Vietnam raged on. In this episode, he recalls the day his mother met him at the front door with a draft notice and an airline ticket to Canada.
As a communications man in Vietnam, Brown was responsible for repairing field radios in the jungle. He discusses being the company “scrounger” and how he earned the call sign “Soda Six.” Brown would occasionally go out on patrol with his infantry company as the radio man. He remembers the night they set up a large ambush in the jungle to catch the Vietcong.
As public opinion about the Vietnam War soured, returning soldiers were often greeted with hostility. Butch Brown describes the reception he got in California versus the one he received in Jackson.
For thousands of years, Choctaw Indians hunted, farmed and fished the land that would become Mississippi. In this episode, Tribal Historian Kenneth York discusses their way of life and how European settlers took their homes. In 1830, the Federal government attempted to remove the Choctaw Indians from Mississippi. York describes their connection to the land and sacred burial mounds.
The Choctaw lands of Mississippi are divided into three districts and nine communities. York lists these areas and explains how they got their names.
Today, the tribal headquarters of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians is in Neshoba County. According to York, Choctaws still enjoy hunting, fishing, and growing their own food, despite the convenience of modern grocery stores.
PHOTO: Flag of Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians - choctaw.org, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=117029903