Borne the Battle

Borne the Battle

Borne the Battle recognizes each battle, challenge, and sacrifice our Veterans endure during and after their service, as well as spotlighting important resources, offices, and benefits VA offers our Veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs does not endorse or officially sanction any entities that may be discussed in this podcast, nor any media, products or services they may provide.


June 6, 2022 44 min

This week’s Borne the Battle – a benefits breakdown – features the Million Veteran Program (MVP), which is a national, voluntary research program to learn about how genes, lifestyle and military exposures affect health and illness and improve health care for Veterans.

Sumitra Muralidhar, Ph.D. is the program director under VA's Office of Research and Development. Dr. Sumitra is motivated to help Veterans by overseeing the policy...

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Retired Army Major General Charles (Chuck) Swannack, Jr. served in various command and staff positions during his thirty-plus years in the Army. He commanded the 82nd Airborne Division from October 2002 to May 2004, served as a brigade commander during Operation Uphold Democracy, was a battalion commander during Operation Nimrod Dancer and served in many more roles.

Despite his impressive military service, Swannack argues that his c...

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Major General (retired) Mark Graham lost his two sons, Jeffrey and Kevin, less than a year apart from one another. Their deaths came unexpectedly and rocked the course of his life forever. For him, happiness will never be the same. And yet, he still finds joy in his life through helping Veterans triumph in their darkest moments.

On this week’s episode of Borne the Battle, Graham takes listeners on a riveting journey through his life...

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This week we revisit Army Green Beret Veteran and 37 year old NFL rookie Nate Boyer’s interview.

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Olivia Nunn knew from a young age that she would join the Army one day; her father had been a combat engineer. She planned to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, but low test scores in math prevented her admission. Nunn’s parents supported her decision to join the military, but they insisted that she receive an education and become an officer, so she enrolled at Radford University in Virginia and joined the school’s Res...

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Navy Veteran Ken Harbaugh grew up in a family of military pilots but never really thought about joining the military himself. However, in a moment of clarity while studying abroad during his junior year of college, he changed course. That led to him commissioning in the Navy and becoming a fighter pilot leading combat reconnaissance missions.

After serving nine years, Harbaugh left the Navy and later enrolled at Yale University to s...

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This week’s Borne the Battle–a benefits breakdown—features the Office of Harassment and Assault Prevention. The office’s goal is simple: All those who visit a VA facility should be treated with dignity and respect.

However, recognizing how harassment or assault can manifest and what you can do to combat it may be less simple.

Lelia Jackson, Marine Corp Veteran and director of the Office of Harassment and Assault, joins this week’s ep...

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Are you one of the 3 million Veterans eligible to join VA’s Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry (AHOBPR)? If you were exposed to toxic materials during your service and are worried about how it might affect you, joining the AHOBPR allows you to report your exposure and discuss your concerns with a health care professional after a free, voluntary medical exam. The information you provide will contribute to research that may ...

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Before he was Mr. Feeny on Boy Meets World or KITT on Knight Rider, William Daniels was a soldier in the U.S. Army. Daniels was drafted into the Army near the end of World War II and later used his GI Bill benefits to attend college and study acting. Tune in to this week’s special rewind episode of Borne the Battle to hear Daniels talk about being the first person in his family to attend college, meeting the pope, and using the ski...

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In honor of Coach K's record breaking 13th and final - Final Four appearance - this week we go back in time and revisit his Borne the Battle interview.

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Six. That was the number of black bags Army Veteran Frederick Bourjaily and his comrades carried back to base after completing his first operation control assignment while serving in the Vietnam War. And though the experience happened over half-a-century ago, that memory lingers deeply in Bourjaily’s mind today.

Bourjaily shares this story precisely because he wants others to hear it. He wants today’s young service members and milit...

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At age 17, Linda Maloney knew that she wanted more. Her parents were divorced and couldn't afford to send her to college. Looking to take control of her life, she joined the Navy.

“I think when you grow up in a difficult situation, obviously you want better for yourself, you know?” Maloney asked. “And I just wanted to impact my own life.”

In the Navy, Maloney served as both an air traffic controller and a public affairs officer. ...

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Navy Veteran Andrew Bliss always wanted to work in the video production industry, but his journey wasn't straightforward. Before serving in the military, Bliss was an accomplished professional martial artist with over 10 years of experience coaching and mentoring students. Working as a martial artist eventually led him to the military.

In the interview, Bliss talks about serving six years as a Navy broadcast journalist in Combat...

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Tim McCoy was born in Fort Jackson, S.C. and grew up in a military environment. He eventually joined the military and gave almost 26 years of service until a health condition forced him out. Despite his abrupt departure, he continues to involve himself with the military community in his capacity as a historian focusing on giving a voice to the lesser known and often forgotten figures in American military history.

McCoy lived a uniqu...

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This week’s Borne the Battle – a benefits breakdown – features the Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU). They are an internal accountability office that protects and advocates for Veteran-owned businesses. They also work to ensure that Veteran entrepreneurs can compete and be selected for a fair amount of contract opportunities.

Air Force Veteran Michelle Gardner-Ince is the director of the Women Veteran-...

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With 44 years of service under his belt, Air Force Veteran, four-star general and former Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force Larry Spencer decided that he earned a well-deserved break and retired on a Friday in 2015. But that very following Monday, he went right back to work, promoting aerospace education in his new role as president of the Air Force Association.

Did Spencer regret going straight back into work after retiring ...

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Elysa Acosta-Millan was inspired by her brother to join the armed forces. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in the weeks following 9/11, and Acosta-Millan saw the positive effect that military service had on his personality. That, combined with an increasing desire for change in her personal life, led Acosta-Millan to consider a career in the Corps.

Acosta-Millan spent more than seven years on active duty in the Marine Corps and now s...

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This week’s Borne the Battle features Army Veteran Greg Williams, who has over 30 years of experience  training the skills and techniques used to identify specific human behavior patterns. Over that time, he's instructed every Tier One military force in the United States, as well as various international organizations.

After serving six years in the Army, Williams transitioned to civilian life, working as an urban law enforcemen...

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With over two decades of experience, Mark Cooter and Alec Bierbauer have been called the “Wright Brothers” of the U.S. drone warfare program. They were the ones – in January 2000 – who were tasked with finding terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. They had nine months to carry out their mission.

This week’s episode of Borne the Battle explores the history of drone warfare, which dates back to the 1990s, when drones were used as relative...

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January 17, 2022 32 min

SSVF is a program administered by VA to rapidly rehouse Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. National director of the SSVF program, John Kuhn, joins this episode of Borne the Battle to speak on the following:

  • How the SSVF operates and what resources eligible Veterans can receive from utilizing it (2:18)
  • An overview of the requirements organizations must meet before becoming a SSVF provider (5:02)
  • How a local nonprofit...
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