StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.
In our latest installment of the StoryCorps Military Voices Initiative, we hear from Lance Cpl. Travis Williams. In 2005, while serving in Iraq, Williams lost his 12-man squad lost his squad to an IED. He was the only survivor.
Sally Edwards (left), 80, and Lue Hutchinson, 71, visited StoryCorps in Cincinnati. Their sons, Jack Edwards and Tom Butts, are buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Two mothers whose sons were killed during the first Gulf War talk about how they became friends after their sons died. The past 22 years would have been tough without the friendship, because, as one tells the other, "what's in our hearts we share."
Six years ago, Rick Bounds was told he would die without a kidney and liver transplant. Today he is a triathlete, thanks to donor organs from Dorothy Biernack's late husband, Marty.
In February 2007, Rick Bounds was diagnosed with a serious liver disease and given eight months to live.
May 3, 2013 For decades, Alexis Martinez, born Arthur, had to mask her transgender identity by "being as macho as I could be." But in a visit to StoryCorps, she tells her daughter how, with her family's acceptance, she's finally been able to live as a woman full-time.
April 26, 2013 Herman Blake and his six siblings struggled so much during the '40s that one brother decided to drop out of school and help support the family. A friend of the family stepped in and made sure that didn't happen, despite her own meager means. That sacrifice taught the Blake children the value of an education.
April 19, 2013 Jack Richmond was a young father when his leg was crushed in a work accident. Though in denial at first that it would need to be amputated, he quickly realized he could share his experience to help other amputees, as he tells his daughter, Reagan, on a visit to StoryCorps.
April 5, 2013 Ruben Aguilar, 85, was forcibly deported with his family from the U.S. to Mexico at age 6. While his parents were not American citizens, he was, and at 18, he was drafted by the U.S. Army. Aguilar is a man who "got hurt by his country, came back to this country and is going to die in his country."
March 15, 2013 Tim Harris had wanted to open a restaurant for as long as he could remember. In 2004, with help from his father, Tim, who has Down syndrome, opened Tim's Place in Albuquerque, N.M. He calls it the world's friendliest restaurant, and doles out hugs to customers six days a week.