Series Introduction: Impact Of War

In November, Weekend Edition Saturday will air a series of stories focused on the impact of war on people thousands of miles from the battlefield — the parents, spouses and children struggling to cope. Host Scott Simon gets a preview from the project's supervising editor, Danyell Irby.

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SCOTT SIMON, host:

Of course, the elements of the Fort Hood shootings continue to emerge. There are also struggles that military families contend with that are far less publicized. All this month on our program you'll hear stories about some of the effects that the continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have on military families.

That project's supervising editor, Danyell Irby, joins us to talk about today's feature and what's coming up. Danyell, thanks for being with us.

DANYELL IRBY: Thank you for having me and good morning.

SIMON: Tell us, please, about NPR's Impact of War project.

IRBY: Well, we see the project as having several goals. The purpose is to support our member station reporters around the country in identifying impact of war stories in their own backyard. We help them in the writing and the editing process so they can bring those stories to their listeners, and above all, just to do our part, to give a voice to the struggles and the triumphs of not just the military brass but the boots on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan and those affected by their absence during deployment and in death.

SIMON: Tell us about today's feature.

IRBY: Well, the first piece you're going to hear is about the Griffitts. They're a San Antonio Navy family. And the mother, not unlike many mothers across the nation, was trying to juggle a job and help raise their three children. Now, imagine how that's compounded when a member of the family is a special needs child, and in their case the spouse is left alone to try to piece together what's often a jigsaw puzzle of military aid that's both appropriate for the child and the family and also near where they live.

SIMON: Danyell Irby, thanks very much.

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