WXAV launches new program series focused on veterans

WXAV 88.3 FM and wxav.com, in collaboration with the Center for Religion and Public Discourse, will launch “Veteran Matters,” a new 10-part radio series this Sun., April 22, at 9 a.m. CDT.  The series, featuring interviews with military veterans from World War II, the Korean War, and the conflicts in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, compares and contrasts the experiences of these veterans who served across a broad spectrum of times and locations.

Supported in part by a grant from the Westerman Foundation, “Veteran Matters” is hosted by Prof. Peter Hilton of SXU’s School of Education and was produced by Peter Kreten, Assistant Director of Campus Life: Student Media. Veteran interviewees range from Joan, a 92-year-old military nurse who served during World War II, through Buck, a helicopter pilot in Vietnam, to Andy, who served in Korea, Germany, and Iraq.  

“Basically, we wanted to tell stories,” explains Kreten. “Veterans carry part of our history and it’s important and interesting to hear their stories and to discover how military service in different eras and different conflicts compare and contrast. It’s been a wonderful project for us here at Saint Xavier and for the veterans who agreed to participate.”

Those veterans include some current SXU students and faculty, including the program host Prof. Hilton. “For me as a Vietnam veteran, this project began with curiosity about how veterans from various wars were changed by their time in service,” Hilton said. “Along the way, the interviews and the programs became a very personal and sometimes healing journey of remembrance for several of those involved.”

The 10-part “Veteran Matters” series will air in two segments – April 22 through May 20, and August through September, 2012. This Sunday’s initial program will introduce all the veteran interviewees whose stories will be featured in subsequent programs. The programs that follow will focus on combat experience, military life, nursing in combat zones, and one veteran’s battle experience at sea during WWII.  

To help launch “Veteran Matters,” the Center for Religion and Public Discourse and WXAV are hosting an invitational barbeque on Fri., April 20, for all those involved in producing the program series and for military veterans currently enrolled or employed at SXU.