Author Archives: Veterans' Voices

About Veterans' Voices

Veterans Voices is produced by Ken Olsen, a freelance writer and author who frequently writes about military families and veterans issues for national magazines

‘Like a giant X-ray’ They had a front-row seat to secret nuclear weapons tests. Now they’re fighting for recognition and compensation

By Ken Olsen (Copyright 2018) Charles Savukas’ South Pacific deployment almost sounds like a page from an exotic travel brochure: fishing, swimming and exploring the white sands and turquoise waters of Christmas Island, when he wasn’t working as secretary to … Continue reading

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An Army of One: Oregon widow dedicates everything to providing housing for homeless veterans

By Ken Olsen (Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved) As he was dying from liver cancer in 2007, Lorie Perkins’ husband encouraged her to return to the work she loved: housing the homeless. It had been the couple’s passion before his … Continue reading

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The Lost Graves of Tarawa: Hastily buried following one of World War II’s most horrific battles, the remains of missing Marines are coming home

By Ken Olsen (Copyright 2017) Tom Vosmer doesn’t recall exactly when he learned his cousin had been killed during the Battle of Tarawa. He might have been 6 or 7. The loss was nonetheless devastating. “Even at that age, I … Continue reading

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Growing Veterans: A Marine Corps veteran teams up with a trauma counselor to prevent suicides, through farming, fellowship and an effort to end the stigma of getting help

By Ken Olsen (Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved) Last year, an Afghanistan war veteran who had decided to kill himself drove to a century-old farm in the evergreen foothills of Skagit County, Wash., as a final trip before he died. … Continue reading

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‘Nothing wrong with you:’ Twenty-five years later, Gulf War Illness often treated as a mental condition

By Ken Olsen (Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved) William Fuzi came home from the first Gulf War suffering from fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue, a mysterious rash and intense migraines. When he told the Marine Corps that every joint … Continue reading

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Home at Last: Seventy-five years after the attack on Pearl Harbor, men who died on USS Oklahoma are finally being returned to their families

By Ken Olsen (Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved) John England was last seen heading back into the depths of the crippled USS Oklahoma to rescue a fourth shipmate on Dec. 7, 1941. The 20-year-old ensign had come topside after an … Continue reading

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Thoroughbred Therapy: How Saratoga WarHorse rekindles life for soldiers dealing with PTSD

By Ken Olsen (Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved) Rob Saavedra refused to acknowledge he had PTSD. The Air Force veteran and sheriff’s deputy worried the people around him – particularly coworkers – would consider him weak. And when he finally … Continue reading

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