"Fort Bragg Stories", produced by WUNC’s American Homefront Project and the Fayetteville Observer, chronicles 100 years of Fort Bragg with personal narratives.

"Fort Bragg Stories", produced by WUNC’s American Homefront Project and the Fayetteville Observer, chronicles 100 years of Fort Bragg with personal narratives.

"Fort Bragg Stories" is a podcast and radio show airing Sunday morning and afternoons.

So far, they have produced 20 episodes by talking with a variety of people about their experience on Bragg. Elizabeth Friend from WUNC conducts interviews which typically last 20-40 minutes. The interview is then cut down to just 3-5 minutes.

They try to focus on parts of the interview that are most meaningful, on events that have had a lasting impact on the storyteller’s life, Friend said.

Richard Clapp was present during the Green Ramp disaster and was burned on 45 percent of his body. Phil Sussman fractured his spine during a training accident and recovered through yoga, meditation and therapy.

“The thing I keep coming back to are these threads of resilience that come through these stories of hardship...all the stories of people coming together to help each other or finding a personal path to healing, I think that aspect has been the most rewarding,” she said.

While Soldiers stories are important, they want to hear from others, too---anyone who has a connection to Fort Bragg and a story to tell---and they have.

“The breadth of stories has been a surprise to me,” she said.

Among the civilians she interviewed was Billy Herring. He was just a kid during World War II and dug up slugs from firing ranges for scrap metal to help the war effort. His civilian family helped the war effort by supplying milk to Soldiers from their dairy farm and saving bacon grease for use in explosives.

“I would encourage people who might initially think that they didn’t have a story to tell to think about what has stuck with them that is surprising or meaningful from their experiences on and around Fort Bragg..even the small stories can make for really powerful moments,” Friend said.

One such story came from Libby Brice. Brice was a secretary for the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division office in 1961, and when JFK visited Fort Bragg to meet with Brig. Gen. William Yarborough, she and her co-workers lined up on his route wearing red, yellow, and green, like a traffic light, to catch his eye.

They’d like to continue the project through the end of the year, but to do so, they need more stories. To contribute your story, email them at fortbraggstories@wunc.org or call Elizabeth Friend at 919-638-8878.