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Oklahomans sharing veterans' stories through podcast

Tony Lupo and Ryan Fairfield
Posted at 3:53 PM, Nov 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-12 14:13:33-05

TULSA, Okla. — About 18 years, Tony Lupo and Ryan Fairfield started interviewing World War II veterans as volunteers for the Library of Congress Veterans History Project.

"We felt like there's a sense of urgency with these World War II veterans because at this time they were in their eighties," said Tony Lupo, Cofounder and Cohost.

That's almost 200 stories from men and women who witnessed history.

"You realize they were witness to some aspect of history that is very pivotal in its own right in World War II," said Ryan Fairfield, Cofounder and Cohost.

Pivotal because the U.S. was much different coming out of the war than when going in.

"We went from having a second-rate military to having one of the superpowers of the world and a nuclear power all in the span of less than four years," Fairfield said.

What they've been hearing is so amazing they've decided to share these stories of triumph and stories of terror with everyone.

"Things like being a witness to the Nuremberg Trials or walking through a post-war apocalyptic Japan that had just been nuked," Lupo said.

It's called "The Warrior Next Door" podcast because the men and women interviewed aren't presidents and generals who've been written about time and time again. These veterans could be your neighbor or the person in front of you at the grocery store.

"The ordinary soldier had a story that was just as compelling as General McArthur's," Lupo said.

"Easily a third if not half of all the interviews we've done are Tulsa people," Fairfield said.

Oklahomans with a story to tell about a time that changed the world, and forced people with different backgrounds and beliefs to work together for the common good.

"These people were forced to work together to solve problems and it created a unity, a true melting pot that maybe doesn't exist to the same degree today. Barriers were definitely knocked down back then," Lupo said.

"The Warrior Next Door" podcast is on all the major podcast directories: Apple, Spotify, and Google Play, but be ready because what you'll hear could change the way you think.

"If you listen to our podcasts, you're going to walk away with dirt on your boots," said Lupo.

Learn more about the podcast here.

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