LISTEN: 3 combat veterans reveal survival stories on 'To War and Back'

By Connecting Vets

Three combat veterans are opening up about their harrowing tales of war, survival, and putting the pieces of their lives back together upon returning home. On the podcast, “To War and Back,” journalist and Navy veteran Phil Briggs travels cross-country to meet the veterans and document their stories. 

“We’re bringing you from the frontlines to the struggles of coming back home,” Briggs says in the trailer for the podcast.

The podcast explores the extraordinary stories of Marines Corps veterans Kirstie Ennis and Scott Huesing, and Army veteran Boone Cutler, who all share personal details about their journeys. The podcast is an Entercom and Cadence13 original, created in partnership with Connecting Vets. Retired Marine Corps Sergeant Kirstie Ennis tells the story of a horrific helicopter crash in Aghanistan’s Helmand province and the traumatic injuries she suffered. “In the moment, right before the helicopter crashed, people ask me all the time, ‘What did you do? Did you pray?’ I almost went right back into Marine mode,” Ennis reveals. 

Ennis suffered severe trauma, including to her brain, spine, and leg, and readjusting to normal life involved a long rehabilitation process. She lost her left leg above the knee after 40 surgeries. This hasn’t stopped her from her tremendous accomplishments in snowboarding and mountaineering. She also just returned from climbing Mt. Everest. Then there’s retired Marine Corps Major Scott Huesing, who opens up about leading young men into combat, as documented in his bestselling book, “Echo in Ramadi.”

Huesing was deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Horn of Africa, and describes the "risky behavior" and "intensity" of his assignments. He currently serves as the Executive Director of Save the Brave, a nonprofit bringing outdoor excursions to combat veterans to aid in the healing process.

For Retired Army Sgt. Boone Cutler, it traces a journey from battles in Sadr City, Iraq to the pill bottles that nearly killed him while being treated at Walter Reed Medical Center. And the surprise solutions which come from things our own government does not even offer. 

“From the first time I took that medication, I lost control of my life,” he reveals. Briggs dives into the solutions he found to getting his life back together, outside of the help the government offered him. 

He moved on to founding The Spartan Pledge, working to lessen the suicide epidemic in veterans and working as a radio personality in Reno, Nevada.

For more on these veterans' incredible stories, subscribe for free now on the RADIO.COM app, or wherever you listen to podcasts.​