Got Your 6 Storytellers showcases the exemplary talents and ideas of some of our country’s best and brightest veterans. Join us in celebrating their accomplishments this Veterans Day.
Got Your 6 challenges you to share and watch a Storyteller’s talk with six friends. And then ask your friends to share the talks with six more people. Sharing these stories is a first step in starting a conversation and empowering veterans.
U.S. Navy veteran, Entrepreneur, and Author
U.S. Army veteran, Musician, and Philosopher
U.S. Marine Corps veteran and Social Media Executive
U.S. Navy veteran and Civic Leader
U.S. Army veteran and Social Entrepreneur
U.S. Marine Corps veteran and Legal Advocate, Afghan Interpreter
U.S. Marine Corps veteran and Writer
U.S. Army and Entrepreneur
U.S. Marine Corps veteran and Craft Bartender
U.S. Army veteran and Social Innovator
John Oliver (Writer, Actor, Comedian, Television Personality)
Oliver is widely known in the U.S. for his work on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and the satirical comedy podcast The Bugle. Oliver left The Daily Show at the end of 2013 and began hosting Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on HBO, in early 2014. Oliver lives in New York with his wife Kate Norley, an Iraq veteran who served as a US Army medic.
Thom Tran (Comedian)
Tran is a veteran of the U.S. Army. As a result of injuries sustained during a deployment in Iraq, Tran was medically retired in 2005. When his military career ended, his comedy career began. In 2010, he created the GIs of Comedy Tour—a “Comedic Troupe of Troops. They are Standup Comics. All Veterans. Still Serving Their Country. One Joke at a Time.”
Michaela Coplen (National Student Poet, Northeast Region)
Michaela Coplen was born into a military family, the daughter of two US Army officers. She learned to love literature by reading their letters home, valuing the connection that language provided. Before long she became an essayist and a poet. In 2013, Michaela was appointed to be the Northeast Region’s National Student Poet. She served a yearlong term as a literary ambassador to the region, facilitating the creation and appreciation of poetry in various classrooms and communities. Her local service project was dedicated to giving this generation of military children what she had benefited from in her youth—an introduction to the therapeutic and connective power of poetry. As such, she taught a series of workshops to students at the Carlisle Barracks Child & Youth Services that culminated in the publication and performance of students’ work for their parents and community. She has taken this initiative across the country and beyond, traveling as far as Wales to teach poetry workshops and advocate for military children. She has been published in The Atlantic, Military OneSource, On The Move Magazine, and the Best Teen Writing of 2012. Michaela is a freshman at Vassar College, where she studies English, Drama, and International Studies.
Tulsi Gabbard (Congresswoman, Hawaii’s 2nd District)
In 2004, Congresswoman Gabbard voluntarily deployed to Iraq with her fellow Soldiers of the 29th Brigade eventually serving two tours of combat duty in the Middle East. She continues to serve as a Captain in the Hawai’i National Guard’s 29th Brigade Combat Team. In 2010, Congresswoman Gabbard ran for the Honolulu City Council and served as Chair of the Safety, Economic Development, and Government Affairs committee and Vice Chair of the Budget committee. Representing Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District, she is one of the first two female combat veterans and the first Hindu to ever serve as a member of the U.S. Congress.
StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind– Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 50,000 interviews with over 90,000 participants, and millions listen to its weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition. StoryCorps’ Military Voices Initiative records, preserves, and shares the stories of veterans, servicemembers, and military families.
Take Part Live hosts news and lifestyle stories, opinion pieces, and feature articles by some of the world’s foremost thought leaders, journalists, academics, and activists. Meghan McCain, daughter of U.S. Senator John McCain, is the co-host of TakePart Live and will be filming a piece for Storytellers. McCain was propelled into the national spotlight at an early age and has since been involved in everything from community events to national conventions. A powerful role model for young women and Republicans alike, she passionately discusses women’s issues, social issues and marriage equality across a variety of media.
Storytellers, delivered in TED-style presentations, enables Americans to hear from veterans whose innovative ideas have profound effects across the world. The veterans who share their stories of leadership, innovation, and success are changing the narratives about those who have served in the military.
You can help change the cultural narrative around veterans in America. Start a new conversation—watch and discuss these highlighted talks from Storytellers 2013.
Jake Harriman graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy and served as an Infantry and Special Operations Platoon Commander in the Marine Corps. During his time in the military, Jake led four operational deployments, including two combat tours in Iraq and disaster relief operations in Indonesia and Sri Lanka after the Asian tsunami. After seven and a half years, Jake left the Marine Corps and enrolled at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Jake graduated with an MBA in June 2008 and launched Nuru International—a nonprofit organization devoted to fighting extreme poverty and finding solutions to end world poverty in remote, rural areas.
Jake Wood served as a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps, with deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan as a Scout Sniper. He received numerous awards in combat, and was the Honor Graduate of Recruit Training, The School of Infantry and Marine Scout Sniper Course. After his service, Jake co-founded Team Rubicon—a nonprofit organization that unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. Team Rubicon provides veterans with the opportunity to continue their service by responding to natural disasters and global crises. The organization has received half a dozen awards and in 2012, Jake was named a CNN Hero.
Tim Kudo graduated from UCLA, joined Teach for America, and earned his M.S. in Teaching from Fordham University. He then worked for the New York State legislature and Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee. In 2006, Tim joined the Marine Corps and became an infantry officer deploying to both Iraq and Afghanistan where he successfully conducted nation-building operations, including providing education to hundreds of Afghans in a hostile region. After an honorable discharge, Tim worked for the advocacy nonprofit Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, serving as an organizer and spokesperson to national media outlets like the New York Times, CNN, and National Public Radio. Currently, Tim is working toward both his Master in Business Administration and Master in Public Administration at New York University.