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American Homefront

WUSF Makes U.S. History With Radio Series on Military Life

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For one year, the voice of retired Senior Master Sergeant Rex Temple, brought comfort to the thousands of wives, husbands, parents and children of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now that voice will be preserved forever in a radio series called “My Last Tour” -- in the US Library of Congress as part of the Veteran's History Project.

The weekly story aired on WUSF May 2009 to April 2010 and gave listeners a glimpse into the life of a soldier serving in a war zone.

During a speech before fellow soldiers, members of Congress, and military spouses, he talked about how honored he was to have been part of the project.

He said he was surprised to find out how popular his story had become.

"At that time I couldn't fathom the popularity of the series,” he says.

“The visits to my blog increased to 700 a day and people would comment, and ask questions about Afghanistan," he said.

Temple said he was grateful that he got the opportunity to tell his story, but says at first he was skeptical about telling it to media.

“In my previous experiences with journalists, I felt they were either biased and their only focus was on blood and guts.”

He says he felt comfortable with WUSF reporter Bobbie O’Brien. Soon they were talking weekly about all aspects of life as a soldier.

“I didn’t know what to talk about. It was like, okay we do a lot of boring things,” he says.

“Then come to find out it’s those mundane things that really appeal to the audience --how we live, the logistics of a convoy, and the people we interact with.”

After 28 years of service, Temple is now retired. He says he's truly honored to know his story will live forever archived in the Veteran's History Project.