Screenshot from YouTube

A video going viral this week shows a veteran of World War II’s Battle of the Bulge describing how he shot a German soldier, and the effect it has had on him since.

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YouTube screenshot via Equal Justice Initiative.

In 1898, on a sweltering summer day in mid August, Army Pvt. James Neely of the all-black 25th Infantry Regiment was on leave in the small town of Hampton, Georgia, on a day pass from his post at Fort Hobson.

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Photo by Boyan Penkov

The Supreme Court ruling on the rights of same-sex couples to marry has strengthened the rights of gay service members to openly own their stories. During this era of sweeping social change for the military — which is also expanding women’s roles in combat arms professions — storytelling programs connect Americans with service members whose lives have rarely been explored. StoryCorps, a nonprofit, has since 2003 recorded, preserved, and shared more than 2,500 oral histories in its Military Voices Initiative, including those of gays and dual-military couples.

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