Battle Scars

Battle Scars

By Panoply

Some firefights and bomb blasts never make the news or the history books, but they’re still incidents that changed the lives of those involved. In each episode, host and former soldier Thom Tran talks to fellow veterans of our recent wars. We hear from a badly burned vet who became a TV star; a medic who says God answered his prayers on the battlefield; and one of the few women soldiers to take an enemy life in action. Thom also shares his memories of fighting in Iraq, where a sniper's bullet came within an inch of killing him. Sometimes raw, often funny, but always arresting.


Welcome to the world

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05/04/242m 3s

Surrounded, Outnumbered, Shot in the Throat... But I Fought On.

Simon Moloney took up a lonely sniper position in an Afghan building, not realising it was the headquarters of the local Taliban. Suddenly he and his comrade came under heavy fire from all sides. A bullet slammed into Simon's throat - a wound which should have killed him in minutes. Bleeding and certain he was close to death, Simon started to fight back against huge odds. It was one of Simon's best days ever.     Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/01/1830m 16s

From War in Afghanistan to a Fight in the NFL

Former Green Beret and NFL player Nate Boyer never picks the easy path or runs away from conflict. In Afghanistan, he learned to trust and respect the local soldiers whose lives and views at first seemed so alien to his American eyes. Back home, when quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat out the national anthem in a civil rights protest, Nate didn't shy away from the controversy. While disagreeing with the star's actions, Nate wanted to understand  - so he started a dialogue with Colin which resulted in #TakeAKnee.    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
04/01/1829m 18s

I Fought with Hate... Until it Caught Up On Me

As a soldier in US Army Special Forces, Tu Lam fought all over the world. He saw action in the wars you see on the TV news, but also in smaller conflicts you've probably never heard about. As a former refugee himself, he wanted to help innocent people in those strife-torn places. However, Tu saw so many awful things and experienced such personal losses that hate grew in his heart until it became his main motivation for fighting. That imbalance caused him to examine his career in the Green Berets and set about finding a new path.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
28/12/1736m 36s

Don't Die with Skeletons in Your Closet

In Iraq, Arnold Strong went hunting for a terrorist bomb and found it right under his feet. The realisation of how close he'd come to death again and again on his tour made him think about the skeletons in his closet. On leave, he decided to tell his wife a secret he'd buried deep inside. The revelation totally blew up his family life.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
21/12/1740m 51s

I Tried to Help Land Our Black Hawk, Then Passed Out

Tammy Duckworth was having the best day of her deployment in Iraq - at the controls of a US Army Black Hawk helicopter - when insurgents launched an attack on the aircraft. Small arms fire peppered her side of the chopper... then a rocket-propelled grenade tore through the fuselage and detonated in her lap. Now a US Senator, she says she wouldn't go back to change anything about the journey that put her in harm's way.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
14/12/1731m 2s

The First Woman to Kill in Battle

Chantelle Taylor was a combat medic in Afghanistan. She took pride in being highly trained in both those trades; saving lives, but also taking them when necessary. During a Taliban ambush on her unit, Chantelle played her role fighting off the attackers. During the firefight she "engaged" one of the enemy - killing him. Those carefully-aimed shots made her the first female soldier in British military history to take a life in combat - a status she neither hides nor celebrates.   Chantelle is the author of a memoir (Battleworn) and co-hosts the Global Recon podcast.     Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
07/12/1732m 14s

When I Went to Iraq it Killed My Dad Back Home

Kate Hoit had a fight on her hands from childhood. She waged a war on booze in her home, trying to get her alcoholic parents sober. She succeeded with her beloved father, until she was sent to Iraq and he fell dramatically off the wagon. Kate loved her deployment - it was the making of her - but as the days ticked off she dreaded the chaos and heartache her return would bring.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
30/11/1726m 44s

When the Caskets Start Coming Home

Arti Walker-Peddakotla escaped her controlling parents by joining the peacetime army. She wanted to continue her medical studies. But as her fellow soldiers began to fall in combat after 9/11, someone had to work in the mortuary and "process" their bodies. So day after day, Arti greeted the dead as they returned from Iraq and Afghanistan in alarming numbers.     Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
23/11/1728m 27s

Panoply Fall 2017 Trailer

We’re thrilled to present Panoply’s Fall 2017 lineup of shows. They include the satirical self-improvement show “Dexter Guff is Smarter Than You (And You Can Be Too),” the creepy paranormal series “Haunted,” “Family Ghosts,” in which people play detectives in their own family mysteries, “You Must Remember Manson,” which dives into the links between Charles Manson and Hollywood, the immersive fiction podcast “Tumanbay,” and “Battle Scars,” which features frank and sometimes funny conversations with the men and women fighting today’s wars. In addition to new shows, season 2 of “By The Book” launches with Jolenta and Kristen trying to go on a digital diet, “Why Oh Why” talks with the founder of a dating app for men with beards, “Happier with Gretchen Rubin” offers holiday happiness hacks, “Happier in Hollywood” considers whether holiday gifts are necessary in the workplace, and “Side Hustle School” revisits some of its best hustlers. Learn more about all our shows at Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
20/11/175m 3s

God Loves Medics

Manny Penuel says God wanted him to join the army and become a combat medic. The Lord also kept Manny safe from bullets and bombs which should have killed him. God also answered Manny's prayers as he patched up badly wounded comrades on the battlefields of Afghanistan - with some men surviving injuries Manny was convinced were fatal. But Manny is also haunted by the soldiers he could not save... and wonders how this fits into God's plans for him.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
16/11/1731m 12s

Landmines freaked me out... and guess what got me?

JR Martinez was trapped in a burning vehicle for five long minutes. Coming back from Iraq he had to come to terms with the scarred face that now looked back in the mirror, and the feeling that his army buddies had abandoned him when he needed them most. Just as he fought to stay alive in the burning wreckage, he now battled against the prejudice of those who found his scars horrifying. His determination to be seen and accepted saw him become a TV star.     Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
09/11/1728m 49s


Thom Tran took a bullet in his head on his fourth day fighting in Iraq. In Battle Scars he talks candidly to others who served during our recent wars about their own battles, abroad and at home. With Thom having been forced to swap a career in the military for life as a stand-up comedian, the show has its share of laughter, tears and salty language.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
01/11/173m 39s
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