In 1999, the eyes of the world once again turned to the 82nd Airborne Division. With the breakup of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Balkans collapsed into a vision of hell; decades of hatred between Serbs and Albanians boiled over and the region exploded into an orgy of violence. Lawlessness prevailed, innocents were massacred, the streets ran red with blood. Torture chambers and mass grave sites were more prevalent than schools and police stations. President Bill Clinton declared an emergency, sending America’s Guard of Honor to the region to protect both sides and to allow a semblance of civilization.
The Division’s mission was not entirely clear and often oscillated between policing and governing. It was a confusing time for our Paratroopers, with the threat of widespread ethnic violence always lying just beneath the surface.
In part one of “A Violent, Complicated Place,” a two-part series, we hear the story of the All Americans in Kosovo in 1999 and early 2000 from those who served there. We present this episode with very little narration, allowing the Paratroopers to relay their experience in first person.
The All American Legacy podcast is produced by the 82nd Airborne Division. This two part series was produced by Josh Harrison. Please subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts and leave a rating and review, as these help others find the program.