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00:00:03 - Background information and childhood

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Partial Transcript: I'd like to do an introduction real quick. Today is April 21st, 2010 and my name is Sarah Piester and I'm here at the Nunn Center at the University of Kentucky with Tyler Gayheart, is that correct?

Segment Synopsis: Tyler Gayheart is introduced. He gives background information on his hometown, occupation and unit in the Marine Corps, and serving in Afghanistan. He talks about his family, including the relationship between his mother, father, stepfather, and siblings. He talks about the things he did as a child, mentioning playing sports and shooting guns.

Keywords: Baseball; Brothers; Divorce; Electronic Communication Field Radio Operator; Fathers; Guns; Hawaii; High school; Independence; Mothers; Parris Island (S.C.); Remarried; Siblings; Soccer; Sports; Stepfathers; Wills

Subjects: Ashland (Ky.); Childhood; Families.; Frankfort (Ky.); United States. Marine Corps

GPS: Frankfort (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.197, -84.863
00:09:01 - Family's reactions to his enlistment

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Partial Transcript: So were you the first person in your family to enlist in the military?

Segment Synopsis: Gayheart talks about whether he comes from a military family. He talks about why he decided to enlist with the Marine Corps, and his mother and stepfather's reactions to his decision.

Keywords: Air Force; College; Enlisted; Grandfather; Hesitant; Mothers; Parents; Reactions; Recruiters; Responsible; Senior year; Stepfathers; Structure

Subjects: Families.; Military service, Voluntary--United States.; United States--Armed Forces--Recruiting, enlistment, etc; United States. Marine Corps

00:14:00 - Boot camp

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Partial Transcript: So, boot camp. Where was boot camp?

Segment Synopsis: Gayheart talks about traveling to boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina. He talks about the drills and exercises they were required to do. He talks about the drill instructors and squad leaders, and about how his attitude got him in trouble.

Keywords: Bleeding; Boot camp; Drilling; Haircuts; Marine drill instructors; Opposition; Physical challenges; Red hat instructors; Running; Squad leaders; Staff Sergeant Sampson; Team exercises; Trouble

Subjects: Parris Island (S.C. : Recruit depot); United States. Marine Corps--Military life

GPS: Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island
Map Coordinates: 32.35, -80.671667
00:24:42 - Occupation training and being stationed in Hawaii

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Partial Transcript: So what came after boot camp?

Segment Synopsis: Gayheart talks about training in communications at Camp Geiger and Twentynine Palms. He talks about returning home before being sent to Hawaii, and talks about why he wanted to be stationed there. He tells a story about wearing the wrong uniform when he arrived. He talks about the places he was deployed to while stationed at Hawaii and the types of units he worked with.

Keywords: "Alphas"; "Charlies"; 1st Battalion 12th Marines 3rd Marine Division; Artillery battery; Camp Geiger (N.C.); Classes; Communications; Deployments; Electronic communications; Field Radio Operator; Fleet; Fort observers; Grandmother; Home; Liaison teams; MOS; Marine Combat Training (MCT); Military occupation specialties; Processing; Recruiter's Assistance; Support; Training missions; Uniform; Units

Subjects: Hawaii; Japan; Military training camps; Twentynine Palms (Calif.); United States. Marine Corps--Military life

GPS: Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms
Map Coordinates: 34.231667, -116.061667
00:35:01 - Reactions to learning about his deployment to Afghanistan

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Partial Transcript: From there we came home off that, off that six-month pump from Okinawa and, um, and I came home for leave.

Segment Synopsis: Gayheart talks about learning he was being deployed to Afghanistan. He talks about his stepfather's reaction and their decision not to tell his mother. He talks about his mother's reaction when he told her her about his deployment. He talks about the anticipation he felt before the deployment and how he prepared for it.

Keywords: 1st Battalion 3rd Marines Charlie Company; Anticipation; Deployment; Dreams; Fallujah, Iraq; Home; Keeping in touch; Mothers; On leave; Preparation; Reactions; Russians; Stepfathers; Taliban

Subjects: Afghanistan; Families.; Military service, Voluntary--United States.; United States. Marine Corps--Military life

00:44:31 - Arriving in Afghanistan

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Partial Transcript: Okay so we're back on recording. Uh, we just finished, like I said, finished talking about, um, you finding out you went to Afghanistan, how your family reacted, how you reacted.

Segment Synopsis: Gayheart talks about arriving in Kabul, Afghanistan, traveling to their Forward Operating Base in Asadabad, and describes the bases they stopped at along the way.

Keywords: Commercialized; FOB; Forward Operating Base; Independent; Kabul (Afghanistan); Traveling

Subjects: Afghanistan; Asadābād (Afghanistan); Military service, Voluntary--United States.; United States. Marine Corps--Military life

GPS: Asadabad (Afghanistan)
Map Coordinates: 34.874167, 71.152778
00:47:46 - Afghan roads and IEDs

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Partial Transcript: I remember the day that we got there, the unit that we were replacing was an Army unit, uh, and on their way out as we were coming in, their First Sergeant was hit by an IED and killed.

Segment Synopsis: Gayheart talks about the roads they traveled on in Afghanistan and the dangers of IEDs they faced each time they traveled. He talks about volunteering for missions, the lack of air support available, and the dangers of driving due to IEDs and steep cliffs. He describes a mission in the Pech River Valley.

Keywords: Air support; Apprehension; Death; Driving; Fear; Hills; IEDs; Missions; Pech River Valley (Afghanistan); Roads; Taliban; Tone; Volunteering; Walking

Subjects: Afghan War, 2001-; Afghanistan.; Improvised explosive devices; Military service, Voluntary--United States.; United States. Marine Corps--Military life

GPS: Pech River (Afghanistan)
Map Coordinates: 34.871431, 71.159378
00:57:04 - Mission in Shuriak Valley

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Partial Transcript: So you said you would volunteer for pretty much every mission that you were asked to go on.

Segment Synopsis: Gayheart talks about a mission in the Shuriak Valley during which the Marines discovered a large block of C-4. He talks about the physical challenges of being in Afghanistan, and describes what it was like to go into the villages. He talks about being in combat and firefights.

Keywords: C-4; Combat; FiST team; Fire Support Team (FiST); Firefights; Gunfire; Hills; Killing; Korangal Valley (Afghanistan); Lieutenant Ortiz; Missions; Packs; Physically demanding; Sheiks; Shuriak Valley (Afghanistan); Sleeping; Taliban; Villages

Subjects: Afghan War, 2001-; Afghanistan; Military service, Voluntary--United States.; United States. Marine Corps--Military life

01:06:54 - Most memorable mission

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Partial Transcript: The days went on and we would run missions, um, based on some activity that would be going up on the top.

Segment Synopsis: Gayheart talks about what he says was his most memorable mission in Afghanistan. He talks about firing mortars and nearly being shot.

Keywords: C-4; Firefights; Gear; Gunfire; Locals; Missions; Mortars; Sundown

Subjects: Afghan War, 2001-; Afghanistan; United States. Marine Corps--Military life

01:10:34 - Interactions with locals in Afghanistan

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Partial Transcript: So you say you're passing through villages and things, and did you ever interact with the village people there?

Segment Synopsis: Gayheart talks about his interactions with local people in the villages in Afghanistan. He talks about his relationship with the translator that traveled with his unit.

Keywords: Food; Freedom; Inspiring; Interactions; Intercepting messages; Interpreters; Justice; Local people; Meetings; Radios; Soviet War; Taliban; Translators; Villages

Subjects: Afghan War, 2001-; Afghanistan; Military service, Voluntary--United States.; United States. Marine Corps--Military life

01:15:02 - Coming home

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Partial Transcript: So all those missions, all that ti--all that down time, how long were you there?

Segment Synopsis: Gayheart talks about keeping in touch with his family while he was deployed. He talks about his homecoming, including a welcome parade that was thrown, and about eating food with his fellow Marines. He talks about his girlfriend going to Hawaii to visit him and meet his military friends.

Keywords: Bonding; Coming home; Excited; Food; Friends; Girlfriend; Keeping in touch; Reactions; Welcome parades

Subjects: Afghan War, 2001- --Veterans.; Hawaii; Military service, Voluntary--United States.; United States. Marine Corps--Military life

01:19:58 - Completing college courses while deployed

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Partial Transcript: That's great. So how'd you end up coming back to Kentucky?

Segment Synopsis: Gayheart talks about taking correspondence courses throughout his deployment in preparation for leaving the Marine Corps and attending college when he got home. He talks about trying to study while in Afghanistan. He talks about taking the ACT because he wanted to join the MESEP program.

Keywords: ACT; Coastline Community College; College classes; Commission; Correspondence courses; Deployments; Focus; Kentucky; Leaving; MECEP program; Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program; Planning; Studying

Subjects: Afghan War, 2001- --Veterans.; Afghanistan.; Community colleges; Education, Higher; United States. Marine Corps--Military life

01:24:09 - Transition back to civilian life

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Partial Transcript: So I came home. And I moved to Louisville.

Segment Synopsis: Gayheart talks about the difficulties of transitioning from the military back to being a civilian. He talks about the jobs he took and why he decided to transfer to the University of Kentucky.

Keywords: Civilian life; College mentality; Liberal; Pace; Slowing down; Tempo; To do lists; Transitioning; United Parcel Service (UPS)

Subjects: Afghan War, 2001- --Veterans.; Lexington (Ky.).; Louisville (Ky.); University of Kentucky; Veterans--Education (Higher)--Kentucky.

01:27:46 - Making friends with civilians

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Partial Transcript: And trying to--yeah, if you've ever heard a conversation between, you know, a, a--somebody in a classroom and a veteran, it's more uncomfortable for the veteran than it is for the civilian...

Segment Synopsis: Gayheart talks about the differences between himself and the traditional students in his classes. He talks about why veterans may feel uneasy talking to civilians. He talks about trying to distance himself from his identity as a Marine when interacting with civilians. He talks about why he tries to become friends with the traditional students in his classes.

Keywords: Arts; Civilians; Contrasts; Differences; Identity; Jobs; Making friends; Multimedia; Prepared; Traditional students; Uncomfortable; Working

Subjects: Afghan War, 2001- --Veterans.; Lexington (Ky.).; University of Kentucky; Veterans--Education (Higher)--Kentucky.

GPS: University of Kentucky
Map Coordinates: 38.033333, -84.5
01:32:29 - VA / student veterans organization

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Partial Transcript: What about--I know the VA provides a lot of support--

Segment Synopsis: Gayheart talks about why he avoided going to the VA Medical Center for medical care. He talks about his role in beginning a student veterans organization at the University of Kentucky, what the organization does, and how that organization evolved into the Veterans Resource Center. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Assistance; Avoidance; Concerns; Contact; Doctors; Help; Nontraditional students; Representation; Student Veterans Organization; Transition; University administration; VA; Veterans Resource Center (VRC); Veterans committee; Veterans' Administration; Veterans' Affairs; William Hawks

Subjects: Afghan War, 2001- --Veterans.; Lexington (Ky.).; University of Kentucky; Veterans--Education (Higher)--Kentucky.

GPS: University of Kentucky
Map Coordinates: 38.033333, -84.5