On Memorial Day, veterans help shape our understanding of their experiences

This Memorial Day, Michigan Radio spoke with veterans who have served overseas about how today’s veterans might be remembered.

Brandon Van Wagoner of Flint served in the Navy from 2004 to 2008, including two deployments to Iraq.

He thinks it's still too soon to know how his generation of service members will be remembered on Memorial Day.

“I really think the way we're actually going to see the Middle Eastern combatants isn't going to be completely formed or shaped until later on,” he says.

But he thinks that veterans play an important role in shaping our understanding of that experience.

“Part of it is because we have to be very proactive about this. We don't want to see someone who's been hurt by this time of war feel forgotten or become forgotten,” he says.

This story was informed by the Public Insight Network. You can share your Memorial Day stories with Michigan Radio, or share another story idea by clicking here.