Voodoo Medics with Mark Donaldson VC, Dr Dan Pronk and Kristin Shorten

Life on the Line tracks down Australian war veterans and records their stories. This bonus episode covers the upcoming 8-part documentary VOODOO MEDICS, a short series of webisodes published by The Daily Telegraph Online starting 22 October 2018. Alex Lloyd speaks with the documentary's creator and host, journalist Kristin Shorten, as well as two of its interviewees, Australian veterans Mark Donaldson VC and Dr Dan Pronk. VOODOO MEDICS looks at the lives post-army of medics who served with Special Forces, and interviews such former medics, the operators they fought alongside, and more, in an insightful expose on the cost of modern war.

To watch the documentary, click here!

Panel - Returning Home

Life on the Line tracks down Australian war veterans and records their stories. Today's panel conversation is on the topic of what it means to be a veteran in the modern era, public perception, support systems and transitioning to the workforce. Angus Hordern moderated a discussion between previous podcast guests Garth Callender, Michael Wright and Glenn Kolomeitz.

Horst Haase - German WWII Veteran

Life on the Line tracks down Australian war veterans and records their stories. Every week we also have a bonus episode, where we speak to historians, authors and others in the veterans community. Today's bonus episode is with a German World War II veteran, Horst Haase. Horst spoke to Alex Lloyd about events he witnessed, the terror he felt and the silence he had to maintain to save his life during the war. Thanks go to Oliver Heuthe and Martin Luther Homes for helping to arrange this episode.

Jens Milbret - German Cold War Veteran

Life on the Line tracks down Australian war veterans and records their stories. Every week we also have a bonus episode, where we speak to historians, authors and others in the veterans community. Today's bonus episode is with a Cold War veteran from East Germany, Jens Milbret. Jens spoke of growing up in a communist regime, the propaganda, his military service, the lies that shaped his life and the escape he made from life in East Germany. Thanks go to Oliver Heuthe for helping to arrange this episode.

These photos are of the military academy Jens served at in Dresden, created by Lysippos and shared here (and on our social media) under a Creative Commons license.

Eugen Pichurra - German WWII Veteran

Life on the Line tracks down Australian war veterans and records their stories. Every week we also have a bonus episode, where we speak to historians, authors and others in the veterans community. Today's bonus episode is with a German World War II veteran, Eugen Pichurra. Eugen spoke to Alex about Germany in the 1930s, why he joined the army, his incredible wartime stories, atrocities he witnessed, and his reflections on the war. Eugen also served in the West German military for a time, during the Cold War, before migrating to Australia. Thanks go to Oliver Heuthe and Martin Luther Homes for helping to arrange this episode.

#39 Rhys Dowden

Life on the Line tracks down Australian war veterans and records their stories. Today's conversation is with Iraq and Afghanistan veteran, Rhys Dowden. A former member of the 2nd Commando regiment, Rhys saw multiple deployments to the Middle East as an elite soldier. Alex Lloyd spoke to Rhys about training to be a Commando, contact stories and the power of purpose.

Chaplain on the Seas with Rev Dr Gareth Clayton

Life on the Line tracks down Australian war veterans and records their stories. Every week we also have a bonus episode, where we speak to historians, authors and others in the veterans community. Today's bonus episode is with Rev Dr Gareth Clayton OAM. A man of the cloth, Gareth sought to serve his faith by providing guidance to the sailors of Australia's navy. Gareth reminisces on his time in the navy, his role as chaplain, and beyond.

#38 Janine Fabre

Life on the Line tracks down Australian war veterans and records their stories. Today's conversation is with Janine Fabre, formerly of the Australian Army. Janine shared stories of her life behind the camera lens and the lessons she's learned from documenting our troops at home and abroad. Our thanks go to Defence Media for organising the interview.

WarriorU with Bram Connolly

Life on the Line tracks down Australian war veterans and records their stories. Every week we also have a bonus episode, where we speak to historians, authors and others in the veterans community. Alex Lloyd spoke with Bram Connolly, a former Special Forces officer. Bram is now an author, founder of WarriorU, podcaster at the WarriorU Podcast, and a mentor. Alex spoke with Bram about his pursuits in life after service, and all things human optimisation. 

Bram returned to the podcast in Season 3 in #47 Bram Connolly to discuss his military service with the Australian Army and 2nd Commando Regiment.

#37 Scott Calvert

Life on the Line tracks down Australian war veterans and records their stories. Today's conversation is with Scott Calvert, an Australian Army veteran who deployed twice to Afghanistan. Scott spoke to Sharon Mascall-Dare about the artillery corps, his Middle East deployments, action in Afghanistan, and the cost the life in uniform can have on the life back home.

Bomber Command with Len Traynor

Life on the Line tracks down Australian war veterans and records their stories. Every week we also have a bonus episode, where we speak to historians, authors and others in the veterans community. Today's bonus episode is with historian Len Traynor. Len is an expert in RAF Bomber Command of World War II. His uncle was a rear gunner on a Lancaster bomber and killed on his 30th operation.

#36 Mark Donaldson VC

Life on the Line tracks down Australian war veterans and records their stories. Today's conversation is with Mark Donaldson VC. During a 2008 deployment to Afghanistan, the former SAS trooper performed a series of heroic actions that earned him the Victoria Cross for Australia - the first Australian to receive a VC in the modern era. Mark spoke to Alex Lloyd about his life growing up, training to be SAS, various deployment stories, the battle that saw him receive Australia's highest military award, life beyond and the meaning of a Victoria Cross.

Frankston Naval Memorial Club with Harry Kime

Life on the Line tracks down Australian war veterans and records their stories. Every week we also have a bonus episode, where we speak to historians, authors and others in the veterans community. Today's bonus episode is with a group of Royal Australian Navy veterans at the Frankston Naval Memorial Club. The club invited Alex Lloyd to one of their Friday night gatherings to speak with its Korean and Vietnam war era veterans about their time at sea. The episode features a few short vox pops, and a longer chat with the club's president, Harry Kime.

The mine sitting out the front of the Frankston Naval Memorial Club.

The mine sitting out the front of the Frankston Naval Memorial Club.

#35 Mick Sasse

Life on the Line tracks down Australian war veterans and records their stories. Today's conversation is with Lieutenant Colonel Mick Sasse, currently serving in the Australian Army. Mick told Alex about his career and his family's military history, both Allied and German. Mick has deployed to East Timor and Afghanistan.