In this episode of the My Life, My Story podcast, you’ll meet Bibiana, an elderly Allied beneficiary whose story astonished us.

We like to say about the Veterans we interview that “you never know who’s behind that door.” A central goal of the “My Life, My Story” project is to help VA medical staff get to know their patients better. Doctors and nurses are always pressed for time, but by reading these thousand-word life histories in the medical record, our hope is that VA staff can learn a lot about a patient’s life in just a matter of minutes.

But aside from that goal, we think this project offers some major perks for those who actually listen to and write these stories. Among them are getting to talk to people who had front-row seats for some of the past century’s biggest moments.

At the end of this story, you might be wondering why Bibiana was being cared for in a VA hospital in the first place. We wondered about that, too, so we looked it up. It turns out that VA provides medical services to people like Bibiana’s husband and herself who fought for the Allies in World War II. For more information about that program, click on this link.

Seth Jovaag is a writer, editor and producer for the My Life, My Story project.

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