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Journeys of Discovery: A conversation with WW1 hero Sergeant Alvin York’s family

Join correspondent Tom Wilmer  as he reports from Pall Mall, Tennessee. There he visits with World War I U.S. Army hero Sergeant Alvin York’s daughter, 85 year-old Betsy Ross York-Lowery, and great-granddaughter, Deborah York, at the family’s farmhouse. A pacifist, York reluctantly went to war and wound up one of America’s most highly decorated heroes.

Recipient of the Medal of Honor for leading an attack on a German machine gun nest, York killed 25 and single-handedly captured 132 German soldiers during final offensive of WW1 in the Meuse-Argonne forest of France, just weeks before the signing of the Armistice on November 11, 1918.

He returned to his rural hometown and commenced a lifelong quest to build schools and provide opportunities for the disenfranchised rural children throughout the Cumberland Gap region of Tennessee.

In addition to telling fascinating tales about her great grandfather’s heroic modesty on and off the battlefield, Deborah York, executive director of the Sergeant York Patriotic Foundation, offers insights about the nonprofit’s mission to continue Sergeant York’s lifelong passion for education and honoring U.S. military veterans.

Tom Wilmer produces on-air content for Issues & Ideas airing over KCBX and is producer and host of the six-time Lowell Thomas award-winning NPR podcast Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer. Recorded live on-location across America and around the world, the podcasts feature the arts, culture, music, nature, history, science, wine & spirits, brewpubs, and the culinary arts--everything from baseball to exploring South Pacific atolls to interviewing the real Santa Claus in the Arctic.
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