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Iowa veteran shares stories of deployments to Afghanistan a year since U.S. exit

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

Now a year after the removal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, listen to a conversation with a former officer and aviator who had multiple deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Last year, River to River host Ben Kieffer was joined by Brian O'Keefe, a former military officer and pilot aviator with nearly 40 years of experience, as part of IPR's Leaving Afghanistan series following the disastrous removal of U.S. troops. O'Keefe gives his thoughts on that final exit, the ongoing war in Ukraine, and the toxic burn pit legislation President Joe Biden recently signed into law. He also shares memorable experiences flying with several generals during his deployments.


  • Brian O'Keefe, retired pilot, Iowa National Guard
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Samantha McIntosh is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio. Prior to IPR, Samantha worked as a reporter for radio stations in southeast and west central Iowa under M&H Broadcasting, and before that she was a weekend music host for GO 96.3 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Dani Gehr is a producer for River to River and Talk of Iowa. Dani came to Iowa from her hometown in the northwest suburbs of Chicago to attend Iowa State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism, international studies and French. Before coming to IPR, Dani covered local government in Story County for the Ames Tribune and Des Moines Register.