This is the debut episode of Blue Highways, a new national 'road trip magazine' that looks for people, places and stories that make connections across the class, racial, geographical, urban/rural and countless other 'divides.'
This first installment looks at stories from the 'Forgotten Home Front' of the 'War on Terror.' Producer Todd Melby takes to the road to visit a small North Dakota town struggling with a doctor shortage that's being exacerbated by the ongoing deployment of Guard and Reserve troops, many of whom work in health care back at home.
We also hear about a program to address the doctor shortage, and then we listen in on the audio diaries of one National Guardsman in Iraq and his family back at home in upstate New York. We follow Chaplain Major Eric Olsen on his trip home from Iraq for a few weeks with his family - time that inevitably goes by much too fast.
Finally, our last segment tries to answer the question - Where have all the artists gone since 9/11? Turns out many artists are fleeing the cities for once rural backwaters. Three such transplants take us on a tour of Taos, New Mexico.