Julie Ellerton met Iraq war veteran John Stubbs by chance. He dropped by her Malibu, California, home one afternoon to spray for termites.
Amid friendly conversation, Ellerton discovered that Stubbs served in the Army and began asking him about life after Iraq. She grabbed her video camera, and the near-strangers talked for a half-hour.
Ellerton was one of several citizen journalists to take the iReport.com challenge to find and interview a veteran about his or her biggest concerns. Ellerton, a frequent contributor to the site, hoped to speak with a veteran but wasn't sure where to meet one.
When Stubbs arrived on her doorstep, she found the ideal subject. "John's voice needed to be heard," Ellerton wrote on iReport.com. "I began to wonder who else is amongst us, as we pass along the streets, in the grocery store, or at our work place, who might also have a similar story."
Other iReporters looked for veterans through Facebook or asked friends for help. They found troops eager to share their stories and grateful to meet a stranger who would listen. Read full article »
CNN's Thom Patterson contributed to this report.