Premiere features youngest hostage during 1979 embassy crisis in Iran, now president of Mosinee school board
The Badger Institute today launched the premiere of Free Exchange, a bi-weekly, longform podcast series. The debut episode features Kevin Hermening, a Wisconsin native who was the youngest hostage during the 1979 embassy takeover in Iran and now serves as a businessman and school board president who continues to advance American ideals.
Free Exchange will be hosted regularly by Badger Institute Digital Marketing Manager and seasoned podcaster Remso W. Martinez, with rotating co-hosts including President Mike Nichols, Senior Vice President Michael Jahr and others.
“Podcasts are reaching people who are tuning out of traditional outlets in order to seek independent, meaningful and original content,” said Martinez. “Free Exchange offers a great opportunity to discuss untold stories, dig into the issues of the day and explore conservative principles that can make Wisconsin a better place to work and live. At the same time, our conversations, guests and topics will appeal to listeners outside the Badger state.”
The premiere episode features an in-depth interview between Nichols and Hermening, a Marine Corps veteran, financial advisor and president of the Mosinee School Board. He discusses his harrowing experiences – including Russian roulette during interrogation and weeks of solitary confinement – after Iranians seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and held hostages for 444 days. He also shares the remarkable circumstances that placed a Bible in his hands, a development that rekindled hope and enlivened his faith.
“Kevin is an example of the thousands of Wisconsinites who served their country and came back to serve their community in a different way,” said Nichols. “This show is about the real people who make Wisconsin a state worth living in, a show where no conversation is off limits. We’ll never talk about an issue without providing a balanced solution meant to provide greater liberty to the residents of this great state we call home.”