Monday, August 18, 2008

Veterans History Project

I stumbled across a very interesting project today; The Veterans History Project.

(The) primary focus is on first-hand accounts of U.S. Veterans from the following wars:

* World War I (1914-1920)
* World War II (1939-1946)
* Korean War (1950-1955)
* Vietnam War (1961-1975)
* Persian Gulf War (1990-1995)
* Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts (2001-present)

In addition, those U.S. citizen civilians who were actively involved in supporting war efforts (such as war industry workers, USO workers, flight instructors, medical volunteers, etc.) are also invited to share their valuable stories.

The United States Congress created the Veterans History Project in 2000. The authorizing legislation (Public Law 106-380), sponsored by Representatives Ron Kind, Amo Houghton, and Steny Hoyer in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senators Max Cleland and Chuck Hagel in the U.S. Senate, received unanimous support and was signed into law by President William Jefferson Clinton on October 27, 2000.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), America is losing her veterans at a rate of over 1,000 each day.

Our veterans deserve to be honored and their stories available for generations to come. I have been doing family genealogy recently and what a find it will be for families in the future to come across these stories. I would have loved to find something like this. But, the generations I am researching did not have the technology that is available now. Too many stories have been buried and lost. It is sad that I do not have stories to tell my children about their great, great grandparents. What a delight it will be for a great, great grandchild to one day find a recording in the Library of Congress of his or her relatives. To be able see them and to hear their own personal account will be such a treasure.

There is a packet that can be downloaded. There are suggested questions and all kinds of tips to make this a great interview even if you don't have the experience. I encourage everyone to participate. Our Veterans are the reason why our country is strong and wonderful. They have helped to preserve our rights and freedoms. The least we can do to thank them is to give a little of our time and listen.

I'm not sure who I'm grabbing and interviewing but I will find someone. I bet there is a lonely person in a Nursing Home with some wonderful stories. Also, soon my nephew will be home from Iraq and I know he has stories.

(Hat-Tip to Senator Jim DeMint for promoting this project on his webpage.)