By Gene Doremus, Lt Col USAF (Retired)
Have you ever wished the military story of a loved one was preserved?
Do you regret your children and grandchildren will never really know what their family member did?
Maybe I am talking about you. Did you serve? Do you have a story to tell? Keep reading.
Twenty-two years ago, Congress created the Veterans History Project. It is in the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress.
VHP’s mission is to collect, preserve and make accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans. Congress’s goal in the legislation is to allow future generations to learn directly from veterans the realities of war.
Most veterans served during a war. The plan is to collect as many of these war stories as possible.
This is done via a video interview, correspondence such as letters and post cards, and visual material such as photos and drawings.
The stories are kept at the Library of Congress. Some of the stories are digitized and are available online.
To learn more or search their collection go to www.loc.gov/vets/
How are these stories collected? Volunteers from across the country help facilitate the process by conducting the videotaped interviews or gathering the documents.
Numerous organizations such as the Boy Scouts, Red Cross, American Legion, Public Schools, etc. have volunteers who are trained and equipped to conduct the interviews and submit to the project.
I first learned about this project because a Mount Markham classmate, Sharon Burns, as a representative of the Red Cross, approached me seven years ago and asked if I would allow her to interview me.
We were able to connect a year later. It turns out, the…