To encourage and fortify relationships between military service members, veterans, their families, their friends, and their Country; to nurture the path of communication for everyone, ensuring that no one is alone or left behind; and proving that we have not, are not, and will never forget the nobility of their sacrifices.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Veterans History Project

I love history, and not just the kind in the books. I love "his-story." Whenever I am around someone's grandparents I love to get them talking about their younger years. I have heard many stories about The Great Depression, World War I, World War II, and I treasure each one.  The stories of Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, and Afghanistan are more difficult to get Veterans to share, for many reasons.  Pain, shame, and time frame being a few.  Some of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans haven't processed their own experiences, so how can they tell them? And do they want to?
I believe personal stories are a much bigger learning tool than any book. When you have someone who experienced a time first hand they give a unique story tailored to their circumstances.
Recently I had one of the most wonderful ladies in my life die. She would have been 85 in October. Almost five years ago in November there were two weeks this wonderful lady stayed with me as we waited for the birth of my second child.  During that time she shared stories with me of her childhood. Stories I will always cherish.  Speaking with her friends and family I heard more stories, not just of her life, but of her husband's life, (a man I missed the privilege of meeting) and their life together. It was then I realized their "his-stories" and the lessons in them live on in us, the people they loved.
History is important.  It is important to write it down so it may be shared with current and future generations with accuracy.  Which is why I think the Veterans History Project is important.
The Veterans History Project has been funded by Congress to collect first hand stories, correspondence, and documentation about World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Korea, The Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and Iraq. There is even a program for High School students to use the Veterans History Project as a Senior project before they graduate.
I think the Veterans History Project is important to us as a Nation. It can help inform the masses with first hand knowledge about what a our Veterans experienced. It can bring younger generations closer, helping to dissolve the disconnect between themselves and Veterans around them. It can be a living monument to those who came home, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice. It can help ensure that no one is forgotten. 
To those family members who have their parents and grandparents war memorabilia and don't know what to do with it, look into this project.
To you Veteran's out there, I encourage you to look into this project so you may tell your "his-story" your way, instead of letting someone else tell it for you. Being a Veteran automatically makes you a part of history.
Tell your story.

To learn more about the Veterans History Project please click here.

If you are interested in this project and want help, contact me. I will gladly help anyone.

2 comments:

Spockgirl said...

K:
On the issue of being "forgotten", I read this the other day. It's from January, so you may have already seen it, but I thought of it when I read your post today. http://streetsweeperchronicles.blogspot.com/2010/01/ashes-found-in-trash-led-to-proper.html
Sorry I had to paste the whole link.

Kristina Divine said...

Spockgirl~ I read this blog post back in January, it made me teary eyed then too. Thank you for sharing it now. I too think it is very relevant.