We’re losing World War II veterans at a rate of 900 per day — one every minute and a half. The older they get, the higher that number will go.
Often, when an elderly veteran dies, his stories go with him. This was the stoic generation, and men who came back from the war didn’t talk about it. Years have gone by, and families still don’t know the experiences their veteran had. But time has a way of breaking down that barrier of silence, and many of those veterans are ready to talk.
That’s where you come in. The Veterans History Project, part of the Library of Congress, provides a means for others to record the stories of veterans before the information is lost forever. For WWII veterans, the eligible years of service are 1939 to 1946.
If you want to help preserve the history of a World War II veteran, don’t delay. Start planning now to do an interview. The Project has a Field Kit with instructions. Stories can be captured via audio or video recordings, or in writing. Best bet: Use a video camera. Pictures add so much to the story. The Project website has instruction on what steps to take, if you’re unsure of how to get started and how to proceed.
After the interview with your veteran, the whole package is shipped off to the Project, where it will be archived forever. Future generations will be able to read and hear their stories.
If you don’t personally know a World War II veteran, your local veterans service organization will. Once you get started, don’t be surprised if other veterans approach you to do their stories as well.
Go here for the Project Field Kit: www.loc.gov/vets
Make a copy of the interview for the family before you send the package.
Write to Freddy Groves in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853- 6475, or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2012 King Features Synd. Inc.