Veterans History Project Looking For Stories From Military Veterans

They will be preserved for future generations.


Wsahington DC (KM) It’s a way to preserve the stories of those who served in the military.. The Veterans History Project is taking donations of stories from the nation’s veterans about their times serving in the armed forces.

Director Karen Lloyd says the Project, which is part of the Library of Congress, will accept video and audio recordings of veterans telling their stories; or letters written to and from home during their times in uniform, along with journals, diaries,  photographs and artwork such as drawings and paintings. “We look for 30-minutes of a video or audio interview. We look for 20 pages of a diary or memoirs; and ten letters or ten photographs. And you don’t have to meet everyone of those thresholds. You just have to meet one of them,” she says.

The project will accept materials from veterans of World War I on down to the current armed conflicts.

The veteran themselves can submit the materials, or family members can do if the veteran is deceased. She say it can be ordinary, day-to-day events  that take place on post, performing such tasks as guard duty.  . “I would suggest to you if you think about authors and you think of filmmakers, and they write about war,” she said. “It isn’t the war they use as a backdrop that draws us in. It’s the individual veterans stories. What I love is that our stories are not in the history books.”

if you as a veteran or your family submits paper memories such as letters, diaries or journals, Lloyd says they will be treated with extra care. “We are backed up by a world class conservation-preservation lab. So when you donate your materials to us, I can promise that they’re incredibly well taken care of and they’re going to be available for future generations. When your grandkids want to see what you did, it’s going to be there, ” she says.

Lloyd says there are about 111,000 materials in the Veterans History Project collection. She also says the families still retain control of these materials after they submit them.

The Veterans History Project is entering its 20th year. Lloyd says it started in 2000 after Wisconsin Congressman Ron Kind heard some stories from his older family members who were in the military during a family picnic, and wanted to get a picture of that for his younger family members, many at the time were still in diapers. “But what’s really wonderful is that in 2016, Congress said ‘oh my gosh, we need to include the Gold Star Families.’ And we have now over 119 Gold Star Family recollections of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice,” she said.

Lloyd says it’s very important that the Veterans History Project keeps collecting this information. “This information represents the sacrifice of veterans and their selfless service to our country, to our nation”: she says. “It is their stories, their way. It’s a personal reflection.”

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By Kevin McManus