The recent announcement that America’s last surviving veteran of World War I, retired Army Corporal Frank Buckles, may have brought back memories of your childhood – if you grew up with a World War I veteran in your midst.
In addition to a World War I veteran, you may have family members who served proudly and bravely in World War II, as well as the Korean War, Vietnam and/or today’s conflicts. Their stories were colorful, patriotic and thought provoking. And, most importantly, their stories forever link you to a proud family history — a history you should be honored to share with your children.
Families across America have an equally rich history to share and I encourage you to learn more about the Veterans History Project, sponsored by the American Library of Congress. Personal accounts of American veterans are collected, preserved and made available to the public so that future generations may hear directly from veterans.
Participating in the Veterans History Project is a wonderful way to honor your senior parent or other loved one. Stories can be told through personal narratives of a veteran, a veteran’s correspondence during their service, as well as visual materials of the era such as photographs, drawings or scrapbooks.
The project collects first-hand accounts of U.S. veterans from World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War as well as the current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Additionally, U.S. citizen civilians actively involved in supporting war efforts through positions such as war industry workers, USO workers, flight instructors, medical volunteers and others are invited to share their stories. Historical accounts from military service during peacetime are being gathered as well.
I encourage you to make this a family project and involve as many generations as possible. What a dedication to honor your loved ones and make this upcoming Memorial Day even more special by creating a lasting legacy.
Go ahead! Share your story about your military experience here, too. We want to read your story in the comment section below or on our Caregiver Forum.