Bob Patrick, director of that project, told Federal News Radio “we’ve been very successful in doing that, creating we think the largest archive of this type in American history of some 72,000 collections. We have stories from veterans from World War I all the way up to the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
And, while 72,000 histories is an amazing start, Patrick said there are 17 million living wartime veterans. “What we really need is for people to go out an interview them.” Anyone can do it, said Patrick. “It’s as simple as finding a veteran in your life and interviewing them for the Veterans History Project.”
While most of the interviews are audio or video oral histories, the Project also take in letters, photographs, and diaries. “About half of the interviews we have have been done by families who want to make this part of their family’s history,” said Patrick.
“From the foxhole to the cockpit to the motorpool to the mess hall,” the Project is looking for the human experience of war.
“Wonderful man, great story of World War I, and also in World War II, some people don’t realize, he was incarcerated by the Japanese for all of World War II as a civilian Merchant Mariner. He’s got a great story.”
Tom Temin is the host of The Federal Drive, which airs from 6-10 a.m. on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. region and online everywhere. Tom has 30 years experience in journalism, mostly in technology markets. Before coming to Federal News Radio, he was a long-serving editor-in-chief of Government Computer News and Washington Technology magazines.