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War Vets Tell Their Stories for Posterity

December 21, 2009

CHEYENNE, Wyo. - Some 150 veterans are sharing their war memories to be preserved for posterity in a veterans history project that will eventually be available through the National Archives.

Coordinator Larry Conway says some of the stories are very compelling, such as one soldier who registered graves for the Army in Europe following World War Two.

"He was going into Germany after the war and finding bodies of airmen who, in some cases, were murdered by the German youth program; airmen who had parachuted in after their plane was shot down."

The veterans are being interviewed on video and producers would like to find more Native American veterans willing to share their stories. Veterans from all U.S. wars are invited to participate, says Conway, but the emphasis is on those who served during World War Two.

"They're dying at a pretty fast clip right now, and we want to get those stories documented and into the archives for future generations, and for their families."

For a variety of reasons, Conway says many of the vets are using these interviews to open up about their war experiences for the first time ever.

"We had one gentleman from the Korean War that talked about some experiences he went through, and he admitted that he'd never talked about these experiences with his family previously. I think that is a pretty common theme that we see."

The project has most recently been interviewing vets in Arizona and can be contacted through w.TempeConnections.org. More information is also available at www.loc.gov/vets.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - WY