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Iowa Veterans Share Experiences through Oral History Project

Iowa National Guard Col. Gregory Hapgood, right, presents a plaque to Harold Cline of Marshalltown for participating in this month's Veterans History Project. Credit: Lauren Jensen
Iowa National Guard Col. Gregory Hapgood, right, presents a plaque to Harold Cline of Marshalltown for participating in this month's Veterans History Project. Credit: Lauren Jensen
November 11, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa - Some central Iowa veterans have shared their stories in time for Veterans Day. The Veterans History Project was established by the Library of Congress to collect the stories of American war veterans by recording and transcribing interviews with them.

Harold Cline, a World War II Navy veteran from Marshalltown, said he has one hope for those who hear his story.

"I hope I can tell them how useless that war is," he said. "It just opens, over and over again. We don't seem to be able to finish everything in one war."

Today, Cline still is active in his family's photography and framing business. He said he believes his message may be heard and embraced by young people today, but he isn't sure about those in government.

"Most of them will," he said, "but the ones that have the most power is the ones that's going to start the next war."

The interviews with a total of 15 Iowa veterans were coordinated by the Iowa Court Reporters Association and the Des Moines Area Community College Newton campus.

Dean Danley of Newton spent 23 years in service to the United States, in both the Army and Air Force. He credited his time in the service with providing necessary life skills.

"Well, I went in as a kid. It made a man out of me damn quick, I'll tell you that," he said. "And I'd never been away from home. My first three years in the service straightened me out good, educated me good."

Danley served during both World War II and the Korean War.

Transcripts of the interviews will be sent to the Library of Congress for use by future generations.

Jeff Stein, Public News Service - IA