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History Archived: Saving Stories of Iowa Veterans

PHOTO: Stories of Iowa veterans will be saved for future generations to hear, as the Veterans History Project makes a stop at the Newton DMACC campus on Nov. 7. Photo credit: Phil Roeder/Flickr.
PHOTO: Stories of Iowa veterans will be saved for future generations to hear, as the Veterans History Project makes a stop at the Newton DMACC campus on Nov. 7. Photo credit: Phil Roeder/Flickr.
September 15, 2014

NEWTON, Iowa – They put their lives on the line to protect America's freedom.

Now the search is on in Iowa for veterans who have stories to share as part of the country's rich narrative.

Professor Patti Ziegler says the Newton Campus of Des Moines Area Community College will host the Veterans History Project in November, as 15 vets will be interviewed and members of the Iowa Court Reporters Association will transcribe their stories for archiving.

"About what they experienced as young men and women, stories their families have just never heard,” Ziegler explains. “Many veterans don't talk about their experiences.

“In this setting, we want them to talk about it, and we encourage that."

The project is part of a national initiative to collect, preserve and honor the personal accounts of American war veterans so future generations may hear from them directly and better understand the realities of war.

Ziegler says those local veterans who step up to tell their tales will receive a copy of their transcripts, as will the Library of Congress.

"The transcripts also will go into the Iowa Gold Star Museum, and we're hopeful that they will even go to the DMACC library for history classes, literature classes and so on. So, it really comes full circle," she says.

Veterans interested in taking part in the project this fall should contact the Newton campus of DMACC.

All will be considered, although preference will be given to those who served in World War II.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - IA