A group of students at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock are participating in a project that will help bring veteran stories to a new generation.The Veterans History Project is a program of the Library of Congress American Folklife Center where the first hand, oral histories of veterans, along with pictures or artifacts, are collected and preserved. The project relies on veteran volunteers to contribute their stories.
Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., visited UALR on March 23 to talk with students, faculty, and veterans about the importance of the project.
“These gentleman, this group, really didn’t talk a whole lot about the war. So, that’s another reason that it’s so important. They just came back, and not only rebuilt our country, but they provided the security for Europe as they rebuilt,” Boozman said—referring to World War II veterans.
“There’s so many great reasons for doing this,” he continued. “It’s good for our veterans. It’s good for history, to make it such that we keep this stuff for generations to follow.”
Boozman’s office is responsible for promoting and delivering the stories collected on behalf of Arkansas to the Library of Congress.
Twenty-five UALR Donaghey Scholars are participating in the project through an honors composition class. The students will be interviewing veterans across the state and submitting their accounts. Anyone who has had the Veterans History Project training is permitted to collect veteran accounts.
The Library of Congress does not verify the accuracy of these accounts, but according to the VHP website, these stories are not meant to replace official record of the federal government or of military service.
So far, UALR has plans to interview 15 World War II veterans; however, there are 250,000 veterans in the state of Arkansas—which gives students plenty of stories to collect.
ICYMI – Watch the video of Sen. Boozman’s visit to UALR: