Back in April I mentioned that I was requested to and did an hour-long video and audio interview with a representative of The Library of Congress’s Veterans History Project. It was one of the best experiences of my life and I want any and all of our Veterans out there to know about it and have to opportunity to do one themselves.
After mine was completed I immediately signed up to be a trained Veteran’s Interviewer and have been conducting some since then. Now I want you.
In a nut shell the Library of Congress (LoC’s) website says this:
The Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.
This is actually misleading as the project wants ALL veterans stories whether they served in a time of war or not. But in all honestly if you look at what the LoC is calling ‘war’ periods it encompasses all of our modern history. You do not need to have been in theater – anywhere and however you served is what they want.
Please watch this video and, if you can see through the tears, get in touch with me.
Your length of service does not matter, you don’t have to be a war hero – I certainly wasn’t – and the only thing you say that the LoC will attempt to verify is if you claim a Medal of Honor. Everything else is considered to be a valid account of your experience and accepted as truth.
Your story is so very valuable to all Americans who lived during your service period, to all US citizens alive now and to those yet to be born. I believe this with every piece of my heart and soul. With that I want to help you tell your story.
I want to interview you.
I have been reaching out to those I served alongside first and who I know personally. But I feel duty bound to try to get anyone who wants to participate involved.
I will travel if necessary – if you live in WPA we can do it on a game weekend or when I come up for practices, or even, if needed, I can drive up just for your interview. If you live closer then we can do any time we can arrange. I am retired and am free to roam.
We can also do an interview via phone or computer if needed. We’ll figure something out.
There are no costs involved to you at all. None. I will gladly pay for anything associated with the interview.
The process takes some time doing necessary paperwork (basically background info and signing releases) which I will send to you in advance, then it takes about 45-90 minutes to do the actual interview and maybe a couple of hours to drink beer afterward.
As to the actual interview itself you’ll find that it is a lot more fun than you think and that you will talk about people, situations and your feelings regarding what you experienced like they were yesterday. I know that I opened up said some things I hadn’t shared much with others, but it is damned important for those others to hear all of our story. Or, don’t and just talk about anything you want – it is your story to tell. You own it.
Below is the Veteran’s History Project Field Kit so you can see more of what it entails – and if you want to participate you can download the forms you need to fill out. That would be pages actually numbered 5-7 in the publication, but if you are printing them then choose pages 7-9. I will fill out the rest and take care of all the submissions, etc.
Please take this offer seriously because we service members are humble (well, not all of us) and sometimes we look back at what we did, or are still doing, and think it wasn’t a big deal.
My brothers and sisters – it truly was a big deal though and your story needs to be told… E-1 through O-10… it doesn’t matter; we all of us did our duty.
If you don’t want me personally to do the interview that’s fine and I understand that some may not, then please do contact the LoC (info below) and see if there are people or organizations like the VFW, DAV, American Legion, AARP, etc. in your area who can do this also. You can still ask my help for any reason and at any time and I will do my best and work hard to find out who can conduct one for you.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and please put “Veteran Interview” in the subject line and include your contact info – especially a phone number where I can reach you. I will get back to you ASAP.
I thank you for your Service and God bless America.
Reed Kohberger, LCDR, USCG (Ret.)
The Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave, SE
Washington, DC 20540
General Information (202) 707-5000