AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– Making sure that our veterans’ experiences aren’t forgotten.
The Veterans History Project involves interviewing and collecting stories of veterans of all wars, as part of a nationwide program, tied to the Library of Congress.
Over the years, the Augusta Historical Society has interviewed more than 850 veterans in the CSRA, collecting the experiences of World War II, Korean and Vietnam veterans.
Don Patterson is the post World War II Conflicts Coordinator, with the Veterans History Project. He’s with me today, along with Rachel Cagle.
Cagle is the new President of Augusta Historical Society.
“The Augusta Historical Society actually tells the story of Augusta. Where as Historic Augusta protects the buildings, we protect the story. What happened all the hundreds of years ago before we got to here today? With our archives anybody can donate anything, any papers, tangible goods. For instance, we have old journals, old diaries, we have blueprints of homes. And anybody can come in and see what we have and what story you can add to your family’s history.”
Patterson became involved with the Veterans History Project 17 years ago.
“Of course, Fred Galey started the project and I joined in 2005 and continued today. And we had a team of people that went around interviewing veterans. I do wanna make a correction that you do not have to be a participate in a battle or a campaign in order to be interviewed. If you are a veteran of any service, you are eligible. And what we do, we come out there and we sit in your home, we bring a camera. And we go over your story of your life, basically from when you were born and through your entire military career. And of course, we send a copy to the library of Congress and we provide copies for the family. And oftentimes the family wants to know what their father or mother did in their service.”