Friday, October 05, 2007

Tip # 5...Get involved with the Veteran History Project

It's Friday and the weekend beckons us to relax and reflect. If you haven't had a chance to implement any of these family history tips, do not fret. There are many days left in the month and, as I mentioned at the beginning, it is virtually impossible to cover all of these points during Family History Month. These tips are meant to plant seeds for our family research. Pick the tips which work for you and your family, then celebrate your ancestry as it fits your schedule.

That said, how about all of the discussion and media coverage of Ken Burns' The War? The last episode aired this week. Everyone who has seen the show has been overwhelmingly moved by these families' stories.

So, I have fast forwarded my original Tip #23 up to Tip #5. The military and its affect on family history needs no explanation. For those who watched Ken Burns series, you are painfully aware. For those of us who lost family members or talked with family members who served (my uncle and my father respectively), there is a memory which can never be erased. War triggers change for many families. In particular, the Seven Years War in Europe (1754 and 1756-1763) prompted my family to move from Alsace and Germanic states to the Volga River basin of Russia. Further conflicts, including the Russian Revolution, forced immigration to the United States.

Today's tip, get involved with the Veteran's History Project, goes well beyond World War II. The project's mission is to collect and preserve stories of wartime service. The focus is on first-hand accounts of U.S. veterans from the following wars:
  • World War I
  • World War II
  • Korean War
  • Vietnam War
  • Persian Gulf War
  • Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts

For further information on how you can be involved, visit their Web Site at http://loc.gov/vets/about.html. For more information on the Ken Burns series, visit http://www.pbs.org/thewar/.

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