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Merkley partners with Veterans History Project to preserve, share Oregon veterans’ stories of service


PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Ahead of Veterans Day, Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., announced Thursday his office is taking part in the Library of Congress American Folklife Center’s Veterans History Project, to help record and share the unique stories of Oregon veterans from all walks of life.

“Oregonians have stepped up to serve in the United States Armed Forces for generations, and many of us have family members, friends, and loved ones who have answered this call to service,” Merkley said. “Capturing the first-hand, lived experiences of veterans in our communities is an important way we can honor their sacrifices and dedication. That’s why I am teaming up with the Veterans History Project to help Oregon veterans and Gold Star Family members share their service stories, while providing a powerful volunteer opportunity for Oregonians across the state. Together, we will help ensure the voices of Oregon veterans are preserved in American history for future generations.”

“We are so pleased to welcome Senator Merkley and his staff as enthusiastic participants in the Veterans History Project, as well as the incredible volunteers across the state of Oregon who have already committed to recording the stories of veteran Oregonians,” said Monica Mohindra, Director of the Veterans History Project. “Their dedicated efforts are inspiring and we eagerly look forward to this momentous preservation and amplification of Oregon veterans’ voices and experiences.”

The Veterans History Project (VHP) was created by Congress in 2000 to collect and preserve the first-person narratives from United States military veterans from World War I through the present so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of military service.

In addition to audio and video recorded oral history interviews from veterans and Gold Star Families, VHP accepts and makes accessible memoirs and collections of original photographs, letters, diaries, maps, and other historical documents from veterans. The collections are accessible online, and are used by millions of researchers, authors, filmmakers, students, teachers, and more each year.

To date, VHP has collected over 114,000 individual accounts from veterans who have served our country, and Senator Merkley’s office is building a team of volunteers to interview and gather original contributions from Oregon veterans.

How to Participate:

  1. If you are an Oregon veteran, sit down and share your service story with a family member, friend, loved one, or community member and record a conversation about your military experiences for 30 minutes or longer, and/or donate an original collection of accepted materials from your time in service. Gold Star Family members may also share the service story of an immediate family member lost in the line of duty of military service.  
  2. Volunteer to interview a veteran in your family or community. VHP also provides free Zoom or in-person training workshops for organizations interested in learning how to conduct interviews.
  3. Collect or donate a veteran’s historical documents—check out what VHP accepts and collects.

Oregon veterans or Gold Star Family members interested in learning more about how to participate, and Oregonians looking to volunteer to interview or collect materials from Oregon veterans, should visit Senator Merkley’s new Veterans History Project page on his website, email for assistance from his office, or call his office at 503-326-3386.  

Article Topic Follows: War-Military

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