United States Library of Congress Veterans History Project: The Veterans History Project 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.
Our reporter, Amy Schneider, is recording the oral wartime history of her Grandfather who served in WWII. “I am so honored to be able to do this. He turned 89 on 27th, and next year he will turn 90 on Memorial Day.”
We look forward to hearing Amy’s story of recording this brave veteran’s experiences during this important period of our nation’s history.
The National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF) and the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) have partnered with the United States Library of Congress Veterans History Project in an effort to protect and preserve the rich and extensive history of American wartime veterans. Through a project sponsored by the Library of Congress, men and women who have served the United States in a time of war have recorded their amazing personal histories of their military experiences.
This is Amy’s report after having recorded her grandfather’s WWII history:
“I wasn’t sure how it was going to go. He NEVER talked about his experiences while I was growing up, except to say where he went. It was very interesting, and at one point, I got very teary-eyed. He wouldn’t talk about any combat, though. It’s too difficult for him to even think about, and maybe I’m glad he didn’t because I don’t know if I could have handled that.
“He was drafted and sent to Wyoming for Basic Training. I can’t remember when he was drafted or how long this was into basic, but on his birthday, they were told they were running over ten miles (because that’s what they had been running previous to this date, and he doesn’t remember how long the run was) with one canteen of water. Then after basic he went on a troop train to the East Coast, only to find out that he wasn’t being deployed. He rode the train back to Wyoming, and a couple days later headed back east for deployment to the Phillipines. He was stationed there for three years.
“He said you had to look up in the trees for Jap snipers. He talked about that for a little bit. Then one time a pheasant chirped “jap, jap,” and he was told to check it out. He became very quiet at that point, so I moved on in our discussion. He talked about the children and how he and other guys “saved” their rations to give to them because they had nothing. After they had reclaimed those islands, his division was to set out for Japan, but then the war ended. One thing is for certain, he was very glad to be coming home. He found work within a month of returning, which he says he feels very lucky because for a lot of guys, that was difficult.
“After this interview, I appreciate him in a whole new light. I hold him, and every other drafted Vet, in very high regard. To be frightened of the unknown and be told you have to do something regardless of what happens to you, I think, is the true meaning of being heroic. He didn’t start out by wanting to sign up. He had to. He could have chosen a way out, but he faced the challenge with great courage, and he inspires me to overcome life’s challenges. I admire him and say thank you for doing what you did.”
Thank you, Amy, for sharing this story with us. We join with you in thanking your Grandfather and all other vets who placed their lives in jeopardy so that we might have the life we have today.