Oct 29, 2019 | Veterans Services

Columbia State Invites Veterans to Share Their Story

Stories to be archived through the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. – Oct. 29, 2019) - - - The Columbia State Community College Student Veterans Organization, in collaboration with the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress, invites U.S. military veterans to share their stories of service Nov. 16 on the Williamson Campus in the Charles M. Sargent Building. Any U.S. veteran is welcome to participate.  

The Veterans History Project is an archive at the Library of Congress that preserves narratives of veterans’ service through oral history interviews and documents such as photographs, letters, journals, and diaries created while in the military, so that researchers and future generations can access these firsthand accounts and better understand the realities of war.

“No matter when, where, or how you served, this is an excellent opportunity to tell your story, and share your military experiences,”said Griffon Thomas, U.S. veteran and Columbia State SVO president. “The Library of Congress will keep the stories archived forever. Generations to come will be able to know of you, and of your service. No story, no part of history, nor is anyone’s service insignificant. Please come and share.”

Veterans can sign up for a recorded oral history interview that will last from 30-90 minutes, or can bring original documents to donate. To pick up paperwork and instructions, please visit your local auxiliary or VFW post, the Columbia State website at www.ColumbiaState.edu/VeteransHistoryProject or contact Ginny Massey-Holt, Columbia State Student Veterans Organization adviser and associate professor of nursing, at 931.540.2602. Interview slots must be signed up for ahead of time. 

“This project is going to allow Columbia State students from a variety of departments and organizations, including members of the Columbia State history department, Phi Theta Kappa honor society and Film Crew Technology, to come together to collect the stories in our community,” Holt said. “Veterans have an option of where their stories can be archived, and have the right to withdraw that information at any time in the future.”

VHP also collects oral histories with Gold Star Family members, defined as a parent, spouse, sibling, or child of members of the Armed Forces who died as a result of their service during a period of war.

These documents and interviews will become part of the permanent collections of the Library of Congress and will be made available to researchers and the general public via the American Folklife Center Reading Room and the VHP website. For more information about the Veterans History Project, visit https://www.loc.gov/vets/.

To learn more about the project requirements and to register for the Columbia State event, visit www.ColumbiaState.edu/VeteransHistoryProject

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

Reps of the veterans history project with Janet Smith
Photo Caption: 
(Pictured, left to right): David Donnelly, U.S. veteran and 2018 – 2019 Student  Veterans Organization president; Andrew Huber, Veterans History Project liaison specialist; Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president; and Corey Cummings, U.S. veteran and 2018 – 2019 Student Veterans Organization secretary.