Veterans History Project

Veterans History Project

There is perhaps no better way to learn about history than through firsthand accounts. You get a better understanding of what really happened when you hear directly from those who lived through the events. That’s what the Veterans History Project (VHP)—an initiative that aims to preserve and make accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans—seeks to do. 

Since the VHP was approved by Congress in 2000, over 100,000 veterans have described their service in audio and video recordings that are now part of the collection. Submissions have been archived from veterans of World War I through Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. These men and women participated and witnessed some pivotal events in our nation’s history. 

Arkansans have a long and proud history of supporting our nation’s military. More than 250,000 veterans call Arkansas home, however only 1,200 Arkansas veterans’ stories are part of the VHP collection. I want to make sure this collection includes examples of courage, bravery and service of as many Arkansans who have worn our nation’s uniform as possible. 

Many of us have family members and friends who have served in the Armed Forces. Capturing and preserving their memories is a great way to honor their service and commitment to our country.

For more information on how you can participate in the Veterans History Project, visit http://www.loc.gov/vets

Featured VHP Submissions

After graduating from college, Lt. Col. (retired) Karen King-Johnson worked briefly as a reporter before joining the Army. She wanted to continue that work while in uniform. “I had been begging to be assigned to a journalist-type role.” She brought her expertise to Vietnam where she served as Command Information Officer. Her duties included leading a team of reporters, writing stories, photographing troops, printing internal publications to keep the troops informed, overseeing distribution of Stars and Stripes and publishing twice-daily news bulletins and writing weekly periodicals. After retiring from active duty she continued her service in the reserves and became an advocate for veterans. Hear how her advocacy helped honor women who served in Vietnam. 

Kenneth Ziemer is a Vietnam veteran who was drafted to serve in the Army. He studied to be a pharmacy specialist and served in Nha Trang, Vietnam as a member of the 523rd Field Hospital. He used his knowledge of chemistry to manufacture medicines, cough syrup, suntan lotion and other products in short supply on the base. One of his favorite things to do while in Vietnam was visit the local orphanage. He was passionate about continuing to help the children and missionaries in the area so he took Vietnamese lessons in hopes of returning to work with them after his service was complete. Hear more about his service in this video.

Lieutenant Colonel (retired) James Hudson is a decorated airman. He was an instructor pilot, flight examiner and test pilot. Early in his career he learned that flying is a risky business. For most of his career he specialized in air-to-air-combat, and underwent additional training to support air operations in Vietnam. He flew 224 missions in combat. Hear more about his service in this video.