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 Submissions have been archived from veterans of World War I through Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.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 200,000 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
Celebrating 20 Years of the VHP
Featured VHP Submissions
Vietnam Veteran Robert Fureigh attended Tulane University on an Army ROTC scholarship. He was commissioned as an officer hours after graduating in 1969.He was eager to learn to fly. Despite some setbacks with the flight physical, he was accepted into flight school. “It was a real highlight when on the rare occasions a Huey would land at Fort Wolters,” Fureigh said. “We’d look inside and I’d think there is no way in the world that I would fly this monster.” Later in his training, he learned to pilot the Huey and flew it in combat. Fureigh described his service in Vietnam in this interview and shares why the worst part of Vietnam was coming home. He finally found the support he needed from the Arkansas Army National Guard. After being on the waiting list for three years, he joined the Guard where he learned a lot of his fellow guard aviators faced the same experiences when they returned home. Today, he continues to fly the Huey as a volunteer copilot with the organization American Huey 369. He also serves as treasurer of a chapter of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association and authors an article for its national magazine.
World War II veteran Edith Mitchell was inspired to serve in the military after teaching music at a school near Camp Lejeune. "I was feeling very patriotic and so I decided to join after I taught there one year,” she said. She enlisted in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) and was assigned to the Chaplain Corps at Camp Stoneman, California. One of her responsibilities was playing music at services, a role that took her to some unexpected places that she details in the clip below. Edith Mitchell now lives in Mountain Home and is proud to have served her country. As a member of the Greatest Generation, there is a lot we can learn from Americans like Edith whose selfless service helped support Allied efforts. I'm proud to recognize her service and submit her interview to the Library of Congress Veterans History Project.