WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman presented a collection of Arkansas veterans’ oral histories to the Library of Congress for preservation in its Veterans History Project (VHP).
“The Veterans History Project is a unique collection of the memories of our veterans. These firsthand accounts add valuable information and insights to the permanent record from which future generations will learn,” Boozman said. “I’m proud to support this project and submit the stories of the sacrifice and service of Arkansas veterans.”
Boozman submitted the memories of 16 Arkansas veterans including interviews featured in his ‘Salute to Veterans’ series. Boozman also presented interviews conducted by Olivia Olson, a Northwest Arkansas resident who participated in a VHP workshop hosted by the Senator’s office. The compilation also includes an unpublished collection of letters written by WWII veteran Augustine (Gus) Fredrich to his wife Barbara. His letters were discovered by the family following the death of Barbara.
With more than 100,000 stories from veterans, the VHP collection is home to the largest oral history archive in the U.S.
Arkansans have a long and proud history of supporting our nation’s military. More than 250,000 veterans call Arkansas home, however, only 1,100 Arkansas veterans’ stories are part of the VHP collection.
To promote the program and encourage Arkansans to participate, Boozman’s office has
conducted six VHP workshops, training more than 200 people in Arkansas over the past year.
These workshops have led to the the creation of an interdisciplinary course at the
University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) and encouraged the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Volunteer Office in Central Arkansas, Chaffee Crossing in Fort Smith and various other locations around the state to engage in the program and collect the memories of Arkansas veterans.
“I’m pleased to see the enthusiasm across the state to join efforts to preserve the histories of our veterans. I encourage all Arkansans to get involved with collecting and sharing the stories of these heroes,” Boozman said.
The next VHP workshop conducted Boozman’s office is scheduled for the fall.