June 8, 2006

Reel To Spearhead Local Leg of Veterans History Project

While recent military action oversees is once again swelling the ranks of United States veterans, the numbers are still on decline as the nation mourns the passing of veterans from past conflicts.

In an effort to insure the nation does not forget the service these soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen have provided, Congress passed the Veterans History Project which became law in October 2000.

The legislation focuses on the collection and archiving of first-hand accounts of United States veterans from the 20th century. This includes World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War and the present conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. The first-hand accounts can include any veteran of service over the past and present century.

The collection of history will be archived at the Library of Congress and will be available not only to visitors but also via the Internet at www.loc.gov/vets. The collection already includes interviews of veterans that have been gathered by volunteers. Other portions of the exhibit include artifacts such as letters, photos and memorabilia that have been donated by veterans as part of their story.

Tom Reel of Downing has volunteered to perform interviews of veterans in north Missouri. Both the Schuyler and Scotland County libraries have agreed to assist with the project, offering space and time for Reel to conduct interviews and schedule meetings with area veterans to insure their stories are preserved.

For more information, or to schedule an interview time, contact Reel at 660-379-2743, or via email at reeltr@aol.com.

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