Merkley partners with Veterans History Project to preserve, share Oregon veterans’ stories of service

(KTVZ) – Ahead of Veterans Day, Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., announced
Thursday his office is taking part in the Library of Congress American Folklife
Center’s Veterans History Project, to help record and share the
unique stories of Oregon veterans from all walks of life.

“Oregonians have
stepped up to serve in the United States Armed Forces for generations, and many
of us have family members, friends, and loved ones who have answered this call
to service,” Merkley said. “Capturing the first-hand, lived
experiences of veterans in our communities is an important way we can
honor their sacrifices and dedication. That’s why I am teaming up with the
Veterans History Project to help Oregon veterans and Gold Star Family members
share their service stories, while providing a powerful volunteer opportunity
for Oregonians across the state. Together, we will help ensure the voices of
Oregon veterans are preserved in American history for future generations.”

“We are so pleased
to welcome Senator Merkley and his staff as enthusiastic participants in the
Veterans History Project, as well as the incredible volunteers across the state
of Oregon who have already committed to recording the stories of veteran
Oregonians,” said Monica Mohindra, Director of the Veterans History
 “Their dedicated efforts are inspiring and we eagerly look
forward to this momentous preservation and amplification of Oregon veterans’
voices and experiences.”

The Veterans History
 (VHP) was created by Congress in 2000 to collect and preserve
the first-person narratives from United States military veterans from
World War I through the present so that future generations may hear directly
from veterans and better understand the realities of military service.

In addition to audio
and video recorded oral history interviews from veterans and Gold Star
Families, VHP accepts and makes accessible memoirs and collections of original
photographs, letters, diaries, maps, and other historical documents from
veterans. The collections are accessible online, and are used by millions of
researchers, authors, filmmakers, students, teachers, and more each year.

date, VHP has collected over 114,000 individual accounts from
veterans who have served our country, and Senator Merkley’s office is building
a team of volunteers to interview and gather original contributions from
Oregon veterans.

How to Participate:

  1. If you are an Oregon veteran, sit down
    and share your service story with a family member,
    friend, loved one, or community member and record a conversation about
    your military experiences for 30 minutes or longer, and/or donate an
    original collection of accepted materials from your time in service. Gold
    Star Family members may also share the service story of an immediate
    family member lost in the line of duty of military service.  
  2. Volunteer
    to interview a veteran
    your family or community. VHP also provides free Zoom or
    in-person training workshops for organizations interested in
    learning how to conduct interviews.
  3. Collect
    or donate a veteran’s historical documents
    —check out what VHP accepts and collects.

Oregon veterans or
Gold Star Family members interested in learning more about how to participate,
and Oregonians looking to volunteer to interview or collect materials from
Oregon veterans, should visit Senator Merkley’s new Veterans History Project page on his website,
email for
assistance from his office, or call his office at 503-326-3386.