In December, StoryCorps officially launches the Military Voices Initiative. The Southern Order of Storytellers Southside Chapter shares our passion and commitment to preserve the stories of our veterans. Since April, they have recorded 35 stories in partnership with StoryCorps Atlanta. Veterans from conflicts including World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, the Gulf War, OEF and OIF have spent time recording their StoryCorps interview during this partnership.
On Veteran’s Day, the Southern Order of Storytellers held their third annual V.E.T.S. (Veterans Expressing Their Stories) event. Veterans from each conflict shared stories from their military experience.
Ron Stubbs and Larry England both served during Vietnam. They each described making unlikely friendships in the Army. Both men grew up in the South, and to their surprise became good friends with Yankees while overseas.
Bill Crawley and Fred Lewis served in Vietnam, and reminded us of those who were lost, and those who are still not accounted for. Bill described witnessing a friend lose his life to a land mine; during his time at the podium, he shared that while he knew that he should be the one to tell his friend’s mother, it was the hardest thing he ever had to do.
After eight veterans shared their stories, we presented certificates to the veterans who had recorded their stories with the Military Voices Initiative.
Thanks to Linda and Lewis Armstrong and Anne and Tom Wallace who have spearheaded the collection of these stories on behalf of the Southern Order of Storytellers. And thanks to volunteers Adina Martinez and Tim Prizer who have been listening to and logging these stories for the StoryCorps archive.