Brownwood News – Local veterans and their families will have an opportunity to contribute to a massive three year project conducted by Angelo State University, entitled “War Stories.” The project seeks to collect, digitize, preserve, and share the stories of West Texas residents who participated in military service since WWII.
Project coordinators will be a the Brownwood Public Library, 600 Carnegie Street, on Friday, May 12th, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Veterans and their families are encouraged to bring photographs, letters, diaries, memoirs and other artifacts relating to West Texan veterans’ military experiences. All original documents will be returned to the owners, along with a digital copy. Veterans from all branches of the military are welcome, along with their family members.
If you are interested in sharing your materials, being interviewed, or if you have questions, please contact the project directors at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 325-943-2227. Interested participants may also visit the library on the 12th, no appointment necessary.
In 2014, Dr. Christine Lamberson and Dr. Kanisorn Wongsrichanalai, faculty in Angelo State University’s History Department, were awarded a prestigious three-year, $99,982 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to preserve experiences of veterans and their families and examine how those experiences have changed or remained the same over the past century.
Awarded through the NEH’s Humanities Initiatives for Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) program, the grant funds an overarching project titled “West Texans and the Experience of War: World War I to the Present.”
The project will provide ASU history and archive-focused students, as well as student veterans, with the opportunity to assist in producing a digital archive of documents and interviews attached to ASU’s Dr. Ralph R. Chase West Texas Collection. In addition, the project will co-sponsor a series of public presentations on World War I, starting in the fall of 2015, and host a series of roundtable discussions with local veterans.
“This project will ensure that the experiences of West Texas veterans and their families are not lost to history but are preserved and made available for researchers and the interested public,” Lamberson said. “The project also provides a great opportunity for ASU students to get hands-on experiences working in the humanities and to make connections with the broader West Texas community.”
“War Stories” represents the experiences of West Texas military veterans and their families from World War I to the present. These are stories of those who served and those who hoped and prayed for their loved ones’ safe return.
Despite the amount of research that has been published about Texans’ war experiences, West Texans’ stories – those from the “giant side” of the state – remain relatively obscure. “War Stories” is but one phase of a larger project, which seeks to collect, digitize, transcribe, and analyze these experiences.